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What We Must Become: D.C. United & Sundry Soccer Links for 5 August 2016

Ben goes Zen. Neymar goes wide. Nigeria goes standby.

D.C. in August. Hot. Muggy. Empty offices. Long lunches. And the Red Line f--kin shut down [ed. note - It's the Red Line, so swearing is appropriate].

'This is who we are,' D.C. United coach says, but is it good enough | Washington Post: Ben Olsen makes the case that we're really, really going to start attacking maybe, with this new lineup.

Winners and losers of the MLS summer transfer window | Is the Philadelphia Union's Andre Blake ready for Europe?

Former MLS Player Arrested on Multiple Drug and Weapons Charges | The Big Lead: Hard times for a Chicago Fire homegrown player.

Stadium's debut was more about soccer than gawkers | Everybody is ready for the big leagues except D.C. right now. Am I being too harsh? "This is who we are." How about what we must become? Let's not settle for who we are.

Watch Lionel Messi get run over while Barcelona plays bubble soccer | FOX Sports: Meh. Not as satisfying as the title suggests, especially if you despise tax evaders.

Olympic Soccer: Canada Breaks Soccer Goal Record Video | Time: 19 seconds and BOOM. Perfect assist by Christine Sinclair.

Portugal defeats Argentina 2-0 in Group D play | NBC Olympics: What if that Euro Cup wasn't a fluke?

Denmark, Iraq play to 0-0 draw in men's Olympic soccer opener | NBC Olympics: Iraq is representing.

Hours before its Mens' Soccer Opener, Nigeria Lands in Brazil | New York Times: Nigeria's national team landed in Manaus just six hours before kickoff of their game versus Japan. See, they had been training in Atlanta all this time and thought they could just show up at the Atlanta airport and buy last-minute tickets. I'll just repeat that:  they thought they could just show up at the Atlanta airport and buy last-minute tickets. FOR THE ENTIRE NATIONAL TEAM. To Manaus.

Brazil's quest for soccer redemption off to awful start at Rio Olympics | Mashable: Neymar could not find the net. In fact, no one could find the net. Brazil draws with South Africa, zip-zip, earning whatever the opposite of adulation is from the home crowd.

VIDEO Mexico 2-2 Germany: Highlights From 2016 Olympics Group Match | IBTimes: If you're like me, and you root for the USA or whoever is playing Germany or Brazil, it's been a good start to the Olympics so far.

I will row through shit for you, America | The Guardian: This has to do with all of those stories about the water quality in Rio. It has nothing to do with soccer. I just thought the title of the column was brilliant.

LOOK: Soccer player steps on opponent's head with metal cleat and rips his ear off | Jeremy Menez lost a good bit of ear in what the cool kids call a "friendly."

This Friday Freedom Kicks treat is for all my fellow Stranger Things fans: 12 books to pass the time while we await a second season.

Commentariat, surge!