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2018 World Cup, a bonkers D.C. United game, and more: Freedom Kicks for 6/14/2018

An avalanche of links before Russia vs. Saudi Arabia gets going

Hey guys! The World Cup is here! And in eight years there will be a World Cup here! And D.C. United tied on the road against Toronto! And even better (not really lol) here are a ton of articles to get you up to speed on all this craziness.

What the hell just happened between D.C. United and Toronto FC? | Black and Red United
What the hell?!?!?! Yeah!

D.C. United throw away big lead, settle for 4-4 tie against Toronto FC | Black and Red United
Here’s our actual, more composed recap of last night’s deeply weird game.

D.C. United Is About To Get A New Home. Is The Team Ready For Its Close-Up? | DCist
Before last night’s game, the major talking point in DCU world was Pablo Maurer’s piece, which includes some frustrating notes about United’s new home.

OK, World Cup time!

World Cup 2018: Hosts Russia will take on Uruguay in Group A |
A preview of Group A ahead of today’s opener between Russia and Saudi Arabia.

World Cup 2018: Russia v Saudi Arabia | BBC Sport
And a preview of today’s game.

Russia face tall order as hosts but have easier group stage than most | ESPN
A preview of Russia...

Saudi Arabia’s squad, new coach might struggle to come together | ESPN
... and of Saudi Arabia.

World Cup 2018: Everything you need to know in seven charts | BBC Sport
Yay pretty things!

Printable bracket for World Cup | CBS
In case brackets are your thing...

Welcome to the Alternative 2018 World Cup Fans’ Guide | ESPN
A guide to the non-soccer aspects of this year’s tournament.

2018 World Cup: 10 players you could fall in love with this summer |
The under the radar players of this World Cup.

How seven World Cup squads have prepared during Ramadan | The Guardian
Ramadan ends soon but here's how it's affecting things for teams with observant Muslim players.

If You’re Afraid of Heights but Going to the World Cup, Don’t Sit Here | The New York Times
This photo is terrifying.

World Cup 2018: complete guide to all 736 players | The Guardian
If you really need to know everything you can, this is the article for you.

US, Canada and Mexico beat Morocco in vote to host 2026 World Cup | The Guardian
It’s coming!!

World Cup 2026: United States, Canada and Mexico Win Bid to Be Host - The New York Times

Three hosts, 48 teams: how the 2026 World Cup will work | The Guardian
And how that World Cup will work.

World Cup 2026: How Each Country Voted - The New York Times
A breakdown of who chose the United bid over Morocco.

Which venues could host games for 2026 World Cup held in U.S., Mexico and Canada? | ESPN
Who’s going to host in 2026? We don’t know.

World Cup 2026: Will USA, Canada, or Mexico get auto bid? |
How auto qualification works with three hosts. Spoiler alert... we don’t know this either.

Anger and ethics at heart of Spain’s decision to sack Julen Lopetegui | The Guardian
Spain’s coach is out in a super shocking move.

OFFICIAL: Spain sack Lopetegui | Managing Madrid
Julen Lopetegui had already signed with Real Madrid for next season, opening the door for this stunner.

USA vs China friendlies: 3 things we learned | Stars and Stripes FC
Lessons from the pair of USWNT friendlies against China.

Three Thoughts on the U.S. women’s 2-1 win over China | American Soccer Now
And John Halloran’s thoughts on the same.

This is absolutely exhausting and on that note, enjoy today!