Major Link Soccer: Portland in CCL?

Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

Say it ain't so, Don!

MLS

In a tweet yesterday, Portland Timbers owner Merritt Paulson indicated that the Timbers will be in 2014/15 CONCACAF Champions League, pending a final vote by CONCACAF next week.

If you didn't catch the penalty shootout that decided the MLS Cup or you just want to watch it again, ESPN posted a video of only the 10 rounds of penalty kicks that were taken.

Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen has decided to end his career on a high note, announcing his retirement just days after his performance in the MLS Cup Final gave Sporting KC its first MLS Cup since 2000.

Although he had to come out of the MLS Cup Final 8 minutes in, Oriol Rosell received a mention on FC Barcelona's official website for helping Sporting KC win the MLS Cup

Even if he's not with the team next year, Jason Kreis believes Real Salt Lake will make another run for the MLS Cup in 2014.

Sports Illustrated posted part two of its Q&A with MLS Commissioner Don Garber. There is a very interesting conversation about Chivas USA in the article.

Former Sounders Servando Carrasco and Alex Morgan are now engaged. Morgan announced the news on Twitter yesterday, along with a photo of the couple that showed her wearing her engagement ring.

Davis Paul, formerly of the Chicago Fire, currently works for GoPro. When the GoPro office received a ball from MLS ahead of the MLS Cup Final, Paul did what any former pro soccer player would do. He mounted a camera to his head and dribbled the ball around the GoPro offices until a match eventually broke out.

The New England Revolution lost a staff member and New England Soccer Hall of Famer Ernie Branco, who was killed in a car crash early Sunday morning.

Since Juan Agudelo's work permit appeal was denied, it's unclear where he'll play next season. One possible destination is Valencia, who is reportedly interested in signing him (link is in Spanish).

Dominic Oduro signed a new contract with Columbus after leading the team with 13 goals and adding 4 assists in the 2013 MLS season.

Kenny Cooper looks like he'll be moving to a new team for the fourth consecutive season after failing to agree to terms for a new contract with FC Dallas.

TFC acquired Jackson from FC Dallas yesterday. Jackson will likely start for Toronto as a wide midfielder. Toronto FC may also bring back Dwayne De Rosario.

DC United is one of the teams being linked to Chelsea striker Samuel Eto'o. The other teams reportedly include Chicago, Chivas USA and two teams that don't currently have an open DP spot on the roster.

Omar Gonzalez doesn't regret passing up an opportunity to play in Europe to sign with the LA Galaxy as a DP and is motivated to prove that he deserved the DP contract.

Black and Red United continues its "Cake or Death" series to include members of the coaching staff. The first member of the coaching staff to be featured is goalkeeper coach Preston Burpo, who played goalkeeper for the Sounders from 1997 until 2005. Fortunately for Burpo, the fans think he's doing a decent job.

US Soccer

USMNT and Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard's bushy beard is gone. It didn't seem to matter much though, as he put in a stellar performance against Arsenal in a 1-1 draw over the weekend.

Abby Wambach is a finalist for the FIFA Women's World Player of the Year award. Wambach won the award last year for the first time in her career.

It looks like the USMNT will play a friendly in Miami against England and a friendly in Toronto against Canada, in addition to a possible trip to Europe in preparation for the 2014 World Cup.

College Soccer

UCLA's women's soccer team won the NCAA title on Sunday for the first time in the history of the program. The difference was Kodi Lavruski's golden goal in overtime.

England

The relationship between Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas and chairman Daniel Levy are reportedly so strained that Villas-Boas is likely to part ways with the club next summer. According to the main source of the story, the only reason Villas-Boas still has his job is due to the steep buyout clause in his contract.

Portugal

For the first time in 9 years, Sporting CP is alone at the top of the Liga Zon Sagres. Fredy Montero is a big part of that, as his latest two goals proved the difference in the game that put Sporting 2 points clear of Porto and Benfica. Another reason for such immediate success after the worst season in club history last year has been due to the changes made by new team president Bruno de Carvalho.

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