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Freedom Kicks: D.C. United, USMNT, Gold Cup 2015, and US Open Cup links for Wednesday July 22, 2015

Plenty of USMNT news ahead of tonight's game as well as news from the two US Open Cup quarterfinals last night.

Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Not a lot of D.C. United news to cover today, so happenings elsewhere in MLS and with the USMNT will have to do.

Jairo Arrieta espera jugar en punta con Saborío en el Dc United |
First of all, that "Dc" is not a typo. Anyway, Jairo Arrieta is looking forward to his countryman's arrival (which is today per the club).

Which team is the closest to a championship in D.C.? | CSN Washington
So this is an odd one. On one hand, it's a local outlet listing DC's last championship as a city as 2004 (a rare local acknowledgement of United's MLS Cup victory). On the other hand, it then completely ignores the possibility that United could be the next team to win a championship as well. The list just notes the four teams United fans would sadly expect.

Elsewhere, the US Open Cup continued last night with two games. First up, the Philadelphia Union repeated their feat of advancing despite losing a striker to a first-half red card by eliminating the New York Red Bulls on penalty kicks. The Union took the gut punch of a Brian Carroll shot of the post being followed by a Lloyd Sam equalizer deep into stoppage time and managed to survive despite giving up 34 attempted shots in 120 minutes.

The game was played at 4pm because the dummies from north Jersey scheduled an utterly meaningless ICC friendly for today despite knowing this fixture date was possible for them in Cup play. It wasn't like teams had no idea what was coming:

Same old Red Bulls. Here are the dueling match reports from The Brotherly Game (which notes that NYRB attempted 74 crosses!) and Once a Metro.

The other Open Cup game of the night also featured a red card and also saw the team down a man score - MLS teams are just not good at having an 11v10 advantage I guess? - before Sporting Kansas City eventually equalized via a long-range Benny Feilhaber blast. Joe Willis saved a penalty kick for the Houston Dynamo, but it wasn't enough as they were eliminated on two late goals. Here are the gamers from The Blue Testament and Dynamo Theory.

US Open Cup 2015: Roger Espinoza did, in fact, punch Brad Davis | The Blue Testament
Oh, and there's also this. Looks like Peter Vermes has moved on from stocking his team with guys that elbow you in the face to guys that straight-up punch you. Good to know. Also, good to know mistake-prone referee Ted Unkel missed the incident that happened within 5 yards of him because he was locked in on a different pre-set piece argument.

Commentary: Twenty Years of a Life in MLS |
This is a pretty great look back on MLS's history from Greg Lalas, who has seen more sides of the league than most.

USWNT to play pair of September friendlies vs. Australia | Stars and Stripes FC
The USWNT have added two more games to their victory tour. Hopefully US Soccer is preparing its super salty post-game write-up already.

Why you shouldn't worry about the USMNT's Gold Cup performance |
Kevin McCauley looked over past Gold Cups and found a strong trend pointing towards some big changes on the rosters of everyone in the tournament. I'll use this opportunity to note that this means guys like Bill Hamid, Perry Kitchen, and Steve Birnbaum should find themselves with real opportunities with the USMNT in the coming months.

Armchair Analyst: A tactical preview of USMNT vs Jamaica in Gold Cup semifinals |
Matt Doyle talks about what to expect from Jamaica, who are going to be defensive but have the speed and skill to turn their counters and/or US turnovers into threats. Please no Chandler please no Chandler please no Chandler. (note: This article contains a Chandler turnover).

'Team to beat' USMNT anticipates Jamaica's best shot in Gold Cup semi |
Once you pause and/or mute the autoplay video Sports Illustrated has saddled this piece with, read up as Brian Straus checks in with the US in Atlanta. As Straus points out, this has been a strange Gold Cup, and the strange result tonight would be bad for the USMNT.