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D.C. United vs. Orlando City, further World Cup qualifying reactions, and more: Freedom Kicks for 9/8/2017

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The Black-and-Red are back at it, while the USWNT announced a roster for next week

I gave myself an hour to think of an introduction for this post, and nothing came to me. As such, this explanation of a failed process is the intro. I’m sorry.

Let’s start with Ben Olsen summing up the job in front of D.C. United, who “need to win a bunch of games” to

#DCxSE: All Welcome, All United | Screaming-Eagles.com
I missed last night’s shindig for boring reasons, but I’m digging some of this gear. Might be buying myself a hat at the very least. Also, you’ll probably notice some familiar faces from the stands.

Final note, especially for the DCU Olds like myself who saw MLS in the 1990s (or hell, even a decade after that era)...doesn’t seeing stuff like this kind of blow your mind? A clothing line involving a supporters’ group back in those days was as likely as United spending $3+ million on a player, or moving into a new stadium inside the District. We’ve come a long way, friends.

Hurricane Irma could strand Orlando City in Washington D.C. | Orlando Sentinel
If you see Orlando City players around the District on Sunday or Monday, here’s why: they might be stuck in the area after tomorrow’s game.

PawedCast Episode 102: Rachel Hill Interview, Revs Rewind, D.C. Preview, Pride, OCB, USMNT, and More | The Mane Land
If you want a preview of that game from the Orlando perspective, as well as some info on where the Lions are coming from (last week’s miserable 4-0 loss to New England), this will sort you out.

Washington Spirit’s Mallory Pugh called up for USWNT duty | Black and Red United
The USWNT plays New Zealand a week from today in Colorado, and then again on the following Tuesday.

The World According to Weimer: Hats Off to a Teammate | Empire of Soccer
Former Spirit winger Tiffany Weimer wrote this tribute to former Spirit defensive midfielder Angela Salem, who is now her roommate in Boston. The Breakers are basically the Ghost of Spirits Past. Yes, “Ghost of Spirits,” I’m sticking with it.

War. Murder. Orphanhood. This is the story of KC’s newest soccer star | Kansas City Star
Gerso Fernandes has been through a lot to get from Guinea-Bissau to Kansas City. Here’s an in-depth profile on that journey.

Armchair Analyst: Yes, missing the World Cup would be awful for US soccer | MLSsoccer.com
Matt Doyle here with a needed takedown of a very dumb idea that has suddenly come up. The thought that missing the World Cup is a needed shock to the system involves a wild amount of magical thinking, and the idea of chasing off bandwagon fans (saw this come up several times over the last couple days) is wrong-headed and immature. Take it from someone who was there when the bandwagon didn’t exist: things are a lot better now.

The Truth About USA's Uneven, Disappointing World Cup Qualifying Campaign | Sports Illustrated
Brian Straus’s piece is exactly what the title promises.

The Syrian national soccer team shows why you can’t separate politics from sports | SB Nation
People got very excited about Syria’s last-gasp goal to stay alive in World Cup qualifying, but it’s impossible to see it as just a goal in a soccer game.

That’ll do it. Be weird this weekend. Here’s your inspiration: