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2018 World Cup, Meghan Klingenberg suspended by NWSL, and more: Freedom Kicks for 7/6/2018

Go-karts, unpunished fouls, and dinosaurs sprinkled amid today’s quarterfinal games

It looks like today’s going to be pretty stormy, but it also looks like the front is going to break this brutal hot spell and give us a lovely weekend. I don’t know what else to tell you, the sun just rose and we should just get to the links so I can go get some coffee.

Getting to Audi Field |
The basics of how to get to D.C. United’s new home, which opens in just 8 days. It’s hard to believe.

Summit Point Kart brings RFK Stadium campus up to speed | Washington Business Journal
It’s not guaranteed, but apparently the company behind the go-kart track that has been built in Lot 8 wants to stick around for years. Sounds like fun, but also sounds like it’s out of my price range.

Kappelhof Survives Car Crash | Hot Time in Old Town
Chicago Fire center back Johan Kappelhof was in the wrong place at the wrong time, as he was in one of two different cars hit by a truck whose occupants then tried to run off. Fortunately, it sounds like he wasn’t badly injured.

FC Dallas signs left back Marquinhos Pedroso | Big D Soccer
Anton Nedyalkov left fairly recently, and FC Dallas has already splashed some TAM to replace him with Marquinhos Pedroso, who has played in the Brazilian, Turkish, and Hungarian top flights. Did you know you can spend TAM on a defender? You can! Wild, right? Like, if you were a team this past winter in need of a major defensive boost, TAM was something you could spend to sign defenders. Or now.

Houston Dynamo acquire Venezuelan forward | Dynamo Theory
Staying in Texas, the Houston Dynamo have signed Venezuela u20 attacker Ronaldo Peña to add some depth to their attack.

Goalkeeper Tyler Deric reinstated by MLS | Dynamo Theory
This is not so cool. Tyler Deric had been suspended by MLS after being arrested and charged with domestic assault (not the first such incident in his past), but as long as he meets the requirements of the diversion program he’s been placed in, the league is going to let him play. If you’re looking to boo him, you’ll have to attend a Rio Grande Valley Toros match in USL, as apparently Houston’s going to send him down there on loan.

Thorns defender Meghan Klingenberg suspended one game |
An incident in which Meghan Klingenberg was caught kicking out at Allie Long away from the ball was botched by the officiating crew, but an outcry came up after Long’s husband posted video of the play on Twitter. The NWSL Disciplinary Committee opted for a one-game suspension, which a) apparently bothered the Portland Thorns, who were only informed of disciplinary proceedings very recently instead of the normal timeframe and b) is clearly too light of a punishment.

It’s not the first time the punishment has been insufficient (the DisCo opted not to punish Ashlyn Harris for a WWE-style move earlier this year), but more alarmingly, any punishment for dangerous play is rare in the NWSL. Yellow cards usually don’t appear until an hour or more has been played, and numerous red card-worthy tackles have gone unpunished. In fact, we’re about 60% of the way through this NWSL season and no one has received a red card.

Match Preview: Utah Royals FC @ Portland Thorns FC | RSL Soapbox
Speaking of the Thorns, they host Utah Royals FC in a potentially crucial game in the race for the 3 NWSL playoff spots that are still available. The fourth has virtually been locked down by the North Carolina Courage, who are an unreal 16 points ahead of everyone else after just 16 games played. It’s also the only top-flight match being played tonight in this country, so if you’re staying in, fire up the soon-to-be-defunct go90.

One reason the Courage have been so dominant: Crystal Dunn, who remains the best attacking player in this country. Looking forward to her having to play left back again when the next USWNT friendlies take place! Just kidding it kills me inside that we don’t build the attack around her first and foremost. Anyway, she’s the NWSL player of the month.

Uruguay’s Edinson Cavani likely out of World Cup quarterfinal vs. France - sources | ESPNFC
This is probably not going to help Uruguay today against France.

Brazil vs Belgium: Superstars set to align for a World Cup classic | The Independent
Look, we might be hexing this game by hyping it up so much, but it looks for all the world like Brazil vs. Belgium could be glorious for neutrals.

The World Cup quarterfinal watchability rankings | SB Nation
I endorse this list.

In Central Virginia, Dinosaurs Still Walk the Earth | Washington City Paper
I do not endorse trips to Virginia, but if you must go there, you could do worse than the utterly bizarre Dinosaur Kingdom II.

And on that note, good luck out there today.