As my Freedom Kicks often do, there is a smattering of lower-division news to go along with MLS suspensions, the US men's national team, and soccer's Pig War. Let's jump in!
MLS Disciplinary Committee suspends Toronto FC's Jackson, Portland Timbers' Donovan Ricketts for one game | MLSsoccer.com: Jackson gets one game for elbowing Davy Arnaud, while Donovan Ricketts gets an extra game tacked on for his flying karate kick.
NASL/USL PRO Battle for OKC Not Quite Finished | Reckless Challenge: USL PRO has gained some ground against NASL, with the leader of the NASL's Oklahoma City franchise effort leaving that group to join the ownership group for the USL PRO's Energy FC.
Rowdies NASL: Rowdies Acquire MLS Standout Goalkeeper Matt Pickens: In a rarity in the states, a lower-division team actually paid a transfer fee for a player from MLS.
Players who need to impress in most next week’s US national team camp | ProSoccerTalk: We all know that Bill Hamid and Eddie Johnson just got called into the US men's national team, but do they have to impress to ensure themselves a place in Brazil?
Burn, destroy, wreck, kill: Soccer's Pig War produces spies and battle cries in the Pacific Northwest - SBNation.com: A good read about the overwritten rivalry that is Portland and Seattle.
To Some English-Speakers, Soccer Matches Sound Better In Spanish : Code Switch : NPR: While an NPR fan, I normally try to avoid their coverage of sports. However, their Code Switch blog does interesting things, and it has an old-school picture of Alexi Lalas, so what's not to like?
As always, this is your place for all the days talk about soccer, near and far.