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Freedom Kicks: D.C. United, MLS, and CONCACAF Champions League links for Wednesday September 24th, 2014

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Cookies, stadium complaints of a different sort, nine goals, a potential drawing of lots, and a man with a beard. So just like every other Freedom Kicks we've ever run.

Gabriele Maltinti

Truth be told, I was in bed watching old SNL sketches and feeling groggy when I realized it was my day to provide Freedom Kicks to the masses. I sprang from my bed and then...actually, instead of getting straight to work, I had milk and cookies because I apparently have a callous disregard for my health. I did brush my teeth after, at least.

Is that a good enough intro? No? Well too bad, it's all I got. Links now!

D.C. United seeking to clinch CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal berth | The Washington Post
Steve Goff expects Fabian Espindola to start, so Tauro FC is probably screwed. United might field more starters than expected here to avoid having to send any of them to Panama for the final game in CCL play. Goff also reveals that Eddie Johnson is - as of now - cleared to play, but will undergo a pregame test to be sure his symptoms are truly gone after last week's recurrence.

PM Update: Gorgeous weather to yield to rainmaker Wednesday afternoon; big Pacific storm | Capital Weather Gang
It's going to rain during tonight's game. You should still get out to RFK anyway.

Report: Philadelphia Union remove interim tag from Jim Curtin's title following team's turnaround |
Jim Curtin's crazy secret to fixing the Union: Playing people in positions they actually know how to play. Amazing innovation there. The folks over at The Brotherly Game will have more on this story today and probably several more days after that.

BMO Field expansion. Groundbreaking and new plans. And Argos. | Waking The Red
If RFK got $120 million in upgrades every seven years, the highest seats would would be on the Moon.

I do feel for TFC fans being treated like ATMs rather than as supporters, and we're all too familiar with being forced into a completely unwanted groundshare with a sport who isn't likely to show much respect towards soccer. However, I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that United fans aren't going to be able to drum up much sympathy on this topic.

Bieler Brace: Sporting Lock Down 3 Important Points | The Blue Testament
Claudio Bieler did the damage for the Sporks, who have the edge over Deportivo Saprissa in Group 2 now. If KC goes to Costa Rica and wins, ties, loses only by one goal, or loses by two but scores at least twice (e.g. 4-2, 5-3, etc), they're through. If the result is a Saprissa 3-1 win, however, the two teams will be even on every tiebreaker and the quarterfinalist will be determined by a drawing of lots.

Portland Timbers Run Over Alpha United in Comprehensive 6-0 Win | Stumptown Footy
When you win by six goals, you get to throw words like "comprehensive" around. Norberto Paparatto of all people scored twice for the Timbers, who also tried out a 4312 diamond because Alpha United is not at all cut out for this level of competition (final record: 0W-0D-4L, 1 goal scored, 17 conceded). Portland could have played a 235 and won this game.

The Timbers will advance provided they either avoid defeat at CD Olimpia in their final group game, or lose by only one, or even if they lose by two but score two in the process. There won't be a drawing of lots here due to Olimpia getting a lesser result in Guyana when they played Alpha United (1-0 for the Hondurans vs. 4-1 for Portland).

Chivas USA's Marco Delgado to miss remainder of season after undergoing successful knee surgery |
I'm not sure why Wilmer Cabrera doesn't always play Marky Delgado, who is one of the few non-Cubo young players Chivas USA has that just about any team in MLS would love to trade for. Now he won't have the option, as Delgado will miss the rest of the season. He'll be fit in time for the preseason, whether it's with the Goats or elsewhere.

Report: LA Galaxy considering Andrea Pirlo | LAG Confidential
Everyone that knows soccer loves Pirlo, but if you're a United fan and he signs with the Galaxy, you better start working on hating him. It was a lot easier with Beckham and his PR scheming and his scissor-tackling everyone.

Alright kids, go nuts. Just don't burn the place down.