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D.C. United transfer rumors, Houston Dynamo & Dash new kits, and more: Freedom Kicks for 3/5/2021

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The Black-and-Red piled up some GAM, & we have plenty of DC soccer podcasts for your weekend

Kelley Piper / Black and Red United

We’ve got D.C. United making moves, multiple new podcast episodes about your local teams that are probably among the top two reasons you came to this website, new kits, the Open Cup, and yet another instance of Inter Miami stepping in it. I’m typing this yesterday night, sipping on some hot chocolate with Kahlua in it, and I have nothing else to add, so let’s get to all that news.

Filibuster previews the start of the MLS preseason | Black and Red United
We had a lot of United rumors or almost-there transfers to talk about: Brendan Hines-Ike, Lucas Rodriguez, Jovanny Bolivar, Nigel Robertha...it’s been busy all the sudden. Plus, we talk over some big-picture roster thoughts in the back half of the show, and reveal who ended up being Son of the Year.

D.C. United acquire $75,000 in General Allocation Money from the Colorado Rapids | DCUnited.com
D.C. United Acquire $125,000 in General Allocation Money from the LA Galaxy | DCUnited.com
United made two trades yesterday, but both were very MLS-y moves. First, the MLS rights to former academy defender Michael Edwards went to Colorado for $75,000 in GAM, which could come with up to $100,000 more if certain (as always with MLS, unknown) benchmarks are met. Then, United managed to get $125,000 more in GAM for the discovery rights to Derrick Williams, who was a target for basically six months of last year.

So $200k-300k in GAM...that’s good, right? Well yes, but also I have the strong suspicion that trying to add Rodriguez, Bolivar, and possibly Robertha is going to require adding at least one international spot (and possibly two). This isn’t me reporting what sources are telling me; just reading the tea leaves, and they say that these moves lay the groundwork for fitting the incoming players onto the roster.

For the record, United currently has five internationals (Kamara, Asad, Sorga, Flores, Reyna) and one free spot. Rodriguez, Bolivar, Robertha, and draft pick Kimarni Smith (Steve Goff says he’s on course to sign an MLS deal with United) would all require an international spot, so either we have a ton of incoming green cards, or our traditional trade sending/gaining an international spot from Portland/Vancouver is coming up.

Each MLS team’s top 2021 MVP candidate — ranked by tier | MLSsoccer.com
I get Andrew Wiebe’s logic here: Edison Flores is the most expensive player on the team, and in a more attacking system during a less chaotic season, he’s the most likely player to post a big stat line. And also, the tier placement feels right, because this feels like a rebuild (or at least, recalibration) for United, and rebuilding/recalibrating teams don’t tend to have an MVP in their ranks.

But, if you told me I had to put money on one United player to take the MVP, I think I’d actually bet on Bill Hamid. A risk-taking system like Hernán Losada’s is going to require huge saves, and we know what Hamid can do on that front.

Moving over to the Washington Spirit, I had a chat with Sam Staab just before the team headed down to Florida for warmer weather. Among the topics: TV shows, goal-scoring celebrations, and how the team deals as a group with welcoming in players who are learning a new language and culture on top of adjusting to the NWSL. It was a fun show to record, hopefully you enjoy listening to it as much as I did making it.

MLS devises U.S. Open Cup plan, Sam Vines signs Rapids extension, sources say | The Athletic
The path for MLS teams to get into this year’s Open Cup was always going to be odd once US Soccer decided to chop the competition down to a very small footprint. Now we have a potential idea of what specific kind of odd: the standings after everyone gets three games in. It beats letting the federation just pick teams, or relying on 2020 results, so sure, why not?

Dynamo and Dash release new jerseys for 2021 season | Dynamo Theory
Both Houston teams released their new home jersey for the year, and both are...well they’re orange. Not bad, but also nothing going on here beyond them being very orange.

Inter Miami should be one of the wildest teams in MLS, and instead they have a deeply uninteresting look, a coach who was demonstrably out of his depth the only time he was ever tested, and a name so bland it’s actually someone else’s name in the eyes of the law.

NWSL preseason preview: Sarah Gorden is looking for trophies and balance in Chicago | All for XI
All for XI’s NWSL preview series has been really interesting, as it centers on individual player interviews (one per team). We haven’t gotten to the Spirit preview just yet, but this one on the Chicago Red Stars is pretty good, and has links to the previews that are already out there.

Alright, over 800 words is plenty for this early in the morning, so I’m gonna wrap it up. Have a good weekend folks!