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Michele Kang finalizes purchase of Washington Spirit, Michael Estrada officially signs with D.C. United, and more: Freedom Kicks for February 9, 2022

A heckuva day for DMV soccer!

Kelley Piper / Black and Red United

Happy Wednesday, everyone. There was some big news from our local soccer teams, so we begin with that:

Michele Kang officially acquires controlling ownership of Washington Spirit - BRU

Finally, the long-running saga surrounding ownership of the Washington Spirit is over, and Michele Kang officially bought out Steve Baldwin and Bill Lynch to become the controlling owner of the team. It’s a happy day for the players, supporters, and fans.

There was more information in Steven Goff’s post on the story at the Washington Post: Michele Kang apparently approached D.C. United owner Jason Levien about investing in the Spirit.

That would make sense given that right now, the Spirit are playing at 2 D.C. United-controlled venues in Audi Field and Segra Field. And there are still unsettled questions about the new training facility by Segra Field. Meanwhile, D.C. United showed support to Kang’s purchase of the Spirit in a statement released yesterday:

D.C. United adds striker Michael Estrada on one-year loan from Toluca - BRU

D.C. United was busy too, as Michael Estrada was officially brought in on loan from Liga MX side Toluca. There is an option to buy for a reported $5 million, but there are others who say that Estrada’s contract could expire at the end of the year, which would mean he could sign permanently on a pre-contract in the summer transfer window.

‘Nobody believed those teenagers’ - Washington Post

An incredibly difficult but important article to read, as former Chicago Red Stars coach Rory Dames was accused by youth players of misconduct decades ago. Still, Dames was allowed to progress into more prominent positions, including coaching in the NWSL.

Black History Month: Deeney’s dramatic moment - SSFC

More Black History Month content, as yesterday’s story was on Troy Deeney’s incredible goal from the EFL Championship playoff semifinals in 2013, one of the most dramatic finishes in the history of soccer. More stories are coming this month over at Stars & Stripes FC, so catch up in the hub over there if you haven’t read all the articles!

Hakim Ziyech: Chelsea winger quits Morocco duty aged 28 - BBC

Chelsea FC winger Hakim Ziyech has announced he will no longer play for Morocco after a falling out with the coach. He said he will just focus on his club career from here on out.

Barcelona’s Spotify deal, Laporta disagreements behind CEO Ferran Reverter’s exit - ESPNFC

FC Barcelona has entered a deal with Spotify that not only will have the music streaming company be the main jersey sponsor, it will also get prominent naming rights for the Camp Nou. Reportedly, the CEO of the club has resigned over the deal.

FA contacts Wayne Rooney over comments in interview - BBC

Wayne Rooney said that he abused alcohol in his youth while coming up as a young player in the Premier League and also detailed times he tried to go studs up into players in an effort to keep their team out of the win column, and now the FA wishes to speak with him about those comments. We’ll see what comes from that discussion.

Enjoy the day, y’all.