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Freedom Kicks: D.C. United and MLS links for Wednesday April 6, 2016

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Something you probably think is important happened 20 years ago today.

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Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Following a conversation last night, my oldest friend sent me a link to this, a Nicolas Cage pillowcase. Imagine, after a long day, resting your head next to this man's face.

Really imagine it.

Links!

Why isn’t Luciano Acosta starting for D.C. United? Ben Olsen explains. | Soccer Insider
While I'm not exactly happy with Ben Olsen's take on Luciano Acosta#FreeLucho - I do appreciate a clear explanation of what's going on with him (and with Nick DeLeon). There's even an acknowledgement that a formation change is still possible.

There's plenty going on in this piece, so you should probably get right to reading it.

Banned in MLS | The Brotherly Game
This is a year and a half old, but very relevant right now in the world of D.C. United. We'll have more on this subject later today.

Watch: Livestream of first-ever MLS match this Wednesday on MLSsoccer.com | MLSsoccer.com
This is a pretty cool idea, even if it means watching United lose while not scoring (something we've all seen too much of this year).

MLS' best interests mean more red cards | FourFourTwo USA
Strong piece from Steve Davis, and one I agree with. Red cards aren't actually up by as much as people are saying, and in my book at least I'd rather hear all the whining about it directed at players who are swinging elbows and exposing their studs. Sure, some of the red cards have been overly harsh, but I don't think there's a single one that cannot be defended to some extent.

El defensor de NE Revolution Andrew Farrell guiñe ojo a selección de Perú | Univision.com
Andrew Farrell may have some interest in playing for the Peruvian national team, though this rumor has existed for a while.

Format, schedule for 2016 US Open Cup unveiled with record number of teams | TheCup.us
This isn't so much news from yesterday as it is a refresher for today's 2016 US Open Cup draw at 11am. Aromas Cafe FC (an amateur side out of Charlottesville) will learn who they'll play in the first round, and the Richmond Kickers will learn which pairing will produce their 2nd round opponent.

What we learned from Bayern Munich beating Benfica 1-0 in Champions League action | SB Nation
Bayern scored 2 minutes in, and everyone watching expected a rout to ensue. Instead, Benfica kept their nerve and held one of the favorites to win the Champions League to a 1-0 loss in Germany. That means they actually have a legitimate chance to pull what would be an enormous upset in the second leg at the Estadio da Luz.

Barcelona beat Atlético Madrid, 2-1, thanks to Luis Suarez's second-half heroics | SB Nation
Meanwhile at the Camp Nou, one hero turned into a villain (that'd be Fernando Torres, who scored for Atleti only to get himself sent off for a very avoidable second yellow) while Luis Suarez - often associated with villainy - became the hero with two goals to give Barca the win. Still, Atletico is set up well after getting an away goal. A 1-0 win - their specialty in a lot of instances - is all it'll take for them to knock the biggest favorite of all out.

John Oliver’s first recipients of Yankees’ premium seats? A pair of ninja turtles. | Washington Post
This is perfect. I have numerous Halloween costumes from the past that would have been great for this. Luchador? Hobo Richard Nixon? I was just ahead of my time, man.