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D.C. United vs. Montreal Impact, NWSL attendance up, and more: Freedom Kicks for 9/28/2018

It’s only the biggest game of the season, no biggie

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We’re about 36 hours from D.C. United’s biggest game in forever. Hope you’re feeling ready for it. We’ll have some updates from training and a look at United’s other big games in 2018, but first up let’s start the day off like we usually do:

D.C. United Day! Montreal Impact Preview With Matt Doyle and Paul Arriola | Sphere of Roche
The latest episode of Sphere of Roche is a good one.

DC United’s Ben Olsen: We’ve won with our backs against the wall |
There’s a note in here that feels significant: these teams met about 7 weeks ago, and yet both are significantly different.

Pressure? Bring it on |
The Impact are feeling confident, and it’s hard to blame them. This team started the season with 10 losses in their first 13 games, but are still in the playoff places based on their form since turning things around in June.

Five things to know about the NWSL U.S. Soccer C License |
I’m gonna spoil one of the things, which is that apparently this wouldn’t have been possible without some anonymous donors putting up the money. Which...those people are great and I’m glad they did it, but the USSF can fund this course several times over without feeling it on any financial report. Why are we having this sort of important initiative funded by donors when US Soccer is doing so well financially? To quote Taylor Twellman, what are we doing?

Utah Royals and NWSL take step in advancing coaches in the women’s game | FanSided
Here’s more on the course from Jordan Small, who points out that the current NWSL coaching pool feels very much like a revolving door at the moment.

National Women’s Soccer League averaged over 6,000 fans per game for first time in 2018 | The Oregonian
This is overall good news. The Spirit’s attendance grew by over 11% in their worst-ever season, which is a big plus. Sure, they got the boost of nearly 8,000 people at Audi Field, but the Spirit had enough games that ended up delayed, postponed, or played in horrible weather that the other folks in United’s press box have offered their sympathies to me multiple times.

Sam Kerr is one of “The Best,” but FIFA (and most of its voters) don’t seem to know that | The Athletic
Sam Kerr is, NWSL semifinal aside, the best striker in the women’s game. She plays for one of the few teams with a real shot at winning next year’s World Cup. And yet, it appears that no one involved in FIFA’s vote has heard of her outside of US and Australian-based fans yelling (for good reason) on Twitter.

How ‘The Thing’ Is Perfectly Designed to Scare You | Film School Rejects
I haven’t brought up Kurt Russell in a while, so here I am, bringing up Kurt Russell. Watch The Thing, even if you’ve seen it before.

That’s it for me. Go hard this weekend in the stands, we’re gonna need it.