Major Link Soccer: Match-Fixing, Offside Rule Change, Synced Music

America's Team? - Christian Petersen

Our weekly tour around not-quite Sounders related news hits on Mexico, UW soccer, match fixing and so much more.

The big news of the week has been the worldwide soccer corruption scandal touching everything from division three matches to National Team fixtures. Not even the Champions League was spared. In even worse news, UEFA's warnings over club spending doesn't seem to be getting through, as football teams around Europe are posting record losses. Maybe the clubs should be taking a note from the NBA.

As if they don't have enough on their table, FIFA is looking at the offside rule.

A player in an offside position receiving the ball from an opponent, who deliberately plays the ball (except from a deliberate save), is not considered to have gained an advantage.

Some of those clubs are finding relative deals by mining the new found talent veins in MLS. Many consider the flow of talent to be a good thing for the league; the recognition of the skill the league employs will get more skilled players to come here, either as a stepping stone or as a permanent, safe, reliable home. The paychecks don't bounce in the States and Canada, more than can be said in other soccer leagues. The newest outport might be DC United Forward Hamdi Salihi. Some of the other moves at USsoccerplayers.com.

Houston's Dynamo Theory links to a German study about the effects of music on team performance. But was a study really needed to show that listening to "Eye of the Tiger" creates winners?

Cascadia native Mason Trafford is currently trialing with the Sounders, after having spent a significant period of time playing in the third-best Scandinavian country Finland. Also coming out of the north, Darren Mattocks is making an impression early this preseason.

The Mexican National Team has made a deal with ESPN to get every one of their pre-World Cup matches on national television in English. The article at Goal.com suggests that they may, in fact, be America's team. And if the USMNT keeps up their trajectory, they may be right. Maybe that's too harsh though; the boys have plenty of time to make things right.

In every top rivalry, there are people that find themselves caught somewhere in the middle. University of Washington player Spencer Richey is one such person. A Seattle native that got playing time with a Timbers "subsidiary", he is "in a bit of a pickle". Speaking of UW, they picked up a good haul on Signing Day.

Can Canada support a second division all their own? It's a question they are looking into.

Sean Johnson continues to have a bright future ahead of him, and another milestone in his promising career has arrived with his first World Cup Qualifier call-up. He'll probably look pretty excellent in the new home jerseys. I'm usually not a fan of white, but the special crest puts it all together. Glad to hear he and Brad Evans got home fine after the recent WCQ match, from the most dangerous city in the world.

BigDSoccer seems to be bullish on the rumor that Seattle will be a Hex destination.

I consider Gus Johnson to be one of the most exciting broadcasters around these days. Call him the polar opposite of Joe Buck. So the news that Fox is setting him up to be their soccer voice of the future is clearly good. Best of all, he won't be wasting his talents on the soon-to-be-defunct Fox Soccer Channel.

The Galaxy are setting up partnerships with a pair of clubs with an academic intent. As in, they'll now have a pair of academy teams. Speaking of LA, Saturday will be four years to the day since the first game the Sounders played against actual competition.

The Washington Spirit are the second NWSL team to change their crest before things begin for the new league. The change is certainly for the better. And, one of the Co-owners of the Sounders Women talks about the rapidly-changing Women's soccer scene.

Michael Gspurning is awesome.

Finally, in the world of fan-empowerment, Sounders Alliance nominations from 2012 are up, and DC United ran a Q&A for season ticket holders.

We lied, one more thing: Sounder at Heart is hosting another viewing party for CONCACAF Champions League. We're partnering with Golazo and Hope Place to provide an all-ages venue. Check out the Facebook event page here and please RSVP if you plan to go.

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