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MLS SuperDraft, Washington Spirit ownership dispute continues, and more: Freedom Kicks for 1/11/2022

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We’re talking local soccer news, but also a huge NWSL trade & the latest on King Kazu

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Kelley Piper / Black and Red United

We’re posting this a little early because D.C. United has the 2022 MLS SuperDraft to contend with, so we’re going to have a preview of that in an hour. In the meantime, we have some significant Washington Spirit news, a big NWSL trade, a very MLS trade, and of course our status as the #1 American soccer site that also spends an inordinate amount of time on Kazuyoshi Miura will remain unchallenged.

Let’s get into all of that:

Washington Spirit investors seek help from attorney Beth Wilkinson, who led WFT probe | Washington Post
Even if things carry on as they have been, and Steve Baldwin and Bill Lynch sell their ownership of the Spirit to a group lead by Todd Boehly and Jennifer Tepper Mackesy — an outcome that, per this piece, may be favored by the league in spite of the knock-on effect it has of making every single other NWSL club less valuable, as it is for significantly less money — the whole thing appears destined for the courts. Maybe I’m just a dummy, but as the piece says in quoting Beth Wilkinson, “I hope [the league] understands the importance of selling this team for the highest value, first and foremost. That just seems like it’s good for everyone in the league.”

Washington Spirit’s contentious sale process further erodes trust in NWSL | The Athletic
A thoughtful piece from past B&RU contributor Steph Yang on the other aspects of why this situation is not at all helpful for the league writ large.

Official: Toronto FC trade Dom Dwyer and 3rd overall pick to FC Dallas | Waking the Red
Let’s get into some real MLS nonsense, shall we? Toronto FC wants to do two different contract buyouts this year, but MLS only allows for one per team in a calendar year. So, here’s how they wriggled out of this jam: they traded Dom Dwyer and 3rd overall pick in today’s draft to FC Dallas, who sent them $50,000 in GAM.

Why such a small sum for a draft pick that in years past would go for well more than double that (never mind the valuation of Dwyer)? Because what TFC is really trading for is a thing they can’t trade for on paper. What they really sent to Dallas was the responsibility to buy Dwyer out, which FCD did once the deal was approved. TFC still has the ability to buy out another contract, which...they definitely do.

Kansas City Current Trade for USWNT Forward Lynn Williams | The Blue Testament
And now, a trade that has less to parse. Lynn Williams adds to the number of established, big-time players to find a way to leave the North Carolina Courage, heading to join her podcasting partner Sam Mewis with the Kansas City Current.NC got a big haul in return, but the combination of a Williams/Kristen Hamilton front line (Hamilton was sneaky good for a very weak KC team after being herself traded from NC) backed by Mewis means the Current are becoming a serious squad.

Official slate of candidates confirmed for 2022 U.S. Soccer Presidential Election | USSoccer.com
The list of candidates consists entirely of the ones you’ve heard of: Cindy Parlow Cone is the incumbent, while Carlos Cordeiro — who stepped down in shame literally just as Covid-19 was going from a story on the third page of the paper to major world crisis — is also running.

三浦 知良選手 鈴鹿ポイントゲッターズ(JFL)へ期限付き移籍のお知らせ | YokohamaFC.com
King Kazu, who is definitively the best player in the world because he is the oldest professional player in the world, is moving on loan to Suzuka Point Getters of the JFL (that’s Japan’s 4th tier, but given the aims of those clubs, they’re a bit more like NISA clubs would be if there were a pathway to climb the pyramid that was tied to on-field success). As such, this site is now covering D.C. United, the Washington Spirit, Loudoun United, and Suzuka Point Getters.

Real talk though, the aim here appears to be to find a place to play actual games, as Yokohama’s laser focus on being promoted back up into the J1 (they were relegated despite a big slate of mid-season moves that almost saved them) means they won’t be finding time for King Kazu. If they bounce back up, don’t be surprised if the loan is one year only.

OK, how about a golazo before you get going?

“GOLAZO INFERNAL” is the highest of heights in my book. Let’s all shoot for that today.