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Friday Freedom Kicks: Loudoun United sold, new Spirit sponsor, D.C. United season preview, and more

Preseason keeps on rollin’

SOCCER: MAY 07 USL - Loudoun United FC at Hartford Athletics Photo by Williams Paul/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Happy Friday, all! Let’s see what the end of this week has brought us:

Loudoun United sold to minor league baseball owner (Washington Post)
Greg Baroni, whose Attain Sports and Entertainment owns two minor league baseball teams in Bowie and Frederick, Maryland, has purchased the controlling stake in Loudoun United. The team did not reveal how much of an ownership D.C. United retains, although they will still own Segra Field.

Washington Spirit and District of Columbia announced 2023 season-long partnership with debut of training kits (Washington Spirit)
Interesting to see the team parterning with the city government. It’s not clear yet how far that partnership will extend, but the Spirit debuted training kits at training today.

ETR’s 2023 season preview begins! (ExtraTime Radio podcast)
ExtraTime Radio gives season previews for multiple MLS teams, with D.C. United beginning at 1:18:28. The hosts aren’t sure what the long-term future looks like for DCU but expect to see more wins this season. I’m not sure how to feel about their declaration that United are the Knicks of the MLS, but oh well.

Swansea City Chiefs conduct shock interview and publicly apologize after shambolic transfer window (Wales Online)
It’s rare to see sports decisions so bad that the team ownership feels the need to apologize to fans, but that’s what happened with D.C. United CEO Jason Levien’s EFL Championship team, Swansea City. Levien and his co-owner apologized and attempted to explain what had gone wrong during a transfer window in which the team lost 6 players and failed to sign any new ones.

Most concerning quote: “Some of the offers that we made (for targets) were above the asking price that ultimately players transacted at.”

Vandersloot to New York, the rise of superteams, and a Liberty-Aces WNBA Final? (ESPN)
The big sports story I’ve been following this week is the creation of two apparent superteams in this WNBA free agency period. Both the Las Vegas Aces and New York Liberty have signed top talent this week — Candace Parker joining the 2022 Champion Aces and Liberty adding Breanna Stewart and Courtney Vandersloot to their already stacked roster. ESPN breaks down the moves and attempts to answer some questions about how these signings work with the WNBA’s salary cap.

I’ll leave you with D.C. United’s report on Wednesday’s Coachella Invitational games, including a couple of goal clips and some thoughts from Chris Durkin and Christian Benteke. Enjoy, and have a good weekend!