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Kevin Paredes transfer rumors, Paul Arriola trade to be finalized, and more: Freedom Kicks for January 26, 2022

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The transfer rumor mill keeps churning.

New York Red Bulls v DC United Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

Happy Wednesday, everyone. I arrived in Columbus yesterday for the USMNT match here on Thursday night, so as a result, this is getting out a bit late. But, yesterday once again was led by D.C. United news...

D.C. United’s Kevin Paredes to Wolfsburg; Paul Arriola to FC Dallas - ESPNFC

It looks like Kevin Paredes is headed to Wolfsburg for a transfer fee that could be over $7 million plus incentives. It would be far and away the largest transfer windfall in D.C. United history. I’m proud of Kevin, and am always rooting for him to succeed. Looks like we need some Wolfburg jerseys over here!

Also the Paul Arriola trade to FC Dallas should be finalized any minute now. Paul is currently in USMNT camp, and it is expected that any medicals or paperwork would be signed after the window.

That leads to the new Designated Player, Taxiarchis Fountas, who could be on his way here sooner than June:

NWSL’s Portland Thorns closes investigation into sexual misconduct allegations, could be reopened if players choose - ESPNFC

The Portland Thorns released the results of its internal investigation, and it was confirmed that no players were interviewed in the process. The players released statements saying the investigation could be re-opened at a point when they would be allowed to speak.

Meanwhile, amid lockout concerns, the NWSLPA also released a statement asking the NWSL to agree to a collective bargaining agreement.

SSFC Podcast, Episode 72: Preparing for January WCQs - SSFC

Ready for World Cup qualifying? You will be after listening to me! On the latest Stars & Stripes FC Podcast, I get you ready from the USMNT perspective for the upcoming qualifiers in Columbus, Hamilton, and St. Paul. One note of concern is that Zack Steffen has back tightness and is listed as day-to-day, but all expect Matt Turner to be ready on Thursday.

And if the SSFC Podcast isn’t enough for you, my other podcast gets you ready for the entire window for all 8 teams in the Octagonal. Check out the World of Concacaf Podcast!

Afcon 2021: Quarter-final at Olembe Stadium to be moved after fatal crush - BBC

Africa Cup of Nations had a sad tragedy on Sunday, as a stadium crush before the Round of 16 match between Cameroon and Comoros led to 8 people dead and 38 people injured. CAF is moving the quarterfinal match away from Olembe Stadium in Cameroon’s capital of Yaounde, which hosted the opener and will host the final on February 6th.

Finally, we have 103 teams that will compete this year in the U.S. Open Cup. Of course, D.C. United will join at the point where MLS teams enter the tournament.

Stay warm out there y’all!