Major Link Soccer: Stars Align Again in Standings

This play broke a player's face - Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor

If the Sounders had won their last two (assuming all other results are the same) they'd be running away with this one. Also, theme post!

How can the Sounders luck out any more than they already have? The last three weeks have shown this team to have better plot armor than Walter White. Sure, they lost (horrifically) this weekend (as seen in the opposing reaction at Burgundy Wave), but only one of their primary SS competitors managed a victory themselves. New York drew with New England. Salt Lake tied Dallas. Both were at home and couldn't win to take hold of their own fate. Salt Lake's case was especially interesting, going down a man early and still taking the lead, yet unable to hold onto their goal advantage.

Even with the 5-1 loss, the Sounders had company in misery. That isn't just referencing heartbreaking Huskies and Seahawks losses (the depression is strong in this one) but also the 5-0 beatdown LA Galaxy gave to Chivas USA, even without Bruce Arena. Landon Donovan played on a hobbled ankle, yet still put away a pair to draw even on the top of the MLS all-time goal-scorers list. The Galaxy drove their "brothers in-law" out of their own home, and now Chivas can only look around and hope to find a new place to cook their rare wins soon. They'll be out on the curb at the end of the 2014 season.

I saved the best game for last. In the Cascadia match of the weekend, Portland and Vancouver drew 2-2 in a barn-burner. Darlington Nagbe scored in the first half, before the teams alternated three goals in a three minute period late in the second half for a 2-2 draw. All the goals were admirable, but it was Camilo's overhead point clincher that will more than likely win Vancouver's second Goal of the Year award. The Whitecaps still have not beat the team from the "Meth Capital of the World" in MLS play, but a win on Wednesday can still get them their first Cascadia Cup.

Shopping seasons have already started across the country. Christmas is only two months away, so if you haven't bought gifts for everyone on your list by now, you'll need barrels of money to afford the good stuff. Luckily Adidas still has us covered, having opened up their "MLS Capsule Collection" for the three participating teams (at the moment).

<> Montero continues his hot streak for Sporting CP

Everyone knows Osvaldo Alonso is the linchpin of the Sounders midfield, and many believe he is the best player on the field at any given time. The Chicago Tribune catches up with his situation, noting that the Cuban defector is running out of time to play in a World Cup. When asked if Cuba should allow Alonso to play for the US, this was one man's response (MAJOR Breaking Bad Season 4 spoilers).

NBC has seen fit to move the Sounders onto the network channel for their match against FC Dallas. An odd choice, considering that the Dallas team will likely be mathematically eliminated from playoff contention and won't have a huge crowd attending. Nevertheless, it is the first EPL/MLS doubleheader on NBC. Here's to the boys finding victory in the desert, and not choking on their own puke like they did Saturday. It'll be the second time Seattle has played on one of the networks.

By drawing with number one Cal Berkeley, the UW Men's Soccer team continues to be ranked highly at third in the nation. Sounders Academy man Darwin Jones continues to be an important cog. His nine shots and three saves fored put the top team in the nation on the ropes.

Expansion continues to be a hot topic, with new news out of both Miami and Minneapolis. Sports Illustrated tabs Alessandro Butini as a rival investor to David Beckham in southern Florida, though Beckham's proposed product appears to have a higher purity. In Minnesota, the new Vikings stadium has a five-year exclusive window for obtaining an MLS team. So for now, a potential franchise would either play in the billion dollar indoor behemoth or not play there at all. While MLS popularity is at an all-time high, the NASL is having a bit of a public relations problem.

Rewind to last week, when Steven Lenhart sent an elbow flying and shattered the cheekbone of Chivas defender Steve Purdy. He is the one who knocks, and his knocking earned him a only one game suspension, and silence from MLS' disciplinary committee. Seems like he got off easy, while Steve Purdy will miss the rest of the season getting facial reconstruction surgery.

GM of Toronto FC Tim Bezbotchenko is trying to clarify the "League DP" rules that helped Toronto FC obtain Max Urutti (only for them to trade him to Portland).

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