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Wednesday Freedom Kicks: I took the road less traveled, the unbeaten path

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On today's edition of Freedom Kicks, we have the USWNT Olympic roster, major Chinese moves, Barcelona gets Umtiti and concerns ahead of the World Cup.

Rejoice! Megan Rapinoe made it!
Rejoice! Megan Rapinoe made it!
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Wednesday everyone! Fans of the four "major" sports will say that today is the lone day of the calendar without any sporting events. Well, Major League Soccer said let's have a nice slate of matches to fill the void! So, if you're not interested in tuning to the ESPYs, then you can hit up your MLS Live for one of six league matches that will be contested tonight. Alright, onto the rest of the news:

USA head coach Jill Ellis names 2016 U.S. Olympic Women's Soccer Team | U.S. Soccer

The Olympic team is announced and the biggest story among an otherwise expected 18-woman roster is that Megan Rapinoe makes the team, coming back from her ACL tear in December to make the team. Heather O'Reilly does not make the 18, but everything was pretty much the norm. Locally, Washington Spirit stars Crystal Dunn and Ali Krieger are headed to Rio, both competing in the Games for the first time.

Graziano Pelle leaves Southampton for lucrative China move | Sports Illustrated

Graziano Pelle makes a move to Chinese side Shandong Luneng in a £13 million transfer, but the bigger shock is that Pelle will become one of the top 5 paid players in the world, his new contract containing a weekly salary matching that of Zlatan Ibrahimovic's new contract with Manchester United. Yo, someone pay to send me to China so I can study the Chinese Super League and whether their recent influx of money into the sport is yielding dividends.

Samuel Umtiti signs for Barcelona | Marca

The 22-year-old French defender moves from Lyon to the Blaugrana for 25M euros. This move keeps Barcelona loaded with younger talent as some of their older stars begin their decline.

Gibraltar side stun Brendan Rodgers' Celtic in Champions League qualifier | ESPNFC

Brendan Rodgers and Celtic are seeking to qualify for the Champions League group stages. In their second round tie, they drew a semipro team from Gilbraltar, Lincoln Red Imps. Well, Red Imps just went ahead and punched Celtic in the throat, winning 1-0 at home in what many are calling an all-time upset. The second leg is next week at Celtic Park and let's just say Celtic will have all of the pressure.

Premier League clubs embark on globetrotting pre-season - but at what cost? | The Guardian

The Guardian examines whether teams like Premier League champions Leiceister City really are better off going on these preseason tours outside of England or whether staying closer to home is the key to a successful preseason.

Nike unveils new vibrant ball for upcoming Premier League season | Fox Soccer

Nike and the Premier League introduced the new official league ball for the 2016-17 season and it looks like a tie-dyed Easter egg. I wonder if Cadbury had any input in the new ball design?

FA Women's Super League to switch to winter season from 2017 | The Guardian

The FA is attempting to move its Women's Super League from a summer season to a fall/winter season. It will be interesting to see how this affects facilities, but what it can also do is allow NWSL players to play in England in the winter to stay in shape and earn some more money.

MLS names Homegrown team roster to face Mexico U-20s | Pro Soccer Talk

MLS named its Homegrown roster that will compete against the Mexico U-20s during All Star week. Familiar faces Jordan Morris of the Seattle Sounders and Tommy Thompson of the San Jose Earthquakes highlight the roster. For the second consecutive year, D.C. United will be represented by Jalen Robinson on the team.

Russia 2018: issues facing organisers of first World Cup staged in eastern Europe | The Guardian

Now that Euro 2016 is finished, all eyes now turn to Russia, where organizers of the 2018 World Cup must prepare to welcome the world in the face of several issues, including distance, infrastructure, problems with racism as well as concerns about their doping scandal and the potential for terrorism.

Alright, it's 7:30am, and we are all gonna have a good day. Take the road less traveled, the unbeaten path. I know I'm going to do that...and I'll do it my way. The comments are open, people. Let's get it!