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D.C. United announce new TV deal, add Lucy Rushton to front office, and more: Freedom Kicks for 4/13/2021

It was a category 5 news hurricane kind of Monday

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Caitlin Buckley / Black and Red United

Everything happened to D.C. United yesterday. Everything! You, me, everything. Your first car, and the contents of every single person’s pockets in Japan, and an inestimable other number of things. We’re all in today’s Freedom Kicks.

D.C. United strikes two-year deal with NBC Sports Washington | Washington Post
Big news item number one is United announcing a local broadcast deal that addresses so many long-standing issues fans have had. This two-year deal with NBC Sports Washington and TeleXitos means fans throughout the region can find all 33 non-national broadcasts easily and in HD with any TV package, in English and (for the first time ever) in Spanish, over the air on TeleXitos for those without a TV package, and the team site will still stream games free of charge on their site.

It’s huge news, after years where at least one of these significant problems existed.

D.C. United Announces Partnerships with NBC Sports Washington and TeleXitos |
The team site has more specifics, including a zip code finder to see whether you can watch those streams on the team site or if you need ESPN+.

How about more big news? Here’s MLS Commissioner Don Garber learning live on Drinks with Binks about reports that United hired Lucy Rushton to be the first woman GM in the league in decades:

Check out the full interview on Drinks with Binks tomorrow night at 8pm ET/PT on fubo Sports Network.

D.C. United names Lucy Rushton General Manager | Sportico
It’s a major shake-up of the front-office, in which Dave Kasper’s job is now President of Soccer Operations, while Rushton will take over the GM role.

D.C. United to hire Atlanta United’s Lucy Rushton as general manager | The Athletic
If you’re not sure what this means for the Black-and-Red, let me quote briefly from this: “Rushton’s departure is a big loss for Atlanta United.”

How many times has United made an off-field move that a team like Atlanta would regard in these terms?

D.C. United hires Lucy Rushton as second female general manager in MLS history | Washington Post
Even more on the signing, including a note that United tried to bring Rushton aboard once before.

Let’s keep it going with some potential signings and maybe a hint at the starting lineup for Saturday:

Click through for the full thread, but Andy Najar’s return and one more MLS-experienced center back? Not bad at all! There’s also the possibility that Erik Sorga could be DCU’s starting #9 on opening day

How every team can win the Supporters’ Shield in 2021 |
Matt Doyle is putting a lot on Edison Flores here, but if we’re being honest this is a season about progress rather than expectations.

Let’s take a break with some positive news about a former United player:

That’s unabashedly good news!

Liga MX draws first major U.S. investors to ‘NFL of Mexico’ | Sportico
Sam Porter (who until sometime recently was United’s Chief Strategy Officer) and still current United part-owner Al Tylis are on a list of celebrity investors looking to buy “around half” of Necaxa...including Mesut Ozil. You just knew on a wild day there’s be some Ozil, right?

Three thoughts on the Washington Spirit’s Challenge Cup opener against the North Carolina Courage | Black and Red United
The Washington Spirit play their second game of the year on Thursday, with Richie Burke speaking to media this afternoon, but before we move on we have this piece of things that were bouncing around my brain on Sunday, and a piece on Trinity Rodman coming later this morning.

We have one piece of bad news for Loudoun United:

Loudoun midfielder Barry Sharifi has been diagnosed with colitis and then on top of that has a torn meniscus. Hopefully it’s a speedy recovery, and he’s back out there with Ryan Martin and co. soon.

Match preview: USWNT vs France could promise thrills on the flanks | Stars and Stripes FC
If United had simply had a slow news Monday, it still would have been a big day soccer-wise, because the USWNT is playing France (who were pretty sharp against England a few days ago) at 3pm.

That said, the war of words between the players and USSF continues:

Liga MX president intends to grow MLS partnership: ‘We have to move forward together’ | The Athletic
It sounds like Liga MX and MLS are still very much on course for whatever the end game between the leagues is when it comes to working together. There’s also a note in here about Liga MX Femenil and NWSL clubs meeting “in the short term.”

Kyle Beckerman named Men’s Soccer Head Coach |
My fellow Crofton native Kyle Beckerman’s post-retirement move has been to take over the head coaching job at Utah Valley University

And now, to finish on a very American Soccer Things note:

That’s the Djibril Cissé you’re thinking of, signing with an NPSL club that is named after a Greek club but is actually in Chicago.

Okay. Deep breath. We got through all the news. Enjoy your Tuesday!