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USWNT, D.C. United vs. Chicago Fire, FC Koln fans, and more: Freedom Kicks for 9/15/2017

Injury updates for the Black-and-Red and their upcoming opponent, plus the NASL’s ongoing struggles and advice on how not to treat dogs

It’s Friday, which means I’m less than two weeks away from a vacation. It also means we have a D.C. United game tomorrow, and a USWNT game tonight. Let’s start gearing up for them, and not spend our whole day thinking about sandy beaches, good company, big family-style meals, margaritas, and sunsets.

D.C. United’s Taylor Kemp likely to miss rest of MLS season | Washington Post
Steve Goff with some bad news for the Black-and-Red. It looks like Taylor Kemp will need to go under the knife, while the raw numbers of United’s forwards are listed in all their, uh, “glory.”

Fire look to avoid potential stumbling block against last-place D.C. United | Chicago Tribune
Veljko Paunovic is pushing his team hard right now, calling Saturday’s game “the most important game of the season,” which is probably just a tiny bit of an exaggeration. More importantly, injury updates: Bastian Schweinsteiger is listed as questionable (though that reads more like doubtful considering he wasn’t really training Wednesday), as is David Accam (a player Chicago cannot replace), while Michael de Leeuw is suspended due to yellow card accumulation. For a team with precious little depth in the midfield, this is kind of a big deal.

Chicago Fire's Campbell enjoying his return to starting lineup | Daily Herald
Oh yeah, and starting center back Joao Meira seems to be questionable at best, and Juninho needed treatment on Wednesday. Paunovic might need to sign himself to a player-coach deal to give the Fire 18 players.

Fire sign Tulsa defender Jorge Corrales | Hot Time In Old Town
Corrales is probably not going to factor in for the Fire this weekend, as he’s been signed from the Roughnecks but will remain there on loan for the rest of the season. This is a handy way of noting that today is the MLS roster freeze, so if there are any other players coming in for United (they’d have to be signings from within the US, since the international transfer window is closed), it’s got to be by the end of today.

FIFA approves change of national association for Sofia Huerta |
Chicago Red Stars attacker Sofia Huerta has been included in the last two USWNT camps, but couldn’t play until her change of association paperwork went through with FIFA. The Idaho native had played in official competition for Mexico at the under-20 level (as well as four friendlies for the senior team), but is now eligible to play for the United States...which is nice, because they play New Zealand tonight.

Sofia Huerta can now play for the United States | Stars and Stripes FC
More on the switch, including the challenge Huerta faces in breaking into a very deep USWNT squad on a permanent basis.

USA vs New Zealand: what to watch for and TV schedule | Stars and Stripes FC
Today’s game between the USWNT and New Zealand is more than a little odd, as the Football Ferns (yes, this is their nickname) are not exactly a sturdy challenge. At least NWSL teams, given the weekend off, aren’t having to play games without their stars?

The USWNT is powered by Colorado | Burgundy Wave
With the US playing at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, the fine folks at Burgundy Wave talked to Washington Spirit attacker and Colorado native Mallory Pugh about being back home.

Sticking with the Spirit, our friends from Follow Your Spirit talked over Sunday’s win:

Armchair Analyst: The five best MLS teams of all-time |
The 1998 edition of D.C. United - a team that featured 7 viable USMNT starters, plus Marco Etcheverry, plus Jaime Moreno 1.0 - is not at the top of this list, so it’s wrong. But still, it’s a pretty interesting topic to kick around, especially in light of what Toronto FC is doing this year. For what it’s worth, I think top 3 is probably fair for the Reds.

Pre-match crowd trouble: what we know | The Short Fuse
Arsenal hosted FC Köln, and were totally unprepared for the number of visiting fans or the energy of German supporters. It wasn’t all good from the Köln side (there’s video here of their fans trying to start fights), but they also jumped and sang and generally made more noise than Premier League fans are accustomed to seeing.

Last-Gasp Meeting to Shape Future of NASL–and U.S. Soccer's Club Landscape | Sports Illustrated
Best of luck to NASL fans waiting for the irrational owners in their league to somehow come up with a plan to stay viable after having wasted most of a year in which they were told they had to come up with a plan to stay viable. It’ll be especially difficult when you consider North Carolina FC’s MLS aspirations, FC Edmonton’s mooted switch to the Canadian Premier League once that gets going, and the business struggles present for the San Francisco Deltas.

Champion Irish greyhound tests positive for cocaine | Washington Post
Fam...can we not? I feel like this is a pretty basic “don’t” in life. Don’t give the dogs cocaine. Also, the explanation from the trainers involved are a prime example of grasping at straws.

TOKiMONSTA Lost Speaking and Musical Abilities After Brain Surgery. This Is How She Regained Them. | Pitchfork
Tokimonsta, whose music I dig, could have died if not for the early discovery of a condition called moyamoya, which involves brain arteries shrinking and can eventually result in aneurysms and/or strokes. Surgery was required, and at one point she could no longer interpret music or understand language. Scary stuff.

Since I’m talking music, I’ll leave you with this: