Major Link Soccer: The nation looks to Seattle

Eddie Johnson controls the ball in the USMNT team friendly versus Belgium last week. - Matt Sullivan

Lots of great National Team stories, plus some MLS news and rumors.

Tonight's the soccer-loving people of the United States will turn their eyes to Seattle for the National Team's game with Panama.

A crowd of 40,000 is expected. Still, one writer wonders, will Seattleites deliver the same amazing soccer atmosphere for the game as they do for Sounders games?

One of the great things about the National Team is they come with a bunch of professional journalists in tow, and there are some really good articles out there today for you to read about the team.

At they focus on the fact that Sounders Eddie Johnson and Brad Evans are on the squad and available to play at home. And Soccer by Ives has a similar look at the Sounders stars. I imagine a lot of scenarios where both start, though it probably won't be clear if Johnson earns the nod until the rosters are announced. Best part of the piece is at the end, where Evans talks about how blown away his USMNT teammates were with the atmosphere y'all brought against Vancouver on the weekend.

ESPNFC has a great story about the "rebirth" of Demarcus Beasley as a left back for the Nats. Seems like just yesterday, to this old-timer, that Beas was streaking down the left alongside Claudio Reyna and Landon Donovan to feed the ball to Brian McBride. So happy for him that he is back in the side and performing well.

Fox Sports has a similarly interesting story about Clint Dempsey, and his importance to the squad.

In MLS news, Robbie Keane made some comments at a press conference that has Euro journalists saying he plans to finish his career in Los Angeles.

In San Jose, new interim manager Mark Watson promises his team will pass and possess more under his leadership than under Frank Yallop. And the San Jose Mercury News has a short piece from an interview with the man tasked with improving MLS officiating.

Alain Rochat is none too happy about "trading" in MLS - something he wasn't used to in Europe. He calls the trade that sent him from Vancouver to DC United 'terrible," and "not human."

Three Chivas USA players got to train with the Guadalajara side ahead of the friendly between the sister-squads.

The latest in-depth attendance roundup for all U.S. soccer sides is in. You won't be surprised by which team is at the top.

Latest silly season rumor has Dejan Stankovic ready to come to MLS, with an Italian journalist saying Toronto and Seattle the most likely landing spots.

The folks at had some fun with the All-Star ballot, putting together a bunch of different scenarios for making up teams - including an All-American team, a CONCACAF team, and a team made up entirely of Akron University products.

In Orlando, the newspaper has a Q&A with the former MLS executive hired by Orlando City Soccer Club to get a stadium built and get the team into MLS.

And finally today, the NASL New York Cosmos have announced a national television deal for their games. Sure it's on a channel most of you have never heard of, and can't get, but no one can accuse these guys of not acting like they are the greatest thing to hit soccer since the 1970's Cosmos.

- Scott Ayers

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