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D.C. United news, Junior Moreno to FC Cincinnati, Washington Spirit with USWNT, and more: Freedom Kicks for 2/22/2022

Kevin Paredes speaks from Germany, and United’s new sponsor appears to have leaked a day early

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MLS: Philadelphia Union at D.C. United Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning! I’ve been busy all day, including plenty of writing that you’ll see soon, but that didn’t stop D.C. United from being busier than normal, among other notable news items as MLS’s opening day approaches. I’m cold just thinking about it (seriously, we’re on track for a kickoff temperature right around freezing on Saturday).

Kevin Paredes opens up about his transfer from D.C. United to Wolfsburg: ‘The right move to challenge myself’ | CBS Sports
Kevin Paredes talks about his early experiences at Wolfsburg. It’s still a little jarring to say that he’s at Wolfsburg, not gonna lie, but hopefully we’ll start to see him tear it up in Germany.

D.C. United 2022 Season Preview |
No one from MLS dot com things United is going to make the playoffs, so do your screencapping now.

For the record, I just now did an SB Nation MLS predicted finish survey, and landed on 7th place for United after initially thinking I was going to place them in 8th. My rationale? There are seven teams that seem worse than United! It was that simple.

United has a big announcement today involving their front-of-shirt sponsor, but it appears it already leaked out. Presented without comment:

I said without comment!

United is going to use #LetsFly as its English-language hashtag:

I think we’re gonna keep using #DCU around these parts because it’s shorter, but I did take note that it seemed like most of the pushback the team got favored #VamosUnited, which does actually work for all parties (and is still the team’s official Spanish hashtag, so...maybe we should use it).

It looks like the lingering, faint “will United bring Júnior Moreno back?” hope is over, as Steven Goff says United will trade his rights to FC Cincinnati:

How’s that work with an out-of-contract player? Well, United made Moreno a bona fide offer, and he didn’t hit the MLS free agency requirements, so the Black-and-Red maintained his league rights even though they never came to a deal. So, more GAM incoming.

Speaking of defensive midfielders, Jeremy Garay has been called up for El Salvador’s Under-20 national team. He’ll be away for two weeks, so don’t expect to see him in the gameday squad for Charlotte or Cincy:

Washington Spirit international round-up: Ashley Hatch strikes again for USWNT | Black and Red United
I kept tabs on all five of the games involving Spirit players on Sunday, so you can’t say you don’t know what’s been going on with them since the FIFA window opened up.

Loudoun United technical staff talk roster, D.C. youth development | Black and Red United
Ryan Keefer had a long chat with United technical director Stewart Mairs and Loudoun head coach Ryan Martin on what this season holds for LUFC and the relationship they have in the overall DCU ecosystem. It’s a long one, but worth your time.

2022 MLS Jersey Ratings | B&RU Fanpost
B&RU reader DC_Josh posted his ratings of every new MLS jersey, and one thing I will say is that scrolling through them all collectively, they are at least not plain.

Still too many teams all at once adopting mint green, but that’s a minor complaint.

Would you like a new shirt? It sounds like the Maryland Bobcats will have one for you!

Champions League match postponed to Wednesday, February 23 |
The Foot Boys had to postpone their CCL match against Santos Laguna because the Olympic Stadium in Montreal is not fit for occupancy when the forecast calls for even a small amount of snow (its roof is not seen as trustworthy), and the forecast for tonight calls for a small amount of snow.

Blasts From the past: The New England Revolution’s End Zone Militia keeps MLS originality alive | The Athletic
It’s Pablo Maurer on Weird MLS, so you know it’s good. Everything you ever wanted to know about those dudes that fire muskets at Revs games. Also, after reading this, I now want some chicken tenders.

Alright, that’s all I’ve got, so the piece is done!