Good morning! It’s very dreary outside, but it feels like it’s going to be a little warmer so I’m looking forward to taking a walk and seeing something other than the inside of my house. Small victories during a pandemic.
Let’s get to the big news:
One more day to get something done, which strikes both me and people who know more about labor negotiations than me as a sign we’re gonna have a league that starts on time. I worry that it’s going to cost the players a lot, which is bad.
Let’s go for some good to balance out that bad:
D.C. United close to deal with center back Michael DeShields, a first-round draft pick from Wake Forest. Recent T&T intl call-up. He would become DCU's fourth CB, joining Birnbaum, Brillant and Pines. #mls— Steven Goff (@SoccerInsider) February 4, 2021
No surprise here, as D.C. United paid to get into position to take DeShields early in the first round. Let’s hope the Baltimore native tears it up.
Arriola eager to get to Wales and contribute to Swansea | American Soccer Now
Paul Arriola spoke about his move to Swansea, and also got into how things are going with United at the moment.
We’re also developing some idea of when he could make his debut:
Candidates for Arriola’s potential #Swans debut:— an Adam Taylor (@the_amt) February 4, 2021
—Next Wednesday, home against Man City in the FA Cup 5th round
—Next Saturday, at Sheffield Wednesday
—Following Wednesday, home against Nottingham Forest (which might hit different for #dcu old heads) https://t.co/Mcsk5CrRG8
Given the endless weekend/mid-week/weekend march that is the Championship, it’ll very likely be ASAP.
The latest episode of Plex Weather is out, and it’s a good one. I spoke with Washington Spirit original Tori Huster about life at this point in the preseason, how the Spirit plan to go about their business this season, and got into some Spirit history as well:
Episode 12 is out right now, and right here! @torihuster joined the show to talk about the start of preseason, how the Spirit are looking to improve in 2021, coffee, & a lot more! #NWSLhttps://t.co/TtzRuslxsT— Plex Weather (@PlexWeather) February 3, 2021
Black History Month: There will be change | Stars and Stripes FC
Donald’s Black History Month stories at Stars and Stripes are always good, and yesterday’s piece about the Black Players for Change is no exception.
Staying with excellent work from B&RU staff, André is half of Diaspora United, whose latest episode is out:
NEW POD— Diaspora United (@DiasporaUtdPod) February 4, 2021
We celebrate the Blackness of the NWSL Draft, challenge collegiate programs and NWSL front offices to be less white, look ahead to the upcoming SheBelieves Cup and shoutout @AsisatOshoala, Bunny Shaw, THE ETERNAL FORMIGA and @sydneyleroux!https://t.co/tKjdvPI0Yl
CONCACAF Champions League to expand format in 2023 | ESPN
The CCL will be bigger and more complicated than ever before, most likely because CONCACAF wants to create enough MLS vs. Liga MX match-ups to keep the leagues from creating their own competition.
Concacaf Champions League to expand with innovative new format starting 2023/24 | CONCACAFChampionsLeague.com
Here’s the official release, with charts to help you visualize the path to CCL play. There’s a strong chance that 1⁄3 of MLS’s US-based teams could all qualify.
Pity Martinez makes a splash return to MLS with FC Cincinnati | Cincinnati Soccer Talk
A completely wild and unexpected turn of events? It’s about that time...or maybe not, since literally about an hour ago, Pity Martinez said he’s completely happy with Al-Nassr and isn’t moving.
FC Cincinnati set to announce acquisition of forward ‘Brenner’ from Sao Paulo FC | Cincinnati Enquirer
Cincy is busy either way, as they’re going to announce a move for Brenner, who appears to be the replacement for Jurgen Locadia (who appears likely to have his loan from Brighton ended early).
Austin FC Acquires Free Agent and Two-Time Israeli Premier League Champion Aaron Schoenfeld | AustinFC.com
Sticking with MLS striker signings, Aaron Schoenfeld will be suiting up for the expansion side this year.
Over in France, Catarina Macario may be about to make her Lyon debut:
We know the USWNT roster for SheBelieves Cup, and now Argentina’s is out as well:
However, it’s vital to note that former Spirit playmaker Estefania Banini, who has been blacklisted by the AFA after speaking out against the federation’s treatment of its women’s program, has been left out despite being arguably their best player. Which really sucks! I don’t like it.
Europe Is Mining an Emerging Talent Market: the U.S. | New York Times
An in-depth piece on all these MLS-to-Europe moves, including a note about how the league has an entire department working to facilitate this sort of thing. Given United’s set of youngsters, we might be hearing more about this in the near future.
Alright, it’s time for breakfast. Good luck out there today!