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Freedom Kicks: D.C. United, MLS, USL, and USWNT links for Wednesday December 9, 2015

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Changes on the jersey, the roster, and around MLS are all in the news right now. All that, plus Prince shows up.

Sometimes Freedom Kicks are easy to write. Let's do it:

This is the new D.C. United badge | Black and Red United
Safe to say this is kind of a big deal. My take? Better than expected, though admittedly my low expectations were mostly of a "we fear change" variety than anything else. I'm glad the city flag is more involved. Not crazy about the font, but if that's the worst thing I can think of then this turned out pretty well. Looking forward to seeing it on a D.C. United jersey.

D.C. United roster: Where things stand and what’s next in MLS offseason | Soccer Insider
Steve Goff goes over United's status when it comes to their current roster. Maybe the more important thing in this piece, though, is news that Dave Kasper has already been on a scouting trip to Argentina and will head to France next. This could be a sign that the team is signing off on a broader reach in pursuit of international players.

Armchair Analyst: Philadelphia Union roll the dice on oft-injured winger Chris Pontius | MLSsoccer.com
Matt Doyle examines the Chris Pontius trade from the Philadelphia Union's perspective. Go for the words, stay for the picture of Pontius at the Snow Game and the highlight video of his hat trick against NYRB.

Armchair Analyst: The eight most intriguing names in the first-ever crop of MLS free agents | MLSsoccer.com
Sticking with Doyle, he can see a bunch of MLS free agents being a good match for United.

MLS 101: How does free agency work? | FoxSports.com
Want to know how this whole free agency thing is supposed to work? Well, Kyle McCarthy wrote up this handy guide.

Sampdoria Owner Criticises Inter President Thohir | Forza Italian Football
So this might sound like a bad sign, until you look at the photo of Sampdoria owner Massimo Ferrero. You may have heard of him. The photo in this piece may make it look like an attempt to make fun, but that's a very standard image of Ferrero. Go ahead and scroll through his Google Image results. Anyway, basically he just want to tell Erick Thohir where to live. I have my doubts about his suggestion working out.

Alianza Lima: Lionard Pajoy lanzó promesa al hincha "Haré 30 goles" | Libero.pe
Wherein we find out that Pajoy still lives in Silver Spring during the offseason, and also he has promised to score 30 goals next season. Before you scoff, he apparently scored 25 last season for a less prominent Peruvian club, and he'll now be at Alianza Lima (basically the Yankees of the Torneo Descentralizado).

USL players take step toward unionizing | Soccer Insider
Goff was busy last night. USL players haven't officially created a players' union, but they're well on their way.

LAFC announce John Thorrington as executive Vice President of soccer operations | The Goat Parade
Former United midfielder John Thorrington has taken the next step in his career: Running the soccer side at LAFC. Apparently the first job will be to start LAFC's academy, which would be easier if the ownership of the club had not decided to ignore Chivas USA's existing and successful academy.

Legal dispute brewing between state, U.S. Soccer Federation over cancelled soccer match | KHON2.com
The USWNT's decision not to play in Honolulu has lead to US Soccer potentially taking the Stadium Authority in charge of Aloha Stadium to court.

Head of U.S. Soccer Apologizes for Cancellation | New York Times
Sunil Gulati admitted that US Soccer "screwed up" and apologized for the fiasco in Hawaii that caused both players and fans tremendous grief. Hopefully this apology comes with a major effort to do better and isn't just an attempt to make the situation go away.

New York City FC is a farm team | Hudson River Blue
Friend of B&RU Rafael Noboa y Rivera is explaining at length why NYCFC is stuck in a unique situation in MLS, and how their fans should calibrate their expectations.

Prince's stunning 'Creep' cover back online after Radiohead demand its return - watch | NME
Prince is very protective of his performances and songs, but apparently he had a sudden change of heart over this 7+ year old cover of Radiohead's "Creep." I don't get it either, but Prince is a genius who can play 300 instruments and create successful pop careers for anyone standing near him, so I'm just going to shut up and enjoy.