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USMNT advances at Gold Cup, D.C. United vs. FC Cincinnati, and more: Freedom Kicks for 7/30/2021

Too much soccer!!!

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SOCCER: JUL 29 Concacaf Gold Cup Semifinal - United States v Qatar Photo by Nick Tre. Smith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It’s just one day until D.C. United returns to action at FC Cincinnati, we’ve got the Washington Spirit on Sunday, Loudoun United plays tomorrow too, and this round of Freedom Kicks is late because I didn’t quite finish it before the four Olympic woso games kicked off.

Drowning in soccer, so let’s go!

FC Cincinnati balancing depth with a week left in the secondary MLS transfer window | Cincinnati Enquirer
United’s opponent, FC Cincinnati, is getting three starters back for tomorrow’s game, as Ronald Matarrita and Allan Cruz return from the Gold Cup and Yuya Kubo comes back from a suspension.

A hunger to win?: Red Bulls, mad about the D.C. loss, hope to bounce back vs. 1st-place Revs | Front Row Soccer
The Red Bulls have decided last week was about how they were bad rather than the Black-and-Red being good. Whatever, Gerhard.

If you want more United-focused reading, we’ll have some DCU data analysis later this morning.

MLS Canadian Clubs to Host Remaining Home Matches in Canada |
MLS and the Canadian government have finally sorted this situation out so that the three Canadian clubs can actually play at home. For United, this doesn’t change things much, as they only had two road games against Canadian teams scheduled all season. One of those (“at” Montreal) already took place. The other? Game 34, Decision Day, at Toronto FC. That said, it does probably mean TFC and Montreal see their points-per-game tick up somewhat, making the East a bit more competitive.

This is being published as the USWNT takes on the Netherlands, so I’ll hold off from a spoiler other than to say that the game is, in fact, going on.

2021 Gold Cup Semi-Final: USA 1-0 Qatar - it’s fine, this whole thing is being taken too seriously | Stars and Stripes FC
The USMNT were badly outplayed in the first half, but hung in there to get a foothold, and after a staggering missed penalty from Qatar (seriously, you’ve gotta see it), sprung to life, eventually scoring a late winner in Austin.

Paul Arriola started and played 81 minutes in a familiar winger role, while Donovan Pines remained out of the matchday squad for reasons that are not clear. He missed their quarterfinal due to a “precaution” about an unknown injury, so the working theory is that it’s still whatever that knock is.

Canada suffers heartbreaking defeat to Mexico in Gold Cup semifinal | Waking the Red
Big surprise, the Gold Cup final is USMNT-Mexico. El Tri scored a 99th minute game-winner (deep in stoppage time brought about after referees rightly halted play for more homophobic chanting from fans) after Canada had gotten level early in the second half and then gotten a penalty kick save to keep the score at 1-1.

Revs unveil the New England Revolution Players Collaboration | The Bent Musket
This move to push grants to communities in need throughout New England has the Earl Edwards Jr. seal of approval, so I have confidence that it’ll be a good program.

Am I surprised it’s coming from the Kraft family? I am, yes.

The latest in the Olivia Moultrie/NWSL saga is in this thread:

Tokyo Olympics: Definitive kit ranking | All for XI
A look at all of the kits in the women’s tournament. Personally I think Great Britain’s are hideous and were overrated here, but it has been kind of a boring tournament for kits all around.

D.C. reinstates indoor mask mandate as coronavirus cases rise | Washington Post
It’s immensely frustrating that we’re back here, and immensely worrying for so many folks in our community that are immunocompromised. But, we are back, and we’ll probably be wearing masks and having to take further steps as summer becomes autumn.

Alright, that’s a bummer, but it’s where we’ve gotta end because I’m out of links. Enjoy your Friday!