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2017 Gold Cup semifinals set, Michael Carrick to Colorado?, and more: Freedom Kicks for 7/21/2017

More talk about nipples, bite marks, and the surface of the sun than normal, because the soccer world is getting weird

Hey everyone! Still reeling from Wednesday night? Yup. Spent most of Thursday trying not to deal with soccer’s current harsh realities, and I’ve got to say it helped a little bit. Still, as I write this late last night, I’m pretty sure I’m going to have nightmares about D.C. United’s hesitant defending on the 2nd goal.

With that fun out of the way, let’s get to the links:

Portland Thorns aim to extend home winning streak against Mallory Pugh's Washington Spirit | The Oregonian
The Washington Spirit have already arrived in Portland ahead of Saturday’s game against the Thorns. The last time these two teams met, Washington put together possibly their best performance of the year in winning 1-0, and this time they’ll have Mallory Pugh and Estefania Banini in the fold. Between that, the Rose City Riveters, and the way the last meeting ended (heated words exchanged between Jim Gabarra and his predecessor Mark Parsons over incidents involving former Spirit winger Hayley Raso), it should be a pretty entertaining game late on Saturday. If you hustle home after United vs. Houston, you should be able to see the full 90 minutes.

Pizarro scores winning goal as Mexico beat Honduras to reach Gold Cup semifinals | FMF State of Mind
Mexico, like the US, seems to be slowly dragging their feet towards the Gold Cup final. After taking a fourth minute lead, El Tri and Honduras did little else in Arizona last night.

Wait, Arizona? We had a tournament quarterfinal doubleheader in July in Arizona? What the hell CONCACAF? Why not schedule the final for a field etched into the ground in Death Valley while you’re at it?

But How? | Eighty Six Forever
Canada lost to Jamaica last night, and it has left the eternally suffering fans of the Canadian national team speechless. Despite Canada creating almost all of the chances, Jamaica will face Mexico on the surface of the sun in this Sunday’s semifinal.

Beyond ‘nipple-gate’: CONCACAF looks into alleged bite during U.S.’s odd Gold Cup win | Washington Post
Speaking of the bizarre spectacle that is any CONCACAF event, here we are talking about the USMNT having multiple players bitten and at least one purple nurple attempt. Fox’s Jenny Taft even got the photo US Soccer took of Omar Gonzalez’s skin, showing what looks like a bite mark from Darwin Ceren:

Let’s keep going on a trip through Soccer Twitter, which is rapidly becoming Weird Twitter. Here’s a 2+ minute video Kei Kamara posted about being singled out for fines because he’s worn non-uniform socks that are quite popular with other MLS players:

Video Review set to be introduced in MLS competition beginning August 5 |
VARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR! Actually I can’t bring myself to get worked up about this either way. It’ll probably bring some marginal benefit to the game, maybe.

Rumor: Michael Carrick to the Rapids | Burgundy Wave

OK, actually this looks more like English journos just slapping some names together rather than an actual rumor, and our friends over at Burgundy Wave are rating it at 20 to 1 in terms of likelihood.

Tournament of Nations USA roster reaction | Stars and Stripes FC
The USWNT announced their roster for the upcoming tournament with Japan, Australia, and Brazil. The “Tournament of Nations” name is truly plumbing the depths in terms of an uninspired name, but it should still be fun. Mal Pugh is on the roster, along with a lot of familiar faces. Maryland native Midge Purce and two more uncapped players (Boston GK Abby Smith and North Carolina defender Taylor Smith) make up the surprise call-ups.

The political message hidden on the goalposts at the 1978 World Cup | The Guardian
The 1978 World Cup has a dark legacy due to the Argentine government’s campaign against its own citizens, and even the goalposts at Estadio Monumental ended up being involved.

That’s all I’ve got for you fine folks. Good luck beating the heat!