Major Link Soccer: Orlando Funded, Simpsons to Brazil

No Religion - Mario Tama

Is child strangling legal in Sao Paolo?

Yesterday, I was one of many to experience "American Football" for the first time. American Football of course being the name of the new Sounders-centric film looking frame by frame (quite literally in some cases) at the 2012 season and the cast of crazy characters that made up the squad. I won't spoil the ending for you (it's sad) but here are a few notes:

  • Michael Gspurning's daughter is the cutest baby ever
  • I forgot how much I liked Christian Tiffert
  • People who don't like Eddie Johnson are going to look at some of his comments very closely
  • "If you could say one thing to your loved one before you left this world, what would it be?"

    I think there are still tickets available for Saturday's showing, though I could be off base there. If it is still open, it will be a great primer for Sunday's Galaxy match. It's easy to forget how low our lows have been through five years of this. Six game winless streaks are nothing. But better than anything else, this film reminded me why I follow sports. Why I enjoy watching soccer more than some random drama or the latest comedian to hit the Paramount. The personalities that take place, the drama that unfolds, the real reality of it (Salazar aside) is simply unmatched by any other event you can purchase. There is no better example than a Sounders match.
Anyway, on to the links!

Sounders

It was an unfortunate quirk of scheduling that saw the film premiere on the same day as Mike Gastineau's book signing. Unable to replicate myself, nor cut classes, I wasn't able to make it to his event (though I hope and assume it went awesomely.) Seattle Weekly did a cover story on his newest adventure, as pointed out by Sounderphile yesterday.

MLS

The Final hurdle has been cleared: Orlando City Council has approved public funding for a new soccer stadium in downtown Orlando, which appears to essentially guarantee them an MLS franchise. It would make them the 21st team, and would appear to be on track for 2015.

Seven teams remain in contention for MLS Cup Playoff spots (though some chances are better than others, while San Jose needs to score 13 more goals than Colorado to earn their spot. Tiebreakers...) Montreal's spot goes through Toronto, where the Impact have thus far failed to find victory. Also alive are the New England Revolution, backed by Kelyn Rowe. Rowe was featured on MLS' ExtraTime Radio (along with Seattle Times' Joshua Mayers). Even the teams that are already in have to play hard this weekend; no one wants to be the fourth or fifth playoff spot. Like a high-stakes round of Musical Chairs, but with grass stains and an inconsistent jukebox.

One team that has no chance is Chivas USA. Even if they were near the red line, they still have games vs Real Salt Lake and Portland left on their schedule. They could be our best friends right now, but Chivas has nothing but pride to play for, and TheGoatParade is asking whether or not the two matches are worth playing. Things aren't much better across the border, where Jorge Vergara is taking heat. His traditionally first-place Chivas de Guadalajara is currently occupying the cellar dweller spot like their American counterparts. As they say, it could always be worse up here.

DC United also gets to start their offseason early, allowing them to book an international preseason tournament next year. One of the teams invited is Malmo FF. That's right. We're talking a potential Friberg-Riley matchup. Assuming the Sounders haven't signed both of them by that point.

Lisa has decided to take up The World's Game. But what will happen when the townfolk find out?
Rich Texan: "She's a witch!"
Burns: "She's a commie"
Willie:"Ach! They call this a soccer riot? Come on, boys, let's take 'em to school! Go Aberdeen!"

FIND OUT ON AN ALL NEW WORLD CUP-THEMED SIMPSONS EPISODE. Coming March 2014, only on FOX.

Also, Jurgen Klinsmann is predicting that some groups in World Cup seeding will be tougher than others. He'll most likely be correct.

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