If you're reading this early, it's coffee time. I was briefly in Georgetown Monday for work, and the M Street Starbucks has a Clover brewing machine and some far fancier beans than your normal Starbucks. If you find yourself in a Starbucks, ask if they have these things, because the resulting coffee is better by leaps and bounds. I got the Finca Nueva from Mexico, and while it wasn't quite as good as a pourover from Caffe Pronto in Annapolis, it was still worth the extra dollar in my book.
tl;dr I don't have a unifying theme for today's Freedom Kicks, so I'm talking about something else entirely. To the links!
DC United lament poor pitch conditions in Toronto; MLSE rep says improvements planned | MLSsoccer.com
I don't really want to bring this up, but Wednesday is kind of a slow day for United news. Still, United's players have the right to point out how awful the surface was at BMO Field. Thankfully, no one from DC was blaming the loss on the field, but that hasn't stopped TFC fans (and even some actual journalists) from pretending that's the case.
Of course, given yesterday's weather, we may be in for a sloppy surface at RFK come Saturday (note: it's supposed to rain on gameday as well). Maybe we can win and then falsely accuse the Fire of whining just as Toronto is doing to us now.
Goal-starved DC United rue lack of attacking chemistry: "We haven't been on the same page" | MLSsoccer.com
Pablo Maurer had two pieces on the league site yesterday, and this is the more relevant one for our purposes. At training yesterday, he asked Eddie Johnson and Fabian Espindola for their thoughts on United's toothless attack. Both players offered up thoughtful answers while noting team-wide issues with communication and understanding (issues that, unfortunately, are only cured with time).
Ryan Nelsen bemoans Toronto FC's early schedule, defends Jackson, calls his team "underdogs" | MLSsoccer.com
Normally I'd steer clear of being so reliant on one outlet, but this piece has to be seen to be believed. I will always look back fondly on Ryan Nelsen's time here as a player, but as a coach he's said and done some odd things. This piece is basically a non-stop torrent of crazy talk. If you believe him, TFC had the most difficult start to the season in MLS, Jackson is only partially to blame for his likely suspension, and lashing out at your opponent is an indicator that you're a winner.
The Krafts Are the Worst Owners in the League | Boston Magazine
The piece that really got MLS watchers talking yesterday was Kevin Alexander's look into everything wrong with the New England Revolution as an organization. Disinterested ownership, stadium issue hurting the club in numerous ways, trouble attracting top-notch players...where have I heard that before?
Related: Our homies at The Bent Musket offered up their reaction to this grenade of an article.
Jackson in hot water for elbow on Davy Arnaud | Waking The Red
You might not want to remember United's loss this weekend, but between complaints about the BMO Field surface and various controversial incidents it keeps coming back up. Our friends at WTR have the Toronto FC fan perspective on Jackson's elbow to the ribs of Davy Arnaud, which is looking more and more like it will result in a suspension for the Brazilian. So, basically, congratulations Real Salt Lake for getting the reward for our hard work.
Off-field walking accident may sideline Vancouver Whitecaps' Nigel Reo-Coker vs. Houston | MLSsoccer.com
Staying north of the border, Martin MacMahon reports on a pretty odd incident: Reo-Coker, the midfield dynamo for the Whitecaps, tripped on a bike rack while while out and about in Vancouver and is apparently doubtful for this weekend's game against Houston. The Englishman suffered a gash on his face and is being checked out for a concussion. As the piece points out, this is not the first bizarre injury suffered by a Whitecaps player.
Manchester United vs. Manchester City 2014: Another capitulation for Moyes' boys | SBNation.com/soccer
There was a time in the distant past - we're talking 2007 here! - where City going to Old Trafford and beating the Red Devils 3-0 would have been earth-shattering. Today? Really, not much of a surprise, especially since the opening goal came after 43 seconds.
Adidas unveil four new boot colorways inspired by Brazilian rainforests | SBNation.com/soccer
To steal a phrase, modern boots are rubbish. However, I have to say these really aren't too shabby as a group. Much better than the nonsensical Copa Mundial colorways recently offered up by Adidas. I am perhaps tempering my praise due to the fact that "Solar Zest" and "Solar Slime" are being offered up as color names.
Bayern Munich Clinches 24th Bundesliga Title in Berlin | Instant Analysis | Bavarian Football Works
Guys, Bayern Munich has already won the Bundesliga. I don't mean in terms of it being a fait accompli, either. They cannot be mathematically caught. They lifted the trophy. It's still March.
In the films of Joel and Ethan Coen, it’s a hard world for little things (and everyone else) | The Dissolve
As is often the case, I end Freedom Kicks with a really long, film nerd-y piece. This one will take a while, but if you've ever dropped a Big Lebowski reference, or think of a particular chase scene whenever you see a pack of diapers, give it a read.
Alright, you know the drill. Grab some coffee or whatever it is you drink in the morning and hit the comments section.