Major Link Soccer: Match Fixing-Palooza

Credit these guys for turning down a tempting bribe - Jonathan Ferrey

Do you like goals? No, I mean do you like boat yacht-loads of goals? Then, have I got the teams for you! Seriously, we're talking dozens scores of goals.

Now that Seattle and Portland have now both successfully hosted the US men's national team in competitive matches, comparisons between the two are already being drawn. Top Drawer Soccer asks who had the better tifo. Others are criticizing the use of turf in the match in Portland. Klinsmann actually altered some roster decisions based on the artificial turf. Steve Davis of NBC's Pro Soccer Talk seems to think the artificial turf was a non-issue. Meanwhile, one of the owners of the Sounders has already bought the misspelled jersey of Chris Wondolowski (spoiler: it's Drew Carey).

Also in Portland, it was announced that the Rose City will host the 2014 MLS All Star Game. Given the limited capacity of Jeld-Wen Field, this is probably Portland's best chance of hosting one of the world's top five or ten teams. At this year's All Star Game in Kansas City, MLS and AS Roma will voice their combined support of the "Don't Cross the Line" campaign.

Not all the news coming out of Portland this week is rosy, however. Will Johnson was sent home by the Canadian national team due to illness and will miss the match in Seattle against Mexico. Several members of the Belize national team claim that they were approached by an individual offering them money to throw the match against the United States. If the story is true, it's pretty amazing that they refused the bribe, given how cash-strapped Belize is at the moment.

Speaking of match fixing, three clubs and eight players in Italy are now awaiting trial for their alleged involvement in rigging two Serie A matches in 2011. In Nigeria, four teams involved in third division promotion playoffs have all been suspended after two of those teams won their matches 79-0 and 67-0 respectively. The teams were level on points, with the team having the highest goal difference winning promotion. One of the clubs on the losing side has already been disbanded by its owner.

The Copa Libertadores Final is now set, with Brazil's Atlético Mineiro facing Paraguay's Olimpia. Mauro Rosales will be disappointed that Newell's Old Boys, his former club, fell to Atlético on penalties in the semifinal last night. Fredy Montero's Colombian playoff opponent, Santa Fe, fell to Olimpia in the other semifinal.

The U20 World Cup Final is also now set, with France facing Uruguay in Istanbul on Saturday after France topped Ghana 2-1 and Uruguay advanced on penalties after a 1-1 draw with Iraq, despite a fantastic free kick goal by Iraq's Ali Adnan. Ghana will face Iraq in the third place match. The finish of France and Ghana has to make the US U20's feel a little bit better about their performance. Uruguay, the other finalist, was the team that eliminated Group A winner Spain from the tournament.

Former Sounder Daniel Steres (now of the Wilmington Hammerheads) was named USL Pro's player of the week after scoring a brace in a 2-2 draw against Orlando City SC and added another goal in a 2-1 win over the Harrisburg City Islanders. Used as a central defender during his brief time with the Sounders, Steres has found success playing as a midfielder with the USL Pro side, producing 5 goals and 1 assist so far this season. Could he be the next in a long line of Sounders going down to USL Pro to improve their game and once again wear the rave green?

Chivas USA has taken a lot of heat from fans and media alike for their apparent emulation of their parent club's Mexican only policy. For the first time in their history, they have fielded a lineup consisting of 7 Mexican-American starters in their match against Montreal on Sunday. It was actually their third straight match in which a majority of the starting lineup consisted of Mexican-Americans. Additionally, the club announced that they have signed promising young striker Erick Torres on loan from Chivas de Guadalajara. Some of you may know him as one of the better wonder-kids in FIFA and Football Manager.

DC United have now signed Wake Forest's attacking midfielder Collin Martin as their sixth home grown player. We can only hope that this signing doesn't lead to fewer goal scoring opportunities for Sounders Academy alumnus Sean Okoli, who plays as a forward for Wake Forest. While DC United was busy signing a new HGP, Vancouver was busy loaning one of theirs to Bundesliga side FC Augsburg.

Chicago signed former Columbus defender Shaun Francis (not the former MLS Insider). San Jose added a versatile left-sided player in Jordan Stewart, formerly of Arlo White's Leicester City, but most recently with Coventry City of League One.

Police in Montreal are investigating a death threat made on Twitter against Impact midfielder Davy Arnaud.

The names of the 10 finalists for UEFA Player of the Year were released yesterday.

Fulham is reportedly for sale, and they may already have a buyer with US ties.

Manchester United is like my father. They love using Facebook but don't get what the big deal is about Twitter. Well, now they're a bit more hip than my dear old dad after finally joining Twitter yesterday.

I'd like to end with something that was in the news about a week ago but I didn't learn about until yesterday. I'm admittedly including this because it's from Tanzania, and the gods must be appeased. It's called the Soccket ball. It's like any other ordinary soccer ball; only it isn't ordinary. As you use it, it generates enough electricity to power a small device. This could be really useful in various rural areas in the Global South. It could also has the potential to be useful to me. Sometimes after playing a game of pick up soccer, my phone's battery could use a bit of a boost. I'd love it if I could just plug my phone into the ball while I play FIFA on my phone on the bus ride home. ¡Tanzania!

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