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USMNT to play Northern Ireland, U.S. Open Cup makes drastic changes, and more: Freedom Kicks for February 10, 2021

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The Open Cup won’t be the same.

SOCCER: JAN 31 USA v Trinidad & Tobago Photo by Andrew Bershaw/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Happy Wednesday y’all. Another winter system is making its way to town, so before you hit up the store to get a bunch of food to ride out the 24 snowflakes that might drop over the next few days, let’s get you caught up with the news.

USMNT to play Northern Ireland in March friendly - SSFC

The United States Men’s National Team will take on Northern Ireland for just the 2nd time ever. No fans will be in the stands in Belfast, but it should be an intriguing matchup.

2021 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup to feature shortened field as pandemic lingers - MLS

Only 8 MLS teams will be involved in this year’s U.S. Open Cup, along with 8 from USL Championship, 4 from the Open Division, 2 from USL League One, and 2 from the NISA. It seems insane to have a CCL spot go to the winner of the U.S. Open Cup when it’s not open to everyone.

Loudoun United sign Drew Skundrich - BRU

Drew Skundrich signs to play for Loudoun United, but as the husband of Andi Sulllivan, the power couple will also share a stadium in Segra Field. They did some pictures and video together, and yep...cuteness overload alert.

Premier League launches plan to combat racism, increase diversity - ESPNFC

The EPL has introduced a plan to increase diversity within its ranks and tackle racism. We will see if their plan has the resources behind it to actually bring about some tangible change.

Washington Spirit “looking good” as they begin the 2021 NWSL preseason - BRU

The Washington Spirit are ready to take on the NWSL as they begin their preseason. The only missing player is new signee Julia Roddar, who was called up to play for Sweden and will return after the international break.

Black History Month: Couldn’t keep Shannon in a Boxx - SSFC

Shannon Boxx and her legendary career while dealing with adversity is the focus of yesterday’s Black History Month daily. Check out the rest of the articles from this month and years past!

Why the U.S. lower division transfer market has stalled out - The Athletic

The transfer fees for players from the lower divisions have been not great. Jeff Rueter takes a dive to see why that is.

Finally, welcome to the latest supporters group for both D.C. United and the Washington Spirit!

That’s it for today. Stay safe out there, y’all.