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Wednesday Freedom Kicks: Ready or not

We got D.C. United, Euro 2016 news featuring Iceland's incredible crowd, PDL players scrimmaging Argentina, the hopeful end of Mexico's disgusting chant and Brazil is looking for a new coach in today's Freedom Kicks.

Happy United Day! It’s 7:30am and on top of all the soccer that’s on tap for today, it’s a D.C. United matchday. The U.S. Open Cup began its 4th round last night with four matches; the rest of the slate is tonight. D.C. United will take on the Fort Lauderdale Strikers of NASL tonight at the Maryland Soccerplex (7:30pm kickoff). On top of the USOC, there are 3 Euro 2016 matches for your viewing pleasure. The 2016 Copa America Centenario has a day off, with the quarterfinals set to begin tomorrow with the United States hosting Ecuador. Alright, let’s get to the news:

More than 8 percent of Iceland's population is at the Euros | Fox Soccer
Iceland has a total population of around 330K people, which is less than the combined populations of Arlington and Alexandria. Over 8% of them are in France for Euro 2016 to follow their team’s first ever appearance in the tournament. This story is what soccer is all about and their crowd’s energy was incredible in their match against Portugal. Party on, Iceland.

Orlando sports teams rally to raise funds for Pulse victims | Fox Soccer
In the face of an inexplicable tragedy that has devastated their city, Orlando City SC and Orlando Pride have joined with other Orlando professional sports teams to create a shirt to help raise funds for the families of the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting. Good on all of them for joining together to show support for a reeling community.

PDL players recall experience of playing with, beating Argentina | Sports Illustrated
Imagine waking up to a text from your coach asking you if you wanted to play with the Argentine national team? This story captures that experience as a PDL team received the opportunity to scrimmage La Albiceleste, with a couple players actually getting to play on the national team’s side.

Dunga: Brazil sack coach after Copa America exit at group stage | BBC
It was harsh the way they went out, but the Copa America knockout stage bracket is set and Brazil is not listed among the final 8. As a result, head coach Dunga was fired. Without Neymar on the roster, Os Pentacampeões struggled against fellow CONMEBOL sides Peru and Ecuador. Their decline, however, has truly been evident since the 7-1 drubbing at the hands of Germany in the 2014 World Cup semifinals. Who’s next to take control of the Seleção? We will wait and see.

Is Russia exporting a new breed of football hooligan? | BBC
Russian hooliganism has been well documented, but with recent events at Euro 2016 leading to UEFA issuing the Russian federation a suspended disqualification, people are starting to question Russia's efforts to curb hooliganism in advance of the 2018 World Cup.

After Orlando terror, time for Mexican fans to drop ‘p**o’ once and for all | The Guardian
I won’t say the word here, but The Chant was very loud in Mexico's final match against Venezuela Monday night. The Guardian examines its tone-deafness, at its basic level, in light of the Orlando shooting Saturday night (a moment of silence was observed for the victims before the match). My thought: CONCACAF and FIFA need to set a strong example. Make them play home matches in empty stadiums for 5 years. The U.S. Soccer Federation (and Soccer United Marketing) must ban Mexico from playing any friendlies in the United States for that period of time. They should be fined tens of millions of dollars. They should be punished as long as it takes for them to completely end the chant among its fans. It’s time for The Chant to die.

Reports: Zlatan Ibrahimovic agrees deal at Manchester United | Pro Soccer Talk
Manchester United will Dare to Zlatan, according to reports. Zlatan Ibrahimovic will be suiting up for the Red Devils next season. You know Jose Mourinho is going to be excited about having him up top next season. Look out Premier League, it’s about to go down!

Barcelona agree to pay £4.4m fine over Neymar tax fraud case | The Guardian
Barcelona has settled its portion of the Neymar tax fraud case and will pay a €5.5m (£4.4m) fine. Barcelona had been accused of hiding a portion of the transfer fee it paid for Neymar a couple seasons ago. With Lionel Messi also fighting a tax case, sounds like the Blaugrana need to sign some accountants during this transfer window.

Alright, the comments are now open for business. It’s Wednesday. Ready or not, here it comes, you can’t hide. Enjoy your day, and Vamos United!