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Freedom Kicks: D.C. United links for Wednesday 12 February 2014

Yesterday's Freedom Kicks were focused. Today's will hurtle erratically from subject to subject: USMNT, a brewing referee strike, racists, El Chelis, Rick James, and more!

Klinsi will be a travellin' man this June.
Klinsi will be a travellin' man this June.
Victor Decolongon

USMNT in Brazil: A look at 2014 World Cup travel |
Much has been made of how the USMNT got the most difficult travel schedule of all 32 World Cup participants. Laments were wailed, teeth were gnashed. This piece - required reading for serious USMNT fans if you ask me - lays out the specifics, but Charles Boehm takes care to note that it might not be quite as problematic as first feared.

As MLS season nears, referee negotiations are ‘some distance apart’ |
Steve Goff has an update on MLS's negotiations with the Professional Referees Organization (PRO), the independent group that handles referees for MLS and US Soccer. Given the low standard in place for MLS referees already, can you imagine how bad things could get with replacement referees? Would they even be soccer referees, or would it be a crew of baseball umpires trying to apply the infield fly rule?

SKC Academy's Leichty skips college and goes pro with OKC Energy FC |
In what could be a sign of things to come, a Sporks academy product who isn't getting a Homegrown offer opts to sign with KC's USL-PRO affiliate. Can't help but wonder if the day some D.C. United academy product signs with the Richmond Kickers directly is far off...and would that actually be a bad thing?

Racism In The League: Time For La Liga To Dish Out Some Red Cards | Managing Madrid
This is a couple days old, but still very much worth a look. SB Nation's Real Madrid blog has had enough of the endless apathy in Spanish soccer towards racist chanting after Marcelo (and his young son!) were abused by Atletico Madrid fans.

Tiburones Rojos de Veracruz hire El Chelis as their new head coach | @ClubTiburones
If you need a Liga MX club to support, why not Veracruz? First they signed Cuauhtemoc Blanco away from the Chicago Fire, getting that scourge out of our league, and now they've brought in El Chelis to keep us entertained.

10 Years Ago Today, Dave Chappelle and Rick James Changed the World |
I know precisely where I was the night of February 11th, 2004: I was in my friend Troy's apartment with several friends. We were all there to watch the new episode of Chappelle's Show. We did not know what was about to come our way. The link contains video of the original sketch, which is NSFW unless your workplace condones obscenities.

Yesterday, this piece of brilliance turned 10. How influential was it? Even after all this time, I can't go two days without referencing it.

Cibo Matto plays the Black Cat on 2/15 | Black Cat DC
Some of the things I like from the 1990s are pure nostalgia, but my love of Cibo Matto hasn't waned a bit over time. I am unspeakably excited about this show Saturday night and their new album "Hotel Valentine."

How about you? What 90s entertainment holds up for you after all these years? Take it - and your other comments on the above links or whatever else is on you mind - to the comments!