Major Link Soccer: Grudge Match in Costa Rica

Dustin Bradford

Costa Rica still isn't over losing in the snow to the USMNT.

Another match for the Sounders, another 1-0 win. That makes 3 consecutive 1-0 winning scorelines for Seattle. The win also tied them with Montreal, San Jose and New York Red Bulls win 8 wins by a one goal margin in MLS this season. In the only other match in MLS last night, Columbus won their first match under interim head coach Brian Bliss, handing Houston its third loss in 5 MLS matches.

There were more firings in MLS yesterday, and this time it wasn't Seattle's fault. Toronto FC just about cleaned house in terminating front office executives. First, TFC president and GM Kevin Payne was let go by the team after only 9 months on the job. Payne will stay on without a title to assist with the transition. The club also parted ways with Earl Cochrane, Director of Team and Player Relations and head scout Pat Onstad.

With MLS Commissioner Don Garber's stated goal of expanding MLS to 24 teams by 2020, several cities are actively attempting to raise their profile as potential locations for MLS expansion franchises. The latest city to do so is San Antonio. Mayor Julian Castro has come out in support of bringing MLS to San Antonio, largely based on the early success the San Antonio Scorpions have enjoyed.

In another potential expansion city, the Orlando Sentinel questions Orlando City SC's claims of impressive average attendance by noting that the attendance recorded by turnstiles is a much lower number. When they host the USL Pro championship game, Orlando City will be able to use co-Golden Boot winner Dom Dwyer, after Sporting KC sent him back on loan to Orlando.

US Soccer has the story of how Werner Fricker helped secure the 1994 World Cup for the United States, which led to the creation of Major League Soccer. Fricker's commitment to bring the World cup to the United States was largely fueled by his frustrations as a player with the lack of a player developmental setup in American soccer.

Tomorrow night, the United States men's national team continues its push to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil when it faces the Ticos in San José, Costa Rica. They will be looking for their first ever win in Costa Rica, where they are 0-7-1 all-time. As if that wasn't a daunting enough challenge, the Federación Costarricense de Fútbol (Costa Rica's FA) and Ticos supporters have been doing everything in their power to cause trouble for the USMNT without violating FIFA regulations. It turns out that Costa Rica still isn't over that match in the snow in Colorado that they lost 1-0. Stars and Stripes FC explains how the US can clinch World Cup qualification with a win in Costa Rica.

There will be 38 World Cup qualifying matches on ESPN networks this weekend (including ESPN3). Unfortunately, the USMNT game in Costa Rica isn't one of them. That match will air on beIN Sport tomorrow night.

Once the United States has booked its spot in the World Cup, it looks like they might start preparing for Brazil by playing a friendly against Scotland in November. In a Twitter Q&A, Michael Bradley revealed that Seattle is his favorite place to play in the United States. Let the DP speculation begin!

Juan Agudelo sat down with Jeff Bradley of MLSsoccer.com for a 10 minute interview to discuss his upcoming move to Stoke, his success since moving to New England and whether a DP contract could have kept him in the league. Also on MLSsoccer.com, Matt Doyle examines the effect Juan Agudelo has had on New England's season.

Oguchi Onyewu is still looking for a club after interest in him in Germany and Denmark has faded. Would he be interested in taking a pay cut and return to MLS? Another big name in Europe has indicated that he would like to play in MLS someday.

The squads for every team in UEFA Champions League and Europa League have been submitted and confirmed. Check the links to see who will be eligible to play in continental competition for your favorite teams.

Michael Gspurning is up for MLS Save of the Week for his fingertip save on the counter in Columbus last weekend. You know what to do. Get to stuffing those ballots!

Mike "The Gasman" Gastineau has long been one of our favorite members of the Seattle sports media, largely because of the attention he gave to Sounders coverage. Now, he has written a book about how the Sounders became one of the most successful expansion franchise launches in American sports history. It's a book that I'm definitely looking forward to reading. The title is Sounders FC: Authentic Masterpiece and it will be available next month.

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