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D.C. United vs. Philadelphia Union, Washington Spirit vs. Chicago Red Stars, and more: Freedom Kicks for 4/27/2018

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Keeping it fairly local today as our teams have two big games tomorrow

Naturally I chose to write this after the Washington Capitals did what they do rather than before, so let’s just get to the non-hockey words so I can go have a second round of tequila.

US prospect, DC United Homegrown Chris Durkin rapidly climbing the ranks | MLSsoccer.com
Let’s start with a look at D.C. United’s Chris Durkin, who is virtually certain to get a third start tomorrow against the Philadelphia Union.

Curtin sticking with offense, has decisions to make on back line for D.C. United | The Brotherly Game
Jim Curtin addressed questions about potential changes to his offense as well as the fitness of players like Jack Elliott and Fabinho.

Washington Spirit to face Portland Thorns at Audi Field on August 25 | Black and Red United
Yesterday’s feel-good story for sure.

Chile Secure First-Ever Women’s World Cup Qualification While Inspiring A Nation | The18.com
Yanara Aedo ended up being the top scorer for Chile as they sealed their spot at France 2019 last week.

By The Numbers: Top Washington Spirit stats to know ahead of #WASvCHI | WashingtonSpirit.com
The numbers continue to point to the Spirit being the team to watch if you want lots of goals at both ends.

Sam Kerr Officially Joins Red Stars Roster | Hot Time in Old Town
Last week it was Tobin Heath returning for Portland. This week, the best player on the planet is suiting up against the Spirit, as Sam Kerr will make her Chicago Red Stars debut now that Australia is done with the AFC Asian Women’s Cup.

Another painful Champions League for MLS | USsoccerplayers.com
The aftermath of Toronto FC’s penalty kick loss in the CCL final will be playing out for some time.

Before the Dawn: Toronto FC must take solace in remarkable CCL run | Waking the Red
Over at WtR, they’re down, but they’re not out.

Bradley’s missed penalty not a true reflection of Toronto FC’s campaign | ESPNFC
The dual nature of TFC’s loss — this was MLS’s best CCL run, but it featured some brutal mistakes nonetheless — is underlined here. Aside from the conclusion that Michael Bradley shouldn’t put his hand up for PKs any time soon, the interesting thing here is whether Toronto bounces back and takes their frustrations out on MLS, or if they pull an RSL and go into a funk because of how much they invested emotionally into pursuing continental glory.

For United’s sake, let’s hope it’s the latter at least long enough to get that trip to BMO Field out of the way.

Report: European teams still chasing Miguel Almirón | Dirty South Soccer
Miguel Almiron is with Atlanta as part of a pretty clear strategy: spend big, get big results, and then sell for even more. Once European clubs meet ATL’s asking price (think something in the $15-20 million range), these rumors will start to get real.

Houston Dynamo sign Adam Lundqvist | Dynamo Theory
The Houston Dynamo were said to be happy with Dylan Remick as the eventual successor for DaMarcus Beasley, but here they are spending TAM on a 24-year-old Swedish international left back. I wouldn’t be entirely surprised if Remick ends up being moved via trade, because he’s pretty solid. Teams like Minnesota should be making that call now rather than waiting for the summer window.

Wenger at Nagoya Grampus Eight: how Arsene rediscovered his greatest love in Japan | FourFourTwo
I’ve always enjoyed the fact that Arsenal signed Arsene Wenger after he spent time coaching Nagoya Grampus Eight. Things were a little different in the early 90s.

Countdown continues: NCAA tables clock change proposal | The Brotherly Game
The NCAA was unwilling to consider even the most modest change to its weird rules for soccer, which is a reminder that the NCAA is a profoundly silly organization.

Look, now is as good a time as any to talk about the ending of The Thing | AV Club
It is always a good time to discuss The Thing. Having a Kurt Russell-related link is a Friday FKs tradition that is not going anywhere.

That’ll do it for me. Hope to see you folks in Philly tomorrow!