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Freedom Kicks: D.C. United, 2015 US Open Cup final, and Champions League links for Wednesday September 30, 2015

Some DCU things happened, and the USOC final is tonight. Plus probably some other stuff, who knows?

Here's a D.C. United thing that happened:

Ben Olsen weighs changes as D.C. United’s winless streak continues | Soccer Insider
Steve Goff offers up plenty of tidbits here, including Chris Rolfe comparing his treatment in contract talks with United to how Chicago dealt with him a few years ago.

Metro Travel Advisory |
An important note for everyone coming in for the game Friday via Metro. Note that it's only for weekdays, and only until 7:30pm.

Thohir: Rumor that Inter lost €90 million last season "not true" | Inter Offside
Erick Thohir disagrees with reports of Inter losing a gigantic sum as a club, and is also dealing with people who don't want to leave. With United it's about Buzzard Point landowners; with Inter, it's AC Milan. Kind of different, kind of the same.

Anyway, we should hope Inter didn't lose close to 9 figures so that rich uncle Erick can stop by some day and feel generous. Haha, yeah I know, he's probably never dropping by RFK again.

Union motivated by last year's loss as they seek first U.S. Open Cup title | Sports Illustrated
Pardon me as this shifts into a US Open Cup-themed Freedom Kicks. Philadelphia - who knocked United out, I note with pronounced bitterness - will host the final for the second straight year tonight on ESPN2 against Sporting Kansas City. Brian Straus checked in with a Union side that beat both of their closest geographic rivals after going down a man on their way to tonight's game.

Personally I expect them to win based on one piece of information Straus mentions: The Union will wear their actual colors rather than some knockoff DCU jerseys that pay tribute to a long-dead team from a city 75 miles away. Throw in the likely use of KC's ugly white jerseys - they are ugly, please do not be on the wrong side of history - as the visitor, and I think Philly is just this once going to be treated well by the fates.

What winning the US Open Cup would mean to us | The Brotherly Game
TBG's staff spells out what a win tonight would mean to them as fans. Naturally there's a shot at NYRB included. For more from the Union side, check out their storystream (which includes interviews with DCU Open Cup winners Fred - who scored the game-winner back in 2008 - and Ethan White, whose play at center back helped United win in 2013).

The US Open Cup is happening tomorrow... right? | The Blue Testament
A thoughtful comparison here from a KC fan who has made the trip to Philly and found...well, not a whole lot when it comes to hype for tonight's game. For the Sporks view on things, check out their storystream.

24 Under 24: The Philadelphia Union academy project that could transform North American youth soccer |
More Union stuff, but this is all about their academy set-up. Charles Boehm found that the organization has melded the soccer and educational needs in a pretty unique way, right down to opening their fields up for adult leagues at night and then putting the money back into the program.

Bob Bradley’s Stabæk is closing in on Europe | Top Drawer Soccer
Will Parchman sums up what Bob Bradley has done in Norway, taking a financially troubled club up the table in what sounds an awful lot like most Football Manager games any American has ever played (well, except for the Norway part).

Cosmos’ COO Stover details NASL’s antitrust stance, MLS/USSF ties at fan event | Empire of Soccer
I wish the NASL had fewer nutjobs and paranoiacs running their clubs and/or league. Here, Eric Stover claims that MLS - a league that often makes some basic, easily avoidable mistakes - can accomplish some Frank Underwood-level black ops like "planting" stories in the New York Times. Right. And Don Garber faked the moon landing, and moved Chivas USA to Area 51, and so on and so forth. The NASL would be much healthier and much further along if their most powerful figures were competent and reasonable.

Let's finish up with a Champions League rundown, which includes links and my one-word reaction:

Bayern Munich Storm Past Dinamo Zagreb to Take Hold of Group F | Recap and Analysis | Bavarian Football Works

Let's try not to talk about this: Chelsea lose 2-1 at the Dragao | We Ain't Got No History

Roma Embarrassed by BATE Borisov in Champions League, Lose 3-2 | Chiesa di Totti

Arsenal 2-3 Olympiakos: A Thing That Happened | The Short Fuse

UEFA Champions League: FC Barcelona 2-1 Bayer Leverkusen: Match Review | Barca Blaugranes

OK folks, have at it.