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World Cup 2018, D.C. United news, and more: Freedom Kicks for 6/22/2018

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Hyped for Spirit vs. Orlando, not hyped after science says there a bunch of psychos out here

I made a stir fry, but I made too much stir fry, and I ate it all, and now I feel like falling asleep for a day and a half to digest. Instead, time to push through it and share some stories worth your time (me overeating is probably not worth your time, sorry).

United’s Mattocks still feels he has more to offer | Washington Times
Darren Mattocks and Ben Olsen agree that he’s doing well with D.C. United, and that he could be doing even better. The possibility of changing formations to play both Mattocks and Wayne Rooney once that deal crosses the line is also mooted here, though you won’t be surprised to find Olsen holding his cards close to his chest.

Everton’s Wayne Rooney urged to make MLS switch by Steven Gerrard | Liverpool Echo
There are a bunch of articles like this from yesterday in the latest “development” in Rooneypalooza. Basically, Steven Gerrard says MLS is good.

Former United defender Alain Rochat is hanging up his boots:

Rochat was not thrilled to be traded to D.C., as he had set his family up in Vancouver, but he put that to the side and still gave United his all during his brief time here.

Before Wayne Rooney, D.C. Pro Soccer Welcomed the Greatest Midfielder Ever | DCist
Rooney will cost more money if United actually signs him, and the buzz will be pretty wild, but pretty much nothing is going to top the Diplomats signing Johan Cruyff.

Washington Spirit players Aubrey Bledsoe and Ashley Hatch, along with head coach Jim Gabarra, talked about what they’re working on in training ahead of tomorrow’s game against the Orlando Pride (it’s on ESPNews, you should watch):

Joanna Lohman continued her push to advocate for inclusion and equality for the LGBTQ community yesterday with a quick trip to Minnesota for a summit put on by the Vikings:

The Spirit also made a roster move yesterday that we’ll have more on later this morning. Don’t be surprised if there’s more news coming on that front.

Precourt Sports Venture and MLS’s appeal dismissed | Massive Report
Anthony Precourt’s dumb and bad attempt to move the Columbus Crew to Austin, TX took yet another L.

On to the World Cup. Here’s a quick something-or-other from each of the games:

4 quick thoughts on Christian Eriksen’s goal against Australia, which was art | SB Nation
The best part of this goal for me is Nicolai Jørgensen’s two touches to get the assist.

France beats Peru 1-0 off Mbappe goal, and Peru is out of the World Cup | SB Nation
It sucks that Peru is out, first of all. France is through, and Group C’s other spot is probably going to Denmark. Australia can only go through if they win and the Danes lose to France on Tuesday, and goal difference might come up if that latter game is high-scoring.

Croatia dismantles Lionel Messi and Argentina, wins 3-0 | SB Nation
Argentina is leading the “World Cup Debacle” standings, and their chances on going through are already in must-win territory. They have to beat Nigeria in their final game, and they probably need the Super Eagles to get a result today against Iceland as well. If Iceland wins that game, Argentina will have to make up a goal difference gap of at least 4.

France manager Didier Deschamps is robbing us of what should be the World Cup’s best team | SB Nation
Hard agree. It’s one thing if you play defensively because you’re less talented than others. France is almost preposterously talented, though, and has no excuses for being so cautious.

What is an absolute unit? Big beefy boys of the World Cup, explained | SB Nation
This is an important meditation on large lads, big fellas, and all the other giant humans running around up top at the World Cup.

Stars and Stripes FC Podcast, Episode 2: Christen Press trade, World Cup reactions | Stars and Stripes FC
S&SFC’s managing editors have started a podcast covering the big stories pertaining to our national teams. Donald Wine II you know pretty well I’m sure, and Steph Yang has written a couple of excellent stories for us, and I think you should listen to their podcast right now. Or later today, I don’t know your schedule.

Moving Pieces and Ripple Effects | Our Game Magazine
Former Spirit striker Katie Stengel wrote this piece on her experience (and the NWSL’s as a whole) after the league folded the Boston Breakers this offseason.

DC has more psychopaths than any other place in country, study finds | WJLA
Good luck out there everyone!