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Freedom Kicks: D.C. United links for Wednesday 5 February 2014

D.C. United plays actual soccer that you get to see tonight! Meanwhile, there are more soccer blogs you should read, the Miami Beckhams take a big step, and we look back on things that were gone before their time.

He's ours, no takebacks!
He's ours, no takebacks!
Paul Frederiksen-USA TODAY Sport

Good morning! Or, if you're like me and need a new mattress, grumbling obscenities while stretching morning!

Things will get better later, as D.C. United takes on Toronto FC in the club's first preseason game tonight (7pm, streaming on In the meantime, here's some stuff for you to read while acting like you're really doing work:

Toronto FC - DC United: Three things to watch as preseason opens |
Our friends at WTR are just as excited about today's game as we are after an offseason that makes our flurry of additions look staid. Also worth noting: It's months later, and he probably wouldn't see much time there this year, but there's still bitterness at their front office over how United got Luis Silva for a bag of magic beans. You'd feel the same way if we gave up on someone too soon.

Welcome to Twice A Cosmo |
SB Nation's soccer section continues to expand, as we added a NY Cosmos blog to the family. We should be friendly with these guys, who will definitely upset the Red Bulls in this year's Open Cup.

We Kick Balls |
Speaking of new sections at SB Nation, I figure you probably like soccer if you're reading this. Maybe part of what you like is weird jerseys, amazing goals, and the general craziness that is part of the fabric of the sport? If so, go to We Kick Balls. Expect to see a lot about Zlatan.

David Beckham eyes Miami waterfront stadium for new MLS team | The Guardian
David Beckham is done scissor-tackling United players and/or posing in his underwear and is ready to start owning - well, part-owning along with the even more extravagantly wealthy Marcelo Claure - a soccer team in Miami. Sign me up for that road trip.

Ray Hudson's Miami Fusion |
This one's timely. The league's MLS Insider video series takes a great look at the final season of the Miami Fusion, which to this day remains in the argument as MLS's most entertaining team of all time. I can still remember their normal starting 11 without looking it up (3412: Rimando; Mastroeni, Llamosa, McKinley; Rotation at RM, Bishop, Rooney, Henderson; Preki; Pineda Chacon, Serna). Do yourself a favor and clear 10 minutes of your schedule to watch this.

Philip Seymour Hoffman: The Best Moments from an Unforgettable Career | Grantland
Since his death was reported Sunday, I've seen people call Hoffman "one of the greatest actors of his generation" and other things like that. I'm not even sure we need to qualify the statement; I submit that he was the most likely among his cohort to do well with any given role. I honestly can't recall anything that he's ever been less than good in, even when the movies themselves (MI:3, for example) were not good. When the roles were small - think Brandt, one of film's great sycophants, in The Big Lebowski - he was able to sketch out a living, breathing character with a couple words and a gesture or two. Speaking as a pretentious film nerd, he's gone far too early.