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The Ball is Political: D.C. United & Sundry Soccer Links for 17 June 2016

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Man o' the match!

Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

It's Friday Freedom Kicks. Another end-of-the-week fray on a set piece into the box that is life.

Yes, that's Birdbomb making an appearance, finally, at long last, for Bedoya. Shall we expect Birdbomb to be a starter in the semi-finals? Methinks yes.

USA vs Ecuador: Dempsey, Zardes score; US onto semifinals (VIDEO) - SI:  The United States of America has made it to the semi-finals of Copa for the second time in history, thanks to two Seattle Sounders and a legend named John Brooks. And no thanks to two stupid fouls that may cripple us in the next round (I'm looking at you, Jones and Bedo-- wait, no, Klinnsman. Klinnsman should have subbed out Bedoya sooner. The man was tired and grabbing at jerseys like there was a midnight sale at TJ Maxx.) Anyway, hooray!!!

USMNT honors Orlando shooting victims with new ‘One Nation’ video | For The Win:  If you watched last night, you saw this video at the beginning of the match. Nice job, US Soccer.

D.C. United Eliminated from U.S. Open Cup with Penalty-Kick Loss to Fort Lauderdale Strikers: DCist: Let's throw in some more D.C. United news, with lots of photos from Fort Lauderdale, before we get to the heart of Friday Freedom Kicks, which I'm gleaning in honor of all you soccer and politics nerds.

If England loses in Euro 2016 will the E.U. lose Britain? - Washington Post: If you're for Brexit, you should root for Wales and Slovakia in the coming days.

France arrests more than 300 in Euro Soccer Tournament's First Week - NYT: The mayhem in France seems to be under control. Knock on wood.

"Keep it up, boys!" Why Russia cheers its soccer hooligans at Euro 2016 - CBC: I will never understand the unabashed fascism of Russian hooligans, whose grandfathers died at the hands of real fascists. For shame, Russia.

Hooliganism isn’t the soccer tradition we want to bring to America | For The Win: I'm noticing a pattern with a certain segment of NYCFC supporters, and it's pretty freakin' pathetic. Also, guys, your team lost...again.

Euro Cup 2016 Germany vs Poland Goals & Video Highlights: World Champions Germany and Poland settle for goalless draw | India.com: Looky lou! The mighty Deutschland can't overcome Poland.

Northern Ireland claim historic win against Ukraine -  Eurosport Asia: This game was marred by hail.

Russia rated 6/1 to be stripped of 2018 World Cup after crowd trouble - Mansfield and Ashfield Chad: Dream on, England. There's no way FIFA pulls the World Cup from Russia. It should, for the safety of every foreign fan who shows up in 2018. But it won't.  Too much money has been paid from Russian currency reserves. Unless, of course, all of the payees have been removed and indicted.

The Guardian view on Russian football hooligans: politics at play | The Guardian: Is ultranationalism the message we want to send with the 2018 World Cup? Apparently, yes.

And your Friday Freedom Kicks treat is the world's ugliest color.

Commentariat, opaque couché.