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DC United & FIFA Links for 5 September 2014

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In Soviet Russia, Wold Cup bids on you.

Laurence Griffiths

It's Friday, the last Freedom Kicks day of the Labor Day week.  And so I dedicate this Freedom Kicks installment to...

FREEDOM.

US Soccer President: US wants to host World Cup, but not until bidding process is reformed | MLSsoccer.com:  We start with Sunil Gulati, the head of the US Soccer Federation, our country's official representative in the world of football, and an economics professor at Columbia University. Today's Freedom Kicks challenge, which you can address in the comments section, is this:  Find any public comments from Sunil Gulati wherein he expresses concern about workers' rights and freedoms in Qatar, the 2022 World Cup host. I'm not the greatest searcher of the intertubes, so maybe I've missed them?

BONUS!  Find any public comments by Sunil Gulati expressing concern about gay rights in Qatar, or in Russia, which is hosting the 2018 World Cup.  Or about how Russia is explicitly stripping protections from workers on World Cup stadia.  Again, I could totally be missing something.

Qatar World Cup: migrants wait a year to be paid for building offices | Global development | The Guardian:  Here's just the latest episode of freedom on the march in Qatar: "The offices, which cost £2.5m to fit, feature expensive etched glass, handmade Italian furniture, and even a heated executive toilet, project sources said. Yet some of the workers have not been paid, despite complaining to the Qatari authorities months ago and being owed wages as modest as £6 a day."  We shall call this the freedom to work for free!

British human rights investigators disappear in Qatar, after being followed by plain clothes police - Middle East - World - The Independent: And we'll call this one the freedom to get followed and then go missing while conducting a human rights investigation!

Turf war for Women'€™s World Cup sparks fighting word- Vancouver Sun:  Gulati's Canadian counterpart Victor Montagliani says that claims of gender discrimination in soccer are "typical hyperbole."  Typical for/from whom?  The ladies?  We'll call this one the freedom to get talked down to, if you're gonna get all uppity and expect to get the same treatment as the men-folk.

Draw for World Cup qualifier is Friday | finishers:  Today they are drawing the teams for the CONCACAF qualifiers for the 2015 Women's Turf World Cup.  When they play at RFK - they are going to get the best-kept natural grass in the world of 50+-year-old stadia, even while the fans dodge pieces of falling concrete.

Struggling Vancouver Whitecaps face test of character against D.C. United | Metro:  The Whitecaps are in quite a slump at the moment.

Don Garber: MLS "in a good spot," unlikely to see promotion/relegation "in the near future" | MLSsoccer.com:  Garber basically says that MLS will get pro/rel over his dead body.

20 Years Ago, Roma Legend Francesco Totti Scored His 1st Goal for the Club | Bleacher Report:  Is this not amazing?  Tooooooooooooootti!

Have at it.