Freedom Kicks: D.C. United, MLS, UEFA Champions League, and NWSL links for Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

Not bad, Atletico fans. - Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno

D.C. United rescheduled their open practice. In other news: DOGSO, beer, ill-advised moves, leagues comprised of champions who might not be champions of anything, shaved legs, NWSL, and gripping accounts of games from 15 years ago. Yup, it's just a typical Wednesday Freedom Kicks.

I'm terrible at doing the intro for these. As such, I'm using a unique quirk to steal Adam's idea. Yesterday was his mom's birthday; today is my dad's. Happy birthday dad! Here are some links that have nothing to do with him or his birthday:

D.C. United announces make-up date of open training session in Northwest D.C. |
United will hold an open practice session on April 28th from 3:30 to 5:30pm, so if you can get off work I'd recommend heading over to Cardozo HS to attend.

Play of the Week: CLB vs. DC |
The Professional Referee Organization (the group that trains MLS match officials) has issued a clear and unequivocal statement on that Giancarlo Gonzalez foul. Thankfully, there's nothing to dispute here from a United perspective, and Paul Rejer spells out exactly how Gonzalez's foul on Eddie Johnson met every one of the requirements to be a red card for denial of a goal-scoring opportunity.

This won't help United at all, but it's at least nice to see that PRO is as baffled by Juan Guzman's decision as everyone else is.

Brewing up more than results |
You probably like Andrew Dykstra right now, given his impressive play since stepping in for the injured Bill Hamid. If you're like most of our readers, you'll like him more when you find out he brews his own beer.

Revs Bring Back Former Captain Shalrie Joseph | The Bent Musket
The Revs don't need a player in Joseph's position, don't currently play a formation that would allow for Joseph's nearly stationary style of play, and we're talking about a player with bad knees who now calls MLS's second-worst surface his home field.

In other words, lololololololol.

David Moyes sacked as Manchester United manager | The Busby Babe
Manchester United fired their head coach? Yawn.

Wait, not yawn. It's not a surprise move given the fact that Man U is in 7th and is likely not to be in European competition at all next year, but it is still news when a team that went one whole epoch with only one coach fires his successor after less than one season.

Atlético Madrid vs. Chelsea: Final score 0-0, a match every bit as dull as you could imagine |
On one hand, soccer Twitter was not happy with this Champions League semifinal at all due to the low number of real chances. Jose Mourinho is the single coach you'd want bossing your team if a shutout is your only object, and for all their strengths Atlético doesn't have the attacking strength of their La Liga rivals. Their qualities lie more in the organization and mental toughness departments. So yeah, 0-0 was not a surprise.

Without goals, the most significant moments of the game involve players being unavailable for the second leg at Stamford Bridge. Petr Cech is said to be out for the rest of the season with a serious shoulder injury, John Terry picked up a foot injury that will likely cost him a couple of weeks at best, and Frank Lampard will be suspended for the second leg due to yellow card accumulation.

Real Madrid vs. Bayern Munich preview: Likely better than the other Champions League tie |
Bayern is considered the best team in the world at the moment, and Real just beat Barcelona in the Copa del Rey final, so they probably have the best argument to be considered the best non-Bayern club on in the world right now. So yeah, the headline is accurate.

PHOTO: Jermaine Jones one-ups every USMNT player, fan with full-knee flag tattoo | SIDELINE |
So Jermaine Jones kind of went for broke with his newest tattoo.

Jesus Corona cleared to play in CONCACAF Champions League final |
The second leg of the CCL final is tonight, and Corona - starting GK for Cruz Azul and, apparently, for Mexico in Brazil - had his 3 game suspension for brawling in the semifinal round overturned. That is to say, a starter for the national team has surprisingly been allowed to play this crucial game, and the news that he would be allowed to do so came through about 24 hours before said game.


Game's at 8pm on Fox Sports 1 (or, if you want a picture that doesn't look like someone smeared your TV with Vaseline, Univision HD).

NWSL, Week 2 in review: Rampone scores, Washington and Houston win |
Here's a look around the NWSL's second round of games, including a 3-1 win for the Spirit. There's also a note that 38 year old Christie Rampone scored her first-ever goal for a club team. That's par for the course given that Rampone has 4 goals in just short of 300 USWNT appearances. If you want to make fun, please note that Rampone is a 38 year old mother of two and still plays pro soccer, so she can do as she damn well pleases.

Dispatches from the abyss | ESPN FC
Most reasonable people who talk about soccer in this country try to avoid a certain r-word, so we'll do that here. Uli Hesse has this piece about the chaotic battle to avoid...that is, to survive the last day of the 1998-1999 Bundesliga season.

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