Major Link Soccer: Investigation Edition

FRISCO, TX - SEPTEMBER 02: Steve Zakuani #11 of Seattle Sounders FC dribbles the ball in front of Zach Loyd #17 of FC Dallas at FC Dallas Stadium on September 2, 2012 in Frisco, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Eight games left to go for the Sounders this season, and chances are that Seattle is out of the supporter's shield, nine points behind the San Jose Earthquakes. But even without a win down in Big D, Seattle's tie in near Dallas held some positive developments, as this article from some guy named Jeremiah Oshan outlines.

Seattle's game versus Chivas this weekend is the most exciting MLS match of the weekend. It is also the most overlooked match of the weekend. As well as the ONLY match of the weekend. Yes, it's a FIFA weekend that the Sounders are playing through, but as Richard Farley at Prosoccertalk notes, MLS is hardly the only league that occasionally plays through international dates.

Did you know that Michael Tetteh is on loan to the Fort Lauderdale Strikers? I sure didn't. Unfortunately, Tetteh was shown a red card in his most recent match for retaliation in a game against Tampa Bay.

Another new owner is joining the MLS ranks, now that the NBA's Houston Rockets owner Leslie Alexander has purchased the team from AEG and Oscar De La Hoya. Unlike the earlier sale of DC United, Alexander has bought into a club at the height of its value after opening a new stadium this year, and seeing a big boost to attendance and exposure.

The most exciting news of the week is the announcement from FIFA that there will be an investigation into Qatar's bid for the 2022 World Cup. Qatar was the winner of the bid for that year, which the United States was also in the running for. The inquiry will focus on bribes paid to former FIFA president Joao Havelange, and will also take a look at Russia's 2018 and Germany's 2006 bids. Will Qatar be stripped of their bid? Will the States be awarded them ? Probably not, but it would be a great precedent to set.

Toronto hasn't really seen better days, but their days could be a lot better than they have been this year, another year without the playoffs. Even worse, both of their Canadian rivals could end up in the postseason, a feat Toronto hasn't matched in their five year history. The 24th Minute makes a plea for the architect of the successful expansion Chicago Fire teams to take a turn at turning Toronto around.

Speaking of Canadians, The Vancouver Whitecaps are teaming up with the University of British Columbia to create a soccer development center. The Canadian government is contributing 14.5 million dollars to the project in the hope that it will attract events like the MLS All Star Game and the Women's World Cup.

Goal.com writes about the recent appearances of European soccer vets at MLS camps and how some clubs in the league are finding themselves with a competitive advantage due to their desirability. This story was already linked in one of Sounder at Heart's several GudJohnsen articles, but it's well worth a read. My stance is that Seattle gets screwed in every other sport, so I'm not really going to complain if we get a bit of an advantage in one sport because of our front office.

All these last-minute wins are starting to get a little frustrating, even when I don't have any vested interest on the victor. Two PKs were awarded in the final quarter of the match, the second of which (in stoppage time) resulted in the game winner of a 1-0 Houston victory over Salt Lake. In other Houston news, former Sounder Brian Ching is pretty certain that 2012 is his final year. (What, not going to take another run through the expansion draft?)

Portland still has trouble getting it done on the road this year, losing in Commerce City to the Colorado Rapids 3-0. The loss sticks the Timbers back at the bottom of the Western Conference where they belong in an attempt to grab the top pick of the MLS Superdraft for new coach Caleb Porter, but still higher than Philadelphia and Toronto in the league table.

That club would have included the New England Revolution, but The Fort was treated to a surprising 2-0 victory over playoff contenders Columbus Crew. The victory was their first in two months.

Finally, here's MLSsoccer.com's 90 Plus for Week 26, and Kick TV's 33 goals.

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