Let's get started with some tweety tweets before the linky links, yo. Dave Kasper says the excitement from the last couple weeks is intentional:
Hats off to Spencer and his glorious victory dance. Wednesday night's game was dedicated to kicking childhood cancer in the, er, bottom:
DC, Impact on track for play-offs | beIN SPORTS: Even the Australians who read beIN Sports web updates see the writing on the wall. D.C. United is playoff-bound.
How the Wednesday night matches affected the Audi 2016 MLS Cup Playoff race | MLSsoccer.com: D.C. United has an 80% chance of reaching the playoffs, according to the Soccer Power Index. According to Touchline Analytics (brought to you by the New York Museum of Modern Art), DCU has an 88.3333 (repeating, of course) percent chance of not only making the playoffs, but revising and/or issuing a clarification of their season ticket holder agreement.
How the Wednesday night matches affected the Audi 2016 MLS Cup Playoff race | MLSsoccer.com: If you want to get technical about playoff chances, here you go.
With Sounders surging, a look at the best turnarounds in MLS history | MLSsoccer.com: Remember the 2004 turnaround in D.C.? Wax nostalgic in the comments!
Political football: FIFA sponsoring soccer matches in illegal settlements on stolen Palestinian land, rights group says | Salon.com: It would be great if organizations and corporations treated their social responsibility commitments as something more than a check box in their marketing plan. The Israel/Palestine conflict is obviously a complicated issue. FIFA doesn't care so long as the money keeps rolling in because, y'know, what's more important than money? Nothing! Nothing is more important.
17 'suspicious' Premier League transfers that Fifa and the FA have failed to investigate | The Independent: Is there a little coffee in that deal for me?
How Carli Lloyd Became A Soccer Star 'When Nobody Was Watching' | NPR: So, in 1986, I would watch World Cup matches broadcast over a satellite dish from Mexico (maybe Satcom 2?) and then go outside in the blazing summer sun and kick a ball against a wall. I used chalk to draw a goal on that brick wall. I was all by myself. No other hormone-addled kids around. I could hear the announcers in my head get excited about Diego Maradona or Gary Lineker or Socrates or Alessandro Altobelli having a go and then I'd kick that thing with a left foot or a right foot from impossible angles. But I did not turn out to be the Carli Lloyd of my generation/sex/nationality. Carli Lloyd did. I should have used a curb instead of a brick wall.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s Private Plane Crashes, Soccer Superstar Not on Board | Us Weekly: No one was injured. Also, Ronaldo is 31 years old. Isn't it about time he come to America?
And your Friday Freedom Kicks treat is Antiques Road Show.