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D.C. United (not) on TV, Andi Sullivan on USWNT, and more: Freedom Kicks for 4/2/2021

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Stick around long enough and you’ll get a wonder goal, we promise

MLS: New York City FC at D.C. United Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Sometimes you just get lucky and have a good day, and I got one yesterday. Outside of my dad getting his second vaccination done, there wasn’t anything special involved: slept in by an extra 20 minutes, meals coming together timing-wise without intricate planning, enjoyed an album that is new to me (“The Seduction of Kansas” by Priests), bought some beers. No one in my general circle of people and organizations did a terrible April Fools joke, which I am very thankful for. I highly recommend all of these things.

To the soccer!

Kaku arbitration ruling expected soon; MLS national TV broadcast breakdown: Notebook | The Athletic
Normally we don’t start things off with a story whose headline leads with Kaku, but the breakdown of national TV games in MLS this season leaves D.C. United dead last among American teams, with one single national broadcast (on Univision) all season long.

On the other hand, that means more of Dave Johnson and Devon McTavish, and fewer weird broadcast windows for ESPN or FS1, so honestly? I’ll take it. The networks are going to miss out if this team becomes the goal bonanza (in both directions) that Hernán Losada’s history points to it being.

Philly MLS 25: Stephen King was the original Medford Messi | Brotherly Game
Our longtime readers remember The Standard, a loose concept where a specific player served as an indicator of roster strength. If you’re starting players who aren’t as good as The Standard, you’re gonna have a tough go of it; if The Standard can’t find minutes because the team is too good, you’re a contender.

I’m not sure who the current standard-holder (this was intentional!) is. Joseph Mora, maybe? Take it to the comments!

P.S. that isn’t actually post-script because it’s in the middle of the piece: we’re trying to arrange for in-person coverage of Sunday’s preseason game against NYCFC. If I’m allowed to be there, I’ll be making the drive up to get some in-person observations.

Washington Spirit captain Andi Sullivan added to USWNT roster for Sweden, France friendlies | Black and Red United
Andi Sullivan was added to the USWNT squad, and shortly after we put this piece about the news out, Saori Takarada was called up by Japan. So, this piece has an update about the impact both call-ups will have on the Washington Spirit at the start of the Challenge Cup.

Couple’s love of soccer leads to Washington Spirit investment | Washington Blade
Enjoyed this interview with married Spirit investors Bri Scurry and Chryssa Zizos, which also has some new notes about the Spirit’s plan for the gameday experience at Audi Field.

The NWSL is making progress by adding sponsors, but not every deal has to be billed as a game-changer | The Athletic
A sponsor logo on a sleeve being called an “activation” is not my favorite thing, so I’m very on board with this piece. Glad the league is getting these needed and significant sponsors, but teaser announcements that could be construed as something as big as expansion news are going to get old really fast.

Y’all wanna talk jerseys?

This is a wild idea, and I think I’m into it.

Welcome everyone, to Emma Hayes’ Orchestra! | We Ain’t Got No History
Our own André Carlisle provided some great context for this excellent video featuring Chelsea women’s head coach Emma Hayes and her in-game instructions on team shape and how/when to press. The video is in the piece, and if you want to know what’s going on with all the team shape stuff you hear about now, this will give you good insight into what coaches are doing, and why they’re doing it.

And now that I’m out of stories, let’s finish up with an unreal goal from college woso:

The long run-up, the fact that you get more than enough time to know what she’s gonna do, the bench also knowing what’s coming and freaking out even before the hit...just A+ all around.

Alright folks that’s all I’ve got. Enjoy your Friday!