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Rose Lavelle returns to NWSL with OL Reign, Crew promise yet another logo change, and more: Freedom Kicks for 5/18/2021

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Be careful what you wish for, friends

Nikita Taparia

Good morning! I spent much of yesterday away from the internet, which is in some ways healthy and in some ways made me feel disconnected and unfamiliar with the goings-on in the soccer world. But, that doesn’t mean I’m showing up here with nothing to talk about. Let’s go!

Four things from D.C. United not quite breaking through against Orlando City | Black and Red United
Let’s start the day off with our thoughts on D.C. United’s defeat on Sunday night.

(also this article will go live at 8am, so if you’re an early bird and it just directs you to the site’s front page, come back in a little while)

OL Reign add Rose Lavelle for the 2021 season | Sounder at Heart
I think the Washington Spirit have largely made very smart moves on and off the field over the past two-plus years, but trading Rose Lavelle’s NWSL rights felt like a move that would come back to haunt them at the time, and so it has. The Spirit get $100,000 to add to their allocation money pile because of Lavelle’s return to the league, but you can’t put allocation money on the field.

Now, that said, I don’t really know how OL Reign’s team of left wingers, 10s, and defenders playing out of position is supposed to work, but they might have enough raw talent to overcome that problem.

Loudoun’s first home game of 2021 is tonight, and it’ll be interesting as Lloyd Sam (who played for both United and the Red Bulls in MLS) is on the broadcast. Dial up your ESPN+, should be fun.

I don’t think this is actually doing the right thing (they’ve still made a mess of a situation by believing a rebrand was needed and by not consulting fans beyond announcing to them that it was happening), but it’s less wrong at least?

It’s time to put some respect on FC Barcelona’s name | All for XI
Barcelona’s blowout win in the Champions League final on the women’s side was remarkable in part because they didn’t even seem to hit top speed.

Meanwhile, Virginia native Nick Taitague has decided to retire at a young age due to some unfortunate injury troubles.

From Its Myriad Tips | London Review of Books
This is a review of a book about fungi, and I can’t stop thinking about it.

And that’s it, I’m out of links so I’ll stop talking. Enjoy your Tuesday friends!