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Kris Ward is Washington Spirit head coach, Premier League ignores omicron, and more: Freedom Kicks for 12/21/2021

The Spirit brought Gaby Vincent back to the DMV, plus local kits!

Houston Dash v Washington Spirit Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

Good morning! It’s the winter solstice, which is a cursedly short period of daylight, but also the marker that we get more sun from here on out. MLS has gone essentially dormant (we expect some D.C. United news soon, but probably not like later today soon), but we have multiple noteworthy Washington Spirit developments, plus some local kits you will probably enjoy.

Washington Spirit remove interim tag, name Kris Ward as head coach | Black and Red United
The big news around these parts isn’t a surprise: the Spirit made it official with Kris Ward. That’ll happen after you win it all, without losing once in a game that actually kicked off. They gave up just three goals in their final eight games, winning seven straight...yeah, you sign the interim boss after that kind of performance.

Attacking Third has some thoughts and analysis from a bit more distance from the Spirit cause than us, a site that wants them to continue that winning streak into the next decade at the least:

Washington Spirit add Gaby Vincent in trade with Kansas City Current | Black and Red United
Yesterday evening, the Spirit were back in the news, trading a little allocation money and a late-round 2023 pick to Kansas City Current to bring Columbia, MD native Gaby Vincent back to the DMV. Vincent was a regular for KC this year, and should provide more depth at both defensive midfield and center back (where the Spirit have plenty of internationals who will be very busy in 2022).

The DC branch of the American Outlaws dropped some outstanding Pride kits yesterday, and were promising more heat (in the cherry blossom department, it looks like).

Staying with local kits:

You’ve got a couple of days here to bust out your very best design for the Maryland Bobcats, who are looking for fan input on a 2022 goalkeeper kit. They’ve had some great looks, so bring your A game.

Premier League statement |
Good luck to the various u15s that will be suiting up during the Premier League’s already bonkers holiday barrage of games. Really not sure how, nearly two years into this panopticon, there are still places that are like “we can shrug this off, right guys???”

Black girls are more apt to drop out of sports. This mentorship program aims to change that. | Washington Post
The Black Women’s Player Collective and Voices In Sport are partnering up in an important mentorship program to help keep Black girls involved (and primed to advance) in their sports.

And that’s all I have. Enjoy your Tuesday!