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Chelsea make ridiculous FA Cup request, Spotify take over Camp Nou naming rights, and more: Freedom Kicks for March 16, 2022

“Sporting integrity.”

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Chelsea v Newcastle United - Premier League - Stamford Bridge Photo by Adam Davy/PA Images via Getty Images

Welcome to Wednesday. Yesterday was absolutely beautiful, and it seems to be shaping up for more of the same today, so let me get these stories in front of you before I enjoy the weather...

Chelsea withdraw request to play FA Cup tie with Middlesbrough behind closed doors - BBC

Chelsea FC made a ridiculous request to the FA that because they couldn’t sell tickets due to the economic sanctions placed on the club and its owner, Roman Abramovich, Middlesbrough should have to host the FA Cup quarterfinal match between the two teams behind closed doors. They cited the “sporting integrity” of not having away fans as the reason. That prompted a “nah” from Middlesbrough, and eventually Chelsea withdrew its request.

Barcelona add Spotify to Camp Nou name in new sponsorship deal - ESPNFC

In a multiyear deal, Spotify will be the main jersey sponsor for FC Barcelona. In addition to being on the jerseys, the deal will also rename the Camp Nou the Spotify Camp Nou.

USMNT projected roster: Replacing Weston McKennie and the lingering questions at striker - The Athletic

A look at who could be called into USMNT camp when the roster is revealed, hopefully later this week.

Who could be available? 6 players to watch in the MLS trade market - MLS

In addition to D.C. United’s Ola Kamara, Columbus Crew and USMNT forward Gyasi Zardes apparently is on the trading block.

A cool podcast episode featuring the story of Jessica McDonald, a truly underrated player on the USWNT scene.

Also, the USL Super League will debut next year, and it’s coming with a European calendar:

Christian Eriksen back in Denmark squad - BBC

A helluva story...Christian Eriksen will return to play for Denmark for the first time since suffering cardiac arrest on the field in Denmark’s opening match of Euro 2020 last summer.

Enjoy the day, everyone!