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U.S. Olympic qualifying roster announced, Sasho Cirovski wins 400th game at Maryland, and more: Freedom Kicks for 3/12/2021

A little D.C. United and Washington Spirit news, plus a King Kazu update

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2018 NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer Championship Photo by G Fiume/Maryland Terrapins/Getty Images

I’m eating gummy bears too close to bed time, we have a little D.C. United, Washington Spirit, and Loudoun United news to talk about, and I’m gonna push through this before a belly full of sugar does me in.

Let’s start with this chat with president of business operations Danita Johnson that United put out yesterday:

Swansea City boss Steve Cooper reveals behind-the-scenes work of star man Andre Ayew and provides injury update on Marc Guehi and Paul Arriola | Wales Online
Paul Arriola has some kind of mild knock that will keep him out for Swansea this weekend.

Washington Spirit and Lyre’s Spirit Co. Renew Sponsorship Agreement |
The Spirit are maintaining sponsors coming out of the nightmare that was 2020, so that’s a definite plus.

FieldTurf at the center of D.C. United & Loudoun United FC new training center and stadium |
Normally I’m not one to post much about sponsor posts, but this one’s got a little news in it: FieldTurf says they’re going to start installing a new field at United’s new training facility in April, and that it’ll be a slightly different material than what’s already in place at Segra Field.

Looking back on the Day Sports Stopped | Sounder at Heart
Loved this piece from longtime friend of B&RU Dave Clark, who was part of the announcing crew to call what turned out to be the final pre-Covid shutdown game in American pro soccer and tells the story of what that day was like a year later.

MLS expansion update: Five cities vying for a spot after Sacramento’s setback | The Athletic
If you want to know what’s coming in MLS expansion, there’s a whole lot of reporting in here on numerous contenders, and that’s after about half of the piece is looking into the status of Sacramento’s bid (which is still, at least for now, possibly still feasible).

Jason Kreis names 20-man U-23 Olympic qualifying roster | Stars and Stripes FC
No Pines? No Party.

OK that’s predictable, so I’ll go one further: Pines should be in, and the player who got the space I’d give to him is Mauricio Pineda, who I think people overrated a bit last year. And since apparently my objections are all to advocate for my fellow Marylanders, I think Jason Kreis choosing to leave Jeremy Ebobisse out is hard to justify. The team is still good enough to qualify, but I think it could be made better.

Staying with my own parochial concerns:

Maryland beat Michigan yesterday, getting Sasho Cirovski to his 400th win as the team’s head coach (he won his 400th NCAA game back in 2017, but this is just for wins with the Terps). College teams generally play just over 20 games a year if they get to the tournament, so you can see how much sustained success it takes to win 400 games at one school. I went to Maryland, so I’m biased, but they’ve gotta build a stadium for the soccer programs, and it should be named for Sasho. Figure it out today, let’s break ground tomorrow.

Since we last spoke, there has also been an important King Kazu update:

Kazu Miura, who just turned 54 a couple of weeks ago, subbed into a J-League match for Yokohama FC. Things aren’t going well for Yokohama (they’re in last, with 3 losses from 3 games), but they have a chance to get some momentum going at midnight Eastern, as they host Cerezo Osaka.

And that’s all that I’ve got for y’all today. Find a way to stay out of the rain, and to get outside when that clears out in the evening.