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D.C. United preps for Red Bulls, Washington Spirit trio on USWNT roster, and more: Freedom Kicks for 9/10/2021

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MLS on Thanksgiving? It’s more likely than you think!

Kelley Piper / Black and Red United

D.C. United is back from the international break, all signs are pointing to the Washington Spirit returning to action this weekend with a big game at Audi Field, and MLS has decided to interrupt your Thanksgiving with soccer. Let’s talk about it.

First up, some player availability news for United:

The injury report at this point is slowly getting smaller, and let’s hope it can keep going in that direction.

Here’s a quick end-of-window international round-up:

  • Edison Flores came on at halftime for Peru while they were down 2-0 at Brazil, and that’s how the game ended up. Peru is in 7th place in CONMEBOL, five points behind both the last automatic qualification spot and the intercontinental playoff spot.
  • Junior Moreno played 73 minutes for Venezuela in a 2-1 road defeat against Paraguay. Venezuela remains in last place, nine points away from qualifying/the playoff.
  • Erik Sorga came on for the final 19 minutes of Estonia’s 0-0 draw at Wales. A road shutout is very good for Estonia after giving up 15 goals in their first three games in UEFA’s Group E, but it’s Estonia’s first point in the group. Sitting 5th in a five-team group, their next qualifier (home vs. Belarus) is already more or less an elimination match.

Looking ahead to Sunday’s Washington Spirit game at Audi Field, I found out some good news from the team last night:

The Spirit host OL Reign Sunday at 5pm.

O’Hara, Sonnett, Sullivan Called Up to USWNT for September Matches | WashingtonSpirit.com
After narrowly missing out on the Olympics, Andi Sullivan is back in the USWNT, getting called in along with Kelley O’Hara and Emily Sonnett.

Midfielder Andi Sullivan and forwards Sophia Smith and Mallory Pugh added to USWNT BioSteel training camp roster for September matches against Paraguay in Cleveland and Cincinnati, Ohio | USsoccer.com
The full roster is here.

Subaru Park to host Gotham FC’s Oct. 6 game vs. Washington Spirit as a celebration of Carli Lloyd | Philadelphia Inquirer
The Spirit’s October 6 trip up north to face Gotham FC, aside from being potentially huge in the playoff race, is now going to be played in Chester rather than Gotham’s normal home (Red Bull Arena) as a nod to Carli Lloyd’s career.

Thanksgiving Day Match on FOX and Four ABC Broadcasts Highlight MLS Postseason Schedule | MLSsoccer.com
MLS announced its playoff schedule, which includes a 4:30pm Thanksgiving Day game (it’ll show on big Fox), along with one game per round on broadcast ABC. I’m not sure people are going to enjoy this Thanksgiving game, but MLS’s experiments with playoff timing will never end. We’re still waiting for them to take us up on an idea we put up almost 11 years ago.

OK folks, that’s all I’ve got because I wasn’t online all that much of yesterday. Have a good weekend!