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D.C. United vs. NYCFC, USWNT wins, and more: Freedom Kicks for 4/7/2017

The Black-and-Red gear up for Saturday, Rose Lavelle put on a show, and we have to talk about a moth

So a moth goes into a podiatrist’s office, and the podiatrist says “What’s the problem?” The moth says “What’s the problem? Where do I begin? I go to work for Gregory Olinovich, and all day long I work. Honestly, doc, I don’t know what I’m even doing any more...I don’t even think Gregory Olinovich knows what I’m doing, but he knows he has power over me, and that seems to bring him happiness.”

“I wake up in a malaise, and I walk here and there...” the moth said before trailing off. Before the podiatrist could interject, he picked up the lost thread. “I wake up some nights and roll over, and I’m next to some old lady, a lady I once loved! I don’t know where to turn, doc. My youngest, Alexandria, fell in the cold of last year...the cold took her down, as it did many of us,” said the moth, looking down at his feet.

“And my other boy, Gregaro...and this is the hardest pill to swallow, doc...I no longer love him,” the moth choked out. “As much as it pains me to say it, when I look in his eyes, all I see is the same cowardice that I catch when I take glimpse of my own face in the mirror. If only the cowardice were strong enough, perhaps I could bring myself to reach for that cocked and loaded gun that lays on the bedside table and end this hellish facade.”

The podiatrist is stunned into silence, so the moth continues. “Sometimes I feel like a spider - even though I’m a moth - just barely hanging onto my web to stay out of the everlasting fire underneath me. I’m...I’m just not feeling good.”

So the podiatrist finally speaks up and says “Moth,’re troubled. But you should be seeing a psychiatrist. Why on earth did you come to a podiatrist’s office?”

And the moth says, “Because the light was on.”

Thanks Norm. Let’s get to the links.

Taylor Kemp previews United's upcoming match against New York City FC
Luciano Acosta previews the Black-and-Red's match against NYCFC
Shooter and Lucho help prep you for tomorrow’s game against New York City FC.

New York City FC should part ways with Andrea Pirlo as soon as they can. | Hudson River Blue
Speaking of the Pigeons, there’s have a very good argument that they’d be better off with Andrea Pirlo being dropped. United needs to make sure Saturday is at least partially a game where the problems he brings to the table are exposed.

After a rough March, Birnbaum, DC look to continue rebound vs. NYCFC |
Steve Birnbaum notes the difference between partnering Bobby Boswell and partnering Sean Franklin in central defense.

First MLS memories: David Beckham, Freddy Adu's debut and pure passion | ESPNFC
D.C. United comes up here pretty frequently. Also, if you’re in your 30s, this will make you feel old.

USA blanks Russia 4-0 in Frisco | Stars and Stripes FC
There were no Spirit players in this one, but three starters from the Spirit’s last competitive game were involved. Ali Krieger played a bit of center back before shifting out to the right, while Crystal Dunn scored twice and Megan Oyster made her USWNT debut.

If you need highlights, just watch Rose Lavelle’s backheel-nutmeg-through ball a few times:

New CCL rules keep the Sounders spot in 2018 | Sounder at Heart
The change in CCL format is going to make things weird, but the teams that were going to start play this fall are still involved.

Xolos expand Academy system to New Jersey | FMF State of Mind
Club Tijuana has an academy in New Jersey? Well of course they do! Why wouldn’t a Mexican team on the Pacific coast have an academy in an American state that borders the Atlantic?

I’ll leave you with a gift for your weekend. Pistol Shrimps Radio is a hysterical, absurdist podcast involving two veteran podcasters who do not know much of anything about basketball, but who are electing to call women’s rec league basketball anyway. The Pistol Shrimps just started a new season, so they’re back at it. You can go back to the start (first episode was April 21, 2015) to figure out how all of the references start to pile up, or you can just dive into the deep end and puzzle over all the talk of anvils and Dire Straits.