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Freedom Kicks: D.C. United, MLS, and US Open Cup links for Wednesday May 11, 2016

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It was a busy Tuesday for the Black-and-Red, plus the fun of the Open Cup starts tonight

It is very, very late. I had a strange night, seeing a great band while also finding out that the Caps are out of the playoffs. Let's get on with this:

D.C. United signs IFK Norrkoping striker Alhaji Kamara | Black and Red United
As you probably read yesterday, United made a move to help their goalscoring issues. Of course, it's not exactly straightforward, as the Black-and-Red will have to either waive/trade an international player or waive a domestic player and acquire an international roster spot to add Kamara to the active roster.

Cleared by cardiologists, Sierra Leone’s Alhaji Kamara joins D.C. United | Soccer Insider
Oh, and he hasn't trained in months, so he probably can't play until late June or early July. And he has a heart condition of some sort that doctors in Europe flagged, but that docs here said was not a problem. So yeah, this is a very mixed bag. Anyway, Steve Goff got word from Dave Kasper about what's going on. He also noted that the solution to the roster problem has likely been settled upon:

D.C. United releases Paul Clowes | Black and Red United
As I said in the comments in here, Clowes is probably better off being released right now. USL international player limits make it very hard to loan him to the Kickers, and he's not going to improve just training and never having a real game. Keeping him around may grate people due to the perception of nepotism that surrounds Andrea Mancini, but I think this is United doing right by a player who needs to play.

Get to know: Luciano Acosta | D.C. United Youtube channel
I enjoyed this interview with Lucho, which included a discussion of whose Spanish is the worst on the team and what some of his tattoos mean to him.

Washington-Lee midfielder Lucas Mendes stunned by Gatorade National Boys’ Soccer Player of the Year honor | Washington Post
So, good news: Mendes is a DCU Academy product. Bad news: He opted out of this season to play high school ball instead - which is much more of an emotional decision forced on kids by US Soccer's insistence that high school soccer is of the devil - so it's hard to say how eligible he will be for a Homegrown deal down the road. A name to keep an eye on, for sure, though his decision to commit to play for the Virginia Bus-Parkers might not help him blossom as a player. Lucas, if you're out there, you can always transfer to Maryland like Jake Rozhansky did. The Terps actually try to play constructive soccer sometimes, it's wild.

Kei Kamara is Suspended for Saturday's Game with the Colorado Rapids | Massive Report
Disappointed in United right now? Well, at least we haven't gone from MLS Cup finalists praised for our style of play to 18th place with our top two players publicly squabbling after turning a 4-1 home lead into a 4-4 draw with a former player scoring the equalizer deep into stoppage time.

Soccer Hall of Fame still having trouble setting the bar | Sports Myriad
Beau Dure has a thoughtful take on the nearly constant string of odd outcomes when it comes to the US Soccer Hall of Fame. In my book, the entire place is invalid until Marco Etcheverry and Jaime Moreno are enshrined, but that might be an extremist's view.

Detroit clash highlights U.S. Open Cup First Round | USSoccer.com
Tonight is the first round of this year's US Open Cup, which is always a ton of fun. Detroit City FC vs. Michigan Bucks is probably the most intriguing pairing, as this piece illustrates.

Breaking: NTX Rayados disqualified the night before 2016 US Open Cup set to begin | TheCup.us
This is a pretty unfortunate situation that the USSF could have avoided with better planning. The Rayados should never have been listed as being in the field given that their problem - they weren't able to field a team in a properly sanctioned league this season - didn't exactly happen overnight. Meanwhile, their opponent had already traveled for the game, and at this level the expenses to do that are a major reason why so many good amateur teams don't even try to enter the Open Cup. US Soccer has to do better than this.

...And Then There Was Golf | Japers' Rink
A lifelong source of torture continues.