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Soccer and Ebola: DC United and Sundry Soccer Links for 17 October 2014

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Ebola worries hit soccer.

Playing soccer in Liberia.
Playing soccer in Liberia.
John Moore

I really hope you haven't had breakfast because the buffet of links that Friday Freedom Kicks is about to lay out for you will put Golden Corral to shame.  We're talking smorgasbord.

So grab a plate, a fork with what looks like some dried egg yolk caked to it, and your appetite.

It's Friday Freedom Kicks time!

D.C. United has to-do list as MLS playoffs near - Washington Times:  The main thing on the to-do list had better be wrapping that magic headband around Chris Rolfe's arm so that it will heal quicker, with magic.

How Baker Olsen rebuilt DC United in 5 easy steps | Soccerly:  Ben Olsen is the Top Chef of MLS coaches.  It's like, at the beginning of the season, that guy from Queer Eye brought Ben into a studio and said, "You've got a grown-ass man from Florida, by way of Seattle, a devil from Argentina, a party boy with groin trouble and his college buddy, a litigator, a magic headband, a beast, and Perry Kitchen.  Now make a cake."

MLS Insider: The cold-blooded penalty-killing pro, Nick Rimando | MLSsoccer.com:  This episode of MLS Insider is absolutely wonderful.  Trust me.  Watch it.  If you didn't already adore Nick Rimando the man and the player, you will for sure after seeing this.  Plus, there's a nice flashback to Nick Rimando, playing for DCU, blocking the penalty kick by the New England Revolution's Clint Dempsey, who looks like he's late for AP English.  That stop put DCU in the Cup game.  Ten. Years. Ago.

Lee Nguyen Curls One into the Upper Corner: Houston Dynamo vs. New England Revolution | MLS MatchCenter:  This is the video of Lee Nguyen scoring in the Revolution's 2-1 win over Houston last night.  Oh, yeah, the other Revolution goal was his, too.  Put this man on the USMNT.

News at Den | Millwall's Wright lined up for move to Chicago Fire in MLS:  The Fire may try to snag a young, 24-year-old midfielder from Millwall with 100 Championship games under his belt already.  Don't tell Jurgen.

Chicago Fire to Hold Seventh Annual Open Tryouts December 5-6 at Bridgeview Sports Dome | Chicago Fire:  Tired of your boring office job?  If you'd like to break into MLS from out of nowhere, here's your chance.  In addition to Millwall midfielders, the Fire will consider you.  Again, don't tell Jurgen.

MLS’ Timbers break with Republic FC, form USL Pro team | The Sacramento Bee:  My guess is that Sacramento is in the MLS in 2016, helping balance out all of this East side expansion.  By cutting Republic FC loose, Portland is just preparing for that inevitability.

Tacopina and Saputo Presented as Bologna Owners | The Island Packet:  The Montreal Impact's owner just bought seven-time Serie A champion and current Serie B relegatee (word?) Bologna FC.

Who Will Advance From The CONCACAF Women’s World Cup Qualifiers? | FiveThirtyEight:  The geeks at FiveThirtyEight have run the numbers, and they've got Mexico as our closest rival in CONCACAF Women's World Cup qualifiers.  This was published just hours before Las Ticas defeated Mexico.  Don't forget that USWNT plays Guatemala at 9 pm tonight on FoxSports1.

Mario Balotelli: Cesare Prandelli not a 'real' man - Goal.com:  Balotelli's goal-scoring rut at my fave EPL team Liverpool has cost him a spot on the Italian national team.  This questioning of Prandelli's manliness has nothing to do with that, though.

Teenager chooses meeting Neymar instead of $10,000 - ESPN FC:  Which would you pick, if you were a 16-year-old girl from El Paso who wanted to marry Neymar (which I think we all are, at heart)?  A trip to Barcelona to meet Neymar or $10,000 in cash minus taxes?

Pennsylvania Teens Taunt West African Soccer Opponent With 'Ebola' Chan- Talking Points Memo:  A 16-year-old boy from Guinea, playing soccer at an American high school, worried about his parents back home in the ebola outbreak, gets taunted about ebola by other players during a game until he breaks down in tears.

European football clubs worry about Ebola risk | Zee News:  West Africa's best players are spread across UEFA.  Jurgen Klopp is worried that they will go home to play with their national teams and bring back ebola.

Morocco may withdraw as 2015 Africa Cup of Nations hosts over Ebola | Football | The Guardian: Morocco is supposed to host the Africa Cup in January.  They want out.  They don't care what the penalty might be for begging off.  Per Morocco's sports minister:  "We don't have a problem with visiting teams, we have a problem with visitors."  Somehow, Ghana may take over the hosting responsibilities.

Football Star David Beckham Joins Fight Against Ebola - Voice of America:  Beckham is helping UNICEF raise money to fight ebola.  Video here.

Finally, let's lighten the mood with your Friday Freedom Kick treats.

I have this experience about once every poker game night.  I'm positive I've won.  I'm even collecting the chips, and then...this happens.

PUNK THE CAPITAL, WASHINGTON DC PUNK / HARDCORE DOCUMENTARY TRAILER - YouTube:  Looks like this documentary about DC's hardcore heritage may be released soon.  It looks awesome.

You know what to do.