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Champions League draw, D.C. United and Washington Spirit notes, and more: Freedom Kicks for 8/25/2017

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All teams should have a dog lead them onto the field

Before we get into what is a big weekend for D.C. United, the Washington Spirit, and the whole soccer world, I’d like to make use of this platform to state clearly that I think the new Taylor Swift song is boring. And now with that out of the way, the dang links:

Russell Canouse fills void in midfield for D.C. United | Washington Times
Whether or not these last two wins end up meaning a whole lot in the long run for United, the #1 takeaway is that Russell Canouse appears at this point to be an inspired signing.

Rowe to miss 6-8 weeks with knee sprain | The Bent Musket
Pretty bad news for the New England Revolution, who have lost their most reliable attacking player on the season in Kelyn Rowe.

Will LAFC end the California Clasico? The LA Galaxy, San Jose won't let it | ESPNFC
Despite the headline, there’s plenty of United talk in here, including a quote from our own Donald Wine II (who is basically everywhere at all times forever).

Spirit goalkeeper Stephanie Labbe will be bringing a very popular special guest onto the field before tomorrow’s game:

Much more than a game | Washington Blade
Former Spirit and USWNT player Lori Lindsey wants to see more athletes using their platform to push for positive change in the world.

Letter to My Younger Self | The Players’ Tribune
A pretty inspiring article about Marta’s path from a little town to multiple World Player of the Year awards.

Eni Aluko and the not-so-hidden costs of speaking out | Howler
Eni Aluko, a longtime forward for England who finished atop the English Super League’s scoring chart last season, suddenly found herself being overlooked by head coach Mark Sampson after making a complaint about some pretty horrible remarks Sampson and his coaching staff made over the years. It’s hard to give the FA the benefit of the doubt here, given that they have a decades-long pattern of choosing stability over doing the right thing.

Sporting KC at Houston game questionable with impending hurricane | The Blue Testament
Hurricane Harvey looks like it’s going to be a major problem, and one of the many things impacted may well be KC’s trip to play the Dynamo. Sports aren’t a big deal when we’re talking about a category 3 storm that will probably cause massive flooding and put a lot of people in danger, but it is worth noting that this game might be pushed back in a season that doesn’t have all that much time left to run. Sporting also has the Open Cup final to jam into their schedule as is.

72 Hours in Tijuana: Culture and soccer on the Western Frontera | FMF State of Mind
Frequent Filibuster guest Eugene Rupinski took a trip to see Club Tijuana in person, and detailed the whole experience here.

Champions League draw 2017: Group stage results and analysis | SB Nation
Here’s an entire storystream featuring plenty of angles on yesterday’s Champions League draw. It’s no CCL, but I suppose it’s got its place too.

I am, as ever, hoping for the English clubs to struggle while also continuing to endure their “best league in the world” marketing. Well, that and Christian Pulisic, who is in a very difficult group with Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur.

Report: Tottenham Hotspur set to loan out Cameron Carter-Vickers | Stars and Stripes FC
Speaking of Spurs and the USMNT, CCV appears to be on the verge of a loan move due to the arrival of Davinson Sanchez.

Laura Harvey: The Architect | Sounder at Heart
Seattle Reign coach Laura Harvey is widely viewed as the top coach in the NWSL, in part because of the loyalty she inspires in her players.

Sticking with coaches, happy silver anniversary to one of the greats:

There is a very high chance that the single coach I’ve watched most often is Sasho Cirovski. I’ve been watching his Maryland teams since at least 1994, and with years on campus going to games for free, it’s pretty much a lock. Also, another reminder of my age and how much time has passed.

I could end with a downer here, but it looks like we’re about to start up a week of more or less ideal weather, a true rarity for this region in August. Aside from going to RFK, what’s getting you outside this weekend?