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MLS Cup playoffs, Last Call at RFK, and more: Freedom Kicks for 10/27/2017

Bill Hamid says goodbye, plus NWSL draft details

Woke up on the couch with this not done at 6:15am, thoughts of two extremely different MLS Cup playoff games rattling around in my head. Let’s get to the links:

D.C. United’s final game at RFK Stadium, in photos | Black and Red United
Caitlin Buckley took some pretty great photos on Sunday.

Funeral, party, reunion: Scenes from DC United’s "Last Call" at RFK Stadium |
Great first-hand work here on the final United game at RFK.

My new RFK Memory | Black and Red United
Sticking with #LastCallatRFK, DC_Josh put this FanPost together with thoughts on Sunday’s game and United’s time at RFK.

Quillen: Bill Hamid fully deserves to be counted among DC United's legends |
The best GK in team history, at the very least. Bill Hamid also posted this goodbye video yesterday:

Historically speaking, this stretch of the calendar has tended to be a very good week for United. Keep an eye out for the Marco Etcheverry free kick goal in here, which capped off what was in my book his best DCU performance ever:

Columbus Crew SC, RFK Stadium, and what MLS loses by growing up | SB Nation
I don’t agree with every sentiment here (RFK was objectively great, mainly), but I do agree that letting supporters be weird and leaving things a bit unpolished is a lot more my style than the supposedly “grown up” direction MLS wants to head in.

2018 NWSL College Draft to take place on Jan. 18 at 11 a.m. ET |
The current NWSL draft order is here, and the Washington Spirit have seven of the forty overall picks (including the #1 overall pick and three of the first eleven). We’ll be in the building in January, and we suggest you make the 2 hour drive up 95 to Philly to join us.

Speaking of the Spirit, striker Francisca Ordega’s not-yet-confirmed loan to Atletico Madrid seems like it might as well be confirmed:

Atlanta United vs. Columbus Crew was a thriller played at a high level for 120 minutes. Zack Steffen emerged as the star as the Crew ended Atlanta’s debut season. Here are the recaps from the folks at Dirty South Soccer and Massive Report.

Houston Dynamo vs. Sporting Kansas City was technically a game of soccer, but only just barely. Recaps from Dynamo Theory and The Blue Testament of a game that made me envious of those who just went to bed early.

How Sporting Kansas City’s Peter Vermes built a Barcelona pipeline | Yahoo Sports
There has been plenty of talk about Bill Hamid as an “asset” lately, which I’m not really a fan of. Doing right by your players, rather than nickel and diming everything, has real value, as KC’s situation shows. It’s the dignified thing to do, but it also happens to come with tangible, on-field benefits. Teams don’t just get better by having money. Building and maintaining relationships is crucial.

Corporate sponsors frustrated with Crew’s possible move | Columbus Dispatch
Another group rightly pissed off at Anthony Precourt: sponsors!

Match made in paradise: Portland's love for Diego Valeri goes far beyond the field | FourFourTwo USA
Imagine how different things would be if the Timbers had signed Mix Diskerud instead of Diego Valeri (who was Plan B at the time). This story is pretty cool, and includes tales of Valeri showing up to play in a random Portland futsal league.

Cyle Larin announcement surprises Orlando City CEO Alex Leitão | Orlando Sentinel
A potentially messy situation at Orlando City? You don’t say!

Liverpool vs Huddersfield: Wide-eyed ingénue vs weary pedagogue as Jurgen Klopp and David Wagner reunite | The Independent
This should be an interesting game, but as a hater of all traditional English powers, I hope Huddersfield wins in a rout.