These Freedom Kicks are late, but they’re here nonetheless. Take a second in our devolving hellscape of a world to think about soccer.

D.C. United versus Montreal Impact, plus the state of the playoff race: Filibuster | Black and Red United
We spent a lot of time on the stakes and the specifics of D.C. United’s next game. It’s huge. You have permission to freak out over it.

D.C. United to consider Audi Field as temporary home for its USL team | Washington Post
This is probably not the best way to introduce Loudoun United FC to Loudoun County, but there doesn’t seem to be another option. I’m not too put off, though I do wonder how the playing surface will hold up. What we might get is a USL schedule that has 2-3 fewer home dates than it normally would in those early stages.

Lamar Hunt US Open Cup: Houston Dynamo defeat Philadelphia Union to win US Open Cup | Dynamo Theory
Last night the Houston Dynamo made easy work out of the Philadelphia Union in winning the 2018 Open Cup. It was strange to watch the Union just sort of drift through the middle third of the game rather than aggressively try to pursue a win, but then again there’s not much of a change-up for Jim Curtin’s team.

Philadelphia Union can’t let Open Cup final loss derail their season | The Brotherly Game
The Union still have the appearance of a promising team though that lack of a Plan B in my opinion is a classic tell for a team that can’t get far in the playoffs. Houston exposed that, and you can be sure the East’s playoff coaches all noticed.

Defender of the Year: Abby Erceg, North Carolina Courage | NWSLsoccer.com
Erceg got my vote, and in fact was on my MVP shortlist. She was brilliant all season long.

Washington Spirit re-signs Aubrey Bledsoe ahead of offseason loan to Sydney FC | WashingtonSpirit.com
The Washington Spirit’s first piece of business in the offseason was to ink starting goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe to a deal for next year. Coming at the same time, they confirmed that she’ll be spending the winter playing on loan with Sydney FC in Australia. The W-League season starts in just eight days.

Utah Royals FC to host U.S. Soccer C License course for NWSL players | NWSLsoccer.com
The Spirit have 3 players (Ashley Hatch, Francisca Ordega, and Tiffany Weimer) on the list of players taking this course. It’s rare good news involving US Soccer.

Final 20-Player Rosters Announced for the 2018 Concacaf Women’s Championship | CONCACAF
The actual link to the rosters is in a PDF linked in this piece (I don’t want to spring a PDF download on you without giving you some say in the matter). For the Spirit, Mallory Pugh and Rose Lavelle are with the USWNT, and Rebecca Quinn is with Canada. On top of that…

Staying with woso, I’m on a new show called Furtcast with a rotating cast of four more talented people than me. I’m not on the last episode, which is about the Most Online Player award that my broken internet brain played a part in creating, and the NWSL final/recovery from the events surrounding the final.

OK, that’s all I’ve got. Enjoy this dreary Thursday, if you can; endure it if you cannot.

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