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TikTok new Timbers and Thorns sleeve sponsor, Olympic qualifying rosters, and more: Freedom Kicks for February 24, 2021

And a couple cool new things!

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Columbus Crew v D.C. United

Happy Wednesday, everyone. Before we get started, Julian Gressel was on The Cooligans last night, where he discussed, among other things, his path to D.C. United and how that all happened.

The Cooligans are awesome, and you should definitely watch. Catch the show on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8pm on Fubo TV Sports.

Now, to the news:

TikTok teams up with the Portland Timbers & Thorns FC - TikTok

The Portland Timbers and Portland Thorns FC both announce their sleeve sponsor will be TikTok this season. They do this as the Timbers also release their new home jerseys.

Crystal Dunn will also be a TikTok spokeswoman, and the TikTok logo does look dope on the Thorns home jersey.

2020 Concacaf Men’s Olympic Qualifying preliminary rosters confirmed - Concacaf

Donovan Pines makes the United States U-23 preliminary roster for Olympic qualifying, and he has a great chance of making the team that heads to Mexico next month.

Australia and Qatar withdraw from Copa America tournament - ESPNFC

Australia and Qatar will not go to Copa América this summer because of COVID postponements pushing World Cup qualifying for Asia back to June. CONMEBOL is considering adding 2 more teams, but could keep the field at the 10 South American teams.

First and Black: Lofty expectations not unfamiliar for D.C. United’s Danita Johnson - Yahoo!

Danita Johnson is quite impressive in yet another article that discusses the goals she has for D.C. United. Also, you should listen to the interview I was able to do with her a couple weeks ago for more awesome insight.

Orange County SC eager to get involved in women’s soccer - Angels on Parade

USL is looking to boost its profile in the women’s game by creating a women’s league. Orange County SC is one of the teams that is interested in fielding a women’s team in that new league.

Speaking of the women, the Black Women’s Player Collective now has a GoFundMe to support their efforts. I highly encourage all to give if they can!

Cincinnati over Arsenal, PSG or Real Madrid? Establishing Brenner’s true market - The Athletic

Did FC Cincinnati really beat a market that included Arsenal, PSG, and Real Madrid for Brenner? Jack Lang, Pablo Maurer and Jeff Rueter have the scoop.

USL, players association negotiating return to play, possible vaccine mandate - The Athletic

More from The Athletic on how the USL and its players are figuring out how to return to play. Included in the request from the league was that players would be mandated to get the vaccine and could have their contracts terminated if they refuse vaccination and later test positive. More as this develops.

Black History Month: The battle for Nairobi - SSFC

The Mashemeji Derby is one of the most ferocious in Africa, and it was fun to learn about Nairobi’s big rivalry in yesterday’s Black History Month story.

Finally, wanted to introduce you all to a new podcast I have started with 2 buddies from Nashville. It will focus on Concacaf nations, culture, food, and of course, the soccer in this interesting confederation we have here.

Take it easy, folks.