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Freedom Kicks: D.C. United and World Cup links for Tuesday June 24

How was the first day of simultaneous kickoffs for you? Did you somehow get even less done at work than you did last week? Um... yeah, me neither.

Laurence Griffiths

Well, we have our first Round of 16 pairings of this World Cup, and they're pretty swell, if you ask me. Brazil and Chile will renew their rivalry, while Mexico will face the juggernaut of the tournament-so-far, the Netherlands. Here's your morning kick in the pants, provided by freedom.

Training Notes: June 23, 2014 | D.C. United
MLS will be back in action this weekend, taking advantage of the inevitable slow-down in World Cup scheduling to try and grab any viewers suffering quick withdrawals from their daily fix. United hosts Seattle in the headliner of the slate, and here's how the squad is prepping for their first-place counterparts from the Western Conference.

D.C. United and Leidos' 2014 World Cup Watch Party | D.C. United
This is one of the best ways and opportunities to cash in on World Cup fever, which has swept the country (but of course nowhere as strongly as the DMV). Let's convert some new fans!

Soccer stadium hearing will go on despite World Cup conflict | The Washington Post
Mike DeBonis reports that Chairman Phil Mendelson will not recess Thursday's Buzzard Point stadium hearing for the pivotal USA-Germany match at noon, and instead the hearing will continue right through it. Good news: the ground floor press briefing room at the Wilson Building will be open and showing the match. By the bye, today is the last day you can sign up to testify in person at the hearing, so if you're a DC resident, why don't you mosey over to to sign up to be heard? If you're curious what I'll be saying when my name is called on Thursday, you can read my testimony right now.

USA-Portugal draws record ratings on ESPN |
Something something big deal something something. What's more, the game received higher ratings in the DC region than anywhere else in the country, a trend that's lasted through the whole tournament to date.

Here's what the rest of the world thinks about American soccer fans |
In which we learn that American supporters in Brazil are so uncool it's really cool.

The problem with American soccer | The Washington Post
Spoiler: we're not very good at developing skillful, audacious players. Really, this is just an excuse to watch the GoPro video at the end of the post.

World Cup: For Mexico, the recurring national nightmare looms on the horizon |
What hath Zusi wrought?

Miguel Herrera is the best thing about Mexico | ESPN FC
I almost think this video would be better if it cut out the gameplay footage and only focused on Herrera. Maybe WatchESPN will add a Herrera Cam going forward in addition to the tactical cam they offer.

Group G permutations
And finally, here's a handy little chart so you'll know what each potential scoreline in Thursday's games would mean for the United States, Germany, Ghana and Portugal's chances to advance. A draw in either game guarantees that we go through, so let's get to kissing our sisters. (Full disclosure: I don't have any sisters, so those of you who do need to pick up the slack here.)

That's all I've got this morning. What's caught your eye?