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MLS Playoffs begin, Brandon Vincent retires, and more: Freedom Kicks for October 31, 2018

Let the playoffs begin!

Happy Halloween everyone, and it’s officially MLS Playoff time! The playoffs kick off tonight with two games: New York City FC versus the Philadelphia Union (7:00pm, FS1, UniMas) and FC Dallas hosting the Portland Timbers (9:30pm, UniMas, ESPN+). So, before we settle in, here’s some news:

Chicago Fire’s Brandon Vincent, 24, announces retirement | MLS

Some surprising news yesterday as Brandon Vincent announced his retirement from the Chicago Fire and MLS at the young age of 24. Best of luck to him in his future endeavors.

Wayne Rooney: DC United striker talks life in the USA, Everton and Mourinho | BBC

Wayne Rooney discusses life with D.C. United and in the United States, and says that MLS is a better league than he expected. He hopes to keep this train rolling tomorrow night against Columbus Crew SC.

The 5 games that defined D.C. United’s 2018 season | Black & Red United

The match against Orlando City is easily my pick for the match that defined this sesaon. What’s yours?

River Plate rally, endure 14-minute injury time to beat Gremio for Copa Libertadores final | ESPNFC

This match was WILD. A late VAR penalty was called that led to a second yellow for a Gremio player, and then that player proceeds to try and attack the ref, leading to a scrum that lasts several minutes. 14 minutes of stoppage time later, the defending Copa Libertadores champions are done, and Marcelo Gallardo’s River Plate heads to the final on away goals. It’s possible the final could be a Superclásico, as Boca Juniors have a 2-0 edge over Palmeiras in the 2nd semifinal.

D.C. United’s Luciano Acosta was upset and frustrated. Then Wayne Rooney arrived. | Washington Post

Luciano Acosta was about to ask to leave D.C. United. Then Wayne Rooney arrived and changed everything. A remarkable turnaround for one of the guys that has been the catalyst behind this incredible late-season run.

Reports: Martinez the new front runner for Real Madrid job | NBC Sports

Apparently, Roberto Martinez is now a candidate to replace Julen Lopetegui as the permanent Real Madrid head coach. Let’s see what actually happens there, because right now it’s silly season all over again.

Enjoy the Halloween Wednesday, everyone. Hit the comments with any other news that was important to share.