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Freedom Kicks: D.C. United, MLS, and US Open Cup links for Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

Several tall United players discuss the good and the bad about the team's mentality, the US Open Cup, the Voyageurs Cup, various European punishments that may end in litigation, and a fence in space. All that plus my indecipherable dreams as we kick everyone in the face for freedom.

This still doesn't make any sense.
This still doesn't make any sense.
Jim Urquhart-USA TODAY Sports

I spent yesterday with a sore neck and lots of tedious paperwork, so I've sort of slapped this round of Freedom Kicks together. Due to a total lack of any intro beyond that, I'll close by saying that I had a dream yesterday that I was part of a group of people trying to stage a home invasion on "Community" creator/showrunner Dan Harmon, but in lieu of weapons both my fellow invaders and Harmon himself just threw liquor bottles at each other before agreeing that we actually had no reason to be fighting.

Anyway, that concludes my standing on the ball by the corner flag. Freedom Kicks, go!

DC United still learning how to "kill the game off" following another late-game collapse |
Writing for the league site, Pablo Maurer talks to Bobby Boswell and Jeff Parke about United's struggles with closing out close games. Silver lining: We've thrown away five points, but those points are keeping us out of first rather than keeping us in touch with a playoff spot.

Conor Doyle on first start of 2014 and winning mentality |
Molly Bruh has a piece on the team site about Conor Doyle, who has noticed the better mentality 2014 United has compared to last year. Also features a picture of Mike Magee laying down for a nap.

Three Open Cup games to follow ... | Soccer America Daily
As of my writing this last night, this is one of the only articles anywhere about tonight's opening round of the 2014 US Open Cup. That fact kind of sucks, but in any case Soccer America gives us a brief look at six different teams that will face each other this evening.

While they did cite one of the games I want to see - Ventura County Fusion vs. CD Aguiluchos USA, due to the amazing Aguiluchos logo that I will reference whenever given the chance - they don't share my interest in the Vermont Voltage's visit to take on the NY Red Bulls under-23 team. Sure, pretty much none of NYRB's u23s will ever play for the actual Metrostars, but I say they are still enemies of decency if they don that filthy shirt. Therefore: Vamos Voltage!

U.S. Soccer to Broadcast ‘Game of the Round’ for 2014 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup |
This is from last week, but it'll have to do. US Soccer, in a long overdue move, will ensure streaming video of one game from each USOC round. Tonight's game will be the PDL's Western Mass Pioneers hosting Mass Premier Soccer, an amateur side that qualified out of US Amateur Soccer Association's Region I (the same region Maryland, Virginia, and DC teams play in).

Perhaps more interesting to our readers is that Round 2's streaming game will be a Richmond city derby between the Kickers and hosts RVA FC. That's next Wednesday (as is the Baltimore Bohemians vs. Icon FC match, for those of us living on the correct side of the Maryland-Virginia border).

Toronto FC vs Vancouver Whitecaps: Voyageurs Cup, In It To Win It? | Waking the Red
Speaking of domestic cups, the Voyageurs Cup has already kicked off (a play-in round for the NASL's FC Edmonton and the Ottawa Fury). Tonight the MLS sides get involved. Our friend Kristin Knowles of WTR takes a look at who Toronto FC will run out in the first leg of their semifinal against the Vancouver Whitecaps.

Match Preview: Whitecaps vs. TFC | 86 Forever
From the other side of that same pairing, here's the expected team from Vancouver. Note that this brings up an interesting difference between the Open Cup and the Voyageurs Cup: The Whitecaps roster for the Cup includes several high-flying academy products who haven't been signed to Homegrown deals.

L'Impact sera en visite en Alberta pour affronter le FC Edmonton | Mount Royal Soccer
Our Cup interlude concludes with a preview of the Montreal Impact's visit to Alberta to take on FC Edmonton (Kyle Porter's former club, FWIW). Or at least, that's what I think this is about. I don't speak French, so this might just be hundreds of words about how I'm terrible. Gotta be one or the other.

Financial Fair Play punishments set for PSG, Manchester City |
Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain are about to be handed big punishments for violating UEFA's Financial Fair Play rules. Well, OK, the 50+ million euro fines will be shrugged off by their multi-kajillionaire owners. And a settlement can be negotiated. And both teams could take the matter to the Court for Arbitration of Sport if they're unhappy with the settlement UEFA proposes. So...yeah, maybe not so severe.

At least the squad restrictions for the Champions League seem like an actual burden.

Could AC Milan regret letting Clarence Seedorf go? |
Things are about to get ugly in Milan. Something silly happening that involves Silvio Berlusconi? I'm as shocked as you are.

Air Force to award ‘Space Fence’ contract to track orbital debris | Washington Post
I don't know what it says about me that the farcical idea of an actual space fence was what drew me in, while the actual idea of using radar to predict the course of space debris leaves me bored.