Of Flops and Witch Doctors: DC United, MLS, NWSL, and World Cup Links for 6 June 2014

Alex Morgan at RFK. - Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Will Zlatan Ibrahimovic condescend to join MLS? Will Alex Morgan play tomorrow? Will Columbus stop talking trash about El Salvador? All of these questions and more are pondered, if not definitively answered, in your Friday Freedom Kicks!

If a player is offside, can the human eye see it?  The answer is no.  It's impossible.  According to scientists, it's "beyond our capacity."  And yet, the flags of mere mortals, they do wave.  As do your Friday Freedom Kicks, in the air, like they just don't care.

Following draw, Gregg Berhalter says Columbus Crew don't "have full confidence right now" | MLSsoccer.com:  And tomorrow they will play in front of 54,000 El Salvador fans, give or take. I hear Columbus said all kinds of crap about San Salvador.

Jeff Parke, an All-Star missing from the ballot | D.C. United:  Molly Bruh gives Jeff Parke his due.  As a former center back myself, I can attest that it is true that people only notice you when you royally screw up.  Come to think of it, maybe I never stopped being a center back.

Harris gets second shut out in 1-0 win over Chicago — Washington Spirit:  Don't look now, but the Spirit are in second place (tied with Chicago after Wednesday night's win)!  They are a long yet doable 7 points away from current table toppers Seattle Reign.

Alex Morgan says 'it's time' for season debut with Portland Thorns | OregonLive.com:  She's baa-aack.  (Maybe.)

Vancouver Whitecaps coach Carl Robinson comes down hard on Sebastian Fernandez's flop | MLSsoccer.com:  Thank you, Coach Robinson, for insisting on integrity in the game.  And thank you, Sebastian Fernandez, for the comedy.  I love a good flop video, and this one gets right to the point.  Dear readers:  The next time a kid at school grabs your hand and starts slapping your face with it (i.e., your own hand) and says, mockingly, "Why you hittin' yourself?  Hmm?  Why you hittin' yourself?" you should respond forthrightly:  "Because I am Sebastian Fernandez."

MLS gains ground in league rankings - Sounder At Heart:  For you numbers people, take a look at this ratings system and tell us what you think.  MLS ranks 13th in the world under this system, which also puts Ukraine, Russia, and Turkey ahead of the Netherlands, immediately making itself suspect.

Football: Beautiful game, dirty business | The Economist:  Sigh. The Economist. They complain about FIFA corruption (presumably in the form of Qatar buying hosting rights), and then suggest that the solution is that the winning country get to either host the next World Cup or sell the right to the highest bidder, who presumably would be buying. the. hosting. rights. When your worldview is tautological, you always win. Because you do.

World Cup 2014: Injured Stars who will Miss the trip to Brazil - Hardtackle.com:  A morbid enterprise, but here's your rundown on whose World Cup dreams have been dashed by injury.

Can the USMNT beat Ghana at the World Cup? | US Soccer Players:  Yes.

Mourinho predicts first round exit for Ghana at World Cup | VibeGhana.com:  Mourinho predicts USA and Ghana don't make it out of the group stage.  No one cares what Mourinho thinks, though, amiright?

Cristiano Ronaldo will miss the World Cup 'because of incurable injury caused by witch doctor' | Metro News:  ::clearing throat::

FIFA World Cup: Manuel Neuer set to miss Germany’s warm-up game against Armenia | The Indian Express:  That witch doctor was busy.  (I need to add him to the Steam Team analysis as an additional factor.  Witch Doctors:  Germany 0, Ghana 1, Portugal 0, USA 0.)

Paris Saint-Germain star Zlatan Ibrahimovic open to future MLS switch - ESPN FC:  Oh yeah, Zlatan?  And maybe we won't want your second-hand, hobbling you-know-what by the time you deign yourself spent enough to semi-retire to our 13th-in-the-world league.  In fact, maybe we should make an example of Ibrahimovic to all the world's players by not allowing him to come here:  don't treat MLS like your half-way retirement house.  If you want to come here, to our rockin' country, come in your prime, give us your all, and we'll give you an extra couple years before putting you out to pasture.  Ugh.  (Am I overreacting?)

The World Cup: Continental Divide - WSJ:  This World Cup is all about continental conflict.  It all goes back to plate tectonics.  (And humidity.  No, really.  Check out England's condition zone for their opening game in Manaus.  Do we have a condition zone, Jurgen?  Don't say Palo Alto is our condition zone.  OMG.  We don't have a condition zone?)

The Longform Guide to the World CupLongform:  Some weekend reading for you:  the best long articles about the World Cup on the internet.

The Do’s And Don’ts Of The 2014 World Cup In Brazi- Buzzfeed:  If you're going to Brazil, Buzzfeed's advice is fun and reassuring. Nothing in here about dengue fever.

And remember D-Day today, its 70th Anniversary.

You know what to do.

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