Happy Friday! We’ve got a very busy soccer Saturday ahead of us, but you can take things easy for now with some Freedom Kicks.
New York Red Bulls forward Dante Vanzeir suspended and fined (MLS)
The saga continues. Vanzeir has been suspended for six regular season matches (and any other matches during the relevant time period). Six games is frankly light for a league with a zero tolerance policy against racism.
2023 NWSL Challenge Cup hits $1m in prize money (ESPN)
The Challenge Cup – started in 2020 to allow NWSL teams to play after COVID-19 cancelled the regular season – seemed a little… pointless this year, being played in between regular season matches and among teams who will already be playing each other twice in the season. The increased prize money will certainly give players an incentive to take these games seriously. The Spirit’s first Challenge Cup game is next Wednesday, April 19
Inside Gregg Berhalter’s leadership quest, and how it inadvertently ignited a USMNT mess (Yahoo Sports)
An interesting look at Berhalter’s years-long focus on becoming a better leader and how it led to his ill-fated comments on Gio Reyna after the 2022 World Cup.
Loudoun United encouraged by start to season (The District Press)
As reported by our own Ryan Keefer, coach Ryan Martin and Loudoun United players reflect on the season so far.
SSFC Spotlight: Chris Durkin displaying consistency with D.C. United (SSFC)
SSFC with a glowing profile of the Black-and-Red midfielder’s journey from youth soccer to the present and hopes for a future with the USMNT.
Josh Harris Group has tentative deal to buy Commanders from Daniel Snyder (Washington Post)
Yes, this is about the other kind of football, but I suspect I am not the only one who will be glad to see Snyder go.
Here’s your schedule for the weekend.
|Loudoun United FC vs. Birmingham Legion FC||Sat., Apr. 15 at 6 p.m. ET||Segra Field||ESPN+|
|Washington Spirit vs. North Carolina Courage||Sat., Apr. 15 at 7 p.m. ET||Wake Med Soccer Park||Golazo Network, Paramount+|
|D.C. United vs. Montréal||Sat., Apr. 15 at 7:30 p.m. ET||Saputo Stadium||Apple TV|
|D.C. Defenders vs. Arlington Renegades||Sun., Apr. 16 at 12 p.m. ET||Audi Field||ESPN/ESPN+|
|Old Glory DC vs. Rugby New York||Sun., Apr. 16 at 3 p.m. ET||Segra Field||TRN, MASN|
That’s all I have for now. Enjoy the nice weather this afternoon, and the soccer tomorrow!