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Freedom Kicks: D.C. United and MLS links for Wednesday, April 20, 2016

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News from around our domestic top flight, plus important updates involving Ric Flair and a cartoon from the 90s

Happy 4/20! You know what time it is: Time to go to work with a clear, sober head and work eight hours, and then come home for a nice dinner, and then walk the dog, and go to bed. Those are the things this day is known for.

Anyway, regardless of whether you're a fan of popular substances or, like me, prefer drugs that were arbitrarily declared OK for everyone, please read these links before chemically altering your mind.

Ben Olsen rules out wholesale changes to squad early in the season | Black and Red United
From yesterday, Steven Streff talked to Ben Olsen and Patrick Nyarko about United's approach to the coming games.

D.C. United doesn’t need drastic changes right now, Ben Olsen says | Soccer Insider
Steve Goff was at training as well, and among other things he notes that during yesterday's reserve scrimmage against the University of Maryland, United's braintrust was paying close attention to Terps forward Eryk Williamson, who appears to be a strong candidate to be United's next Homegrown signing.

MLS introduces enhanced security standards across all venues | DCUnited.com
Why do I feel like this is going to go over like a lead balloon right now?

Anyway, might want to head into RFK a few minutes earlier than normal this weekend, as the implementation of a new policy usually means delays in every facet of life.

Black and Red United – Interview with Jason Anderson | The Betting Runner Blog
I was asked to do a brief interview about B&RU. Please take time to appreciate how hard it was to answer the last question.

Jermaine Jones takes MLS Player of the Week honors in his Colorado Rapids debut | SB Nation
I left him off my ballot - he was 4th for me - but in his return to MLS action, Jermaine Jones was voted the MLS Player of the Week by a collection of SB Nation soccer folks.

Defender Matt Hedges completes successful surgery to repair torn meniscus | FCDallas.com
FC Dallas will probably keep rolling along, but it's still news when a Defender of the Year candidate misses a month or so.

Inside the mind of Jason Kreis | Hudson River Blue
HRB's Sam Dunn has been making great videos for a while now, and I have forgotten to link a lot of them because I am a buffoon. There's some salty language here, so don't blast it on your work computer, but do find 3 minutes to watch it.

Learning how to build a successful MLS roster from scratch | MLSsoccer.com
The basis of this - using analytics to build a "perfect" MLS roster - is a pretty cool idea. Unfortunately, the execution is kind of a mess. Why go to all the trouble when your "perfect" roster only has 20 players in a league where rosters have 28 spots? And how does the winning entry end up with only one DM (listed out of position) as well as non-scoring forward Octavio Rivero?

Here's hoping someone tries to do something similar, but actually sets up a more realistic set of rules. And in the meantime, someone teach these Ivy League kids the value of defensive midfielders.

Building from scratch: Inside the construction of Atlanta United FC | FourFourTwo USA
If you want to know how Atlanta United is sorting themselves out before they actually jump into MLS, here's a good look.

WWE great Ric Flair revs up Leicester | FourFourTwo USA
I...wait what?

And let's double down on oddness. I've been finding fairly large ants in my bedroom for 2 days despite religiously keeping food in the kitchen. As such, I've thought more than once of this episode of The Tick.