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Freedom Kicks: D.C. United, USWNT, and US Open Cup links for Wednesday June 17, 2015

Open Cup fever apparently is breaking out in Cascadia, while playing below expectations but winning fever continues to trouble the USWNT.

Jennifer Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

It is very late as I write this, so I've got to keep things brief. I hope the crazy ending makes up for it.

Vote now for 2015 MLS Save of the Week: Week 15 |
Vote for Bill Hamid. I don't just mean here, either. I mean in all elections for all positions and/or awards.

Riverhounds are underdogs but not overwhelmed by D.C. United | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Looks like Pittsburgh is going to set an attendance record tonight. Probably just 4,000+ people that want to hang out with me.

D.C. United GM Kasper proud of hometown Riverhounds | Pittsburgh Tribune
Here's a piece on Kasper's roots in western PA. Personally I think I'd have gone with more of a "screw you guys, I'm here to win and ruin your big day" approach in his shoes, but that's just me.

USA vs. Nigeria final score, World Cup 2015: 1-0 and it's into the Round of 16 | Black and Red United
So the USWNT looked, uh, OK for a while and then regressed to less-than-OK, but it was enough to see off Nigeria without too much of a fuss. It was probably important in the locker room that Abby Wambach scored, and no one got injured or suspended. Watch today's games to find out which 3rd place team the US will play in Edmonton next Monday. Let's hope it's not France.

U.S. Open Cup Round of 16 Draw to Take Place Thursday |
Important note for everyone to find a reason to be "on a call" tomorrow morning. Also, the last draw video was presented at a comically fast speed, so pay close attention or you'll miss the information you were actually listening for.

New York City announces signing of Bilbao's Andoni Iraola, loan deal for Man City's Angelino | Hudson River Blue
Potentially big news for Thomas McNamara and that gang of loutish buffoons he has to associate with because life is unfair.

Seriously though an experienced attacking fullback is a big upgrade for NYCFC, whose current crop of defenders are all either MLS back-up caliber players or are kids.

The Dwayne De Rosario Testimonial Match |
De Ro didn't play for TFC for 10 years, and he left on bad terms, but who cares? He's one of the best MLS players ever, and he lives in Toronto, so they're hosting his testimonial match. So far the game will feature Danny "We're the worst team in the world" Koevermans and one of those guys that was on The Bachelor or Survivor or whatever.

We finish up with what went on at the end of Seattle's preposterous 3-1 US Open Cup loss to Portland. First of all, apparently Portland showed up with their home dark green jerseys even though Seattle claims they made it known that they were wearing black. At halftime, the Sounders changed into white jerseys because the two teams looked too similar:

The game went to extra time when the Sounders - playing with 10 after Brad Evans picked up 2 yellow cards - pulled level in the 79th minute. Early in extra time, Obafemi Martins was stretchered off after falling onto Darlington Nagbe, and Seattle had used all their subs. 9v11, Seattle actually managed to put several crosses into the box and won a couple of corner kicks and deep throw-ins before Portland took the lead via Rodney Wallace. What followed was crazy: Micheal Azira was sent off for...something (elbow, stomp, who knows?), and in the protest that followed Clint Dempsey took a card out of the referee's hand, tossed it on the ground, then picked it up and tore it to pieces. He was sent off too, making the game 7v11. I am not making this up:

Portland scored again because it's 7 on 11 soccer with professionals, so of course they did. Seattle was playing a 330 formation! Oh, and Sounders 2 lost as well thanks in part to a backpass call that resulted in further angry protests.

Do yourself a favor and look around at Sounder at Heart and Stumptown Footy. Both did great work covering this utterly nonsensical game.