Major Link Soccer: Magee holdout, Expanding past 24

Mike Magee will watch you sleep - Paul Frederiksen-USA TODAY Sports

In a rare move for MLS, a player is foregoing practice in hopes of a bigger contract.

Seattle

Clint Dempsey once again was not in the 18 for Fulham, prompting another round of calls for him to come home from his loan early.

All you prefunkers, prepare for the possibility of a new hangout near Centurylink Field late in the season. Josh Henderson is buying space in Stadium Place (that big new glass building between the Clink and Occidental Park) and putting together a "whimsical" sports bar.

This story in The Seattle Globalist takes a quick look at the Cascadia movement, crediting the Cascadia Cup in increasing awareness of the idea/theory/secession movement.

Chivas USA

Chivas USA is still a hot topic for pundits and postulators (sic) alike, and the Goat Train continues to roll this week. The current team will go without the Corona brand on their shirts in 2014, and may not have a sponsor at all until their re-brand next year.

Last week we linked to two potential new names/crests, but those appear to be dead now that Jorge Vergara is out of the picture. It sounds like the team will most certainly have a new look by 2015, however. The Goat Parade is holding a contest, taking submissions from readers interested in re-branding the team. Won't someone please submit an Aztecs-themed look?

The Goats will continue to play at StubHub Center for 2014, but could move out as soon as next season. In 2005, Chivas and Real Salt Lake joined the league together, prompting RSL Soapbox to ponder the differences (I did not realize that RSL almost moved to St. Louis).

According to a Soccer America writer, MLS bought the team this season for 25 million dollars from Vergara. The same source claims that MLS offered him 70 million dollars last season, which he didn't take.

MLS

Collinders the world over are green with envy (and festively colored pasta) at all the terrific jersey leaking going on around MLS. Next week is the league-wide planned Jersey Week, and yet we already have images for Vancouver and Chicago, not to mention all the planned mini-leaks on Twitter.

Mike Magee turned his hometown Chicago Fire around when he joined them in the middle of the 2013 season. Sources are saying he's trying to turn that MVP-caliber performance into a new deal with the club. And he's willing to hold out of practice to entice such a deal.

Thierry Henry has gone on record saying that he doesn't consider MLS to be the "easy league" that some of his fellow footballers in Europe believe. We hear these sorts of platitudes fairly often, and it's hard to put much stock in them (MLS is Henry's employer, after all). Do these statements make a difference?

While Seattle's arena situation is looking better than ever, DC's United Stadium project seems to pick up a new problem every week. It now has a politician publicly voicing concern with the agreement.

Juventus has reportedly signed 16 year-old centerback Erik Palmer-Brown off of Sporting KC. Palmer-Brown was signed by KC as a Homegrown Player in August, and makes frequent appearances with the USMNT's youth sides. Sporting denies a sale, but admits offers from Juve.

FC Dallas is taking advantage of the Youth DP tag. Their newest addition is forward David Texeira of Uruguay.

BMO Field will likely have more than one tenant soon. Toronto is holding a public meeting just before the start of the season to discuss the possibility of expanding the park to 30,000 seats, and bringing in the CFL's Toronto Argonauts to also call the downtown stadium home.

When Garber talked about expansion after the announcement of New York City FC, he was shrewd and purposeful in saying that the league would add four teams by 2020. He didn't say they would have 24 teams by the end of the decade. He simply said that they knew they wanted to add teams, and soon. Now, cities are tripping over themselves trying to get in on this, and MLS Commissioner Don Garber is now hinting that the league will still have room for more beyond 24.

USMNT

We linked on Friday to USSF's ongoing deliberation, deciding whether or not to go ahead with a planned friendly in the Ukraine in March. We may hear a decision on that today. Since then, the situation has only become more complicated. The US Government is discouraging Americans from traveling to the Ukraine, which would seem to set a strong precident for US Soccer.

As a postscript, I'd to talk to all you fine children about the dangers of Twitter. Now, I know that reading Twitters (or "tweets" as some of you know them) is a lot of fun, but they can be very dangerous if you leave yourself unprotected. Twitter is unreliable, and good people get ripped off when twitterers don't properly credit the things they retweet. This happened to me last year when I photo-slapped together an image of the "Sound-Vengers". Some other punks on twitter were claiming it as their own. (Can you believe that only two of those players are still on the team?) It is the same with rumors and speculation. Don't take it as gospel.

Okay, now you can all go back to your video whatsits and your Howard Stern Radio and your sexy Ford Pinto. Darn kids.

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