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DC United, MLS, World Cup Links for 2 May 2014

Friday Freedom Kicks hits the match preview circuit, so you don't have to.

Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

By all accounts, April showed DC United clicking into place via the chips on their shoulders.

Fresh start helps fuel D.C. United’s key pickup - Washington Post Express:  The meme continues.  The thing uniting our 2014 roster is the giant chip on its shoulder.  They've all got something to prove.

Talking Strategy: D.C. United vs Portland Timbers | D.C. United:  DCU goalkeeping coach Preston Burpo warns the backline that Portland's Diego Valeri is capable of slipping away from our midfield.

Portland Timbers vs. DC United | MLS Match Preview |  The Timbers have never beaten DC in Portland.

Who’s To Blame For The Portland Timbers’ Terrible Start? - Oregon Sports News:  All of the Timbers' current frustrations are laid out in one article!

Does form matter for USMNT camp hopefuls? | Brazil Bound |  MLS analyst Jason Sanghini analyzes the form of USMNT hopefuls versus the likelihood that they will be on the plane to Brazil.  He believes EJ has lots of capital to burn with Klinnsman.  EJ gets poor form (lack of goals, despite the assist last week) but high likelihood scores.  Wondo gets just the opposite.  I can't believe Klinnsman would leave Wondo behind.

Klinsmann to Call 30 Players to Pre-World Cup Camp | Soccerly: USMNT's camp starts at Stanford on May 14.  We'll get a heads up on who the campers are two days before that.  It's like Thunderdome:  30 men will enter; 23 men will leave...for Brazil.

13 commanding goalkeepers to look out for at the 2014 FIFA World Cup | Sportskeeda:  Tim Howard sneaks in at #12 in this top 13 list for the World Cup.  Ghana's Richard Kingson is #8.

Jill Ellis names 22 USWNT roster ahead of friendly against Canada | FOX Sports on MSN:  Three defenders from the Spirit have been called up to play the May 8 friendly against Canada:  Ali Krieger (D), Crystal Dunn (D), and Ashlyn Harris (GK).  On the other side of the ledger, the Canadians are using two Spirits:  last year's top-scorer Diana Matheson (M) and Robyn Gayle (D).  And don't forget that Hope Solo and Sydney Leroux should be playing at the Plex tomorrow night when the Spirit take on Seattle.  Basically, you don't have to fly to Winnepeg to see US and Canada take the field.

Far Post: In Brazil, Fighting for the Women's Game - Soccer -  Marta - also known as "Pele in skorts" - has been promoting the women's game in Brazil after decades of stunted growth in that country.  For 40 years, starting in 1941, Brazil banned women's participation in soccer.  The then-Minister of Education and Health said the sport was "incompatible with the condition of their nature."

Player's Perspective: Ex-MLSer Bobby Warshaw on the relationship between players and the media |  Bobby Boswell has climbed many a step on my commentary staircase since the start of the season.

Madrid is capital of soccer these days - Wire Soccer - The Sacramento Bee:  Atletico and Real will meet in the Champions League final, despite all that talk as recently as a couple weeks ago of Bayern Munich's omnipotence.

Here.  You take the throw in.