Has Friday snuck up on anyone else? Or maybe I was just too sure that yesterday was actually Friday. Anyway, here are your somewhat belated Freedom Kicks.

It’s Earth Day, and both D.C United and Washington Spirit are celebrating. The Black-and-Red unveiled alternate One Planet kits made with recycle materials that they will debut in tomorrow’s match against Orlando City. The black, blue, and teal jerseys are currently available for sale.

The Spirit, meanwhile, are preparing for their Sustainability Night event by trying to pack Audi Field, running a number of different ticket deals. Here’s the latest one I’ve seen:

Canada Soccer says it was not consulted on U.S.-Mexico bid for 2027 Women’s World Cup (Toronto Star)
Canada seems a little peeved about not having been invited to the USA-Mexico 2027 World Cup party, to be honest.

Way-early Best XI: Who are MLS stand-outs in 2023? (MLS)
No D.C. United players on this list, unfortunately. Any surprises?

England captain Leah Williamson: My “World Cup dream is over” after knee injury (ESPN)
Women’s soccer continues to be plagued with knee injuries, which have impacted several prominent players’ World Cup aspirations. England are favorites to the Cup this year, but it will definitely be a blow to lose their captain so close to the start of the tournament.

Wayne Rooney stopped by CBS Sports’s Golazo Network yesterday morning to talk about his coaching style. Here’s what he had to say:

And finally, here’s your weekend game schedule. Have a good one!

Washington Spirit vs. Houston DashSat., Apr. 22 at 7 p.m.Audi FieldParamount+
D.C. United vs. Orlando CitySat., Apr. 22 at 7:30 p.m.Exploria StadiumApple TV
Loudoun United vs. Oakland RootsSun., Apr. 23 at 4 p.m.Segra FieldESPN+
Old Glory DC vs. Utah WarriorsSat., Apr. 22 at 3 p.m.Segra FieldTRN, MASN
D.C. Defenders vs. San Antonio BrahmasSat., Apr. 22 at 3 p.m.AlamodomeABC, ESPN+, ESPN Deportes

ByAnnie Elliott

Mostly writing about the Washington Spirit

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Notice the bench in that Best-XI piece: former legendary DCU back-up Joe Willis. It’s a bit funny how he ended up outlasting Hamid (for the time being at least).

Re: Canada not being part of the WC bid, I wonder if any of that had to do with their fighting with the national team women. Or just the general chaos surrounding the organization (even as the US sifts it’s way through Reynagate).

Brendan Cartwright

I’ve been really impressed with Willis’s career. He was good enough here, and left because he wanted to be a starter. I didn’t really think he had that in him, but he’s done really well in both Houston and Nashville, and has anchored some very defensively sound teams. Good for him. Part of that legendary draft class that also produced Perry Kitchen and Chris Korb. Both of those guys had long careers, and yet it’s Joe Willis that’s still there.

Will Nelson

Man I always wonder how long Chris Korb would’ve kept playing if he hadn’t wrecked his knee playing in Yankee Stadium against NYCFC.

Brendan Cartwright

Perry Kitchen has still played the 12th most games for DC United in their entire history, and he left the club when he was only 23. He’s just one game behind Santino Quaranta for that 11th spot.

Korb is tied with Brian Carroll for the 20th most games played for DC. Russell Canouse is four games away from matching them.

Will Nelson

In US collegiate rugby scene, tomorrow is Selection Saturday for the National 7s Championship. You can watch it live for free tomorrow on The Rugby Network. The tourney will be held April 28-30 at the Maryland Soccerplex: https://www.collegiaterugbychampionship.com/

David Rusk

From Buenos Aires: seven a side rugby is a wonderful spectator sport.


First, Willis was just good enough to stay in the league but not so good that teams wouldn’t allow him to move. And he eventually found himself in situations where he was a good fit.

Second, that link to the Rooney interview is a nice “find.” Good job Annie!

Third, I can get why Canada would be peeved about not being included but it makes sense to exclude them. For starters, their FA has a reputation of being dysfunctional at times (and that’s the biggest reason it took the men so long to qualify for the World Cup). For another, they hosted the WWC in 2015. So you’re going to bring it back to Canada less than a decade later? That would hurt the chances of bringing it to Mexico and the USA. And finally, let’s be brutally honest here: FIFA and all but about 5 or 6 FAs just don’t give their women’s team serious investment. I’m think of Argentina sending the women to the WC using cast-off jerseys from the men’s team–nonsense like that. Spreading the WWC over a 3 country (there won’t be as many teams as there will be in the 2026 men’s version) just adds to travel expenses. And if you allow Canada, Mexico, and USA to automatically qualify in the WWC, who do you do for CONCACAAF? Allow one slot (taken from another association) for the remaining 38 members? A lot of FAs would decide they’d rather save the money instead of having to pay for travel, per diem, game money for their women’s team to have to play in 10-20 matches (half on the road) to fight for the hope of maybe being in that last round of say 6-8 teams fighting it out for 1 spot.

Will Nelson

Also in American college rugby. D1a semifinals are played tomorrow. Navy (East 1 seed) vs Lindenwood (East 2 seed) in the East and Cal (3 seed West) vs BYU (4 seed West) in the west. The winners will play each other for the championship on May 6th at Sabercats Stadium (home of MLR’s Houston Sabercats).

David Rusk

As an ex-Cal rugger, I say Go, Golden Bears! Rugby at Cal (and Stanford) has at least a 120+ year history.

David Rusk

From Buenos Aires: Jeremy Garay (on the DC United roster but spending most of his time with Loudoun United) has the same last name (Apellido) as Juan de Garay, the founder of Buenos Aires in 1580. Do we have a hidden Argentine in our midst?

Talonesque #

Wowza, just watched the Arsenal vs Southampton game. Both teams striving, both teams going full tilt at times, 3-3 that just destroys both team’s morale somehow. I check out the highlights if you didn’t watch, unreal

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