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Pele’s health improves, U.S. Open Cup CCL spot determined, and more: Freedom Kicks for September 15, 2021

Happy DCU Day.

FBL-FRA-BRA-MBAPPE-PELE Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

Happy Wednesday, and Happy United Day. D.C. United takes on the Chicago Fire tonight at Audi Field at 7:30pm, and we’re looking to get a W that will surely help in the standings. Before all that and the Champions League action we’ll see this afternoon, let’s catch up from yesterday:

Pele: Brazilian football legend to be moved out of intensive care - BBC

Pele’s out of ICU and doing much better after having surgery to remove a tumor from his colon. We wish the GOAT all the best in his recovery.

U.S. Soccer Decides How to Allocate Vacant U.S. Open Cup CCL Berth - SI

Atlanta United will no longer be granted an automatic spot in the Concacaf Champions League for winning the U.S. Open Cup 2 years ago. That spot will go to the team with the best record in MLS that doesn’t win MLS Cup, the Supporters’ Shield, or win the opposite conference.

Man United lose at Young Boys thanks to USMNT’s Jordan Pefok’s goal - ESPNFC

Cristiano Ronaldo scored for Manchester United, but it was the Young Boys that got it done thanks to USMNT striker Jordan Pefok, who hammered home a mistake ball from Jesse Lingard to win the game for the Swiss club.

U.S. Soccer Federation offers identical contract proposals to Women’s and Men’s National Team Players Associations - USSF

U.S. Soccer has announced that it offered the USMNT and USWNT the exact same contract proposals, and they have indicated that no collective bargaining agreement will be done unless it includes a plan to evenly split money from the FIFA World Cup pots. Let’s see if this leads to a much-needed resolution.

Loudoun United has decided to suspend all activities for 10 days. Our very own Jason Anderson has all the info:

Over on the D.C. United side, welcome the newest Communications Coordinator for the team:

NISA formally announces shift to spring/fall season - NISA

NISA tried to do a fall/spring schedule to align more with Europe, but in the end the American calendar and the elements won out. NISA will align with the rest of the American leagues in having a season that begins in the spring and ends in the fall.