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Sweden destroys USWNT, U.S. Open Cup canceled, and more: Freedom Kicks for July 21, 2021

Wednesday begins with a funk.

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Sweden v United States: Women’s Football - Olympics: Day -2 Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Good morning everyone. The Olympics are here, and this morning began super early with an absolute stinker for the USWNT. Because we’re already up, this Freedom Kicks is out early so we can begin with the recap.

Sweden stuns USWNT in Olympic opener - SSFC

A brace by Stina Blackstenius and a 3rd by Lina Hurtig was what Sweden needed to absolutely dominate the USWNT 3-0 in Tokyo. The U.S. make their next match up against New Zealand a must win.

Tonight is a D.C. United night as well, as they take on the Chicago Fire. Before we do all that, a recap of a wild Tuesday.

U.S. Soccer Cancels Open Cup for Second Straight Year, Sets 2022 Plan - SI

The U.S. Open Cup is officially canceled, but we have some grand plans for 2022, including more MLS vs. USL Championship matchups.

Five things about the Washington Spirit’s wild 3-2 loss to NJ/NY Gotham FC - BRU

We recap the good and the bad about the Washington Spirit’s loss to Gotham FC.

Atlanta United’s and Toronto FC’s next coach? Here are 11 candidates - MLS

Some interesting names on this list, but who will Atlanta United and Toronto FC actually select?

Arsenal cancel preseason U.S. tour due to COVID-19 cases - ESPNFC

Arsenal FC have a string of Covid cases, so their tour of the United States is done.

Judge dismisses Relevent Sports lawsuit against U.S. Soccer, FIFA over international league games in the U.S. - The Athletic

Relevent Sports wanted to have European leagues contest league matches in the U.S. FIFA and USSF said no. The judge sided with USSF and FIFA, dismissing the case.

USWNT rivalries through the years: From ‘Viking bitches’ to Marta’s Brazil and the next group of contenders - The Athletic

The USWNT has had a ton of rivalries, and Meg Linehan and Steph Yang discuss some of the good ones.

Josef Martinez verbally commits future to Atlanta United: “I love this club.” - Dirty South Soccer

Welp, Heinze is gone and Josef Martinez re-commits his future to Atlanta.

Walker Zimmerman departs USMNT camp - SSFC

Walker Zimmerman is out of the USMNT camp due to injury. Henry Kessler and Cade Cowell have been called into training, and it’s possible one will replace Zimmerman on the Gold Cup roster.

Now starting for the U.S. national soccer teams: Podcasters - Washington Post

The USWNT is making their voices heard through their own podcasts. It’s dope to see them express themselves and tell their own stories.

Finally, Dave Johnson is raising money for MS research, so do your part:

Now please, someone pass me the caffeine.