Freedom Kicks: D.C. United Links for Friday, 10 January 2013

Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

We end the week with ch-ch-ch-ch-changes, including MOAR BRADLEY, a growing league, the continued relevance of the SuperDraft, a successful rebranding campaign. There may also be Germans invading Britain.

The first full week of 2014 is going into the books. As much as the rest of the country will remember it for the polar vortex and Chris "Bridges" Christie, MLS fans will look back and think on Michael Bradley's return to MLS, the build up to the SuperDraft and a wave of homegrown signings (including D.C. United's own Jalen Robinson. Anyway, Happy Friday! Here are today's morning links.

Is Michael Bradley the tipping point for how our kids view their soccer dreams? |
It's actually a fair question. At what point will teenagers who aspire to a professional soccer career start considering life outside of Europe as equally ambitious and relevant as one in England or Spain or Italy? I don't know that it's now, but we might be farther along the path to that goal now than we thought just days ago.

MLS Mock Draft: SB Nation bloggers pick the first two rounds |
All 19 MLS blogs on the network got involved to moot the first two rounds of next week's SuperDraft. There are profiles on every player selected, so go distract yourself from work for a couple hours. You can see who we chose for United here.

Yes, the SuperDraft still matters | ProSoccerTalk
Stories of the SuperDraft's SuperDemise have been SuperExaggerated, as Steve Davis explains.

Major League Soccer, a case study in managing fast growth |
In which Don Garber gets to toot the league's horn as a quickly growing company to a business outlet that isn't Forbes or the WSJ.

Alexi Lalas talks the 2007 LA Galaxy rebrand | LAG Confidential
Great work from our friend Josie here, who talks to Big Red himself about the many several branding identities the Gals have had since 1996, with a particular focus on the acquisition and arrival of some English guy.

Bayern pay more than $120,000 to subsidize supporters' tickets | FOX Sports on MSN
Bayern Munich are playing Arsenal in the UEFA Champions League round of 16, and to help their supporters make the trip to London for the away leg of the tie, the Bavarian club will pay the difference between the 75 euro face value of the ticket and the 45 euro price their fans will now pay. Good on die Bayern.

Consider this your open thread for the day (and the weekend, for that matter). Take to the comments to let us know your thoughts on any of the above stories and share any that we missed.

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