Freedom Kicks: D.C. United and MLS links for Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

Touchdown! - Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

More news from United's preseason camp, plenty of UEFA Champions League talk, and for some reason a look at what's going on in Ohio. I must be losing my coastal elitist mind.

A few hours south of here, D.C. United will face the Charleston Battery, hosts of the Carolina Challenge Cup, in preseason action. Across the Atlantic Ocean, the UEFA Champions League knockout stage continues today with Real Madrid visiting Schalke 04 and Chelsea traveling to Turkey to face Didier Drogba and Galatasaray.

MLS Season Preview: D.C. United |
You come here to talk about DC United, but it can be informative to hear what non-United fans have to say about what's going on in these parts. Joe Prince-Wright is rather optimistic about the Black-and-Red's chances in the Eastern Conference in 2014.

After rocky start with DC United, Cristian Fernandez says progress from injury coming along "slowly" |
Pablo Maurer interviews United's new left back Christian on his adjustment to the American lifestyle and his thoughts on coming to MLS after spending his whole career in Spain.

Ben Olsen as an NFL kicker? DC United's head coach thinks he has the chops |
Benny wants to turn botched snaps into touchdowns. If you squint hard enough, this (hopefully) becomes a metaphor for the 2013 and 2014 seasons.

Schalke 04 vs. Real Madrid: Preview |
B&RU contributor (make that pretty much every SBNation site contributor) Kevin McCauley examines Schalke's chances at getting a much-needed home win in their first leg match against Real Madrid.

Galatasaray vs. Chelsea: Preview |
Same author, different tie. The focus moves to Istanbul, where Galatasaray have the unenviable task of coping with Jose Mourinho. Oh, and Chelsea, the team Mourinho coaches. They're not bad either.

Columbus, Gregg Berhalter forge their vision for the future together |
Kyle McCarthy gives us an in-depth look at how the Columbus Crew handled an ownership change and a coaching change in under six months. It's a pretty fascinating look at how complicated a coaching hire can be when you're also reorganizing your club's entire structure.

Olympiacos brings the tifo goodness |
Olympiacos won 2-0 yesterday over English minnows Manchester United, but they also brought their A game in the stands.

The broken-down grace of Bill Murray | The Dissolve
This look at Bill Murray's entire filmography was published just days before Harold Ramis - one of Murray's best partners-in-crime - passed too soon. It's a long read, but definitely worthwhile for pretty much anyone that has enjoyed movies in the last 30 years.

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