Major Link Soccer: American DP in LA

Harry How

Omar Gonzalez is LA's newest DP while Chivas USA continues to unravel.

The Sounders head down to Houston this weekend in what will likely be Clint Dempsey's first start as a Sounder. The match has already sold out in anticipation for Dempsey's first club match in Texas since the 2006 MLS Cup Final. While Seattle has always struggled to get a result in Texas during the summer, Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear is faced with significant man management considerations in choosing his lineup on Saturday. This weekend's match marks the beginning of a 3 week stretch with a grueling 7 match schedule. Houston's I-45 rivals FC Dallas are also facing a bit of their own fixture congestion.

The Richmond Kickers clinched the USL Pro regular season title last night with a 2-0 win over Orlando City SC. Richmond will be the top seed and enjoy home field advantage throughout the playoffs. A tweet from Sporting Kansas City defender Kevin Ellis, who is on loan at Orlando City, has sparked an investigation by USL into whether some Richmond supporters directed racial chants at Ellis at halftime. By 2015, the league could add a team in Hamilton. Toronto FC is considering a partnership with the Toronto Lynx, a PDL team who may relocate to Hamilton, Ontario and join USL Pro. The Lynx previously participated in the A-League and USL from 1997 to 2006.

Winnipeg may not have a USL Pro team yet, but they did recently pass FIFA's inspection of their facilities with flying colors, ahead of the 2015 Women's World Cup. Next Tuesday night, ESPN will air "the 99'ers", a film about the US women's national team at the 1999 World Cup as part of their Nine for IX series, which celebrates the 40th anniversary of Title IX.

DC United filled the space at left back that was vacated when they sold Alain Rochat by signing Swiss defender Dennis Iapichino, who was released by Montreal a week ago. Iapichino's salary was reportedly reduced to keep him in the league.

Just when we thought Chivas USA's legal problems had peaked, a new lawsuit against them emerged yesterday. This lawsuit was filed by former human resources manager Cynthia Craig. The lawsuit alleges ethnolinguistic harassment on the part of club owner Jorge Vergara and president Jose David. While he hasn't addressed this new lawsuit just yet, Vergara blames pretty much everybody but himself for the problems surrounding the franchise.

Their co-tenants at the StubHub Center have signed their third Designated Player. For the first time in their history, the LA Galaxy have signed one of their current players to a DP deal by sealing a deal with Omar Gonzalez that will keep him in LA for several more seasons. Fellow Galaxy defender Todd Dunivant sees this as a sign of the league's growth. Gonzalez and Jurgen Klinsmann reportedly had a discussion prior to the qualifying match in Seattle about whether he should re-sign with LA or sign with a team in Europe. Klinsmann approved of Gonzalez staying in MLS.

After the National Soccer Hall of Fame closed its doors in 2010, its contents were transported to a storage unit in North Carolina, where they currently reside.

Jozy Altidore shared his thoughts on the 4-3 win over Bosnia and Herzegovina and his move to Premier League side Sunderland in a blog post on ESPN FC. It appears that this will become a fairly regular feature.

Former Sounder Sebastian Le Toux has settled into an effective playmaking role with Philadelphia this season. He currently has 12 assists this season, which is already a career high.

New York Red Bulls midfielder Dax McCarty participated in the most recent MLS Ask Me Anything on Reddit yesterday. As expected, he provided some pretty entertaining responses.

Sports Illustrated speculates on the best and worst case scenarios for each team in the Premier League this season. Cardiff City owner Vincent Tan has spent £35 million on transfers this summer and is expecting to see results this season. He also doesn't rule out the possibility of changing the name of the team, as Hull City did recently. Manchester United's new manager David Moyes is already complaining about his team's early season schedule, stopping just short of floating conspiracy theories. Gareth Bale isn't waiting for a transfer deal to go through to cash in on his fame. He recently trademarked his "11 of Hearts" goal celebration, which will feature on all kinds of merchandise in the UK.

Premier League boss Richard Scudamore is adamant about his belief that the 2022 World Cup should be held in the summer.

Foundation of Hearts, the group formed by Hearts of Midlothian supporter organizations, has emerged as the preferred bidder for the Scottish club, and will be able to move forward to take control of the club.

Here's where you can find this weekend's matches:

Friday:

  • Ligue 1: Sochaux vs. Olympique Lyonnais, 11:30 AM beIN Sport
  • Liga MX: Morelia vs. Atlas, 5:30 PM Azteca America

Saturday:

  • Premier League: Liverpool vs. Stoke City, 4:45 AM NBC Sports Network
  • Premier League: Arsenal vs. Aston Villa, 7:00 AM NBC Sports Network
  • Ligue 1: Olympique Marseilles vs. Evian TG, 8:00 AM beIN Sport
  • Premier League: Swansea City vs. Manchester United, 9:30 AM NBC
  • Liga MX: Cruz Azul vs. Atlante, 3:00 PM Univision
  • MLS: New England vs. Chicago, 4:30 PM MLS Stream of the Week
  • MLS: New York vs. Philadelphia, 5:00 PM NBC Sports Network
  • MLS: Houston vs. Seattle, 6:00 PM KONG

Sunday:

  • Premier League: Crystal Palace vs. Tottenham Hotspur, 5:30 AM NBC Sports Network
  • Premier League: Chelsea vs. Hull City, 8:00 AM NBC Sports Network
  • La Liga: Barcelona vs. Levante, 10:00 AM beIN Sport
  • La Liga: Real Madrid vs. Real Betis, 12:00 PM beIN Sport
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