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Tuesday Freedom Kicks: Dave Johnson’s next steps, Yates Report, and more

A sad week in soccer news continues.

Nigeria v United States Photo by Jose Argueta/ISI Photos/Getty Images

D.C. United is fast approaching the final match of the 2022 MLS season, and the Washington Spirit already closed it down against the Houston Dash over the weekend. But the biggest news right now isn’t about the action on the pitch.

Dave Johnson’s next steps

Play-by-play icon Dave Johnson is looking at what comes next as the new $2.5 billion deal between Major League Soccer and Apple will eliminate local broadcasts. This Sunday will be his final match as play-by-play announcer. Steve Goff has more for WaPo.

It’s heartbreaking news for generations of D.C. United fans, after having been spoiled to regularly experience arguably the best local broadcast in the league. Johnson will continue as the voice of the Washington Wizards and may still participate in D.C. United match day in some capacity, to be determined by the club and Johnson himself.

No matter what happens next season (and in the future), when the Black-and-Red Score, we’ll always hear, “It’s in the net!”

Yates Report released

No matter which league you follow, the release of the Yates report detailing widespread abuse and sexual misconduct faced by NWSL players and the gross negligence that left perpetrators unchecked is horrifying.

U.S. Soccer has made a statement committing to “change and immediate action,” but it’s going to take substantive action and time to even begin to rebuild trust with players and supporters. The report also exposes the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) as having done precious little to protect players, allowing abusive coaches to simply move on to other clubs.

As detailed in the report, Rory Dames, Christy Holly, and Paul Riley all benefitted from systemic failures to properly vet staff and allegations being swept under the rug.

Change is far overdue.

With players and supporters calling for immediate action, the pressure is on those who stood by and did nothing. Just this afternoon, Merrit Paulson announced he is stepping aside from Portland Thorns and handing decision-making power to Heather Davis.

More news

Indonesian soccer fans are demanding answers after the tragedy at Kanjuruhan Stadium.

LAFC is back on top of MLS Power Rankings.

Philadelphia Union is getting a new 32-acre sports complex.

Sorry to continue the sad news, friends. Let’s take it to the comments.