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Monday Freedom Kicks: Wins are Good!

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So, that's what a win feels like!?! Let's break it down with Chad Ashton, plus our daily tour de links around the world of soccer.

Chad Ashton
Chad Ashton
Justin Edmonds

Sure it was a preseason match, but D.C. United's 2-0 win over the Houston Dynamo on Saturday was a step in the right direction, and it was definitely better than had the result gone the other way. There's a long, long way to go before the season is over, but at least on this Monday, let's enjoy this winning feeling that hopefully won't be as rare this season (it can't be any rarer than in 2013, can it? CAN IT?).

Match Analysis with Chad Ashton: D.C. United vs Houston | D.C. United
The team website breaks down this weekend's 2-0 victory over Houston with Ben Olsen's top lieutenant.

Thierry Henry brushes off talk of MLS as "easy league," throws down gauntlet to Europe | SIDELINE | MLSsoccer.com
Check out what Henry says is tough about playing in MLS. This sounds like a backhanded compliment.

Five cities, two MLS expansion opportunities; let's rank the contestants | ProSoccerTalk
I would really like to see St. Louis get one of the next MLS franchises based on its history in American soccer, but it doesn't appear to be in the Cards...

Sporting KC stand firm in the face of increased Juventus offer for Erik-Palmer Brown | MLSsoccer.com
Sounds like a public negotiation stance from Vermes. No doubt they'll be ready to sell when the offer is right.

Details emerge concerning purchase price of Chivas USA, recent league involvement with team - The Goat Parade
The Goat Parade continues to cover the sale of Chivas USA from every angle. While MLS was very generous in its praise of the former Chivas USA owners, is there any doubt they were pushed out the door?

Shalrie Joseph back with New England, this time on trial | ProSoccerTalk
We might see a familiar face again when D.C. United takes on the Revs in 2014.

USA vs. Ukraine friendly in more trouble as large protests start in Kharkiv - Stars and Stripes FC
To quote this article, "Sometimes, sports are an escape from politics. Now, at least with respect to this one match, it is beholden to it." Do you foresee any scenario under which the US Men's National Team is playing in Ukraine next Wednesday?

Euro 2016 qualifying draw: European giants collide en route to finals in France | ProSoccerTalk
Who you got? Faroe Islands? Malta? Gibraltar?

One final thought: next week D.C. United will be playing real MLS games as the season opens on Mar. 8!

What's on your mind this morning? Use the comments section below to talk about these or other soccer happenings from the weekend.