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Freedom Kicks: D.C. United, USMNT, and MLS links for Wednesday November 11, 2015

United's wake continues, while the start of World Cup qualifying includes a surprising rumor.

So here's how I coped with D.C. United's playoff elimination:

Time to cope as hard as I can #DCU

A photo posted by Jason Anderson (@chestrockwell14) on

How about you guys?

Oh, uh, here are the links:

If D.C. United have indeed peaked, their best isn't good enough | ESPNFC
Graham Parker on United's playoff exit. We'll be taking a deep dive into some of the same themes in the coming days, but there's a pretty great line in here that I have a brief take on:

As a spectacle, D.C. spoiled it for New York, the neutral ... and themselves.

Which is true. United came up with a gameplan that did mitigate NYRB's Plan A, but it created circumstances where United still had to convert a difficult chance or hope for Fabian Espindola to do something miraculous. That's not really a high-percentage way to win games. United already tends towards quality over quantity when they go to goal, and in this case we're left bemoaning things like Chris Rolfe's powerfully struck volley that went wide (which, it turns out, is an extremely difficult shot to get right even for a player as technically gifted as Rolfe). Injuries played their part, to be sure, but questioning things like the Rolfe for Conor Doyle sub in the first leg or Miguel Aguilar being withheld for so long at Red Bull Arena is completely reasonable.

As D.C. United closes book on 2015 season, bottom line remains the bottom line | Washington Post
Steve Goff touches on a lot of the same stuff, but here the FK blurb concerns his confirmation that DCU has reached salary agreements to retain Nick DeLeon and Alvaro Saborio. Sabo we already heard about (though Goff is most likely reporting from US-based sources), while DeLeon's extension is not really a surprise all things considered. And hey, if you want United to move to a more possession-based style, you should badly want to retain DeLeon and his 82.2% passing accuracy despite playing wide on a team that didn't really value the ball.

Mailbag: World Cup qualifying picks; USMNT, Clint Dempsey, Patrick Vieira |
Grant Wahl with an extremely interesting rumor from multiple sources - namely, that a failure to win both upcoming qualifiers would see Jurgen Klinsmann fired - in this all-around good read. Wahl does note that he has other sources contradicting those claims, and I would be floored if US Soccer fired Klinsi if, say, the USMNT followed a win over St. Vincent and the Grenadines with draw at Trinidad & Tobago. It's still an indicator that Klinsmann's seat is hotter than I thought, since I pretty much expected that he'd be in the job through Russia 2018 unless he ended up in jail somehow.

As always with SI links, prepare for loud autoplay video.

Arsene Wenger's full interview with L'Equipe Sport and Style |
Leanne linked this yesterday with the caveat that she hadn't read it yet. I read it late Monday, and am still thinking about it 24 hours later as I write this post. An extraordinary interview, no matter what you think of Wenger, Arsenal, or the Premier League.

Sebastian Saucedo rumored to be accepting Mexico U-20 callup | RSL Soapbox
This isn't ideal news. Bofo Saucedo is a tricky, talented US under-20 who has dual nationality. He's not committing to Mexico permanently or anything, but he had previously played exclusively in the US youth set-up. Those World Cup/Olympic flame-outs have wide-ranging consequences.

Patrick Vieira speaks to HRB about Kreis, Angelino, and bringing "the City Way" to New York | Hudson River Blue
It turns out that Hudson River Blue landed an interview with new NYCFC boss Patrick Vieira a few months back. Worth a read to see a bit of what he's thinking as he steps in for Jason Kreis.

Atlanta United wants development academy to be on the "top of the pyramid" in Georgia | Dirty South Soccer
DSS landed an interview with Carlos Bocanegra, who is now Atlanta United's technical director as they build up for their expansion debut. Here, he talks about is grand plans for their academy (which will not be pay to play...some local soccer club might want to take note of that fact).

Colorado Rapids say they "have to get into the player transfer market," buying and selling, to succeed |
This is a pretty odd report. Aside from club president Tim Hinchey talking about the transfer market like a still kind of new development rather than a fact of life that predates MLS, it also gets into the Rapids looking to sell Dillon Powers. By all previous reports, Powers will be out of contract in this winter's transfer window. Why Reading would look to buy a player that will be available as a free agent in 50 days is beyond me.

And with that I'm done. Shout your words into the context-free void that is the internet!