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Friday Freedom Kicks: DC United, MLS, EPL, and FIFA links for 15 August 2014

Molly Bruh leaves Eddie Johnson unmarked.

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

It is upon us.  This weekend is the start of the English Premier  League season.  And you know  what that means.  You don't have to hide your beer drinking at 7 a.m. on a Saturday anymore.  Do it out in the open.  You're free.  The EPL excuse has arrived.

Speaking of freedom, let's hit some links, and then take a poll about your SECOND favorite EPL team.

Unmarked Ep. 6: Eddie Johnson's 50-goal milestone | D.C. United:  Watch this episode of Unmarked.  Molly Bruh does a great job  interviewing EJ.  He spends some time talking about moving to DC.  It's all very... rehabilitative... but worth your time.

D.C. United vs. Colorado Rapids: 10 Bold Predictions - MLS Multiplex:  Generally BR&U have the corner on predictions - but here's the prognostication from Multiplex.

Colorado Rapids continue to rule out Shane O'Neill with lingering, and mysterious, knee injury |  Colorado is missing its center back.  We're missing our center forward.  Call it even?  Nah.  Espindola and Rolfe are basically going to manhandle this Rapid defense.

The San Diego mystery: America’s soccer-crazy city seeks top-flight team | Football |  It's been far too long since we've had an article talking up San Diego as a big soccer town.  (/sarcasm)

Premier League season upon us - thank heaven - San Francisco Chronicle:  Buy an extra six pack tonight.  Set your alarm for tomorrow morning.  Here's a preview of what awaits.'s comprehensive EPL season preview |  But this one, from New Zealand, is way better.  It's basically a book.  You should print this  out, have it bound, and keep it within arm's reach of your lazy boy recliner for the next several months.  It's  that good.  (Spoiler:  Burnley is your new second-favorite team.)

FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup - Costa Rica-New Zealand - Overview -  Speaking of New Zealand, the Kiwis topped the Ticas in the U-20 Women's World Cup, making history and sending New Zealand to the knockout stage.  (USA begins its knockout stage campaign with Kim Jong Un's North Korean machine on Saturday evening, 5 pm, on ESPN-U.)

U.S. Team Drops in Latest World Rankings - Soccer News Now:  USMNT drops to number 18 in the world.

Credit Suisse Weighs in on Qatar’s World Cup Bid - Middle East Real Time - WSJ:  Basically, Swiss banker-types think that Qatar will survive just fine if FIFA takes away its World Cup party.  So what is FIFA waiting for?  End this madness!

UEFA: No case for Russia yet despite Crimea games - Wire Soccer - The Sacramento Bee:  The Crimean teams have left the Ukrainian football federation for the Russian football federation.  Unclear what choices they had.

What are you hearing?