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Tuesday Freedom Kicks: Tori Huster wins YWCA leadership award, Khalida Popal receives Lantos Foundation prize, D.C. United face Club Xelaju MC in final Capital Cup match with Andy Najar in the 18, and more

It’s so good to see Andy Najar on the roster!


Welcome to this happy hour edition of your Tuesday Freedom Kicks! We’ve got a bit of a mixed bag today, so let’s start with some good news.

Washington Spirit team captain Tori Huster was one of three to win a 2022 YWCA NCA Leadership Award. Also awarded were Nita Patel (Vice President, Vaccine Immunology, Novavax) and Stasha Rhodes (Partner, Keefe Singiser Partners). Huster is the current NWSL Players Association president.

Khalida Popal, the founder (and former captain) of the Afghan Women’s Football Team, was a special guest of the Washington Spirit last month as they faced off against Angel City FC. Now, Popal is being honored not only by the Spirit but also by the Lantos Foundation for her incredible work in human rights.

In addition to her human rights work, Popal has been active in rescuing over 150 people since the fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban in August of 2021.

The final round of the Capital Cup has arrived. D.C. United will face off against Club Xelaju MC tonight. D.C. drew against Salvadoran side C.D. Águila, with Sami Guediri scoring his first goal in Black-and-Red.

A peek at tonight’s lineup reveals Andy Najar on the bench, a good omen as we head toward June 18’s regular season match against Chicago Fire.

Edison Flores’ transfer to Atlas looks like it’s moving along. Steven Goff of the Washington Post confirmed the initial report by César Luis Merlo and had this to say today:

Yet another coach looks like they may be dismissed.

Orlando Pride placed head coach Amanda Cromwell and assistant coach Sam Greene on temporary administrative leave. There is an ongoing investigation. The NWSLPA released the following statement:

If you’re at Audi Field right now, I hope you stay relatively dry! It’s a mess.

Have a good night everyone!