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Wednesday Freedom Kicks: Spirit sign more contracts, US Soccer has a Spanish media home, and more

Rosters are looking clearer by the day!

NWSL: Orlando Pride at Washington Spirit Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for the Cherry Blossom kit reveal. The fact that we’re still waiting is getting to me. While we wait, we might as well catch up on today’s Kicks!

Official: Sam Staab extends Washington Spirit contract (BRU): I like securing key players for years down the road during the offseason. It’s a lot less stressful than picking up the option and negotiating before the year is over. Sam Staab has certainly been a key player.

Official: Anna Heilferty extends Washington Spirit contract (BRU): Speaking of signing new contracts in the offseason....

U.S. Soccer, Telemundo reach four-year media deal (SBJ): Not too shabby, this marks some significant history:

Virginia Marauders FC joining USL League Two and W League in 2023 (USLW): You know... Commuting from Germantown, MD... I could probably get to Winchester about as quickly as I can Audi Field. And the drive would be significantly more relaxing... I bet I could find parking.

Houston Dynamo’s home venue renamed as Shell Energy Stadium (MLS): For those of you who like to know the names of MLS stadiums... it’s a futile effort with all the name changes.

Kyle Porter Retires From Pro Football (Northern Tribune): This is a month and a half old... but I just found out about this now. I will forever remember Kyle Porter for giving me my most favorite soccer photo of all time:

Petty GMS rebrands as Legacy Motor Club (Racer): When 7-time champion Jimmie Johnson joined 7-time champion Richard Petty in ownership of the Petty GMS race team, there was a fair bit of speculation on whether or not there would be a name change. When two individuals sharing nearly 20% of all NASCAR championships own a team together, I suppose they have earned the right to call themselves Legacy Motor Club. It is a little bittersweet, however, as this marks the first time in NASCAR history that there is no race team with the name Petty in it.

Also announced here: Jimmie Johnson will be flipping his iconic number (since it’s currently used by his successor) and drive the #84 for select races this year. At 83 wins, Johnson is tied for 6th all-time. Somewhat strangely congested at this height of the record books, Johnson is only one win away from being tied for 4th with Bobby Allison and Darrell Waltrip, and he’s only 10 wins away from Jeff Gordon’s 3rd place spot with 93 wins. Reaching Gordon is an unrealistic goal (and the Gordon fan in me nervously sighs relief at that), but snatching a single win to alter record books is definitely possible.

That’s all I have for today!