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Freedom Kicks: D.C. United, MLS, and UEFA Champions League links for Wednesday November 5, 2014

Lots of DCU news, plus some MLS developments and Andy Najar doing what Andy Najar does.

Valerio Pennicino

You guys want salt? I'm salty about some things. Get ready for the salt:

The Costs and Benefits of District of Columbia Soccer Stadium Development Act of 2014 |
If you're able to carve out some time, head over to the Wilson Building as Council Chair Phil Mendelson finally releases the findings of the three consultants looking at the Buzzard Point stadium proposal at noon today. Unless he opts to delay it again, which at this point appears to be entirely within the realm of possibility.

Washington D.C. Politicians Being Shady As Shit About New Soccer Stadium | Deadspin
I am reluctant to link this piece for multiple reasons. For one, Deadspin's MLS coverage often comes from a paid internet troll with little actual understanding of the game here or in his beloved European leagues. This piece is not from him, but it's still a general misgiving I have about linking to anything by them.

Instead, we have a sloppily-reported piece from Barry Petchesky that at least seems to realize that the issue here is Mendelson's handling of the issue. It still wrongly claims that the city will spend $150 million on the deal (that's the maximum possible they could spend, and it looks more likely that the final figure will be around 80% of that), brings up week-old news as if it just happened, and fails entirely to note that the city will own the land it is purchasing.

Like I said, I'm reluctant to link it, but it's a major internet sports publication talking about D.C. United, so I took my medicine.

Bowser is elected D.C. mayor, defeating independents Catania and Schwartz | Washington Post
Speaking of coverage that I'm not happy with linking, the Post continues to make either an authorial or editorial decision to refer to United - a team in town for nearly two whole decades that is currently in the playoffs! - as "the D.C. United professional soccer team." In other words, the Post assumes that most of their readers have never once heard of D.C. United despite talking about then in multiple sections of the paper virtually every week this year.

Anyway, no surprise here as Muriel Bowser won the mayoral election. If United gets a stadium deal done, it will be on her watch.

Training Notes: November 4, 2014 |
Lots to take in from training yesterday.  Jeff Parke and Conor Doyle continue the early days of their return to the training field, Luis Silva is moving closer and closer to full involvement, and most of the drills appeared to be aimed towards playing quickly and maintaining a high tempo.

D.C. United weighs options as Rolfe, Franklin, Silva rejoin playoff mix | Soccer Insider
More on Silva here, as it appears he has recovered at lightning speed and is seemingly destined to make the bench Saturday. That's the good news. The bad news is that Goff thinks Ben Olsen may only be able to use Chris Rolfe as a sub as well. Given how long he was out, that's no surprise, but it's still not ideal. At least it appears that Sean Franklin will be fit to start.

Awards Season: Andrew Wiebe & the Armchair Analyst hand out some unofficial nods |
Speaking of Franklin, he got some recognition from Matt Doyle and Andrew Wiebe. Also worth noting: All of these awards, informal though they may be, are far more legitimate than the Comeback Player of the Year award, which never makes any sense and will probably once again be given to David Beckham.

Chris Rolfe's Twitter Q&A: November 4, 2014 |
Rolfe got jokes. Also, a lot of attention for B&RU commenter ChrisRolfesHeadband, who I will continue to believe is the actual headband and not a person having some fun on the internet.

The Cleanout: Abandoning 'little tweaks,' Fire to dump most of 2014 roster | Hot Time In Old Town
Our damies over at HTIOT are hearing that major changes are coming in the Windy City. We're talking possibly 55-60% of their roster being overhauled.

Daniel Paladini suspended by Major League Soccer | Massive Report
Crew midfielder Dan Paladini was involved in a domestic dispute currently being investigated by police, so he has been suspended from all team activities until the issue is sorted out. This isn't a major issue for Columbus in terms of the playoffs - Paladini broke his leg in September and was nowhere near coming back for Sunday's game against the Revs - but it's still a noteworthy incident.

Arsenal vs. Anderlecht: Final score 3-3, Gunners waste a three goal lead against Anderlecht |
I know Arsenal is a team that many of our readers support, and I swear I'm not trolling. I'm Premier League neutral, and I have a soft spot for all of Dennis Bergkamp's teams. However, Anderlecht - featuring United academy product Andy Najar and American-starting-for-a-Champions-League-team-are-you-even-watching-Jurgen Sacha Kljestan - came from 3 goals down in London to get a highly unlikely draw yesterday. Najar, as he is wont to do, got the game-tying assist. For those that are just happy about Najar and/or are Spurs fans, here is ESPNFC's very short highlight package. Najar is wearing #7.

Something to keep in mind with Najar: If he's sold, United gets a cut of the fee. Playing 90 minutes and getting assists in Champions League matches makes that fee bigger.

Alianza de Futbol proves free-to-play soccer can be a success in the U.S. |
Zito Madu took an up-close look at an important phenomenon going on in youth development in the US. Alianza de Futbol Hispano puts on free tryouts all over the country, and the best players eventually find themselves putting on a show for Liga MX scouts and getting serious contract offers and/or interest from NCAA programs. The important word in the previous two sentences, in case you were wondering, is "free."

Man uses pasta pass to consume 95 Olive Garden meals in 6 weeks |
Sometimes people do things I don't understand. The best part of this by far is the video, in which the man explains (with conviction!) precisely why he's eating at Olive Garden two times a day every day.

OK, you're up. Make with your normal comments, and also answer this for me: What dumb eating story do you have that compares to this guy's?