This is going to be an EPIC Friday Freedom Kicks. So, without further ado, here come your linky links.
DC United add 17-year-old fighting cancer to roster through Make-A-Wish program | SIDELINE | MLSsoccer.com: Mentioned in the comments yesterday, DCU has acquired Liberia-born Francis Wesley. Get yourself to RFK on Saturday to cheer him on.
DC United, Philadelphia Union looking like playoff contenders – Metro: Philadelphia won two games in a row. So... playoff bound!
Philadelphia Union Spin Zone: Game Day 13 - Brotherly Game: Our brotherly brothers over at the Brotherly Game drink the playoff Koolaid and then immediately take the antidote.
Union look to keep rolling at D.C. United - Philly.com: Philly thinks they know what DC will do on Saturday because we just played each other. After seeing the lineup in Portland, I'm not sure Philly should feel so confident about what Olsen will do.
West Ham striker likely to seal MLS move this summer | MLSGB: D.C. United is mentioned in this article as a potential landing pad for West Ham's Carlton Cole this summer.
MLS teams learn U.S. Open Cup fourth round opponents - ESPN FC: Here's the full Open Cup schedule for MLS teams.
Five Reasons You Need To See A Portland Timbers Game In-Person - Oregon Sports News: You've got to hand it to the Timbers Army. I love their rendition of Bella Ciao.
Why Etihad Airways is pumping money into Major League Soccer | The National: This is pretty impressive for the 2015 season so far: "91.5 per cent of the seats available across the 21 MLS club franchises were reported as occupied."
MLS investors bet on growth - StarTribune.com: I can't seem to understand how something grows in value even while it never anticipates a positive revenue stream. But apparently, that's a thing.
Basque Soccer Friendly store opening in BoDo - KTVB: Did you know that Boise, Idaho, is ground zero for the USA's Basque population? It is.
FIFA scandal won't carryover to MLS, official says - San Jose Mercury News: For anyone who was wondering.
FIFA Indictments Put Upcoming Gold Cup Soccer Tournament Under Cloud - Voice of America: One of the Zurich arrestees is the current head of CONCACAF, so the Gold Cup is starting to look a little tarnished now. Are all of this year's sponsorship deals on the up and up?
A Look at the Voting Blocs in the FIFA President Balloting - ABC News: Today is the FIFA presidential election. Here's a look at the voting blocs. Blatter is still expected to win because some federations apparently know who butters their bread and want to keep the butter coming. Prince Ali's campaign slogan should be: I can't believe it's not Blatter!
FIFA: U.S. Soccer Will Vote Against Sepp Blatter in Election - TIME: Sunil also tweeted late last night: "US Soccer will vote for Prince Ali bin Al Hussein for next president of FIFA. This is a vote for good governance & promise for our game."
Fear, Conspiracy, and Loathing as Russians React to FIFA Arrests - Eurasianet: Sigh. Double sigh.
Argentina judge orders arrest of executives in FIFA scandal - Yahoo News: Argentina is moving to extradite some additional charged parties to the United States, and Paraguay may be right behind them.
FIFA Sponsors On Qatar: Coke, McDonald's, Visa, Issue Statements - TIME: TIME finally asks the question of the FIFA sponsors who were forced to express their disappointment in FIFA bribery: so, guys, what about the thousands of workers expected to die in slave labor conditions for the Qatar World Cup? Crickets from the executives.
To fix FIFA, start with the sponsors - Reuters: This is exactly right. I would start with Nike...
Nike’s deal for soccer stardom overshadowed by FIFA probe - The Washington Post: If Nike participated in a multi-million-dollar scandal that was ruining the game, why should football fans do anything but gag at the sight of a swoosh?
A massive scandal in the world's biggest sport | MSNBC: I'm a big fan of Dave Zirin. This segment on the FIFA scandal features Dave. It's the best exposition of the FIFA scandals I've seen on tv. Watch it.
And your Friday Freedom Kicks treat is FIFA Frantically Announces 2015 World Cup in the United States. ("At press time, the U.S. national team was leading defending champions Germany in the World Cup's opening match after being awarded 12 penalties in the game's first three minutes.")
And finally, Loretta Lynch, if you're reading, you are so boss. Thank you.