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Friday Freedom Kicks: FIFA tournament announcements, Loudon United sign Daniel Chica, and more

Plus we hear there’s a soccer tournament wrapping up this weekend

FIFA World Cup Final Press Conference - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Photo by Heuler Andrey/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images

We’ve got another big weekend coming up, as the 2022 World Cup finally comes to a conclusion on Sunday morning. Here are a few things to talk about while we wait!

Lots of news out of the FIFA Council meeting this morning: president Gianni Infantino announced plans for a lot of new international competitions including a 32-team men’s Club World Cup beginning in 2025, women’s Club World Cup, women’s Futsal World Cup, and FIFA-sponsored men’s friendlies called the “FIFA World Series.” The Council also endorsed expanding the number of women’s teams at the Olympics from 12 to 16.

I like watching international soccer as much as the next guy, but this is a lot. With ACL injuries continuing to pile up among female players, this doesn’t feel like the right time to add a bunch of additional games to the calendar. Basically, this:

Loudon United FC has signed defender Daniel Chica, a Leesburg native and participant in the D.C. United U23 Program. Chica played for George Mason University in 2021 and trained with Loudon this year.

Stats site FBRef revealed their “Sportify Wrapped” of most-searched players and teams by state in 2022. Boringly, most states searched for Messi or Ronaldo, but the team map is more interesting. Apparently, Virginia and Maryland (and West Virginia) are Arsenal country, while DC residents can’t get enough of the ‘Spurs.

That’s all I’ve got for now. Have a good weekend and enjoy the finals! I will be spending all the non-soccer hours frantically completing my holiday shopping, so good luck anyone else doing the same.