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Freedom Kicks: D.C. United, MLS, and NWSL links for Wednesday April 27, 2016

A bit about United's next opponent, some talk about the Champions League, and a discussion of shin bruises

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday I assembled a lawn mower, and in the process bumped a large, heavy box into my shin. It left a bruise - nothing major, or even visible unless you get up close, but I can feel it - and I felt a wave of nostalgia about it. There was a time in my life where I was playing on a club team, my high school team, and at least one indoor team. The result of all that soccer was that I had some kind of minor bruise between my ankles and knees pretty much every second of every day from around 1995 to 2000.

It's been a while since I've taken a good solid kick to the shin, and there is a part of me that misses it. The rest of me misses, you know, the daily soccer game(s), and the getting to spend hours hanging out with your friends.

Anyway, I'm going to try to get back into the kind of shape that lets me play soccer well enough that I am not frustrated by myself, and please don't give me nostalgia by just kicking me if you see me. And now that your morning has started with saudade and an oddly OK reaction towards getting hit in the shin, let's read some links:

Accam on the road to recovery – Paunovic |
Not much in the way of D.C. United news, but it looks like this weekend's game against the Chicago Fire will be a week or so too early for dangerous attacker David Accam.

The Washington Spirit as NWSL’s bellwether | Excelle Sports
A pretty good argument that the Washington Spirit's health is a good way to measure the NWSL's health.

Can you buy your team’s NWSL jersey right now? | Excelle Sports
You would think the answer to this question is a simple "yes," but as Stephanie Yang points out, it is mostly either "no" or "not very easily." The NWSL has a lot of things to get in order, and in a lot of ways reminds me of the very early days of MLS.

Also, FYI: You can buy a Spirit jersey in both women's and men's sizes right now.

Talen Energy Stadium GM speaks on security incident | The Brotherly Game
Objects were apparently being thrown from NYCFC's supporters towards Philadelphia Union supporters over the weekend. It should be noted that this is not the first time NYCFC fans have been involved with fan violence.

Open letter from the president of The Third Rail to Philadelphia Union supporters
The head of NYCFC's largest supporters group is apologizing as a result.

Inside Major League Soccer's Digital Expansion | Howler Magazine
Do you live in a city? Well, MLS probably owns the rights to

Also, how depressing is the volume of FC names in this thing? Gross. In the words of Derice Bannock in Cool Runnings, "We got our own style!"

UEFA Champions League Semifinals Preview | SB Nation
Four teams, four blogs, more than four words on the world's biggest club competition.

3 things we learned from Manchester City's goalless draw with Real Madrid | SB Nation
If you were on social media yesterday afternoon, you probably heard that this one was a real snooze. It's up for grabs at 0-0, though given my constant skepticism towards any English club in the Champions League I suspect we're looking at a straightforward win for Real Madrid in the 2nd leg.

Alright, that's all I've got. Feel free to talk about your weird nostalgia triggers, or times you got kicked, or how bummed you are that Prince is gone. Or something else, it's your space. Go nuts!