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D.C. United getting respect, USWNT wins, and more: Freedom Kicks for 7/6/2021

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You know who likes Andy Najar? Us.

Caitlin Buckley / Black and Red United

Before we get to D.C. United getting some plaudits, a true story: I almost forgot that today was Tuesday. Between having a game to cover on a Friday (not Saturday) and the holiday weekend, the result was just “I guess this amount of time was only two days!” But it turns out it’s not! It’s Tuesday! Here are some soccer links!

Armas out, Austin find the gas & more from Week 11 | MLSsoccer.com
The headline points elsewhere, but Matt Doyle gets right to the DCU in this post. He’s also seeing what we’ve been saying on Filibuster for a while now: United’s good.

The league site picked their Team of the Week, and included Andy Najar and Kevin Paredes...but didn’t go with Hernán Losada to coach the team.

Najar was robbed of Player of the Week, which brings me back to a long-standing issue I have as a voter in that poll: there are 13 games on just about every MLS weekend, and with this year’s congested schedule, you often have to bundle in mid-week games too. How is anyone supposed to vote with any degree of accuracy with 26-50 hours of soccer to have watched, and often under 24 hours in which to send your vote in?

Moving on from voting process minutiae, Venezuelan reports have United expanding their roster for the Capital Cup (which starts tomorrow!), with Jovanny Bolivar and Darluis Paz reportedly coming up from Loudoun:

It wouldn’t surprise me to see United call on some other Loudoun players, particularly for this first game given that it comes mid-week. We’ll try to track down more on this between now and tomorrow’s game. Speaking of, we have travel rosters for Alajuelense and Alianza.

Recap: USWNT 4 Mexico 0 | The Bent Musket
The Washington Spirit were represented on both sides of last night’s game: for the USWNT, Kelley O’Hara went 90 minutes at right back, and Emily Sonnett played the final 22 minutes at left back. Meanwhile, new signing Karina Rodriguez played 34 minutes at center back for Mexico.

Onto some really bad news: for the second time this season, a Loudoun United opponent has been on the receiving end of racist abuse:

It’s really disgusting, and I hope the investigation comes to a more clear conclusion this time. As a fanbase and as a region, we’ve gotta make sure this is not part of the culture here.

Charlotte FC to hire Miguel Ángel Ramírez as first head coach | The Athletic
It sounds like Charlotte FC has taken a coach that wants to build for the long term as their first coach. I wonder how he feels about them having already filled 20% of their roster spots.

Battle for Possession Will Be Key as Italy Takes on Spain in Euro 2020 Semis at Wembley | Chiesa Di Totti
Euro 2020, the tournament happening in 2021, continues today with what sounds like a very fun semifinal.

Well, I’m very close to falling asleep, so I’ll shut up now. Enjoy your Tuesday!