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USMNT vs. Costa Rica, Dynamo help Hurricane Harvey relief, and more: Freedom Kicks for 9/1/2017

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World Cup qualifying, transfer rumors, and a large turtle playing whack-a-mole

As per usual, I’m getting to this quite late. After the last two days had wiped me out, I only just managed to make the chili I bought stuff for Monday as I wrote this. So during USMNT vs. Costa Rica, I’ll be eating a big ol’ bowl of it with skillet cornbread, and a beer or three. Heaven help anyone who tries to stop me. I need this.

USA vs. Costa Rica, 2018 World Cup Qualifying: What to watch for | Stars and Stripes FC
This is a huge game for the United States. We’ll have more USMNT coverage later this morning, so in the meantime, here’s a more extensive preview. This game kicks off weirdly early, so prepare your hasty exit from work so you can get to a TV in time.

Sounders in good position to make playoffs | Sounder at Heart
Bad news for D.C. United, whose remaining schedule is the most difficult when you look at points-per-game. Even with 1,000 simulations of the rest of the season, United didn’t make the playoffs once.

On the other hand, only one team has a longer currently active winning streak in MLS, so screw you math.

Last night, the good folks from Follow Your Spirit were kind enough to have me on to discuss the last two Washington Spirit games, their absolutely horrific luck with severe injuries, and Saturday’s trip west to take on the Portland Thorns.

Seattle Reign acquire Australian goalkeeper Lydia Williams | Ride of the Valkyries
The NWSL roster freeze came and went, which means Laura Harvey had to make a move. It’s a bit of an odd one, as Williams is a capable starter coming to a team with Haley Kopmeyer, comfortably in the upper half of starting GKs in the league.

Maryland women’s soccer beats Richmond, 1-0, in double overtime | Testudo Times
Last year was a tough one for Maryland’s women’s side, but they’re 4W-1D-0L in 2017. Not only did they win via a last-minute goal, but their game included this spectacle:

Jon Patricof: NYCFC stadium will most likely be in the Bronx or Queens; nobody wants Belmont | Hudson River Blue
With United moving to new digs and the Revs showing absolutely no ambition to move out of Gillette Stadium, the most urgent MLS stadium saga is NYCFC’s. Recently, their club president explained a few things, including scheduling a game over 100 miles from their normal home at Yankee Stadium.

The business side of Columbus Crew SC: Andy Loughnane talks in depth with Massive Report | Massive Report
Interesting perspective on ticket sales and sponsorships from the Columbus Crew’s president of business operations.

FC Dallas Turns Down Combined $5 Million Offer for Maxi Urruti and Michael Barrios from San Lorenzo | FCDallas.com
Speaking of MLS clubs making progress in terms of being more open and transparent with fans, here’s FC Dallas club president Dan Hunt explaining what went on with the recent transfer rumors surrounding Maximiliano Urruti and Michael Barrios.

The Houston Dynamo and Houston Dash have been forced to leave Houston for the time being due to Hurricane Harvey. The Dash’s upcoming game against the Seattle Reign will take place at Toyota Stadium, where evacuees can attend for free:

Houston Dynamo, Dash and MLS pledge a combined $1 million to hurricane relief efforts | HoustonDynamo.com
Staying with Houston, this is a nice gesture to help the attempt to help Space City and the surrounding region rebuild.

Houston Dynamo turn stadium into hurricane relief hub | Howler
This brings up a thoughtful angle on the Dynamo’s relief efforts. They’re commendable, of course, but as a team that benefited from public funding to build their stadium - hey, like United! - they’re also in the public’s debt. Of course, the ideal situation is no further disasters like Harvey, but if one should befall our region, I would hope the Black-and-Red step up in the same way.

Abandoned States: Places In Idyllic 1960s Postcards Have Transformed Into Scenes Of Abandonment | DCist
You probably know Pablo Maurer’s work covering United and MLS, but he’s also got a pretty sharp eye behind a camera. Here’s a collection of shots he took at abandoned Poconos resorts, contrasted with how they looked in their heyday.

That’ll do it for me. It’s Friday, embrace your freedom!