Major Link Soccer: Bayern running away with Bundesliga title

Pep has Bayern fans dreaming of a treble repeat - Christof Koepsel

Pep Guardiola's side is 19 points clear of the next best team in Germany

Seattle Sounders

Sean Okoli's performance in the preseason has shown an ability to quickly adjust to the quality of a MLS team, most recently demonstrated by his performances over the weekend in Charleston, winning the penalty that set up the winning goal against the Charleston Battery and scoring the second goal in Sunday's 5-0 win over the College of Charleston.

HGP prospects Ike Crook and Troy Peterson were involved in the Sounders match against the College of Charleston on Sunday, but this time they were playing against the Sounders. Peterson and Crook are both doing well at Charleston, with Peterson having had a pretty productive college career and Crook getting starts in a majority of the team's matches as a freshman.

Major League Soccer

The pre-season waiver draft will be held today at 12:00 PM PST via conference call.

As the current collective bargaining agreement between the league and the player's union enters its final season, Jeremiah Oshan points out that while the minimum salary has increased significantly, the median salary has grown at a slower rate than the salary cap.

New York's secondary jersey may have been leaked over the weekend. The team's new kits will be officially revealed on March 4. New England's home jersey may have also been leaked. Other leaked jerseys include Dallas, Columbus, Colorado, Chivas, Houston, Toronto, Portland, Montreal and Philadelphia.

San Antonio Scorpions supporters started an online petition over the weekend voicing support for San Antonio getting a MLS expansion team. It already has nearly 400 signatures.

Chivas USA

SB Nation looks back on the 10 year history of Chivas USA in MLS and Jorge Vergara's legacy as the franchise enters its final season bearing the branding of Guadaljara's Liga MX side. Despite the franchise's struggles in recent years, remaining in LA is probably still in the best interest of both the team and the league. Meanwhile, Chivas USA officially announced the signing of English forward Luke Moore.

Keegan Pierce, who spent nearly 5 years working for Chivas USA, has a special feature in which he discusses the reasons for the failure of the franchise.

Chicago Fire

As expected, Chicago has freed up some cap space by terminating the contract of Federico Puppo. The Fire freed up additional cap space by trading defender Austin Berry to Philadelphia for allocation money. These moves could free enough of the team's salary budget to give Mike Magee the raise he believes he earned with his 2013 MLS MVP season. Moving Berry could also mean that former Sounders Jhon Kennedy Hurtado and Patrick Ianni will be the starting pairing in central defense for Chicago in 2014.

Colorado Rapids

With less than 3 weeks before the start of the MLS season, the Colorado Rapids still don't have a head coach.

DC United

DC United confirmed Leidos as the team's new shirt sponsor yesterday. The sponsorship agreement is set to last 3-5 years.

New England Revolution

The Boston Globe magazine has a feature on Revolution attacking midfielder Diego Fagundez, focusing on his life away from soccer.

Portland Timbers

Steve Zakuani appears to be close to returning to full training for the Portland Timbers.

Sporting KC

Sporting Kansas City turned down yet another offer from Juventus for homegrown player Erik Palmer-Brown, but the Serie A leaders aren't giving up so easy. Representatives of Juventus have traveled to Orlando to watch Palmer-Brown.

Vancouver Whitecapes

Vancouver recently had a couple of loan offers turned down by NASL side FC Edmonton.

United States

USWNT manager Tom Sermanni revealed that he isn't close to knowing who will be on his roster next year for the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup. He did announce his squad for next month's Algarve Cup in Portugal.

Kristine Lilly, Brian McBride and Bob Bradley were elected to the National Soccer Hall of Fame.

The USMNT will play its last friendly before the World Cup against Nigeria in Jacksonville on June 7.

The TV schedule for the World Cup was released yesterday. Every game will be aired on ABC, ESPN or ESPN2. All 3 USMNT group stage matches will be aired on ESPN.

Brazil

Atlético Mineiro's legendary attacking midfielder Ronaldinho recently revealed that he would like to pursue a career in the music industry after he retires from playing soccer.

The work to implement goal-line technology at the 2014 World Cup is underway, with installation and testing set to take place in the months prior to the World Cup.

Unfortunately, news reports of soccer-related violence in Brazil continue to emerge. This time, a Santos fan was beaten to death by rival supporters in São Paulo.

Hosting the World Cup this year has become progressively less popular among Brazilians.

France

Enzo Zidane, the son of France and Real Madrid legend Zinedine Zidane has elected to represent France, accepting a call up to France's U19 squad. Zidane is eligible to represent either France, Spain or Algeria.

Germany

USMNT and TSG 1899 Hoffenheim fullback/winger Fabian Johnson has signed a pre-contract with Borussia Münchengladbach and will join them after his contract with Hoffenheim expires this summer.

After Bayern Munich increased its Bundesliga lead over the weekend to 19 points with 12 matches remaining, third place Borussia Dortmund's manager Jürgen Klopp has conceded that his side doesn't have a chance at winning the league, but he remains optimistic about his team's chances in Champions League and the DFB-Pokal.

Bayern Munich attacking midfielder Thomas Müller will miss next weekend's match against Schalke 04 after suffering a torn thigh muscle in Bayern's 4-0 win over Hannover 96 on Saturday.

Bayer Leverkusen hasn't had the best of luck in the past couple of weeks. In that time, the club has been eliminated from the DFB-Pokal, go down 0-4 to PSG in the first leg of the Champions League round of 16, and lost against Wolfsburg over the weekend, causing Leverkusen to fall 19 points behind Bayern Munich.

Italy

Lazio owner Claudio Lotito responded to protests from fans calling on him to leave, saying that he has no intention to sell the club.

Napoli goalkeeper Rafael was in Brazil yesterday to undergo surgery on his right knee, which was injured in Napoli's Europa League match against Swansea last Thursday. The injury is expected to keep him out for the remainder of the season.

Mario Balotelli remains doubtful to be available for AC Milan's match against league leading Juventus next weekend, as he is still recovering from a shoulder injury. His teammate Giampaolo Pazzini has a broken nose but will available for the match, as he is expected to wear a protective face mask.

Fiorentina owner Diego Della Valle is looking to Bayern Munich's Allianz Arena for inspiration in preparations to build a new stadium for his club. The mayor of Rome gave hope to AS Roma fans hoping for a new stadium, saying that the project will be up for discussion once a proposal has been submitted.

Serie B side Pescara Calcio announced Serse Cosmi as its new manager, after the club that was relegated from Serie A last year found itself plummeting to a mid-table position.

Portugal

Porto was defeated at home for the first time in league play since the 2008/09 season. It was also the first time Porto had ever lost to Estoril in 22 matches between the two sides. The loss takes Porto out of the second automatic Champions League spot in the Premeira Liga. It also positions fourth place Estoril to make a run at a top 3 finish, as it now sits only 6 points behind Porto with 10 games remaining.

The Porto loss, along with Sporting CP's comeback 2-1 win puts Fredy Montero's side back into the second position and its automatic qualification to the group stage of Champions League. Sporting is currently 5 points behind Benfica, who defeated Vitoria Guimaraes yesterday.

Meanwhile, Sporting Braga has mutually terminated the contracts of its entire coaching staff, including manager Jesualdo Ferreira. The former Porto and Sporting manager was let go after a disappointing exit from Europa League and earning only 27 points through 20 matches in league play.

Fredy Montero was named the third best player in Portugal in an award ceremony. That's not bad, considering that the Primeira Liga is ranked as the 5th best league in Europe and Montero was struggling to produce in Colombia's Primera A with Millonarios less than a year ago. Just in case you were worried that Fredy has forgotten about Sounders fans, he tweeted about the award in English.

Spain

Barcelona has paid $18.6 million to tax authorities in Spain after what the club calls a "possible difference of interpretation". It remains unclear whether the payment is linked with the charges against the club being dropped.

Barcelona defender Gerard Pique is set to miss two weeks after suffering an injury in league play over the weekend, but he is expected to return in time for the second leg against Manchester City in the Champions League round of 16.

It was Barcelona's defensive lapses that cost it both the match against Real Sociedad and the spot at the top of the La Liga table over the weekend. The loss, combined with Atlético Madrid's loss and Real Madrid's win puts Los Blancos a the top of the table.

UEFA

Champions League

With the kind of history Real Madrid has in European competition (9 Champions League titles and 2 Europa League titles), you wouldn't think they would struggle to find results in any country in Europe. As crazy as it sounds, "Los Blancos" have only managed 1 win in Germany in 25 matches. The club will attempt to change that when it visits FC Schalke 04 tomorrow.

Euro 2016 Qualifying

The draw for the qualifying phase of Euro 2016 was held over the weekend, with teams drawn into 9 different groups. SB Nation's Nickolai Sukharev took a stab at predicting which teams will progress to the tournament proper.

United Kingdom

Goals are extremely valuable in soccer, perhaps nowhere more so than in the Premier League. According to Sporting Intelligence, each goal in the Premier League is worth £1.5 million -- up from £915,000 a year ago. The increase is largely due to the league's lucrative new TV deals.

Scotland

Rangers FC has borrowed a total of $2.5 million to assist the club's cash flow over the next few months. $830,000 of the money has been loaned by Sandy Easdale, the club's chairman. The remainder was borrowed from Laxey Partners, an investment group. The loans must be repaid by the beginning of September.

Former Rangers commercial director Imran Ahmad is asking the courts to seize $1.25 million of that money because he claims that he is owed unpaid bonuses.

Chelsea

Chelsea manager José Mourinho hinted that he may be interested in signing Monaco striker Radamel Falcao, saying Chelsea is "a club missing a striker" and suggesting that Monaco might not be a big enough club for Falcao.

FIFA presidential candidate Jerome Champagne used Chelsea's partnership with Eredivisie side Vitesse as an example of why the transfer system is in need of reform.

Chelsea is polling supporters for input on the issue of safe standing areas.

Crystal Palace

The FA has opened an investigation to identify the Crystal Palace fans who threw coins at Wayne Rooney during Saturday's Premier League match between Manchester United and Crystal Palace.

England national team

England manager Roy Hodgson is considering the use of a psychologist in an attempt to prevent a repeat of past failures in penalty shootouts.

Football League

Lucas Neill, who is the captain of Australia's national team and was once very closely linked with the Sounders, has signed with Championship side Watford in an attempt to get playing time ahead of the World Cup.

Canadian international midfielder Terry Dunfield returns to England after spending the past 3-4 years playing for the Whitecaps and Toronto FC, signing with League One side Oldham Athletic.

Manchester City

How influential is Manchester City striker Sergio Agüero in creating offense for his team? Bitter and Blue looks at what the numbers suggest.

Manchester United

Now that Wayne Rooney has signed a contract extension with Manchester United, the Busby Babe notes that Rooney has been around Old Trafford long enough to reinvent himself on multiple occasions. Doing it again is probably exactly what the team needs right now.

TV Listings

Tuesday

UEFA Champions League 9:00 AM Zenit Saint Petersburg vs. Borussia Dortmund Fox Sports 1, Fox Deportes
UEFA Champions League 11:45 AM Olympiakos vs. Manchester United Fox Sports 1, Fox Deportes
UEFA Champions League 11:45 AM Bayer Leverkusen vs. PSG Root Sports
Copa MX 12:55 PM Cruz Azul Hidalgo vs. Altamira Univision Deportes
Copa Libertadores 2:00 PM Vélez Sarsfield vs. Atlético PR Fox Deportes
Copa MX 4:55 PM Atlético San Luis vs. Correcaminos UAT Univision Deportes
Copa MX 4:55 PM Delfines vs. Mérida ESPN3
Copa MX 4:55 PM Lobos BUAP vs. Alebrijes de Oaxaca ESPN Deportes
Copa Libertadores 5:00 PM Grêmio vs. Atlético Nacional Fox Deportes
Colombia Primera A 5:00 PM Millonarios vs. Atlético Huila TV Colombia
Costa Rica Primera Division 6:00 PM Belén Siglo XXI vs. Deportivo Saprissa Telecentro
Copa MX 6:55 PM Atlante vs. Pumas UNAM ESPN Deportes
Copa MX 6:55 PM Atlas vs. Querétaro ESPN3

Wednesday

UEFA Champions League 11:45 AM Galatasaray vs. Chelsea Fox Sports 1
UEFA Champions League 11:45 AM Schalke 04 vs. Real Madrid Fox Sports 2, Fox Deportes
UEFA Champions League 11:45 AM AC Milan vs. Atlético Madrid Root Sports
Copa MX 4:55 PM Celaya vs. Necaxa ESPN Deportes
Copa MX 4:55 PM Guadalajara vs. Dorados Univision Deportes
Copa Libertadores 5:00 PM Atlético Mineiro vs. Santa Fe Fox Deportes
Brazil Serie A 5:00 PM Corinthians vs. Comercial Gol TV
Colombia Primera A 5:00 PM Envigado vs. Once Caldas TV Colombia
Guatemala Liga Nacional 6:00 PM Comunicaciones vs. Iztapa Telecentro
Copa MX 6:55 PM Monterrey vs. Pachuca Galavision
Copa MX 6:55 PM Universidad Guadalajara vs. Estudiantes Tecos Univision Deportes
Copa MX 6:55 PM Veracruz vs. Jaguares de Chiapas ESPN Deportes

Thursday

UEFA Europa League 10:00 AM Napoli vs. Swansea City Fox Sports 1
UEFA Europa League 10:00 AM Sevilla vs. NK Maribor ESPN Deportes
UEFA Europa League 10:00 AM Red Bull Salzburg vs. Ajax ESPN3
UEFA Europa League 10:00 AM Eintracht Frankfurt vs. FC Porto Fox Sports 2, ESPN3
UEFA Europa League 12:05 PM Tottenham Hotspur vs. Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk Fox Sports 1, ESPN3
UEFA Europa League 12:05 PM Trabzonspor vs. Juventus Fox Sports 2, ESPN3
UEFA Europa League 12:05 PM Fiorentina vs. Espjerg ESPN3
UEFA Europa League 12:05 PM Valencia vs. Dynamo Kiev ESPN Deportes
Brazil Serie A 2:30 PM Palmeiras vs. São Bernardo ESPN3
Colombia Primera A 5:00 PM Deportivo Cali vs. Itagüí Ditaires TV Colombia
Costa Rica Primera Division 6:00 PM Herediano vs. Limón Telecentro
Copa MX 6:55 PM Tigres UANL vs. Puebla Univision Deportes
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