Major Link Soccer: NY2, VSI Tampa, Verdu, Sounders Combine & 2012 Recapped

Joan Verdu is happy with this team, for now. - Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno

A selection of news we think you should know.

Expansion is always a hot topic in Major League Soccer circles. Now, it seems like Queens is going to be #20, but not so fast. Brooklyn wants the league too. No, Really. There were reports that Manchester City was awarded that precious NY2. Those reports are now denied. What wasn't denied was that the owner of Man City would be buying a team.

There is also the odd plan in Tampa that claims that they will be building a 28,000 seat soccer stadium but don't need an MLS team or public money to make the 700M$ project worthwhile. They are looking to be funded by charities. Now, the law allows that so that charities can make a profit and funnel that money into their programs, but what charities want to finance a stadium that will be used for a couple of friendlies?

One time Seattle Sounders transfer target Joan Verdu is very clear in Spanish media. He may leave over the Summer, but he is not talking about or to anyone right now. His loyalty to his current club can not be doubted. His club is also quite awful at this time.

Seattle's plans for 2013 continued with their Vegas Combine over the weekend. As usual word of which players were there filtered out over social media and SSFC-Rumors compiled this list with several players who hope to wear the Rave Green.

MLSSoccer.com reviewed the Sounders' 2012 season. The health and potent passes of Mauro Rosales get attention in the Opta Spotlight. Armchair Analyst points out that it is a change season for the club, or maybe not. It just depends on what your perspective is. Some dude named Oshan presents a Q&A with Sigi Schmid as well.

Seattle's limited partners with the SoundersU23 and Sounders Women both won team awards at the USL annual meetings. Good on them, but 2013 will present new challenges for both.

Could Portland stop trying to get better please? It now looks likely that they will be getting Mixx Diskerud.

In today's edition of "Sit-Com or Soccer in a non-Soccer Power" we travel to Trinidad & Tobago. There the national team is coached by two people at the same time. Each with a unique past and an odd present day T&T now looks to return to the strongish Caribbean soccer nation they once were.

This may be about the truthfulness of Twitter, but it also applies to judging the veracity of transfer rumors.

The machine-learning system uses a number of parameters based on prior research which found typical signifiers that a tweet might contain valid information — for example, if it comes from an account with a lot of followers, if it contains a link, or if it's negative in tone, it's more likely to be true.

Lastly, I want to personally thank Brian over at IMS who is hanging up his blogging boots. We started at about the same time. He just happens to be the absolute best at covering the lower divisions of soccer in the USA and Canada. His original reporting and analysis about the NASL and USL will be sorely missed. Thank you for your four years and I hope this is just temporary. American soccer needs voices like yours Brian.

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