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Friday Freedom Kicks: D.C. United and World Cup links for 20 June 2014

Jurgen misses EJ in an interview that hasn't even happened yet. The Spirit Reserves are topping the W-League table. The Uruguayan national team disgraces itself, and it's not because of something Suarez did. The Colombians glide and shimmy their way into World Cup history. All this and more in your Friday Freedom Kicks.

Richard Heathcote

I'm on my way to Manaus for USA-Portugal, and I've started my regimen of anti-malaria medication.  This means that my dreams include neat little features like the palms of my hands having mouths of their own, complete with lips, teeth, tongue.  (Both hands speak with Minnesota accents.)  A little anti-malaria neurological disturbance, however, won't stop today's Freedom Kicks, fully immunized and prepared to order a Coke with ice and rainbows.

Eddie Johnson, Not Landon Donovan, Is Who Klinsmann Misses Most Right Now | San Antonio:  This is from a September 2018 interview with Jurgen:  "I should have brought Eddie Johnson with the U.S. national team to Brazil."  I was thinking the same thing until John Brooks shut me up.

Washington Spirit Reserves get by Braddock Road 3-1 — Soccer Wire:  The Spirit Reserves are dominating their league right now.  They have 19 points in 7 games.  Their second place competition is three games back.  Nevertheless, I will always have a soft spot in my heart for Braddock Road.  That used to be my Beltway exit!

Hidden symbols of World Cup Uniforms - Dirty Tackle:  If you're a symbol-minded soccer fan like me, you'll love this rundown of what the crests for various national teams signify.  Pop quiz (before clicking on the link):  What do the three stars on the US Soccer emblem stand for?

World Cup stats: CONCACAF holding their own in Brazil, have been third best region since 1998 |  CONCACAF beats Asia and Africa (but not Europe or South America...yet).

How to Enjoy Soccer : The New Yorker:  If you're enjoying soccer without following the tips in this second-person narrative, then you're doing it wrong.

A Chorus of 'Goooooool,' the Siren Song of Soccer - New York Times:  Spanish-language sports announcers who cannot "bellow an impressive, loud, and long cry of 'gol'" are the same as Santa Clauses who cannot ho-ho-ho.  Your turn.  They are also the same as ___ who cannot ___?

Alvaro Pereira apparently knocked unconscious in Uruguay-England match, stays in against medical advice - Yahoo! Sports:  Yesterday's prosecution of Suarez v. Liverpool FC was a disaster for safe sports programs everywhere, as Pereira did exactly what we tell kids everywhere to never do and what coaches should never allow.  By continuing to play after he'd been knocked out and likely concussed, Pereira sent the wrong message.  Shame on him, and shame on his coach and FIFA for allowing him to do it.  You know what FIFA won't allow?  Players wearing their own Beats headphones, because Dr Dre didn't pay for any sponsorship.  Priorities!

Colombian soccer team’s hip-notizing happy dance - The Washington Post:  The Colombians are the darlings of the 2014 World Cup.  And let's face it: they could very well dance their way to the final, making everyone smile along the way.

Consider this comment thread your favorite dive bar's bathroom stall door.