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Neymar to PSG, Briana Scurry to the Hall of Fame, and more: Freedom Kicks for 8/4/2017

A potential injury at Euro 2017 for the Spirit’s Sigvardsen Jensen, plus we close with some D.C. culture

I had a dream last night that reminded me of a slapstick Twin Peaks chase through the Black Lodge, except in this case I was taking back a Nintendo from a friend who insisted he just had two rather than being me running from a doppelganger of myself. And the setting was a far less stylish parking lot in Bowie, MD. But the feel was the same, and it ended with me trying to dent up a car that became my old post-college Honda Civic.

What’s that you say? No one wants to hear about other people’s dreams? Too bad!

And now, links.

Think D.C. United’s season is over? Don’t tell that to Ben Olsen. | Washington Post
On one hand, no one wants to see their team simply quit, so this from D.C. United boss Ben Olsen is good. On the other hand, I’d like to see the young players get a chance not because the season is past the point of saving, but because I think they might be better today than the veterans that keep getting the nod (or at least in a better place mentally).

Here’s a look in on practice. Anyone noticing that in recent weeks, training and bench gear seems to be more all-black than black with red? This isn’t a complaint, because a lot of it looks pretty sharp.

Denmark beat Austria in shootout to reach Women's Euro final | ESPNFC
Line Sigvardsen Jensen and Denmark will face the Netherlands in the UEFA Women’s Euro 2017 final after the Danes rode some good fortune (Austria missed a first half penalty) to defeat the Austrians in a penalty kick tiebreaker.

Unfortunately, Sigvardsen Jensen had to leave the game with what looks like a pretty bad knee injury. She got tangled up with two falling Austrian players and after a couple tests from Denmark’s training staff was immediately replaced. Here’s hoping it just looked bad, because the Washington Spirit have already seen enough severe knee injuries in the last year to last them for a solid decade.

Briana Scurry first black woman elected to National Soccer Hall of Fame | Stars and Stripes FC
I have some major problems with the National Soccer Hall of Fame, whose voters have staunchly refused to acknowledge the importance of foreign players in MLS forever. However, they got this one absolutely right. Scurry is a legend in American soccer, winning two gold medals and starting in goal for the 1999 Women’s World Cup winning USWNT.

USA looks much better in 3-0 defeat of Japan | Stars and Stripes FC
Speaking of the USWNT, Mallory Pugh scored the second goal as the US finished the Tournament of Nations with easily their strongest all-around performance. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to win the tournament itself, as Australia walloped Brazil 6-1 to give themselves 9 points. It’s not ideal to come in second, but the final half hour against Brazil and this win over the Nadeshiko indicates that maybe a corner has been turned? We can hope.

It’s worth noting that Pugh, Kelley O’Hara, and Samantha Kerr will all miss tonight’s Spirit-Sky Blue game due to this tournament. The Spirit will miss Pugh, but given that Kerr is in planet-destroying form and O’Hara really should have been on the NWSL team of the month for July, it’s probably a good trade-off.

Quebec-born and Canadian international Samuel Piette joins Impact |
Did you know the Impact were allowed to sign central midfielders under the age of 33? Apparently it’s true!

Crew SC: Higuain says he’s out after this season; Berhalter says not so fast | Columbus Dispatch
Federico Higuain seems to be ready to move on from Columbus, but not necessarily out of MLS. Of course, he also seemed sure to leave previously only to sign a new contract, so this might just be talk.

Oh, and before we move on: There are only 5 days left in the transfer window! D.C. United has made 0 (zero) signings.

Neymar to PSG: FC Barcelona confirms Brazilian star buys out his own contract | SB Nation
Up in the stratosphere, things us mere mortals can barely even conceptualize are happening. The whole Neymar transfer saga has been exhausting and I’m glad it’s over. Things didn’t go well for Barcelona, who went from trying to grab Marco Verratti to losing Neymar and throwing a huge tantrum over it in the process.

Neymar joined PSG and burned Barcelona, just like Luis Figo once did | SB Nation
The funny thing is, this has kind of happened before. This historical context, at least to me, is the most interesting thing of the whole affair.

DC’s Legendary Punk Label Dischord Makes Its Entire Music Catalog Free to Stream Online | Open Culture
This is no less than great news, and I’m taking advantage as I write this.

Finally, staying with District culture, a service for Cool “Disco” Dan is coming up on August 19th at the 9:30 Club:

I probably won’t be in town for it (planning to head to Raleigh for the Spirit’s game against the Courage that day), but hopefully some of you fine folks will be able to pay your respects.

That’s all I’ve got for you. My advice for Friday is to go get some ice cream.