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Friday Freedom Kicks: World Cup Detritus

You're gonna get your DC United news, and your Washington Spirit news, and then you're gonna have Christmas in July with a slew of World Cup links you weren't even expecting right now. You're welcome.

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Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

A little treat for you today in Friday Freedom Kicks.  I know we're all in a bit of a post-World-Cup depression, so I'm going to rev up the World Cup news search engines, and we're gonna party like it's 2018.  We've got five World Cups to talk about in FK today:  from Brazil 2014 to Qatar US (Qatar) ((US)) 2022.

But first, most importantly, there's some DC news to get you going.  Lace up.

D.C. United and Make-A-Wish® Mid-Atlantic Partner to Grant Wish | D.C. United:  Sean Franklin has a big fan out of Phoenix, and we'll all get to meet him on Sunday.

Muriel Bowser schedules soccer stadium hearings in affected neighborhoods - The Washington Post:  Bowser takes the stadium hearing on the road next week -- to the Reeves Center and to Southwest DC.

DC United realistic about MLS All-Star Fan XI snubs: "This game isn't always about play on field" |  Boswell, Espindola, Hamid -- any one of them deserved a slot on the All-Star team -- but DCU came up empty in the balloting.

Lawrence at DC United for trial - Sports - Jamaica Gleaner - Thursday | July 17, 2014:  Jamaican national team player and the country's Pepsi Ambassador Kemar Lawrence is trying out with DCU.  He gives us the warm and fuzzies:  "Getting a contract here would mean the world to me."  You had me at Pepsi Ambassador, Kemar.  And here's something I actually didn't know:  Jamaica's top tier is called the Red Stripe Premier League.  Dude.  I mean.  Mon.

Match Preview: Dash look to upstage Spirit - Dynamo Theory:  The Washington Spirit got a point on the road versus the Houston Dash last night, with a 1-1 draw.  It was an exciting game, with a last second shot from the Spirit that would have won it except it bounced off the post.  Incidentally, the NWSL video stream is always, always, always waaaay better than anything we ever suffered through for US Open Cup or preseason DC United matches.

World Cup fans the flames of USA soccer surge but MLS is still the test | Football |  A thoroughly enjoyable look at just how much soccer is at "the tipping point" in the United States.

MLS is making progress in climb toward the big time | Sounders | The Seattle Times:  Seattle is a bit of a warped, rose-colored lens through which to measure MLS's rise in popularity.  But yes, MLS is obviously on a nationwide upswing.

Cahill claims 2014 ESPY for MLS Best Athlete | Soccer By Ives:  Second fiddle gets the prize this time.

And now for your World Cup treats.

2014 Men's World Cup

World Cup Champ Pays For 23 Kids' Surgeries In Brazil To Thank Host City - Huffington Post:  Even while the internet trolls make fun of Mesut, he apparently has a heart of gold.  This is a great way to repay the very generous and hospitable people of Brazil (after humiliating their national team).

Brazil's World Cup Stadiums, Reimagined as Wild-Looking Housing - CityLab:  The state of Sao Paulo alone needs one million more homes.  That's how bad  Brazil's housing shortage is.  So here are all those fancy, FIFA-standard stadiums reimagined as apartment complexes.  Somebody should do this.  There's no way Manaus will ever get to a place where they are regularly filling that stadium.

Post-FIFA World Cup, Focus Turns To Brazil's Weakening Economy, Elections - Forbes:  Forbes thinks Dilma might lose reelection - but not because of the national team's public collapse.

2014 Women's U-20 World Cup

U.S. PICKS 21 BEST 20-YEAR-OLDS  Team named for U-20 Women's World Cup in Canada in August:  Here they are.  Our USA U-20 women.  They open their World Cup campaign against Germany on August 5 in Canada.  And you can get tickets if you're free to go to Edmonton that week.  They face Brazil three days later.

2015 Women's World Cup

NWSL TO DEBUT SUNDAY ON ESPN2 - National Women's Soccer League:  Check out what kind of form Alex Morgan is in when she's on your tv set Sunday afternoon (you can watch this game, or most of it, before you head to RFK).

2018 Men's World Cup

11 MLS players to watch during the next World Cup cycle | FOX Sports on MSN:  And the first player on this list?  Bill. Freakin. Hamid.

Fever pitch: lessons from Brazil for 2018 World Cup host Russia - The Calvert Journal:  Having been to both countries, I'd say Russia could learn from Brazil how to be a little more hospitable and a little less racist.  Actually, a lot less racist.

Russia World Cup 2018: Complete Guide to the Stadiums and Venues | Bleacher Report:  Russia is a big country.  But they're gonna keep everything centered around the European side of the country to make inter-game travel easier.  Judging from what just happened over Ukraine yesterday, I'm not sure that's any consolation.

Inside World Cup 2018's Makeover: How Director Rupert Wainwright Is Fixing Russia's Image Problem - TheWrap:  This video ad for Russia is a little over the top.  And see if you can catch any racism in it.  I can't tell, though something seems off.

2022 Men's World Cup

'It's Like Jail Here' - Foreign Policy:  More nightmarish reports out of the labor camps in Qatar.  And it's worth noting, exploitation preceded this construction boom and will persist afterwards, unless there is change:  "Moving the tournament alone will not save their lives, nor will it protect them from the dangers and exploitation many currently face."

World Cup will take place as planned, says Qatar | Football | Daily Sabah:  The wealthy elites insist that the show must go on.

Record World Cup costs put Qatar in losing game - Al Arabiya:  No one thought Qatar would make money off of this World Cup.  The contractors will, though.

FIFA World Cup 2022:  Why It Needs to Be Stripped Off Qatar And Awarded to the US - Latin Times:  Imagine watching Bulgaria play Panama in the Round of 16 at Buzzard's Point.

So...that was a lot of World Cup detritus that I just sort of chucked at you.  Here's a towel.