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Thursday Freedom Kicks: Some days I take the bus home, just to touch home

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We got Lionel Messi versus Steve Birnbaum, a Argentina-Chile final, a USA-Colombia 3rd place match, a completed Euro 2016 group stage, the end of international Zlatan and Iceland and the Irish continue to give us the warm feels in today's Freedom Kicks.

The MVPs of the world right now are the Irish fans.
The MVPs of the world right now are the Irish fans.
Clive Rose/Getty Images

Happy Thursday, ladies and gentlemen. It’s early and I’m still running on fumes from my whirlwind trip to Houston. In the Copa America Centenario, we have our final: Argentina vs. Chile Sunday night in New Jersey. The United States will have a rematch against Colombia in the 3rd Place match Saturday night in Arizona. Over in Europe, the Euro 2016 group stage is complete and we have our 16 teams that will move on to the 2nd round. As a result, for the first time in a few weeks there’s no soccer on today. Good time to catch up on some TV, eh? Well, onto the news:

Irish fans are charming their way through Euro 2016 with song and good deeds | Washington Post

The Irish fans are dominating Euro 2016 in all walks of life. This article breaks down how they are the MVPs of life and the reason this month has been so fun. Seriously, the Irish should automatically be invited to every tournament from here on out.

USA vs. Argentina crushes TV and streaming ratings records | Stars and Stripes FC

We have a new record! The United States vs. Argentina match Tuesday night set all kinds of records on FS1 for both TV ratings and streaming numbers. The combination of the USMNT and Lionel Messi helped add to what has been a remarkably successful Copa America Centenario ratings-wise for Fox Sports 1.

Leo Messi made a lot of USA players look bad, including Steve Birnbaum | Black and Red United

In case you missed it, our own ChestRockwell breaks down Steve Birnbaum’s performance in the United States’ semifinal match against Argentina and how an uncharacteristic mistake led to Lionel Messi passing to Gonzalo Higuain for the game’s final goal.

Watch: Announcer goes crazy for Iceland’s last-minute Euro 2016 goal over Austria | Awful Announcing

When Arnor Ingvi Traustason scored a game-winning goal late in stoppage time to send Iceland through to the 2nd round of Euro 2016, it gave us this epic Icelandic announcer call. Seriously, this is the greatest thing of all time, so stop and listen, then listen again, then listen again, then repeat that for the next six hours.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic ‘very proud’ of Sweden career | ESPNFC

Sweden not making it out of the group at Euro 2016 marked the end of the international career of Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Zlatan talks about the pride he holds in looking back at what he accomplished for the Swedish national team.

Le Graet blasts pitch quality at Euro 2016 | Marca

The French Football Federation president is not happy with the quality of the fields at the venues for Euro 2016. He calls for Ligue 1 teams to upgrade their fields which would make the league better.

Carli Lloyd, Jordan Morris both nominated for ESPYs | Stars and Stripes FC

Congrats to the USWNT’s Carli Lloyd and the USMNT’s Jordan Morris, who were both nominated for ESPY awards. You can vote on the awards and see if they won when the ESPYs air on July 13th.

Will Alvaro Morata be at Real Madrid when the season starts | Fox Soccer

Real Madrid exercised a clause in Alvaro Morata’s contract that brought him back to the Spanish capital. However, will he be on the team in August when the season starts?

Cristiano Ronaldo becomes first player to score at four Euros | Fox Soccer

Cristiano Ronaldo first scored in Euro 2004 as a 19-year-old. 12 years later, he has scored in his 4th European Championships, the first player ever to do so. Will he lead Portugal to Euro glory? Only time will tell.

It’s 7:30am, it’s going to be a long day, but don’t forget to take a few minutes and take note of the world around you. "¡Escúchela! La ciudad respirando." Stop and take a few breaths along with it. The comments are now open for business!