Major Link Soccer: Fergie's Autobiography

Michael Regan

Even in retirement, Alex Ferguson manages to stir the pot.

Major League Soccer

On Tuesday evening, the Columbus Crew managed to raise its $100,000 goal for the Kirk Urso Memorial Fund for youth heart research. The program was launched a year ago, after its namesake died last year, due to an undetected heart condition.

With the playoffs are approaching, the tiebreakers that were changed this year are beginning to draw more attention to themselves. Pro Soccer Talk's Joe Prince-Wright sees the prioritizing of wins as a good thing. Once a Metro sees it as "punishing those who don't lose".

With Schellas Hyndman's resignation from coaching FC Dallas, former Dallas Burn midfielder and current Atlanta Silverbacks head coach Brian Haynes has expressed interest in becoming the next head coach of FC Dallas.

Nine months after Colorado won the weighted lottery to sign Cameroonian forward Charles Eloundou, he finally made it to Denver on Wednesday. His move to Colorado got held up for months by bureaucratic red tape.

With stadium funding secured, Orlando City owner Phil Rawlins sat down with Jeff Bradley to discuss the future of Orlando as the twenty-first team in MLS. He was also interviewed by Brian Straus of Sports Illustrated.

Sirius XM Radio will provide live coverage of the MLS Cup Playoffs this year. It will also broadcast MLS ExtraTime Radio.

CONCACAF Champions League

Last night wasn't great for the MLS teams involved in Champions League. The Houston Dynamo only needed to avoid losing to move on to the knockout phase of the tournament, but they fell short in a 1-0 loss at Árabe Unido. The LA Galaxy needed a win to get a decent seeding position for the knockout phase, but they fell 4-0 at Isidro Metapán. San Jose, Sporting Kansas City and the LA Galaxy will all progress to the quarterfinals. Houston and the Montreal Impact are eliminated.

Soccer in the United States

Soccer is undeniably growing in popularity in the US. Last year's poll that found that soccer is the second favorite sport among Americans in the 12 to 24 demographic group was an encouraging sign that the sport has a strong future in this country. Now, for the first time, a soccer player has broken into the top 10 list of America's favorite athletes. Leo Messi is #7 on this year's list. Cristiano Ronaldo and David Beckham also made it into the top 50. In the 12 to 24 demographic, Messi is #4 and Ronaldo is #7.

USMNT manager Jürgen Klinsmann recorded a video thanking fans for their support throughout 2013.

Steve Cherundolo has his eyes on the starting right back spot on the World Cup roster in Brazil. For most of this year, that spot has been occupied by Brad Evans.

Soccer Tactics & Strategy

Bloomberg has a new feature that Sounders fans may find interesting after Zach Scott's most recent appearances. The article examines the likelihood of a player receiving a second yellow card. While a player who has already received a yellow card is less likely to receive a second yellow than other players are to receive their first yellow card, the likelihood of a second booking increases as the match progresses.

Fergie's Autobiography

Former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson's autobiography, simply titled My Autobiography, was released this week, and it's making news in England.

Fergie claims to have been offered the England job twice and turned it down both times.

He explained his decision to sell David Beckham by claiming that Beckham thought he was more important than the manager. While he and Rooney were at odds in 2010, Rooney wanted Ferguson to sign Mesut Özil.

One of the more surprising claims in the book is Ferguson's account of a meeting with Tony Blair in which Blair supposedly consulted with Fergie for advice on how to deal with Gordon Brown.

Ferguson also criticized the current state of refereeing in England, prompting a response from the chief executive of the Premier League.

Fergie's claim that Steven Gerrard isn't as good as players like Paul Scholes and Roy Keane garnered a rebuke from Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers. Rodgers went on to question Ferguson's ethics for going public with things that were said privately behind closed doors.

England

With reports mounting that the NFL wants a franchise in London, Tottenham Hotspur chairman Daniel Levy sees a business opportunity that could have the added benefit of one-upping north London rival Arsenal with a possible 71,000 capacity stadium that could host both soccer and American football. To avoid the issues of pitch degradation that would inevitably arise, the stadium would have an American football playing surface beneath the soccer pitch that could slide out when necessary, somewhat similar to Ligue 1 side Lille OSC's stadium that opened last year.

Despite Levy's reported plans, Fulham and Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shahid Khan called the notion of a NFL franchise based in London "premature". The NFL plans to play 3 games in London in 2014.

With Sunderland having only earned a single point in its first 8 matches so far this season, somebody decided to point out some of the many things that have more points than Sunderland.

We're not even to the end of October yet, and a second Premier League manager has lost his job. Ian Holloway has agreed to leave Crystal Palace after only managing 3 points through his side's first 8 matches. Crystal Palace already has its sights set on former Stoke manager Tony Pulis.

Women's Soccer

NWSL's Boston Breakers received some bad news this week. Kyah Simon suffered a torn ACL shortly after being sent out on loan with the Western Sydney Wanderers of Australia's W-League. The injury occurred in Australia's recent friendly against the United States. Simon will be out until the autumn of 2014.

FIFA

FIFA has finally finished handing out its bans to El Salvadorian national team players for match fixing. The final 3 players received their bans on Tuesday.

Sepp Blatter has indicated that he will seek another term as the president of FIFA, but when he retires, he sees CONCACAF president Jeffrey Webb as his successor. Blatter recently voiced support for the Caribbean region getting its own slot for the World Cup, taking one away from the rest of CONCACAF. Perhaps coincidentally, or perhaps not, Jeffrey Webb is from the Cayman Islands.

UEFA

Prior to this week's fixture in Moscow between CSKA and Manchester City, the big story was the poor pitch conditions at Khimki Arena that CSKA attempted to mask by painting the sand-covered playing surface green. Unfortunately, the poor quality of the playing surface was overshadowed when CSKA supporters were heard directing racist chants at Manchester City's Yaya Toure.

After the match, Toure demanded UEFA to take action against CSKA to send a message that racism won't be tolerated. He went on to suggest that players could boycott the 2018 World Cup in Russia if governing bodies like UEFA and FIFA don't take racism more seriously. Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini was disappointed at the behavior of the fans. The chairman of Kick It Out suggested a ban for the referee for failing to address the issue during the match. Norwich manager Chris Houghton also weighed in, calling for more substantial punishment for racist abuse.

UEFA responded by charging CSKA for the racist behavior of its fans, promising a resolution by October 30. CSKA responded by claiming the incident didn't even happen.

After having previously punishing Lazio for racist abuse by fans, UEFA will only close part of the Stadio Olimpico for Lazio's next match in UEFA competition. UEFA is also expected to take action against Ajax for its fans throwing seats at Celtic supporters at their match at Celtic Park.

Africa

In what will likely be Bob Bradley's final match as the manager of Egypt's national team, Egypt plans to host Ghana in Cairo in the city's first international match in 3 years. Ghana has requested to play the match in a neutral location, due to security concerns. FIFA has given Egypt until October 28 to come up with a security plan to guarantee the safety of Ghana players, staff and officials.

We forgot our kits. Now what?

When Colombian side Independiente Santa Fe neglected to bring their away kits to their recent match against Boyaca Chico, they were eventually forced to play in cheap counterfeit versions of their kits bought from street vendors with names and numbers written on the back with a red marker.

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