Major Link Soccer: Southsiders Fight Racism & Homophobia, Tottenham Hotspur To Play Galaxy, Red Bulls

I'm still trying to catch up to all the goings on as I spent five days on the Oregon Coast basically without internet cause the WiFi at the hotel sucked. Anyways, we've got a match tonight and it's Friday so it's all good! And if it's Friday that means it's time for Major Link Soccer!

And away we go...

Whitecaps fans to give red card to racism, homophobia
"We’re going to hold them up right after the anthem," Southsiders president Chris Deal said Thursday. "We’re against any kind of racist or homophobic remarks. We’re totally against that and this is our statement to say ’let’s stamp it out.’ " The cards will be held until the opening kickoff.

This action isn't confined to the Southsiders, in fact many supporter groups (to include Gorilla FC, North End Faithful and Eastside Supporters) will be participating in a coordinated effort to help stamp out racism.

Impact ready for first MLS outdoor game in road test against Columbus - Winnipeg Free Press
The summerlike conditions allowed them to move training from their usual indoor facility to a municipal park to prepare for their first open air game after starting their inaugural Major League Soccer season with two matches in domed stadiums. All that was missing was a grass field to get ready for a game on the real stuff when they visit the Columbus Crew on Saturday afternoon. ''I never thought I'd play or coach in this league and see two indoor games in a row, but now it's time to play outside,'' coach Jesse Marsch said after training at the Town of Mount Royal recreation centre on Thursday.

2012 MLS Preseason Poll: Galaxy unanimous choice; Zusi & De Rosario leading Most Important Players | NASR
Finishing atop their respective conferences were the defending MLS Cup and Supporters’ Shield champion Los Angeles Galaxy and Sporting Kansas City. The Galaxy were the unanimous choice among the NASR members, receiving all 21 first-place votes in the Western Conference. Kansas City was just as clear cut of a choice as the top club in the Eastern Conference with 18 votes. The defending MLS Cup finalist Houston Dynamo received the three other first-place votes as they finished second in the poll.

TV Rating for MLS on NBC Increases in Week 2 - MLS - Yahoo! Sports
There are a few things we can take from the most recent numbers. For starters, it does appear that starting off the MLS on NBC Sports programming on the same day as NCAA college basketball Selection Sunday may have been a mistake. If nothing else, perhaps the station should have aired the RBNY-FC Dallas game after the full brackets were announced by CBS and ESPN. Also, we now know that MLS on NBC doesn't need "big name stars" such as Thierry Henry, Rafael Marquez, Juan Agudelo and Brek Shea in order to pull in the (reportedly) desired 100,000 weekly viewers. MLS fans would have no problem watching Philly host a Colorado side that is, after this past weekend, 2-0. Casual sports fans who know little-to-nothing about the league, however, may not be able to name more than two players participating in that game.

Former Cal Poly soccer star Burgos signs with Toronto FC | KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo
"Burgos is a player that has many qualities we like and he can play our style of football," Toronto FC manager and technical director Aron Winter said in a statement released by the club. "He did well during the preseason and we felt he can add depth and quality to our midfield."

More talk on Michael Ballack, and a lesson in MLS geography | ProSoccerTalk
But Ballack could still land in MLS – assuming he understands his geography. In my head, I’m seeing some representation arm flunky, standing before Ballack and pointing, one by one, to a wall map of 16 MLS markets not near the "Big Apple" or "Southland."

Soccer By Ives: Tottenham to face Galaxy, Red Bulls
"The Club is proud of its reputation for playing entertaining soccer and we believe this attacking style is responsible for the significant rise in the number of fans across the USA in recent years," Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy said in a club statement. "This tour presents us with a great opportunity to give something back to those fans and also introduce new supporters to the Tottenham Hotspur way of playing soccer."

The Throw-In: "Sexy football" makes it to MLS after all | MLSsoccer.com
Ruud Gullit had it right all along: Sexy football is what the people want. Of course, the Dutch legend – who coined the term 16 years ago – never actually uttered the phrase during his easily forgotten tenure in Major League Soccer. (Maybe we media types should take some blame there.) But even more ironically, his old LA Galaxy aren’t playing sexy football, either.

They may have the stars, but it’s the non-sexy teams – or at least the ones from non-sexy markets – who are off and running early in the 2012 season with the kind of up-tempo, pass-happy football that should be making the highlight reels. Case in point are the undefeated Colorado Rapids who, at 2-0-0, are off to arguably the most surprising start in the entire league. Oscar Pareja hasn’t reinvented the wheel in Commerce City, but he has revamped much of the roster around some of the old reliable parts. And thus far, the Rapids have been a joy to watch.

OptaJack: Who's the real No. 10, Ballack or Ireland? | MLSsoccer.com
It turns out that over the last five European seasons, the 25-year-old Irishman has outdone the 35-year-old German when it comes to creating scoring chances on a more frequent basis (Table 1). However, Ballack gets shots off more regularly (Table 2). When it comes to goals and assists, neither has produced much of late. Ballack has two goals and two assists over the last two European seasons with Bayer Leverkusen (31 matches / 2,212 minutes), while Ireland hasn't done much better. With Aston Villa and Newcastle United, he has one goal and two assists (28 matches / 1,436 minutes).

MLS: Singh adds to local flavor - Soccer Blog - ESPN Los Angeles
Sporting Kansas City on Monday signed supplemental draft pick Shawn Singh, boosting UCLA's presence in Major League Soccer and adding to the 53 local players already on rosters. Singh, a left back from Bakersfield, is the fourth Bruin rookie in MLS this season, joining Philadelphia's Chandler Hoffman, Seattle's Andy Rose and New England's Kelyn Rowe.

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