Major Link Soccer: Toronto FC Last MLS Team Standing, Taylor Twellman Talks Concussions & LA Galaxy Set Another Record

Welcome the start of another week! It seems that the Western Conference is picking apart the Eastern Conference in the first couple weeks of the season, could that be the trend all season? Or has the circle broken with the week's games having Eastern teams getting some home games?

Monday means it's time for Major Link Soccer!

FIFA.com - Mexican flavour again as last four line up
Mexican clubs have once again dominated proceedings in the CONCACAF Champions League, with Santos Laguna, Monterrey, and Pumas all booking their place in the semi-finals alongside surprise packages Toronto FC. Toronto are the lone Major League Soccer survivors after having defeated Los Angeles Galaxy in the quarter-finals, and will be looking to overcome a stiff test in Santos Laguna.

Meanwhile, reigning champions Monterrey open the semi-finals at home against fellow-Mexican side Pumas. The competition is rapidly nearing its end as these four teams are set to begin the penultimate round on Wednesday. FIFA.com previews all the details.

Taylor Twellman talks about Red Bulls, his career-ending concussion and more | NJ.com
Twellman has restarted, combating the head trauma that once prevented him from leaving a dark room through the same vigor with which he used to attack the goal. He started the THINKTAYLOR Foundation to raise awareness for brain injury recovery among youth and professional players.

Now ESPN's lead analyst for MLS games and the U.S. senior national team, Twellman, now 32, conversed with The Star-Ledger ahead of today’s game between the Red Bulls and Colorado Rapids. The interview has been edited and condensed for publication.

Travel Is Behind West's Early Edge in M.L.S. | NYTimes.com
"A lot of people underestimate how difficult it is when you fly five hours out west to play a game," defender Stephen Keel said Thursday during the Red Bulls’ annual media day at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J. "When the west teams start coming to the east we’ll see how it goes."

New York Red Bulls' Hans Backe has it all under control | ESPN
"I've been involved so many, many years, so I don't bother," he says in his sing-songy Swedish accent. "When I was young, I probably would have felt a little bit more nervous with the pressure and things like that. Now I know I do it my way and if that doesn't succeed, OK, then I get sacked. But if I do it my way and get sacked I have no problem with that. Because this is what I believe in."

Besides, Backe never even meant to become a coach in the first place. He fell into the profession when a friend pushed him to give it a shot after his brief playing career was over. And when you've worked in the pressure cookers of Greece, Mexico and a newly ambitious Premier League team, nothing American fans and media can throw at you is all that bad. "It's nothing, definitely a walk in the park comparing to these leagues and the pressure in England," Backe says.

Caps' resilient striker fixing flaws in game
"I was very unhappy and I even considered quitting at one point," Tan said in a translator-assisted interview Thursday. "But I thought it would be such a waste to let it go so I stuck with it." With his mother's encouragement, Tan indeed stuck with it.

CHIVAS USA: RSL is Goats' model, foe| Soccer Blog | ESPN Los Angeles
Fraser is still building his roster, and only goalkeeper Dan Kennedy, left back Ante Jazic, midfielders Blair Gavin and Ben Zemanski, and forward-turned-midfielder Alejandro Moreno have been around longer than the coach, who was hired in January 2011. Carryover of RSL's sort will take another three or four seasons. "It's all part of the process of building a team," Fraser said. "I think any of the successful teams over the years -- look at D.C. United, look at our Galaxy teams [in the league's early years], Houston/San Jose for a while -- these are teams that spent a lot of time together. It's definitely part of the key to enduring success."

Sponsorship - LA Galaxy Set MLS Record | World Football Insider
Of the $44 million due over the next decade, $2.5 million will go toward charitable efforts between the Los Angeles Galaxy Foundation and the Herbalife Family Foundation to benefit vulnerable and underserved children. "Herbalife bet on the Galaxy six years ago and now MLS has exploded in popularity and growth," said Tim Leiweke, CEO of Galaxy ownership group AEG. "To have this kind stability and strength in a partnership that will take us into the next decade is refreshing for the sports industry."

Chivas USA 'very close' to signing Home Grown Player | Top Drawer Soccer
U.S. U18 Men's National Team midfielder Marco Delgado is on the verge of signing a Home Grown contract with Chivas USA, according to two individuals close to the MLS club's youth academy.


Weekend MLS Scoreboard

Seattle 2 : 0 Houston - Estrada, Evans
Toronto 0 : 3 San Jose - Wondolowski (2), Salinas
New England 1 : 0 Portland - Sene
Columbus 2 : 0 Montreal - Mirosevic, Vargas
Chicago 1 : 0 Philadelphia - Oduro
Salt Lake 0 : 1 Chivas USA - Townsend
Vancouver 0 : 0 DC
New York 4 : 1 Colorado - Henry (2), Cooper (2), Cummings
Kansas City 2 : 1 Dallas - Villar, Collin, Kamara

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