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Freedom Kicks: D.C. United, MLS, and USMNT links for Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

Today's Freedom Kicks is about EJ, trolling, recognition, crazy spending, pirates, and tantrums.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

By the time you read this, the part of the "every Simpsons ever" marathon you should have watched is over, so you have time to read this instead. That's about all I can manage for an intro, so let's get to the links:

Will Eddie Johnson return to D.C. United’s lineup against L.A. Galaxy? | Soccer Insider
Some of the toughest decisions Ben Olsen will have to make this season will happen this week, and one of them is how to re-integrate Eddie Johnson after his suspension (and after the Fabian Espindola-Luis Silva pairing served up more evidence that it's D.C. United's best option). My guess is that he plays from the start in LA, but is only on the bench against the Metros on Sunday. Steve Goff has some other news involving a new injury as well.

DC United in 2014 |
Jason Davis takes a measured look at how United took advantage of all the ways MLS lets a team recover from being horrible.

D.C. United vs LA Galaxy Match Preview: August 27 2014 |
Davy Arnaud, Perry Kitchen, and Sean Franklin talk to Molly Bruh about United's game tomorrow night.

Honoring the 2004 MLS Cup Champions |
I'm sure the official story is that United has decided to honor the 2004 MLS Cup-winning team's 10th anniversary this weekend because Mike Petke - a crucial part of that team - will be in town. Personally, though, I hope the timing is purely about rubbing some dumb, ugly Metrostar faces in it.

Team of the Week (Wk 24): Stars making their cases for MVP as season hits stretch run |
I spent all day complaining about a lack of recognition for United's 3-0 win over the Sporks, but then the league site named three DC players to their Team of the Week, along with Olsen as the coach. Complaining done...for now.

Crew transfers defender Giancarlo Gonzalez to Italian Serie A side Palermo |
Good news for United, as a team they've been troubled by this season just got significantly weaker. It's also good news for MLS and the Crew, since Palermo wildly overvalued Gonzalez if the $5,000,000 figure being tossed around is accurate. This is like a throwback to the glory days of Serie A transfers, when teams like Lazio would spend tens of millions on anyone with a pulse. We should all be so lucky to get a call from Palermo.

MLS Coin-Flips & CF97 Memory Hole: When to hoist the pirate flag? | Hot Time in Old Town
Following the Jermaine Jones saga and some whitewashing of an ugly episode from the Fire's recent history, Sean Spence at HTIOT is ready to rabble. I can't say I blame him.

A few good minutes with Los Angeles Galaxy Coach Bruce Arena | Soccer Insider
Let's go back to Goff for a minute, who also posted this hilarious interview with Bruce Arena. Why is it hilarious? Half because Arena is American soccer's best source for sarcasm, half because anyone associated with the LA Galaxy whining about not getting what they want is like watching one of those kids on that MTV show "My Super Sweet 16" throw a tantrum because the $100,000 luxury SUV they got didn't come with solid platinum AC control knobs.

D.C. United vs. L.A. Galaxy: United gets a taste of Landon Donovan’s farewell tour | Washington Post
Goff was busy yesterday. This would normally be his game preview, but due to Landon Donovan's impending retirement, it's really just about LD.

LA Galaxy face potentially defining week in Shield chase, with "really good" DC United side up first |
Speaking of Donovan, this piece has his thoughts on United this year and how it pertains to LA.

Landon Donovan to Make Final Appearance for U.S. MNT on Oct. 10 in East Hartford, Connecticut |
This is a nice thing to do in a way, but it's also a hell of a lot more awkward than Donovan retiring after appearing in his fourth World Cup.

And on that note, I turn it over to you to go nuts in the comments.