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D.C. United injury update, USWNT vs. Sweden preview, and more: Freedom Kicks for 7/20/2021

Lots of news, but not lots of good news

MLS: Orlando City SC at D.C. United Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

We’re in the first of many, many weeks where D.C. United plays a midweek game, which means my brain is mush on most topics but I can tell you that the Fire managed to sub Robert Beric off on the weekend, so he’s probably good to go tomorrow from the start. What time is it? Where do I need to be? Who am I? Not sure, but I think Yamil Asad will start again for United.

Let’s get to the news, of which much is not great!

D.C. United’s Brendan Hines-Ike is out indefinitely with fractured hip socket | Washington Post
This is very bad news for Brendan Hines-Ike, who has been a success so far this year but will now be out for quite a bit of time. There are also updates on Steven Birnbaum, Russell Canouse, Adrien Perez, Kevin Paredes, and Ola Kamara, but all of them sound like they’re arguably more doubtful than questionable.

Jovanny Bolívar has been called back from his loan to Loudoun, and given the injuries and absences, it feels like we’re going to see his MLS debut in Chicago.

Three things about D.C. United’s hard-knock loss to the Philadelphia Union | Black and Red United
Before we move on from the weekend, we put our deep thoughts about Saturday out there.

Stanislav Ivanov is healthy, and ready to make his Chicago Fire debut | Hot Time in Old Town
United might be facing a debut from one of the Fire’s big offseason signings, though he’s probably in the 10-15 minute range.

Boavista de Portugal busca a Andy Najar como reemplazo de Reggie Cannon quien se irá a Italia |
This Honduran report says Boavista is interested in Andy Najar as a replacement for USMNT fullback Reggie Cannon. It would be brutal for Najar to leave so soon after returning and really finding his best form again, but I’m also a little dubious about this piece for one reason: the article says Najar’s contract ends this season, but United said at the time he was signed that they have options for 2022 and 2023. MLS clubs have had trouble enforcing those options with players who are adamant about leaving (see: Camilo and Cyle Larin).

OK, this has mostly been a bummer. Let’s have some good news:

The entire Pines family decked out in Black-and-Red to celebrate Donovan Pines getting called up (and now, getting his first two caps) with the USMNT? It’s the palette cleanser we needed in this post.

Above, you can vote for Aubrey Bledsoe for the NWSL save of the week. Below, the Richie Burke Show catches up with Averie Collins, Jordan DiBiasi, and Bayley Feist, with updates on their injuries and plenty moments where Collins roasts her coach.

A blast from the recent past here, as Mohammed Abu is back in American soccer with San Antonio FC:

2020 Olympics: Group G Preview | Stars and Stripes FC
The Olympics soccer tournament starts literally tomorrow, before Freedom Kicks will be up. So get yourself ready for the USWNT’s group here. USWNT vs. Sweden starts at 4:30am tomorrow, with replays on NBC Sports Network at 8:30am and 6:00pm.

Atlanta United FC at a crossroads after another coaching change |
Atlanta’s choice to dump Gabriel Heinze is looking overdue given the reporting here, including allegations that team doctors had to battle with him to get players water, and that his training schedule violated league rules. Note to coaches: don’t be like this! Destroying your players will make them worse, not better.

Colour blindness in football: Will Serie A’s green kit ban make a difference? | BBC
Serie A clubs that don’t already wear green as a home color won’t be able to wear green starting next season (as we talked about Friday), but the decision is not really about color blindness. Italian TV officials said it’s hard to see green kits against green grass, but as this piece notes, people suffering from color blindness say that’s not the issue for them.

OK we’re over 600 words, which is plenty at this time of morning. Have fun out there!