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Villains United: D.C. United & Sundry Soccer Links for 26 August 2016

It's why we wear the black.

Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Today's Friday Freedom Kicks is dedicated to our favorite villains.

Offensive makeover helps D.C. United's push for MLS playoffs - Washington Post: I'm impressed with this new Mullins-Igboananike-Sam strike force, with Marcelo hitting his stride where Arnaud once ruled. And they are just starting to play together. The best from this team is yet to come this season, if we can just figure out how to re-tighten the defense. Tomorrow's game against the Chicago Fire should be spectacular. Believe me.

Rivalry Week: Five of the greatest villains in MLS rivalry history | Two of the five greatest MLS villains wore the black and red.

MLS talking points The players fans most love to hate - ESPN FC:  Of course, Nigel de Jong makes the top of the list. But where's Dax McCarty? That guy. Villainous! Also, a former black-and-redder.

DFW doesn't deserve a MLS franchise - Big D Soccer: Or when your marketing team is the villain. A fanpost goes off on FC Dallas's horrid attendance record, and the Texas commentariat chimes in. And, if I might add, this season I've finally fully and completely tired of RFK. I mean, not even a little nostalgia left. The rust. The cracked concrete. The bareness of the upper deck. That dirty restroom feeling you have when you're not even inside the restroom, just roaming the gangways and ramps. I'm ready for the new stadium and what it will do to DC attendance. And there better be some good bars in walking distance.

Why is Hope Solo's punishment far worse than Ryan Lochte's? - Esquire: I'd say it's a combination of sexism and classism that produces these different responses. Plus villainy. The most villainized female player in soccer history.

The Darth Vaders of East German Soccer - Beyond the Last Man: Talk about some villains! Get your Ostalgie on!

My sincere thanks to the very nonvillainous blazindw for handling Friday Freedom Kicks last week while I was on travel.

Your Friday Freedom Kicks treat is poking around legal issues associated with Pokemon Go.

Commentariat, beware!