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Freedom Kicks: D.C. United, MLS, and Champions League Links for Wednesday March 12, 2014

D.C. United is trying to improve, parking costs, multiple Champions Leagues, Iditarod, and the chance to see a sensational movie for free. I know it's beautiful out - or at least, it will be until everything goes to hell later tonight - but for freedom's sake you should read these links.

New year, same stoppage-time-scoring Quakes.
New year, same stoppage-time-scoring Quakes.
Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Today's edition of Freedom Kicks looks at a few D.C. United notes, the remaining UEFA Champions League ties (not that they're going to be close), San Jose's CONCACAF Champions League game last night, and the Iditarod. Wait, what? How did that get in there?

Training Notes: March 11, 2014 |
Molly Bruh sums up yesterday's training session. Possession drills and yoga were involved, but maybe most important was new captain Bobby Boswell doing captainly things. Bruh also got a quote from Ben Olsen on his thoughts after reviewing film of the game.

Also, I really hope "film" is a holdover term tossed around by the coaching staff that means "video off a computer," because I lost many a recess due to dozing off or goofing around during filmstrips in elementary school. Related: I am old.

Joint Statement Regarding Parking |
Lots of fans were upset to find that, despite a lack of any statement alerting people to a change, parking had gone up $5 after 2013 to the princely sum of $20. This is a statement from Events DC (who control the price and take in all the revenue it brings in) and United apologizing for the fact that the price hike was not announced in advance. $20 may be comparable with other local sports, but it's still a 33% increase for a parking lot that's about as "clean and safe" - their words, not mine - as the surface of the moon.

I guess what I'm really saying is take Metro or get everyone in your carpool to kick in a few bucks.

Barcelona vs. Manchester City: Still hope for a great finish |
Kevin McCauley has previews of this afternoon's UEFA Champions League second legs. We start in Barcelona, where the home side is sitting on a 2-0 away win after Martin Demichelis had a very bad, no good day. Kevin's hopeful that City can grab a lead and turn this tie into a potential classic; I'm a bit more pessimistic. I think Barca scores on either side of a late-ish City goal to advance 4-1.

Paris Saint-Germain vs. Bayer Leverkusen: That is a lot of blood |
We stick with Kevin for a look at the other pairing, which has virtually no chance of turning into a thriller after PSG won 4-0 in Germany. Normally a game with Zlatan would be better than anything you're up to at 4pm on a weekday, but he might be rested here so that point is moot. If Leverkusen scores the requisite four goals without conceding in Paris and pushes the game to overtime, I'll shut up about Kurt Russell for the rest of 2014.

2014 CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal first leg: Quakes come back late to draw Toluca 1-1 | Quake Rattle & Goal
In last night's only CCL quarterfinal, San Jose and Toluca both played their preferred styles, and it appeared that a sublime Raul Nava volley was going to give los Diablos Rojos a first leg win at Buck Shaw. However, in classic Goonies fashion, Alan Gordon nodded in a 95th minute equalizer in front of the Casbah. It still leaves the Quakes with a mountain to climb in the second leg, and they'll be without Victor Bernardez due to yellow card suspension, but they're still alive.

Out in the Great Alone | Grantland
Brian Phillips normally writes about soccer, and he's nothing short of brilliant at that, but last year he followed the Iditarod from start to finish. To write this piece, he learned how to fly a plane and was nearly part of an international incident along the US/Russia border sparked by some adventurous Frenchmen. After this year's Iditarod featured a crazy finish, Phillips re-posted the link, and in turn I was reminded of how much I enjoyed this when it was originally published. Very long, but absolutely worth the time.

Throne of Blood at the Freer Gallery | Freer|Sackler
Those of us living in the area are extremely fortunate to have some of the best museums on earth so close, and just about everything the Smithsonian offers is free. This Friday night, the Freer-Sackler Gallery will show Akira Kurosawa's Throne of Blood - a Japanese samurai take on Shakespeare's Macbeth, basically, and starring the totally awesome Toshiro Mifune - at 7pm. Again, for free.

Let me translate that: One of the best movies made by one of the greatest directors of all time is showing for free within a stone's throw of a Metro stop Friday evening. Hell, it'll be over around 9pm, leaving plenty of time for going out for drinks or whatever it is you do. Do not screw this up. I'll see you there.

Alright, now that I'm done badgering you, this is your open thread for the day on B&RU. Talk about this stuff or other stuff in the comments while preparing for the 35 degree temperature drop we'll experience in several hours!