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D.C. United & Washington Spirit news, USMNT Nations League draw, and more: Freedom Kicks for 4/5/2022

Turns out somebody around here is in all-time great form

Kelley Piper / Black and Red United

Good, er, afternoon! It’s far enough in the day where sometimes these get skipped, but I have the time, there’s some D.C. United and Washington Spirit news to share, and that’s enough of a reason for this 7+-hour-late edition of Freedom Kicks to still exist.

How D.C. United’s Julian Gressel would spend a perfect day in D.C. | Washington Post
Julian Gressel is not the first player in DC soccer to mention Ted’s Bulletin in a piece broadly like this one. Respect to the breakfast respecters.

Ashley Hatch becomes Washington Spirit All-Time Leading Goal Scorer |
It’s a bit like doing one’s taxes due to the various competitions that have to be factored in due to the weirdness of the last couple of years, but Ashley Hatch is the all-time leader in goals in competitive play for the Spirit.

Just want to throw this out there: Since the start of October last year, Hatch has played in 15 games with the Spirit or USWNT, and has scored 10 goals in that time (3 regular season, 3 Challenge Cup, 3 with the national team, and that playoff game-winner at Audi Field). She’s arguably the most in-form goalscorer in American domestic soccer.

Ozzie Alonso suffers torn ACL in win over D.C. United | Dirty South Soccer
It didn’t look good at the time, and it turns out that injury Ozzie Alonso suffered at Audi Field is going to keep him out for a long while.

Crystal Dunn was named CONCACAF’s Women’s Player of the Year, which is good and cool.

Julie Ertz announces pregnancy | Angels on Parade
Julie Ertz’s absence from any pro soccer game for a while, including not signing with Angel City after they got her NWSL rights, has been a bit of a mystery. Well, this probably explains a lot!

Anthem singer at Portland Timbers game speaks out after wearing ‘You Knew’ shirt | The Oregonian
PTFC keeps seemingly hitting the bottom, and then gets that shovel out to keep digging. They’re going to end up somewhere in the earth’s core at this point.

Seriously though, the inability to recognize what constitutes doing bad things, or to take any responsibility (saying “accountability” in a press release is not accountability!!!), makes it hard to believe anything is going to change. Reading between the lines here, the organization seems to believe the Andy Polo investigation was exonerating for them rather than a very bad look that is only just barely not legally actionable.

USMNT draw El Salvador, Grenada in Concacaf Nations League | Stars and Stripes FC
For some reason I subjected myself to the entire Nations League draw, which saw the USMNT draw El Salvador and Grenada. These games are going to be a major part of their prep for the World Cup, as the old familiar pattern of friendlies against teams that are similar to group stage opponents is kind of broken thanks to the Nations Leagues in other confederations.

The Biennial World Cup May Be Dead, but FIFA’s Fight Isn’t Over | New York Times
FIFA’s terrible biennial World Cup idea is “dead” like Jason Voorhees or Freddy Krueger are “dead” at the end of slasher movies. Eight months from now some FIFA functionary is going to pick up a dusty book that mysteriously ended up on their desk, say aloud an ancient curse after wind blows the book open to a specific page, and the demon will rise again.

And now that we’ve talked about beasts from hell, I’ll wrap it up. Enjoy what’s left of your Tuesday!