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Freedom Kicks: D.C. United, MLS and World Cup links for June 3

We're all over the map on today's Freedom Kicks.

Ian Walton

I'm running late this morning, so let's get stuck in with both feet, thereby earning ourselves a red card and a trip right back to bed.

DCFPI drops the hyperbole, still skeptical of Buzzard Point deal | DC Fiscal Policy Institute
I admit that I am happy to see more conciliatory language from Ed Lazere and Wes Rivers when they discuss the stadium deal, though the notion they express in the first paragraph that United's owners should not be allowed "to benefit financially from both the new stadium and development around the stadium that they would control" seems more than a bit off the mark, considering the more than $150 million they'll be investing with the expectation of earning a return. I'll try to have a full piece on the stadium deal in the near future, when things like "day job" and "fatherhood" let up a little bit.

Armchair Analyst: Week 13 Observations |
As you know, Matt Doyle's weekly wrap-up columns are always worth reading, but I share this week's solely for this gem: "Canadian fans, the "World Cup" is a quadrennial soccer tournament contested by the greatest soccer nations in the world, and Mexico."

LOLWTFBBQ FC splash the cash |
NYCFC has signed their first player, and he's a doozy. David Villa is leaving La Liga Champions (and Champions League runners up) Atletico Madrid to join the expansion side. He joins on a three-year deal that will end right around his 36th birthday.

The Great Wall of Gambia is no more in Portland | Mount Royal Soccer
The Montreal Impact traded a draft pick to Portland in exchange for Timbers mainstay Futty Danso. The Impact have lost some of their central defenders to injury this season and needed reinforcement. One can't help but wonder whether this means Caleb Porter has his own centerback addition(s) coming this summer.

Twellman: Timbers offer Joleon Lescott $2 million | Stumptown Footy
Well I suppose this would be a very large "other shoe" to drop following the Danso trade, wouldn't it?

Tactical shift, or just one option? Brian Straus on Klinsi's "diamond" | Planet Futbol -
Great write-up from one of the best in the business. One thing he doesn't mention, and that I'll be watching especially for in the USMNT's last send-off game, against Nigeria, is whether and how Jones slots in between the center backs when the US are in possession, allowing both fullbacks to get forward at the same time. Also, y'know, the whole "midfield not being a sieve to any half-decent ball movement" thing, too.

ESPN FC's World Cup Essentials is pretty
You want a pretty, interactive preview of every team playing at the World Cup? ESPN and Microsoft teamed up for a solid product here. Not super in-depth, but fun to click around for a bit.

Soccer Club's Organ Donation Campaign Reduces Waiting List to Zero | Deadspin
This is awesome on every conceivable level.

Spanish king assesses Spain's World Cup chances... and abdicates! | Villarreal USA
You may have heard that King Juan Carlos of Spain has abdicated the throne. Our SBN colleagues over at Villarreal USA have a theory as to why.

As always, this is your open thread for the day. Do with it what you will.