Major Link Soccer: Bob Bradley's Big Egyptian Adventure, Life For US Players In Mexico, Deuce Scores A Treble

Herculez Gomez lives in one of Mexico's Top 10 Most Violent Cities where he plays for Santos Laguna.

Grant Wahl did a very interesting story about US players that are playing south of the border: DeMarcus Beasley, Herculez Gomez and Marcus Vidal. We hear all the time about US players abroad, but not quite like this. Beasley has had to pay off Puebla P.D. just so they wouldn't confiscate his driver's license, or the time when the Mexican Government seized the home stadium of the team he's been playing for.

Then there's the part about getting paid.

"We haven't gotten paid for December," he tells SI.com. "We don't know when that's going to happen, don't know if it's going to happen."

Then there's Herculez Gomez who had to think long and hard about joining Santos Laguna. The city in which they're based is one of the top 10 most violent cities in Mexico.

"As great as the team is here, I knew what I was getting into. In my first week here I thought it was almost a ghost town at night. People aren't really on the streets at night, and for good reason. There's a lot of worry here with everything going on. So far I haven't felt unsafe, but I also don't turn the TV on," owing to some of the graphic violence shown on local news programs.

The whole thing is well worth the read, and for me it was an eye-opener in some aspects.

When the Vancouver Whitecaps signed the MLS's first ever African Designated Player (not counting Blaise Nkufo, who was born in Africa but played for the Swiss national team), a lot of us shook our heads. And now it seems that the skepticism was justified, as the Jarju experiment has been brought to an end north of the border. He came in with high expectations that he didn't live up to as he had no goals or assists in 10 games last season. Before camp started the 'Caps had mentioned he would be in camp, but they apparently changed their minds.

After the US's loss to Mexico in the CONCACAF Gold Cup finals, everyone knew that Bob Bradley wasn't going to be the head coach much longer. Sure enough, he was told to pack up his sweat pants and whistle. Where exactly did end up? Cairo, Egypt. As the head coach for the Egyptian National team. It's been quite the adventure so far, as Bob's sole duty is to get the his squad into the World Cup.

"Everywhere you go, every person you meet, this is the dream," Bradley explains to Goal.com in a phone interview. "That's what brings you here, the idea that we will work and do everything we can to make that happen."

The red-headed step children to the south of us, are getting a new state-of-the-art training facility. Though the Portland Timbers wont be able to actually use it until April, according to owner Merrit Paulson this puts them right up there in terms of training facilities in MLS.

"This is one of the nicer training facilities in the league and will set us apart a bit," said Merritt Paulson, owner of the Timbers. "Some teams have great training facilities and I'd put (ours) in the top group."

It seems that more lesser known US players who are plying their trade overseas are coming to the MLS. Defender Jonathan Borrajo left his club (Norwegian Adeccoligaen) to join RBNY, midfielder MIchael Thomas left his Swedish league club to join Sporting Kansas City and now it's goa keeper Jeremy Vuolo who will leave Finland to join the Red Bulls.

One of the things that LA Galaxy midfielder David Beckham wants to do is to play in the Olympic Summer Games held in London. According to reports, both his coach Bruce Arena and the owners of the Galaxy are on board with this. Becks has never played in the Olympics, and would like to do so.

"It's huge for me," Beckham, 36, told Reuters. "To have the Olympics in the East End of London, a part of London where I grew up, is very special. So I would love to be a part of that, and hopefully I will be."

The MLS will be in full swing during the Summer Games while most European leagues are on their short summer off-season. This year will also be the first time since he joined the Galaxy that he will be with the team at the start of their training camp.

If you haven't heard already, USMNT player and Fulham midfielder Clint Dempsey set a new record in the Premier League by netting a hat trick. He's the first US born player to do so in England's top flight.

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