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Freedom Kicks: Kicking Off the Holiday Week

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Whether you are on vacation or not, we've got the weekend's roundup of soccer links to help get your week started off right.

Ibra in MLS?  Who could afford him...
Ibra in MLS? Who could afford him...
Jamie McDonald

Welcome to what will surely be the most unproductive week of the year. There's an old saying, however, about all work and no play affecting Jack poorly, so here's hoping you get some time off this week to recharge your batteries. And while you're at it, check out these soccer-related articles from over the weekend. As always, use the comment section below for these or any other topics you wish to discuss.

Report: Jose Villarreal, Rafael Baca and Michael Farfan presented by Cruz Azul | MLSsoccer.com
MLS stars are heading south. What does Mexico have that we don't have?!?

Zlatan Ibrahimovic dishes on MLS, Ballon d'Or, ego, aging in typically hilarious interview | SIDELINE | MLSsoccer.com
Ibra implies he might come to MLS (which would be amazing), but does anyone think this is going to happen anytime soon? The only way I see this occurring involves a conspiracy theory that goes something like this: to secure the deal that brought in the owners of Manchester City and the New York Yankees as owners of New York City FC, MLS had to make some promises about the ability of owners to spend their own money on players in the near future in a much bigger way than they can today. Is there any evidence that this has actually happened? No. Would NYCFC's famously deep-pocketed owners come into MLS without the ability to spend their way to success as they've done in the EPL and MLB? I don't think so...

Sporting KC get new partner in OKC Energy SC, Jimmy Nielsen gets new career as coach | MLSsoccer.com
What do you do when your USL PRO-affiliate team is awarded an MLS franchise? You get a new USL PRO-affiliate team, and that's exactly what the MLS champions are doing. This is the transition year as Sporting Kansas City moves its affiliation from Orlando City SC to OKC Energy SC. Oh, yeah. The White Puma is going to be the OKC coach as part of this package deal. Finally, does OKCESC now take the award for the most ridiculous acronym in American soccer?

Fulham FC confirm Seattle Sounders' Clint Dempsey to undergo physical ahead of potential loan move | MLSsoccer.com
More indications that what we all expect to occur will in fact occur during the January transfer window.

PERFECT FOR THE HOLIDAYS… "THE 12 DAYS OF PREMIER LEAGUE" | NBC Sports Pressbox
If you love English soccer, this holiday season is like a free (cable/satellite bill notwithstanding) all-you-can-eat buffet with 40 games being played between Dec. 21st and Jan. 1st. And there are some tasty morsels on the menu: Arsenal vs. Chelsea today, Manchester City vs. Liverpool in a top-of-the-table tilt on Dec. 26th (aka Boxing Day for all you Anglophiles out there), Newcastle vs. Arsenal and Chelsea vs. Liverpool on Dec. 29th, and Manchester United vs. Tottenham on Jan. 1st (plus a ton of additional games).

Happy holidays from Soccer Insider
Steven Goff is taking a well-earned break over the holidays, and he's also previewing some changes that are coming to his site next year. Don't despair, however, the working stiffs here at B&RU don't get vacations as part of the big SB Nation benefits package, so keep coming back to blackandredunited.com all throughout the holidays for more coverage of D.C. United, MLS, the Men's National Team, and anything else that crosses our mind. Until then, Merry Christmas, Happy (belated) Hanukkah, and a very Happy New Year to you and yours.