Major Link Soccer: Parkhurst returns. Is Edu next?

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

This week could see the return to MLS of 3 USMNT players.

2014 MLS SuperDraft

Top Drawer Soccer's J.R. Eskilson spoke with Joshua Mayers of the Seattle Times yesterday about the draft in general in addition to what Sounders fans can expect from Seattle's picks.

RSL Soapbox takes a look at Real Salt Lake's draft history. Although RSL has had mixed results, there are some names fans in the Puget Sound should be familiar with. Real Salt Lake's top draft pick as an expansion team in 2005 was used on Nikolas Besagno, who played for the Sounders in 2008 in the USL First Division before spending time with the Tacoma Tide and Kitsap Pumas. He is currently a player and coach for Washington Crossfire. In 2009, RSL took Tacoma native Raphael Cox with the 54th pick in the 2009 draft. Cox spent a season with RSL before spending a year with the Tacoma Tide. Cox has spent the last 3 seasons in NASL with Atlanta and Tampa Bay.

Matt Gaschk of SoundersFC.com previewed the players with connections to the Puget Sound region that are eligible for the MLS SuperDraft.

MLS

Now that Michael Bradley has officially been announced as a Toronto FC player, he has started to speak out about why he decided to return to MLS. In an interview with ESPN's Roger Bennett, he echoed some of the same sentiments expressed by Clint Dempsey after he signed with the Sounders. Bradley talked with Sports Illustrated about the move, his discussions with Jürgen Klinsmann about the move and how his relationship with his father (former USMNT and Egypt manager Bob Bradley) affected his decision to sign with Toronto. Bradley also compared his move to TFC to Yaya Touré's move to Manchester City from Barcelona in 2010.

Hip hop star Drake was influential in bringing Jermain Defoe to Toronto FC. Defoe admitted that he is concerned that moving to TFC could hurt his chances of making the World Cup roster for England.

With the signings of Defoe and Bradley in Toronto FC, it appears that no rumor is too silly to immediately dismiss. So when reports connecting Xavi to the New York Red Bulls began to emerge over the weekend, they weren't laughed off quite as quickly as they would have been a week ago. Unfortunately for Red Bulls fans, the rumors turned out to be false.

Kurt Larson of the Toronto Sun reported that Tim Leiweke anticipates season tickets to sell out at 17,000. Leiweke also expects every match to sell out.

After breaking news of Michael Bradley's transfer to Toronto FC, Taylor Twellman was at it again on Twitter yesterday. This time, he says Maurice Edu is in negotiations to return to MLS.

The Portland Timbers are reportedly targeting yet another Argentine. This time it's 30 year-old Tigre central defender Paparatto Norberto.

The New England Revolution has traded Jeff Parkhurst's MLS rights to the Columbus Crew for the 4th overall pick in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft and allocation money.

FC Dallas goalkeeper Raul Fernandez is drawing interest from Penarol of Uruguay. He was previously connected to a move to Peruvian side Club Universitario.

A permanent deal sending Camilo Sanvezzo to Querétaro could be finalized soon. ESPN's Jeffrey Carlisle reported on Twitter that the transfer fee will be 7 figures.

According to Alexi Lalas, Pablo Mastroeni is likely to become the next head coach of the Colorado Rapids.

The Chicago Fire has signed Northwestern University midfielder Chris Ritter to a homegrown player contract.

The LA Galaxy has signed Canadian international forward Rob Friend from TSV 1860 Munich.

In conversations about MLS expansion, it is frequently mentioned that the Minnesota Vikings exclusively hold 5 year rights to an MLS franchise in Minnesota. According to an article in the Star Tribune, those rights only extend to the Vikings new stadium.

San Jose and Real Salt Lake are the only participants in the weighted lottery for former University of North Carolina forward Billy Schuler, who opted to play in Sweden instead of signing a Generation Adidas deal in 2012. The lottery will take place today and San Jose has a 95.7 percent chance of winning.

Brian Sciaretta mentioned on Twitter that Corey Hertzog, the second selection by the Sounders in the re-entry draft, is on trial with Allsvenskan side Falkenbergs FF.

NWSL

The Houston Dash were active yesterday. The expansion franchise acquired forward Stephanie Ochs from the Washington Spirit in exchange for Danesha Adams. Houston also picked up goalkeeper Bianca Henniger from FC Kansas City for the 19th pick in the NWSL College Draft. Henniger will likely serve as Erin McLeod's backup.

The Portland Thorns traded goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc to the Chicago Red Stars for a 2015 second round draft pick. The Thorns are replacing LeBlanc with Nadine Angerer, who just won the 2013 Ballon d'Or. Portland also added midfielder Sinead Farrelly in a trade with FC Kansas City for Portland's second round pick in the 2014 NWSL College Draft.

USL Pro

The expansion USL Pro team in Colorado Springs is asking for help from local fans to come up with a name for the franchise.

US Soccer

New FC Nürnberg manager Gertjan Verbeek has given right back Tim Chandler new hope of finding success both with the club and with the USMNT.

With Michael Bradley's announced transfer to Toronto FC, there is a possibility of him playing for the USMNT in next month's friendly against Korea Republic.

FIFA Ballon d'Or Awards

The FIFPro World XI Team of the Year was revealed at the Ballon d'Or awards ceremony yesterday and consists entirely of players from Bayern Munich, PSG, Real Madrid and Barcelona.

Cristiano Ronaldo finally won his second Ballon d'Or award, beating out Lionel Messi and Franck Ribery for the honor. USMNT manager Jürgen Klinsmann left Ronaldo and Messi off his ballot, voting for Ribery, Gareth Bale and Radamel Falcao instead. Clint Dempsey voted for Ronaldo, Messi and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Inside Spanish Football lauded Ronaldo's emotional response to winning the award.

USWNT striker Abby Wambach finished second in voting for the FIFA Women's World Player of the Year yesterday to Germany's Angerer. Wambach won the award last year. This is her third consecutive year as a finalist for the award.

Rule Changes

FIFA president Sepp Blatter announced two new panels that will offer advice on law changes. "Sin-bins" that would function similar to the penalty box in hockey are expected to be considered. The general concept of sin-bins has been supported by both Blatter and UEFA president Michel Platini. The panels are also expected to consider mandatory red cards for conceding a penalty and possible changes to the offside rule.

CONCACAF has instructed its referees to stop matches in which racist incidents occur. If the racism does not cease, matches can be abandoned.

England

Manchester City midfielder Samir Nasri is out for 8 weeks after suffering a knee injury against Newcastle.

Fulham manager Rene Meulensteen is optimistic that Clint Dempsey's form will come soon, as he continues to see minutes.

West Ham United is reportedly interested in signing former New York Red Bulls defender Markus Holgersson. Holgersson recently rejected an offer from Sheffield Wednesday.

Italy

AC Milan has fired manager Massimiliano Allegri after a 4-3 loss to promoted side Sassuolo that dropped them to 11th place, just 6 points above relegation. Milan is now 30 points below league-leading Juventus. Assistant coach Mauro Tassotti will take over on an interim basis.

Portugal

Manchester United winger Nani could soon join Fredy Montero at Sporting CP on a short-term loan. Nani is a product of Sporting's youth academy and was sold to Manchester United in 2007.

TV Listings

Copa del Rey 10:30 AM Almería vs. Racing Santander beIN Sports en Español
Coupe de la Ligue 12:00 PM Bordeaux vs. PSG beIN Sports USA
Copa del Rey 12:30 PM Atlético Madrid vs. Valencia beIN Sports en Español
Copa MX 4:55 PM Correcaminos UAT vs. Puebla Univision Deportes
Copa MX 4:55 PM Lobos BUAP vs. Veracruz ESPN Deportes
Coppa Italia 6:00 PM Lazio vs. Parma beIN Sports USA (tape delay)
Copa MX 6:55 PM Atlas vs. Necaxa ESPN Deportes
Copa MX 6:55 PM Monterrey vs. Altamira Univision Deportes
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