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MLS CBA ratified, D.C. United jersey tease, and more: Freedom Kicks for 2/9/2021

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Paul Arriola’s with Swansea, Casey Krueger’s with the USWNT

Washington Monument Temporarily Closes Down Photo by Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

Good morning! We’ve got a whole lot of D.C. United news, so I’ll keep the intro brief: I bought some ribs, I’m gonna cook them tonight, and that’s about all I have to tell you.

Speaking of D.C. United, the team dropped its first serious tease of their 2021 away jersey:

This is probably going to be fine (as long as it’s not exactly this gross NYRB-esque proposal Pablo Maurer found a few years ago), so I want to temper my take with that. Definitely an improvement over the all-time low of the outgoing away jersey.

But a marble-themed kit is an Official Washington themed kit, and ultimately I wanted a kit for D.C. instead.

Let’s move on to check on Paul Arriola:

Mixed feelings! Hope he does well over there, but it feels like if Arriola stays with Swansea, we might not be getting much in the way of a replacement until 2022.

Let’s get into something that is more straightforward:

The District Ultras are supporting Special Olympics Maryland, which is a great cause, and one way you can help out could win you the chance to get into the announcer’s booth with Dave Johnson.

When will Edison Flores make his mark and more questions: D.C. United Mailbag | The Athletic
There isn’t a ton of news to get into, but who doesn’t want to hear stories about doing donuts at RFK, or about how Wayne Rooney and Ben Olsen got along? This is fun, we could all use some fun these days.

MLS Players Association, MLS agree to CBA amendments | Black and Red United
Good news: MLS is gonna start (more or less) on time. Bad news: the owners got what they wanted.

MLS CBA explained: Who won, what each side gets and when the season will start | The Athletic
Many more details here from Sam Stejskal and Paul Tenorio, who have been all over the CBA beat this winter.

MLS, MLSPA agree on new CBA to run through 2024 season | MLSsoccer.com
The league offered plenty of details as well, including notes on charter flights and on how TAM is going to be phased out in favor of GAM.

U.S. Soccer’s Plans for an Abbreviated 2021 U.S. Open Cup | Sports Illustrated
After telling everyone they’d bring in all the clubs that were going to play in the 2020 version, U.S. Soccer is apparently going to toss the entire thing to hold a bizarrely early Open Cup featuring just 24 total teams. Less than one-third of MLS will be involved. It’s a really bad solution, and currently we don’t have anything approaching a good explanation for why it’s happening this way. A larger Open Cup later in the year, with more players vaccinated and better odds of fans being admitted to some degree, feels like a far better option.

I don’t get it.

Defender Casey Krueger replaces Alana Cook on U.S. Women’s National Team roster for the 2021 SheBelieves Cup | USSoccer.com
Casey Krueger (née Short) has been called in for the USWNT, replacing Alana Cook after Paris Saint-Germain opted to reject her call-up (something they’re free to do because of the length of quarantine Cook would face when returning to France).

This may actually have a consequence for the Washington Spirit: Cook’s a center back, while Krueger is a fullback. Emily Sonnett could end up seeing time in the middle, as she’s now the fourth center back on the roster.

Premier League concussion substitutes trial begins today! | We Ain’t Got No History
The Premier League is going to allow concussion substitutions, which is a move in the interest of safety. However, as this piece explains, it’s not exactly a perfect implementation.

Alright friends, that’s the end of the links I put in here last night, so that’s that. Happy Tuesday!