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Mark Your Calendars: D.C. United & Sundry Soccer Links for 8 January 2016

Lots of people already know which MLS games will be exciting in 2016. How? Black magic. Also, Will Ferrell puts the LAF in LAFC. And Qatar puts on a very expensive dog and pony show.

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You are traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land of imagination. Next stop, the Twilight Zone Friday Freedom Kicks!

D.C. United's 2016 MLS schedule released - WaPo:  Goff provides a long list of observations about the D.C. United 2016 schedule.  Our take is here.

Tampa Bay Rowdies to open 2016 preseason against D.C. United - SaintPetersBlog:  The Rowdies are psyched to be playing the Black and Red on February 13.  Our take is here. Also, check out our new badge all over again on this promo banner ad. It really does look awesome.

A bunch of sites are already telling us which 2016 games to watch:

2016 MLS Schedule release: Dates to circle for upcoming season - Planet Futbol - - All three of the Atlantic Cup matches make Sports Illustrated's list of games to watch.

Armchair Analyst: With 2016 MLS schedule released, here are 10 games to keep an eye on |  The September 16 D.C. United match versus Chicago Fire makes Armchair Analyst's list of games to watch.

10 Major League Soccer matches not to miss in 2016 - ESPN FC:  The October 23 D.C. United match versus Orlando City S.C. -- on Decision Day -- makes ESPN's list of games to watch.

MLS team LAFC unveils logo and Will Ferrell as part-owner - ESPN FC:  Stay classy, LAFC.

Longtime Dynamo standout Brad Davis accepts trade to Kansas City - Houston Chronicle:  I'm a little shocked by this. I can't picture Brad Davis in any MLS color other than orange. He is Houston through and through.

It's official: Georgetown's Josh Yaro is going to MLS - WaPo:  Josh Yaro is skipping his last year of NCAA eligibility and headed straight to MLS, expecting to snag one of the biggest rookie contracts ever (thanks in part to being a Generation Adidas recruit).

MLS signs five players to generation adidas contracts |  And here are the rest of the Generation Adidas players headed to the draft.

Sources: LA Galaxy, Nigel De Jong in talks -  AC Milan's Nigel De Jong may replace Juninho in the Galaxy's midfield.

145 players have declared for the 2016 NWSL Draft | NWSL News:  This is the complete list of 145 collegiate players who are eligible for the NWSL draft on January 15. Only 40 will get picked. My fingers are crossed that the Spirit will draft UVA's Emily Sonnett.

Hertha Berlin CEO admits selling John Brooks is possible | Soccer By Ives:  John Brooks is unlikely to be headed to MLS (Hertha is looking for some hefty transfer fees), but wouldn't he be fun to have on D.C. United's back line?

Saudi Soccer Body Won't Send Champions League Clubs to Iran - ABC News:  The Saudis want their Iranian club matches moved elsewhere.

Paraguay officials raid South American soccer confederation CONMEBOL | Reuters:  When the Department of Justice first started looking at global soccer corruption, I bet they didn't quite appreciate how it would be this much like shooting fish in a barrel.

Michel Platini Ends Bid for FIFA Presidency - NYT:  "It is unclear whether Platini can pass the new integrity checks..."

Xavi, Zola and manufactured football can't hide Qatar's treatment of World Cup migrant workers | Daily Mail Online: This article's depiction of a club game in Qatar is worth the read.  I can't even.

And today's Friday Freedom Kicks treat is of Oz The Wizard.  I strongly suggest that you watch at least up until they get to the word "dead."  But "the" is great, too.  I mean:  but great is "the" too.  (You'll understand.)

Commentariat, awake!