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Alex Ovechkin joins Washington Spirit investors, D.C. United boosts capacity at Audi Field, and more: Freedom Kicks for 5/11/2021

Two thumbs up for most of the news in the soccer world today

Washington Capitals / Courtesy of Washington Spirit

Sometimes Monday is a slow news day, and sometimes the Washington Spirit announce Alex Ovechkin as a new member of their ownership around the same time that Mayor Muriel Bowser is changing Covid-19 regulations, meaning that D.C. United can have more fans at Audi Field as soon as this weekend.

Yesterday was the latter! So let’s get into it:

Washington Spirit announce Alex Ovechkin has joined ownership group | All for XI
We’ll have more on the Spirit’s confirmation that Washington Capitals “build a statue” level legend Alex Ovechkin is among their new set of investors, but here’s where you should start today. Having the biggest name in DC sports on board is potentially huge news for Washington.

The Washington Spirit Investor Group Expands with the Addition of Washington Capitals Star Alex Ovechkin, Nastya Ovechkina and 11 Other Business and Community Leaders |
And here’s the official release to go with that.

Naturally this is also when the latest episode of Plex Weather, recorded before the ownership news broke loose, came out:

It’s a fun first half with Anna Heilferty as my guest, and then me and André Carlisle talk about the one mystery with the team: can they score enough goals to become a true challenger to the Thorns and Courage?

Now then, onto the DCU side of things:

We’re inching towards things feeling normal, though naturally it looks like this game with a larger capacity on Buzzard Point is coming with a side of rain in the forecast.

Hernán Losada said Moses Nyeman was United’s best player on the weekend, so MLS Assist honed in on his role within D.C.’s system at the moment.

Concacaf announces Nations League Finals provisional rosters | Stars and Stripes FC
Paul Arriola is United’s lone USMNT representative, while Andy Najar (Honduras) and Joseph Mora (Costa Rica) are also possible Nations League call-ups.

In more local soccer news, you can’t attend the Maryland Bobcats home game this Saturday, but you can chip in to help support them (not to mention, you can watch them on beIn Sport):

The rebrand is a mistake; ‘Columbus SC’ has two options to make things right | Massive Report
The headline is right, and this outlines two well-known approaches to fixing similarly misguided rebrands. Hopefully Crew ownership hears this, because what they’ve done is really the kind of thing that can erode a quarter-century of history in the blink of an eye.

Crew’s Change to Columbus SC the Latest in MLS Branding Conformity | Sports Illustrated
Brian Straus goes in on Columbus ownership, and MLS’s general drift towards sameness, and rightfully so.

Gotham FC needs to change the way they play Carli Lloyd | All for XI
Carli Lloyd’s still got it, but as the center forward on a team whose attack is all about counter-attacks? Not the best fit for her or for Gotham.

The Portland Thorns Are Ready To Be The NWSL’s Villains | Defector
Personally I think the Thorns are just trying to do a PNW cover version of DCU in the 90s...which would make them the villain in every other team’s story. So we have an agreement, is what I’m saying.

Let’s close with some good news:

Listen to Bill!