Major Link Soccer: Stretttch Edition

Otto Greule Jr - Getty Images

Lollipops and rainbows for everybody.

It is funny how much simply winning can change one's perspective on how a season is going. A week ago, certain factions of the Sounders fan base (namely myself) were panicking, afraid for their playoff chances. Now, after beating a floundering (intentional) rival particularly down on its luck lately, everything is coming up sunshine, lollipops and rainbows. Which is ironic, because the forecast says the sunshine is heading south for the winter, likely on the same flight as our US National Team hero, Eddie Johnson.

While Johnson is gone, David Estrada is making a push to fill his spot and add to his five goals before losing five months with a broken foot. Another potential fill-in is Brad Evans, but he would just as soon be flying south with Johnson to join the national team.

Supposedly Michael Tetteh was on loan with the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers. But he's back now, and Tetteh isn't bullish on his prospects with the Sounders in the future.

After a few weeks of "surviving" training, Marcus Hahnemann is finally in good enough shape to talk to the media about his new gig. That might sound harsh, but Hahnemann will be the first to tell you that he has been sitting on his couch, eating (GASP) CHIPS since he discovered retirement, and before he was cruelly yanked away from said retirement.

If you're trying to find the Sounders game on television Wednesday, and find something wrong on KONG, hopefully this link will remind you that the game has been moved to NBC Sports. But don't fret! Because According to the link, our beloved Ross Fletcher and Kasey Keller will still be on the call! Man, we can't even hold onto our broadcasters for more than a year before they get called up to the big time!

Seems that Portland has finally decided to abandon their child-sized pitch (seriously, it's nearly the same size as the fields my grade-school sister plays on). They'll be partaking in a massive minor nigh worthless expansion of four yards width to a 110 x 74, apparently at the behest of future coach Caleb Porter. Even after the widening, Jeld-Wen's Field will still be the smallest pitch in MLS.

Throw the term "Soccer Specific Stadium" out the window, and it's clear that Centurylink Field is one of the top stadium situations in Major League Soccer. While this article doesn't grade teams strictly on the buildings themselves, Royal Brougham Park takes the top spot in Stadium Journey's ranking of all MLS stadia.

New York's Red Bulls are in prime position for a playoff spot, despite a recent run of poor play. But sounds like it doesn't matter, because Hans Backe is reportedly out at the end of the year. It doesn't seem to be clear where it is more at the behest of Backe or the club, but that doesn't change the level of craziness being demonstrated. Maybe they are feeling some pressure from the not-so-eminent arrival of NY2, which slowly seems to become more and more concrete. The league is looking at starting construction in Queens in 2014, with the so far unnamed (come on, we all know it'll be the Cosmos) club playing their inaugural season in 2016.

Far more sad yet just as crazy, a Red Bulls youth coach was stabbed to death in New York.

Seattle's tifo this past weekend was cool, but River Plate seems to have set a Guinness world record with a single banner that stretches several miles. This is a great example of how soccer can be an integral part of a city's identity.

Anyone surprised that Sounders ownership isn't content with Microsoft's Xbox jersey deal should look at the numbers coming out for shirt sponsorships in Europe, and what such deals can mean for a team's bottom line. Not that money is an issue for the Sounders, but Barcelona's deal is worth more than Seattle's entire roster.

Grant Wahl is no longer content with being the best journalist in American Soccer, and is now looking to commandeer the broadcasting world, signing a new deal with Fox Soccer Channel.

Times are tough for Chicago's finest. When you say you are "Chicago Fire", you are now either A) a soccer player, B) an actor, or C) an actual firefighter.

Not a soccer thing, but Seattle Sports legend Cortez Kennedy will have his number retired on Sunday afternoon at halftime of the Seattle Seahawks game. Congratulations big fella.

Here's your goals from week 31.

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