Major Link Soccer: That's a Terrible Mustache

Don't worry. Kljestan had the last word. - Harry Engels

Yeah, but what about your nose, Mr. Ibrahimovic?

MLS Cup Playoffs

After last night, I think we could all use a mental health break, so I'm not going to talk about the game in Portland.

Real Salt Lake is back in the conference finals for the fourth time in six years, after knocking off the 2-time defending MLS Cup Champions LA Galaxy in extra time last night at Rio Tinto Stadium.

In under 24 hours after Sporting Kansas City secured its spot in the Eastern Conference Final, tickets for the second leg against Houston were sold out, prompting Sporting KC to open the availability of standing room only tickets.

MLS offseason

The official MLS Twitter account seems to have ruffled some feathers up in Montreal while attempting to make a joke.

After making some bold statements on Jamaican television the other day, Darren Mattocks has apologized, but Vancouver fans don't appear to be satisfied. Former Canadian national team member and TSN analyst Jason de Vos sees the outburst. as indicative of the larger issue of Mattocks' attitude toward teammates, management and the game itself than as an isolated incident.

MLS wants fans to participate in its annual survey, which will help determine the kind of content you see on its website, apps and social media.

Chicago, Philadelphia, San Jose and Chivas USA have all expressed interest in Santos Laguna' former US U20 duo of Benji Joya and Daniel Cuevas, but they face competition from a couple of teams in Mexico and another team in Denmark.

Newly hired Chicago fire head coach acknowledged that he has a lot of work ahead of him now that the players have departed for the offseason.

US Soccer

We've been hearing a lot of stories this year about young American players joining the youth academies of some of the big clubs in Europe. As a young player, there is possibly no better opportunity than to get a chance to prove yourself and develop your skills at Barcelona's La Masia. That's exactly what 13 year old American goalkeeper Ben Lederman will get to do. He is the first US born player to be invited to Barcelona's famed youth academy.

Freddy Adu is once again without a club. His current deal with Brazil's Esporte Clube de Bahia will not be renewed.

USMNT fullback Steve Cherundolo has resumed full training with Hannover after having a bit of a setback in his recovery from his knee injury.

USMNT and Rapid Vienna striker Terrence Boyd scored a brace yesterday in Europa League against Genk of Belgium, helping his team earn a draw. Boyd has now scored 10 goals in all competitions this season.

Some players are well known for their trash talk during games. It''s probably not surprising to learn that Zlatan Ibrahimovic is one of them. It's a bit surprising that he would choose to insult USMNT and Anderlecht midfielder Sacha Kljestan over his "terrible" mustache. Kljestan responded by reminding the Zlatan of his nose.

NASL

Get ready for the average attendance in NASL to continue to grow. Expansion team Indy Eleven has sold nearly 7,000 season tickets for its inaugural season next year.

After playing in the Soccer Bowl this weekend, the New York Cosmos will head to Spain to play against Villareal in Marcos Senna's testimonial match.

England

Reports surfaced the other day that Adidas offered to pay Lionel Messi's release clause on Chelsea's behalf to sign the 4-time Ballon d'Or winner. Messi ultimately declined to enter contract negotiations with Chelsea, but the basis of the decision by Adidas was to get the most marketable player in the world away from a club with a sponsorship deal with Nike to a club with an Adidias sponsorship deal.

After his club bore the brunt of criticism by fans and media around the world for allowing Hugo Lloris to remain in a match after exhibiting symptoms consistent with concussions, Andre Villas-Boas defended Tottenham's decision to keep Lloris on. Meanwhile, Everton manager Roberto Martinez echoed the criticism of the decision, supporting stricter rules concerning head injuries.

The Football Association (FA) has closed a loophole that prevented the retroactive punishment of Fernando Torres for scratching an opponent's face earlier this season. Plays can now be reviewed even if the referee is in position to see the incident in question.

Africa

Title holders Al Ahly of Cairo, Egypt is hoping to win its second consecutive continental title on Sunday, when it hosts the Orlando Pirates of Johannesburg, South Africa in the second leg of the CAF Champions League Final.

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