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Freedom Kicks for Wednesday 29 January 2014: Waxing Nostalgic

A former DC United stalwart retires, old shoes, and 90s sketch comedy. All that and more as we kick things in the name of freedom.

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Steve Dykes

The State of the Union was last night, but there are other blogs on the internet for that. Instead, let's distract ourselves from such weighty issues by thinking of the way things used to be:

Clyde Simms announces his retirement | @clydesimms19
Longtime D.C. United defensive midfielder Clyde Simms has decided to hang up his boots after ten years as a pro. While Simms was a United player (2005-2011), he was a starter on three trophy-winning sides: The 2006 Supporters Shield, the 2007 Supporters Shield, and the 2008 US Open Cup all happened thanks in part to the hard work Simms put in as a defensive midfielder.

For those that need a refresher, Simms didn't go to a soccer school (East Carolina University) and started his career with the Richmond Kickers. After a good 2004 down in Richmond, he was called into camp for the USMNT while the USMNT players union was on strike. Bruce Arena was impressed by what he saw, and Simms would be the only replacement player kept in camp after the dispute ended (Arena also gave him his only cap at the end of said camp). Naturally MLS teams took notice, and United swooped in. Once here, Simms was notorious for barely ever missing a game, being well-liked by anyone attached to the club, and for renting his basement out to several teammates over the years.

Two California natives experience their first D.C. winter |
CA lifers Steve Birnbaum and Sean Franklin want you to know that they are cold. Like, really cold.

A Tale of Two Ibarras | Once A Metro
Every MLS preseason has mysterious trialists that the internet just doesn't know much about, but we've already got a unique case to unravel: Which Miguel Ibarra is actually on trial with the Red Bulls? Or more accurately, which person is signing up for eternal damnation in the pit of hell?

A Lifetime of Soccer Boots - My Most Memorable | The Original Winger
This is right in my wheelhouse: Shoes + soccer + nostalgia. I used to steer every errand-running trip towards Columbia or Kensington into a stop at TSI or Soccer American just to look around.

Let me throw in a couple from my own list:
Diadora Classico K - The first shoes with actual good leather I ever had. They were also the cheapest kangaroo leather shoes available at the time. I was so loyal I bought the matching turfs a few months later. Notched a game-winning assist late in a high school playoff game rocking these on a field that now no longer exists.

Adidas Mundial Team Turf - THE turf shoe. They're heavy, yes, but they're super comfortable and last forever. I had one pair that I wore consistently from 1999 until around 2006, when I gave them to a friend so he could play Aussie Rules football. If the zombie apocalypse happened, I'd break into a soccer store and loot a pair knowing that they would see me through this crisis.

And finally/most importantly:

The State reunites on @midnight |

Got a Simms memory you care to share? Or perhaps a particular pair of soccer shoes that take you back in time? Maybe some strange 90s show you loved? Or do you just want to tell us how cold you are. Either way, use the comments as today's open thread to discuss these links or pretty much anything else you have on your mind.