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USMNT wins World Cup qualifier, USWNT beats Sweden, and more: Freedom Kicks for 6/9/2017

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Winning games is good, it turns out.

I don’t have much to say this morning, so let’s get right into the bizarre and absurd. Here’s the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom standing shoulder to shoulder with one of her opponents in the race for her seat in Parliament:

Lord Buckethead was not alone in contesting that seat. Here’s the whole gang, including Elmo, a man with a cape representing the Monster Raving Loony Party, and some other weirdos:

On to the soccer!

Christian Pulisic powers USMNT past Trinidad and Tobago | Black and Red United
In case you didn’t stay up last night, the United States had some iffy moments (particularly before halftime), but ultimately saw the Soca Warriors off thanks to two goals from Pulisic, and two special passes from DeAndre Yedlin and Jozy Altidore. The US is currently in an automatic qualifying spot heading into Sunday’s game at Mexico.

Pulisic, beyond being the young star American fans have been dying for forever, and beyond scoring World Cup qualifying goals, endeared himself to the fanbase by making a bold promise:

Go get ‘em, kid.

USA tops Sweden 1-0 on Lavelle goal | Stars and Stripes FC
It wasn’t the most enthralling match by any stretch of the imagination, but the important takeaway? Once again, the US attack looked a bit more fluid without Carli Lloyd than with her. Crystal Dunn had a nice assist on the goal, and later she and Mallory Pugh nearly had a combination (dang offside flag) that left me thinking of what it’s going to be like when they’re both playing for the Washington Spirit.

Mexico move closer to Russia 2018 with victory over Honduras | FMF State of Mind
El Tri is storming towards an automatic berth. In fact, a win over the USMNT Sunday would leave them more or less just needing to win one more game out of the final four CONCACAF qualifiers to seal the deal. Here’s hoping the US can slow them down.

Solomons sight play-off after edging five-goal thriller |
There was one non-CONCACAF qualifier last night. Over in Oceania, the Solomon Islands beat Papua New Guinea 3-2, leaving all three teams in their group with a chance of advancing. The former needs to simply avoid defeat at PNG on Tuesday, while the latter must win by 5 goals to advance to a playoff against New Zealand. Tahiti, meanwhile, has played all of their games already and will only win the group if PNG wins by fewer than 5 goals. Yes, I researched this.

Of mice and men: MLS giants enter #USOC2017 arena |
Are you a D.C. United fan? Well, hope you’re comfortable with literally everyone else rooting against your team, because that’s what Tuesday is going to be like.

Speaking of which, Christos FC got some new threads for the occasion:

United Soccer League scouting Canton, Fells Point for potential stadium site | Baltimore Business Journal
If the folks in charge of this get things just right, this could be a really positive addition for the USL. Plus, Canton and Fells both have a ton of bars for pre- and post-game fun. And by “just right,” I of course mean “Baltimore Bohemians, but in the USL.”

Eternal Champions | ESPN FC
This is a great, if also heart-wrenching, story on Chapocoense, both before and after last year’s plane crash that took 71 lives. ESPN is also airing a companion piece to this at 9am on Sunday, so set your DVR.

That’s all I’ve got for you. My weekend advice is to go get an ice cream cone sometime before Monday and enjoy the hell out of it.