Major Link Soccer: Fußball on Fox (in 2015)

Christof Koepsel

In less than 2 years, Americans will have accessible TV coverage of the top 5 leagues in Europe.

How do you say "finally" in German?

The answer is schließlich, by the way. The big news is that Fox has acquired the rights to Bundesliga in a deal that spans 80 countries and lasts for 5 years, beginning in the 2015/16 Bundesliga season. Fox will have rights to 306 Bundesliga matches, the DFL-Supercup and the Bundesliga Relegation Playoffs.

MLS

Yesterday morning, the New York Daily News broke the story that MLS was seriously considering a move to a European schedule next season. Almost immediately, MLS officials moved to deny those reports. Black and Red United presumes that the Daily News story (which was actually little more than a secondary story in an article about Gareth Bale) may have been based on the recent fan survey that detailed a potential fall through spring schedule. Philly.com collects some highlights of the reaction on Twitter before the reports were debunked.

The candidates for MLS Goal of the Week were announced yesterday, and two of them came against the Sounders.

Ahead of an October 22 vote on the stadium financing plan that is probably the last obstacle remaining before Orlando is announced as the newest MLS expansion franchise,Orlando City president Phil Rawlins answered some questions surrounding the deal and the preparations for a move to MLS.

For the first time since 2010, it looks like the Supporters Shield race is going to come down to the final week of the MLS season. The number of teams still in the running to win the Shield has Empire of Soccer wondering whether this is a sign of parity or mediocrity.

USL Pro and NASL

When the 2014 USL Pro season begins, there will be two new expansion teams joining the league: Sacramento Republic FC and a yet to be named club from Oklahoma City owned by Prodigal LLC (not to be confused with the NASL team from Oklahoma City starting in 2015). Prodigal has filed patents for two potential names: OKC Energy FC and OKC Spirit FC.

In Tulsa, efforts are underway to revive the Roughnecks and enter the NASL potentially as soon as the 2015 season. According to Jeff Lund, who leads the potential ownership group, the effort to bring a NASL team to Tulsa is backed by the Oklahoma City ownership group as well, prompting questions as to whether one entity will be able to own two NASL teams in the same state.

With their next win, the New York Cosmos will secure a spot in the 2013 Soccer Bowl. While their fans will be celebrating the accomplishment, their dominance of the NASL fall season raises many questions and invites a healthy dose of criticism from within NASL as well as neutral observers. Empire of Soccer already feels this coming, with a preemptive article labeling critics as "haters".

World Cup Qualifying

Stars and Stripes FC asks USMNT fans how much they hate Mexico. Would US fans be willing to take a loss in Panama in a pretty meaningless game for the United States if it meant that Mexico would miss the 2014 World Cup? If Mexico loses to Costa Rica tonight, they will have to wait on the result between the United States and Panama to find out whether they still have a chance of making it to Brazil.

In Panama, Brad Guzan will get the start in goal for the United States, with Tim Howard having been sent back to Everton after Friday's win over Jamaica. This is Guzan's first start for the national team since posting consecutive shutouts against Costa Rica and Mexico in March.

With World Cup qualification secured, the United States already has a couple of November friendlies lined up. They will travel to Scotland on November 15 before concluding a busy and successful 2013 in Austria on November 19. It also looks like part of the January camp will take place in Brazil.

After Ghana asked FIFA to move the second leg of the World Cup Qualifying playoff between Egypt and Ghana due to security concerns in Egypt, the Egyptian Football Association has notified FIFA that they will guarantee the safety of Ghana players, officials and fans in the match in Cairo on November 19.

Any fears that New Zealand will prove to be any sort of threat against the #4 team in CONCACAF were calmed after the Kiwis failed to score in a friendly against Chivas USA over the weekend. The game ended in a 0-0 draw.

There are 4 Sounders players currently with the team that have a chance of playing in the 2014 World Cup. One of them is Obafemi Martins, whose Nigerian national team won the first leg of the World Cup Qualifying playoff against Ethiopia 2-1.

Due to the overwhelming demand for tickets by away fans and underwhelming demand by home fans, the FA has made 20,000 tickets available for Poland fans in England's final World Cup qualifying match of the group stage. England almost certainly needs a win to directly qualify for the World Cup and avoid a continental playoff for the right to play in Brazil.

Because of the structure of the qualification system in UEFA, France thinks the playoff seeding system is unfair and will ask for a review prior to the draw next week.

College Soccer

With the plans for Orlando joining MLS as an expansion franchise in full swing, the Central Florida Sports Commission has submitted a bid to the NCAA to host the national championships, beginning in 2015. The bid would include the Men's Soccer Cup, the Women's Soccer Cup and the Women's Lacrosse title game, with the potential to include the NCAA Divison II men's and women's soccer championships.

The new Top Drawer Soccer national rankings are out, and UW retains its #3 spot after beating Seattle University 2-0 last week. Sean Okoli's Wake Forest continues its climb, landing in the #9 spot after a pair of draws in ACC conference play last week.

England

Although Jozy Altidore hasn't yet scored a Premier League goal for Sunderland, he insists that he remains confident that the goals will come. It probably helps that he's seen plenty of time with the national team this year and has been able to score goals in international games.

With Robert Lewandowski remaining insistent on his decision to leave Borussia Dortmund after his contract is up next June and his reiteration that he has no agreement in place with Bayern Munich, his expressed desire to play in the Premier League is music to the ears of managers in the Premier League -- well, managers at the big clubs at least.

In Seattle, we have "Edgar Martinez Drive", but we don't yet have a street near the stadium named after a Sounder. Manchester recently honored former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson with "Sir Alex Ferguson Way" near Old Trafford.

Although MLS already has the New York Red Bulls and the Austrian Bundesliga has Red Bull Salzburg, that apparently isn't enough for the energy drink manufacturer. Red Bull is reportedly interested in purchasing a Premier League team. You could imagine the uproar that would be ignited if there was an attempt to re-name West Ham United as "Red Bull London".

FIFA

A lifetime ban has been handed out to 14 current and former players for El Salvador's national team. FIFA banned the players for match fixing that occurred in 2010, including a friendly against the United States. One of the players banned for life is Christian Castillo, who formerly played for DC United.

FIFA has extended its relationship with the 9 "preferred partners" for artificial turf playing surfaces for another two years.

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