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Thursday Freedom Kicks: MLS season openers, Julian Green, and more

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Your links for December 22

Good morning! Here are your links for this slightly less cold Thursday morning.

Julian Green right to leave Bayern Munich to reignite career at Stuttgart | ESPN FC
Julian Green is leaving Bayern Munich to play for Stuttgart, a club where he will probably get more playing time. The 21-year-old played four games in his three years with Bayern Munich.

D.C. United announces 2017 MLS season opener | Black and Red United
In case you missed it, D.C. United will kick off the 2017 season at home against Sporting Kansas City.

RB Leipzig stormed to the top of the Bundesliga with a playing style that's all their own | SB Nation
Michael Caley uses analytics to explore the rise of RB Leipzig and concludes that no, they're not a fluke.

NWSL: Power ranking the best social media game in the league | Excelle Sports
A power ranking of NWSL team twitter accounts. The Washington Spirit came in fourth, in part because their run of Dunn puns may soon be done.

Soccer in 2017 to be dominated by virtual reality and the continued rise of analytics | ESPN FC
Managers being less vital, more people watching in VR and the rise of the smartphone: Simon Kuper looks at the big trends in football for 2017.

Houston Dash sign South African defender Janine Van Wyk | Excelle Sports
South African defender Janine Van Wyk will be joining the NWSL next year. Since Van Wyk's international debut as a teenager, she has earned 142 caps with South Africa, making the 29-year-old the all-time leader for either gender. Dash coach Randy Waldrum is hoping Van Wyk will bring leadership to the team. Last year the Dash finished eighth. One challenge for Van Wyk, like many internationals, will be adjusting to the pace of the NWSL.

D.C. United Fan Interview #2 with Jason Anderson [Part 1 of 4]
Our own Jason Anderson was interviewed by B&RU reader filmigirl as part of her series on D.C United fans.