Major Link Soccer: Off with his shirt!

Brandon Wade

What would you do if you thought your team's new coach was a fan of the rival team?

MLS

As the LA Galaxy fight for their spot in the playoffs, Bruce Arena is faced with the prospect of playing without his two best attacking players next weekend, with Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane both on national team duty. With that in mind, he requested that the Republic of Ireland release Keane early, so he can be available for LA's next match. Although Ireland is already eliminated from World Cup qualification, manager Noel King refused the request. It also appears that Keane suffered an injury in training with the national team. Arena also requested that Donovan return early from the USMNT. Klinsmann doesn't seem any more likely than King to honor the request.

Despite what could wind up being the worst season in MLS history, DC United are going to hold on to GM Dave Kasper and head coach Ben Olsen. Steve Davis of Pro Soccer talk doesn't seem convinced that either of them deserve another chance.

The Chicago Fire has released a third kit that was designed and voted on by fans. The flag on the sleeve surrounding the MLS logo patch is a nice touch. The Fire also began publishing their own quarterly magazine back in June. The fall issue was just released this week.

You may recall a recent MLSsoccer.com article that discussed the various options Chivas USA has in the quest for a stadium of their own. The Goat Parade has some updates on the efforts of the franchise to secure their own stadium.

Chivas USA may not be the only MLS team struggling to get a stadium deal done. If New York City mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio wins the election (as is expected), then it will become more difficult for New York City FC to get a deal done for its own stadium. De Blasio recently indicated that he won't necessarily be as friendly toward a stadium deal as Michael Bloomberg has been thus far.

One series that I deeply enjoy watching on MLSsoccer.com is "Between the Lines". The most recent edition analyzes central midfielders who make "third runs" to help their teams make the most out of potential scoring opportunities. Armchair Analyst Matt Doyle focuses on plays made by Will Johnson, Tim Cahill and former Sounder Nathan Sturgis.

Sporting Kansas City has probably had the best defense in MLS for the past two seasons. The fact that they have Ike Opara as a rotational CB who can capably fill in for Besler when he's playing for the national team has probably helped solidify their position as the best defensive team in the league.

Prior to last night's results, the Supporters Shield race had already begun to tighten. It probably already looks worse for the Sounders now. The less said about this, the better.

US Soccer

While Clint Dempsey is in Cascadia, attempting to end Seattle's 4 game winless streak, Jurgen Klinsmann is faced with the task of picking his replacement in the USMNT lineup for tonight's World Cup qualifying match against Jamaica. ESPN FC's Jeff Carlisle sees 4 options.

USWNT all time leading scorer Abby Wambach and Western New York Flash teammate Sarah Huffman were married last weekend in Hawaii. Charles Boehm of Soccer Wire lets us in on the difficulty involved in determining how to cover the story of two teammates marrying each other.

The New York Times has a story about a snack food brand that is actively adding endorsement deals with national team stars like Clint Dempsey, Omar Gonzalez and Alex Morgan. The company has also secured deals with the US men's and women's national teams and Chivas de Guadalajara of Liga MX.

At the Leaders in Football conference in London on Wednesday, US Soccer Federation president Sunil Gulati was asked about the possibility of the United States bidding for the 2026 World Cup. His response was that FIFA needs to clarify the bidding process before US Soccer considers another bid. The president of the Mexican League proposed a joint-bid with the US, which is something that doesn't appeal to Stars and Stripes FC.

Tim Ream has been impressing fans and coaches alike at Bolton for the past couple of months. The turning point appears to have been the USMNT's win over Bosnia-Herzegovina. Ream is one bright spot that is sorely needed on a Bolton team that is in for a fight against relegation in the English League Championship.

Kyle Beckerman is the subject of a feature on FIFA.com that focuses on both his technical ability and his hairstyle that is more often identified with the nation of his next opponent with the national team.

NASL

The NASL decides their title a bit differently than most leagues. Instead of awarding it to the team at the top of the table at the end of the season or using a playoff system to award the league title, the NASL title is decided in the Soccer Bowl, which pits the winner of the spring season with the winner of the fall season. When the Atlanta Silverbacks won the spring title, the margin between them and the fourth place Tampa Bay Rowdies was a mere 3 points. Now, the New York Cosmos, who did not participate in the spring season, are running away with the fall title, currently holding a 7 point lead. This has raised questions about whether the league needs to address any unfair advantages the Cosmos may have.

2014 World Cup

Much of the soccer media in the United States has been closely following Bob Bradley's performance with Egypt's national team. Now, Grant Wahl has a feature on Bradley's quest to qualify for the World Cup with Egypt. The layout in the physical magazine looks great.

After Brazil, the United States has requested more tickets for the World Cup than any other country. That may sound impressive at first, but it actually makes a lot of sense, as only one country (Nigeria) that still has a chance of qualifying is more than half as populous as the United States. Only Nigeria, Russia, Japan and Mexico have at least one-third of the population of the US.

Are you looking for a team to root for as a neutral at the World Cup when your national team isn't playing? Here are four countries who will be playing in their first ever World Cup final.

FIFA

The draw for the 2013 Club World Cup in Morocco was held yesterday. Monterrey was drawn on Atletico Mineiro's side of the bracket, meaning that they wouldn't have to face Bayern Munich until the final. The full video of the draw is available if you'd like to watch it.

Africa

Moses Agaga, a 26 year-old Shooting Stars forward in the Nigerian Premier League died on Wednesday from complications of typhoid fever.. He was previously a part of a team that won 5 league titles in Nigeria.

England

After a significant dip in form since the release of FIFA 14, Leyton Orient of League One has banned its players from playing the game on match days.

If you're a fan of a team in the Premier League, it might interest you to know which team's supporters are arrested the most and least in relation to football matches.

Michu, one of the biggest bargains on the transfer market in recent years, is beginning to draw interest from some of England's biggest clubs. Liverpool and Arsenal are both interested in signing the Spanish striker, but Swansea wants to make a nearly $38 million profit. Who can blame them when another bargain is lighting up the Liga Zon Sagres in Portugal?

Germany

Tim Chandler's club seems to be moving more purposefully in replacing its recently fired manager than Jozy Altidore's did. Christian Gross has already been identified as the favorite to land the job. Gross previously managed Stuttgart but has been out of work for 18 months.

Europe

You may recall seeing Bayern Munich completely dominating possession in their match with Manchester City a few weeks ago. Now, you can enjoy City's misery set to the tune of the Benny Hill theme. You're welcome (unless you're a City fan, in which case I'm deeply sorry).

Bulgarian club Levski Sofia was all set to announce their new head coach when a group of angry fans forced him to remove his team jersey. Fans were outraged after he admitted in a June interview to being a fan of rival CSKA Sofia. Less than a day later, he resigned from his position as manager.

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