I promised myself I wouldn't hem and haw this time. Just hem.
So here are your Friday Freedom Kicks.
Can't Hold Him Back: D.C. United goalkeeper Bill Hamid's career on the rise | MLSsoccer.com: A well-deserved, glowing profile of Bill Hamid, this is. I did not realize that the "can't hold us back" motto was coined by him at Red Bull Arena during the 2012 playoffs. Now everything makes sense.
Sporting Kansas City vs. DC United | MLS Match Preview | MLSsoccer.com: The main thing is that we need to shut down this Dom Dwyer character on Saturday. He's just two goals behind Bradley Wright-Phillips (who was amazing in the All-Star game, btw) in the Golden Boot race.
Reign-Spirit, KC-Thorns open NWSL playoffs | Sounders Insider - The News Tribune: The Washington Spirit will play their first-ever playoff game this Sunday at 11 pm eastern on ESPN2.
USWNT Wins 4-1, But What Did We Learn - The Soccer Desk: I missed the game, ticked that US Soccer thought that a friendly in the middle of NWSL playoffs was perfectly fine. Because women. Apparently, we won big as a team, but we sucked individually.
Transfer rumors: Jermaine Jones deal with MLS hits snag - Sporting News: It's not that there's no amount of money you can pay Jermaine Jones to make Gillette Stadium his home. It's that MLS won't offer that amount. He would eagerly go to Chicago for much less money, though. So let the man play at Chicago, why don't ya? Is it so wrong to see him happy? For the love of God, MLS, let the boy move in with you. (Jermaine Jones is the Herlihy boy of Major League Soccer.)
Report: Samuel Eto'o targeted by MLS club as Cameroon superstar mulls next destination | MLSsoccer.com: Would he take a big pay cut to live and work in America? I mean, America'a. (You know that's what people would totally do. Wherever Eto'o goes, there will be excessive apostrophization. "Welcome to Orlando'o City.")
Soccer season in doubt in wake of Lobos hazing scandal - The Santa Fe New Mexican: I guess everybody can breathe a sigh of relief: they weren't naked, they were wearing underwear; and it wasn't urine, it was windshield wiper fluid. All of this from the program that brought us these dirty, dirty fouls.
Malky Mackay text claims: Iain Moody leaves Crystal Palace - BBC Sport : Here's a bit of scandal news from the UK, featuring utter gutter ugliness in the form of racist, anti-Semitic, homophobic tweets from a duo in club management who somehow travel together as a package of sorts, from Cardiff City to Crystal Palace. And now Crystal Palace is done with them.
Need for team members to feel supported is universal- Washington Blade: Wowza. Washington Spirit midfielder Yael Averbuch can write. Here's her guest column on what makes team chemistry possible. It's basically the opposite of what this Mackay-Moody operation at Cardiff City was up to. She writes, "What I’ve found is that the best, most successful, and most enjoyable team cultures are cultures of unconditional inclusion. When everyone feels supported off the field, the focus can shift to what goes on on the field. That’s when a team can enjoy extraordinary chemistry."
Liverpool reach transfer deal for AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli | FOX Sports: The Red Men replace Bitey McBitepants with Super Mario. Cool.
40 maps that explain the Roman Empire - Vox: If you're a map freak like I am, you should probably shut your door before opening this link. Joy! Completely off topic.
Greenland ice loss doubles from late 2000s - BBC News: Not off topic at all. I include this story because of David Beckham's Miami dreams and how they're all, really, quite wet. "And the starting eleven for the Miami'i Vice tonight are Samuel Eto'o, Eddie Johnson, Michael Fe-blub blub blub blub blub gurgle blurb." In other news, all this ice melt may finally unleash our dark subglacial overlords.
Are you not entertained? Are you not entertained?! Is this not why you are here?