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D.C. United vs. Chicago Fire, MLS playoffs, and more: Freedom Kicks for 10/26/2018

Democracy fails Wayne Rooney, while FIFA and UEFA may tear each other apart

We’re a couple of days away from D.C. United finishing this bizarre but ultimately fun regular season, and a week from now we’ll either be prepping for another MLS playoff game or mourning the too-early end of this wild run. We’ve been covering the whole season, and I can still scarcely believe any of this is happening.

Hamid helping end domestic violence | Beyond the Stand pres. by Wells Fargo |
Let’s start off with Bill Hamid talking to D.C. high school students and walking the catwalk for Becky’s Fund, a charity aiming to end domestic violence. Blink and you’ll miss Joanna Lohman, who was part of the same fashion show event along with Washington Spirit teammate Estelle Johnson.

Remember when there was only one active United podcast? Well, fortunately that’s no longer the case. The triumphant return of Pitch Pass takes us up to four podcasts covering the team. What a difference a year makes, right?

A Wishlist For The End Of The Season | Hot Time in Old Town
We’ve been in the same situation the Chicago Fire are in more than once. Find out who they want to see starting in goal, and a surprise up top.

D.C. United eyes home-field advantage in MLS playoff opener | Washington Post Express
“ far we can go in the postseason.” Not “hey, we got in!” What a time to be alive.

Winning 11: Who do MLS fans think makes the 2018 playoffs? Wins the Shield? |
If the voters in this poll are correct, United would host the Philadelphia Union in the knockout round. Which is not ideal, but “host” is probably the key word in that whole sentence.

Victor Rodriguez’s over-the-shoulder volley was better than Wayne Rooney’s free kick | Sounder at Heart
It wasn’t, but voters make mistakes all the time. I guess Wayne Rooney will just have to score an even better goal now.

Arriola finds confidence just in time for playoffs | Washington Times
Paul Arriola was aiming for a 10 goal/10 assist season. He’s not quite going to make it, barring one of the great performances in MLS history against Chicago, but it speaks to who he is that he set that goal for himself.

Speaking of scoring 10 goals, let’s hope Yamil Asad gets on the board Sunday:

The Wizards Keep Getting Outrebounded | Washington City Paper
The headline is about the Washington Wizards, but the article leads off by talking about Luciano Acosta and how good he is. Which, it’s true, he’s good!

Scoring A Goal For The GLBT Community | Lavender Magazine
Former United midfielder Collin Martin talks about being the only openly gay male athlete in a major team sport, and also notes that Amos Magee played a significant role in his move up to Minnesota United.

Sydney FC Down Wanderers In W-League Season Opener |
Spirit goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe got her W-League season off to a good start, as her Sydney FC side posted a shutout against their city rivals Western Sydney Wanderers.

Thorns Down Under: W-League preview | Stumptown Footy
If you want to know more about the W-League, few people in the US know more about it than Tyler Nguyen.

Football at war with itself: Why the upcoming FIFA council could change the game forever
A convoluted and seemingly minor clash over which preposterous summer club tournament to support could end up having a major, long-term impact on FIFA and UEFA. Please note that no one seems interested in letting players rest so they can, you know, play soccer well.

Let’s finish up with the day’s big news: Robyn is releasing her first album since 2010. Since she released “Missing U,” United’s form has turned around. Since she released “Honey” (the song, not the album), United has won 5 straight. What happens when she puts out a whole album?