Major Link Soccer: Ruffneck Scarves Expand To Canada, Jeff Parke And The Long Hard Road

Jeff Parke says it's been a long hard road, and it's starting to pay off.

Good to see that the season is underway and that we're headed down to Mexico with a 2-1 lead going into the second leg. It was a great performance against a team that's in mid-season form. Don't forget the Santos Away Viewing Party, not to mention it will be the unveiling of the 2012 Sounder At Heart Scarf (can't wait to get mine though I'll be waiting for the mail man). I'll be there in spirit!

Anyways, it's Friday -- time to usher in the weekend with Major Link Soccer.

Sounders' Parke has traveled a long and winding road | HeraldNet.com - Sports
"It's been a long road," Jeff Parke said. "You can never say it's been easy. There have been ups and downs, but that's life. When you talk to anybody, they're not going to say the path they took to get somewhere was smooth, and if they do, they were lucky. But it builds character and prepares you for other obstacles that come your way in life. I feel like this has been a long time coming, but I'm working hard and trying to stay consistent."

Transcript of a live chat on Thursday with Sounders FC Broadcaster Ross Fletcher - Seattle Times

"Ross Fletcher: Very very impressive. You can see they work together as a team. And that's massively important in games as big as that. They all wanted to pitch in to get the win and then when it needed someone to step up, you saw the second goal from Brad Evans and the mental toughness the Sounders showed. And that's not something you can create overnight. So massive credit to Sigi, coaching staff and the players." [see also their live chat with Grant Wahl from Wednesday]

Ruffneck Scarves Canada Launches
"Sports fans across Canada are deeply passionate about their teams and Ruffneck Scarves Canada will provide fans across the country with more direct access to our custom scarves," said Jeff McIntyre, president and co-founder of Ruffneck Scarves. "Ruffneck Scarves is already an established brand in Canada," said McIntyre, "and this venture enables us to better serve our Canadian-based customers, along with growing our brand in soccer, hockey and other sports throughout North America."

Olympic Stadium ready to host soccer game, despite parking collapse: gov't - Winnipeg Free Press
The Quebec government is downplaying concern about the safety of Montreal's Olympic Stadium, seeking to reassure people one day after the collapse of a huge concrete slab inside a stadium parking lot. It was the latest in a series of concrete-related collapses in Montreal — and one of several incidents to have befallen the Olympic site over the years.

Jay DeMerit Journal: Clint Dempsey is a world-class player and MLS vs England rivalries - Goal.com
"I think rivalries in MLS is what everyone wants. Seeing the fans of Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto, Portland and Seattle, the more we can create rivalries, the better it will be for all of us. When people start getting behind rivalries, the more likely 25,000 people will show up at games. It brings us closer to other soccer leagues in the world. That's part of what soccer is all about. Having a chance to play in those environments, for example the U.S. and Mexico rivalry. Even in England as well, with all of the rivalries you get."

"They should be embarrassed," Fraser said of his players afterward. "Everyone should be so embarrassed that we come into this week with some resolve that this can't continue."

"When we got off the plane, our goal was to document the American experience over there," Korn said. "And we were just taken in by the South Africans, who were such great ambassadors. It was so infectious to be around them. No matter what country you were cheering for, you were cheering for South Africa when they were playing. It was something that really transcended the tournament."

Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber held a preseason conference call with reporters Thursday afternoon. If you weren't following it as it happened, here's a summary of my live-tweeting.

"We want to ensure when this project is complete that we have the perfect site for a stadium," he added. "We'll take the time as long as it takes to ensure we have the right site. That’s how important the second New York team project is."
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