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D.C. United vs. Atlanta United, best wishes to Joanna Lohman, and more: Freedom Kicks for 4/28/2017

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The Uniteds meet soon, the Rainbow Warrior goes under the knife, and TFC-Dynamo is on tap for tonight

Chris Colvin & Washington Spirit

A friend of mine is in Florida on vacation, and has had two stories from Uber drivers. The first one tried to sell him hard drugs. The other, a recovered drug addict, told him an amazing story in which the Grim Reaper entered the room and began spinning him “hammer-toss style” in preparations to throw him into Hell.

Florida, man.

Links!

Rookie Ian Harkes taking big step forward as a starter for DC United | MLSsoccer.com
Ian Harkes appears unsure whether he’s hitting a peak in terms of his form this season, which is a great sign. If there’s more to come from him this year (and in my book, there definitely is), that’s a huge plus. Harkes has already been the most consistent non-Lucho midfielder on the team.

Stage coi D.C. United di Erick Thohir per Gianni Vio | FCInterNews.it
First of all, the Italian soccer media will run pretty much anything. They’ve probably run a story saying that I am Inter’s next defensive midfielder. However, if there’s something to this, it would be pretty cool for United to add a set piece coach (even if the article indicates that Vio is moving towards being more of a worldwide set piece coaching consultant).

If you don’t count Jared Jeffrey finishing off a free kick that the Revs never quite cleared - I do count it, for whatever that’s worth, but you might disagree - United would be one of the five MLS teams without a set piece goal yet. And even if you do count it, they’re one of eight teams without a more traditional set piece goal (i.e. the ball is never cleared or even half-cleared). In either case, that’s a number that needs to be higher.

Predicting Atlanta United’s starting lineup vs. D.C. United | Dirty South Soccer
DSS has Kenwyne Jones starting up front, but they’re also quick to admit that Tata Martino isn’t the easiest manager to predict.

We’ll have more on a new Washington Spirit signing later today, but since we’re on the topic, take some time to send your best wishes to Joanna Lohman, who underwent surgery on her torn ACL yesterday (and is already smiling away):

Moving on, there’s an MLS game tonight! What’s up with Toronto FC and the Houston Dynamo?

Osorio, Cooper or Delgado? A deep look at who belongs in Toronto FC’s starting lineup | Waking the Red
Here’s a smart look at the three different possibilities TFC has to choose between to be the third man in with Michael Bradley and MLS assist leader Victor Vazquez (by the way, people aren’t talking about this dude enough). I won’t spoil the conclusion, but I will note that it’s one I agree with.

The Dynamo’s 4-4-2 diamond solves a lot of problems | Dynamo Theory
Houston had some early success in a 433, but were starting to be found out a bit. Wilmer Cabrera’s move to a diamond was a savvy solution, but is it here to stay?

Who's the most exciting player in MLS right now? | MLSsoccer.com
I know Montreal isn’t playing that well right now, but the answer to this is still Ignacio Piatti, who was left off the list. I’ll go one further: Luciano Acosta is more exciting than a couple of players mentioned.

Portland Timbers coach Caleb Porter forced to wear full kit to training after spinning 'fine wheel' | The Oregonian
Count me as mildly surprised that Porter would do something that involves humor.

Capitals vs. Penguins Recap: Caps’ Comeback Comes Up Short in Game One | Japers’ Rink
I hate the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Hell, at this point I hate penguins, period. Stupid flightless birds.

Alright, it’s the weekend, and the weather is basically mid-summer. Other than getting out to the Plex Saturday, what are you fine folks up to?