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Freedom Kicks: D.C. United Links for February 19th, 2014

The favorites win in the UEFA Champions League, Florida lets us down again, Brazil weighs the merits of a striker built like most fans rather than like a pro athlete, Spanish tear gas, acceptable DMV weather, and more.

He only scored one against us, so obviously we're better than Bayer Leverkusen.
He only scored one against us, so obviously we're better than Bayer Leverkusen.
Patrick McDermott

Things have been pretty quiet for D.C. United as the preseason wears on, but that doesn't mean we have nothing to talk about. Grab some coffee as we kick things for freedom (or because we just like to kick things, either way).

Bayer Leverkusen vs. Paris Saint-Germain, 2014 UEFA Champions League: PSG win in rout |
PSG didn't have Edinson Cavani available, but who needs $80 million dollar strikers when you have a priceless genius like Zlatan? The Parisians dismantled Leverkusen by a score of 4-0 in Germany as Ibrahimovic scored twice.

Manchester City vs. Barcelona, 2014 UEFA Champions League: Blaugrana head home up 2 |
This more high-profile game was also far closer until Martin Demichelis got himself sent off for denying a clear goal-scoring opportunity by fouling Lionel Messi on a breakaway. Naturally there was controversy, as the foul appeared to be outside the box, but Manuel Pellegrini might have gone too far in saying the referee favored Barcelona from the start.

Anyway, the Citizens now need to go to the Camp Nou and pull off a miracle.

Jacksonville NASL expansion franchise announces Armada FC name, club logo |
Another American team shows a total lack of pride in our country's unique soccer culture. Hate hate hate. Also worth noting: After having just one pro team in the very recent past, Florida now has four fully professional sides - Orlando City SC, the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers, and the Tampa Bay Rowdies are the others - as well as the Miami Scissor-Tacklers on the way. With the Sunshine state soon to be a regular fixture on MLS schedules, we should start prepping Florida Man jokes now.

On the plus side, I do enjoy the Armada name, because it reminds me of legendary Canadian underground band Rod Torfulson's Armada featuring Herman Menderchuk.

Could overweight Walter become Brazil's next cult striker? |
A shortage of #9s has some in Brazil clamoring for Fluminense's striker Walter to make the World Cup squad despite his carrying 202 lbs on a 5'10" frame. That a notorious soda fiend even has a shot is bolstered by the fact that, playing in the same league, he scored more goals last season than Fred or Jo, both of whom have been preferred by Gene Hackman Felipao.

A colourful history |
Uli Hesse at ESPNFC takes a look at the long and varied history of Germany's national team uniform while trying to dispel an old myth about why Germany wore green for so long.

Fear and Loathing in Vila-real | Villarreal USA
SB Nation's Villarreal blog takes a look at a bizarre and unsettling incident from the weekend, when a military-grade tear gas canister was thrown from a typically quiet section of the stands onto the field.

Guys, it's totally going to get above 55 degrees outside today |
I'm sure this thoroughly-unpleasant-to-the-point-of-being-actually evil winter isn't over yet - to be honest, I'm pessimistic on the chances that it will ever end - but we're getting a respite over the next couple of days. Eat lunch outside! Take your dog for a full-length, leisurely-paced walk! Hell, if it cracks 60 and isn't raining, I might even decide to cook out.

Alright, have at it folks. This is your open thread for the day. If you have more interesting links than I do, or if you think grilling on muddy ground and in cold air is a foolish thing to do, let me have it in the comments.