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Friday Freedom Kicks: Rafael Romo leaves D.C. United, Loudon United FC signings, and more

Are we still saying TGIF?

MLS: D.C. United at Charlotte FC Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Friday, everyone! It’s been a short work week for me, but I still feel like I’ve been counting down days until the weekend. Let’s ease into it with some Freedom Kicks.

D.C. United and Rafael Romo mutually part ways (D.C. United)
D.C. United have agreed to a mutual parting with the goalkeeper, ending his contract one year early. The team acquired three keepers this offseason, so this may not come as too much of a surprise.

Loudoun United FC sign midfielder Cole Turner (Loudoun United)
In their third signing this week, Loudoun United brought in Maryland native and former Philadelphia Union player Cole Turner. Apparently he’s also into fish:

Loudon’s other signings this week were French defender Yanis Leerman and Canadian midfielder/defender Kwame Awuah.

U-20 MYNT kicks off 2023 with January training camp (U.S. Soccer)
In another of many national team call-ups for our D.C. teams, D.C. United forward Jackson Hopkins was named to the roster for the U-20 Men’s Youth National Team camp. The group is preparing for the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Indonesia this year.

Charlotte FC Defender Anton Walkes dies at age 25 (Pro Soccer Wire)
Very shocking and tragic news. Our heartfelt condolences go out to Anton Walkes’s loved ones. Take care of yourselves, everyone!

LAFC signs MLS-record $100 million with BMO (Sportico)
Another MLS stadium name change! Banc of America Stadium will become BMO Stadium beginning this week after BMO, also known as Bank of Montreal, entered into a 10-year deal with LAFC. BMO also signed a related deal with Angel City FC, which shares the stadium, to become a “founding partner” of the club, even though, to the best of my knowledge, it was founded over a year ago.

Mexico forfeits matches, fined by FIFA over USMNT’s Alejandro Zendejas (ESPN)
Zendejas represented the United States in three matches in the 2015 U-17 World Cup before appearing in multiple games for the Mexican National Team in 2021 and 2022. Because Zendejas did not apply to change his affiliation, FIFA has ordered Mexico to retroactively forfeit the matches in which Zendejas appeared and pay a fine. This seems like the kind of thing you should check!

Finally, the USWNT has another friendly against New Zealand tonight at 10 p.m. EST. Washington Spirits Andi Sullivan, Trinity Rodman, and Ashley Sanchez were game changers in the last game, so here’s hoping they get a start tonight! I will be staying up too late to find out. Anyone else?