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Mallory Pugh to the Spirit, DMV soccer recaps & more: Monday Freedom Kicks

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There’s a lot to take in here, good and bad.

Before we dive in, let’s have some fun, shall we?

Mallory Pugh signs with NWSL, joins Washington Spirit (us): This was announced Saturday before the Spirit’s game, and should serve as some buzz for a Spirit team that stripped things down to the bolts in the offseason. More on the signing by WaPo, Stars and Stripes FC, SB Nation Soccer and Nike, who just happened to announce a long-term endorsement deal partnership moments afterwards!

Now for the ugly stuff:

Recaps of D.C. United’s 4-0 thrashing at the hands of the Philadelphia Union from us (with more from us here), MLS (with more from them here) and WaPo. Brotherly Game and Section 215 have the Doopsters’ perspective.

Washington Spirit fall 6-2 to Seattle Reign (us): 4 goal losses by the first tier teams abound this week huh? FANTASTIC! Sounder at Heart has the Cascadian insight. Hopefully Mal doesn’t have a take back.

Kickers, City Islanders Split Points (us): The bright spot? A scoreless draw in Richmond for the Kickers as Alhaji Kamara the full 90 minutes on a night where they honored the recently retired Matthew Delicate.

D.C. United’s Homegrown Goalie (Afro): Bill Hamid talks about playing at home.

Lohman’s Upbeat Road to Recovery (Equalizer Soccer): The Spirit’s Joanna Lohman talks about dealing with the post ACL surgery blues (spoiler, she has none). Of related note, the other subject of this article, Jess McDonald of the North Carolina Courage, is the sister of former DCU defender Brandon.

The Dictator’s Team (ESPN): This story, about the Syrian national soccer team, and how they’re used as a propaganda tool for Bashar al-Assad, is an incredible read that you should carve out some time for.

What we learned as players' stunning gesture to fans pays off (Wales Online): So Swansea City (well, their players) paid for the away seats of 3,000, along with food and drink, so they could watch Swans defeat Sunderland 2-0, thanks to goals from Fernando Llorente and Kyle Naughton’s first-ever Premier League goal. Combined with Hull City’s loss Sunday, Swansea are officially safe for the coming Premier League campaign.

New coach, same result (Serpents of Madonnina): In more partner club news, following Inter Milan’s second coaching change in 8 months, they dropped a 2-1 result to Sassuolo in a game where Inter’s ultras put a veil over the season (like a widow), showed tifo asking ownership to stop spending on shit, and then left the stadium during the game. Inter is in 8th as Serie A winds down.

Finally, for my money Matthew Vaughn has done an X-Men movie, Kickass and a variety of projects as he emerged from Guy Ritchie’s shadow. As Kingsmen 2 comes out later this year, a look at a tentpole fight sequence from the first. His action sequences to older songs are fucking amazing and everyone should see them, so here’s the first one (there are a lot of people who get killed in this so FYI and such):