Major Link Soccer: Puyol to New York?

Would either team risk a DP spot on Puyol? - Manuel Queimadelos Alonso

The Barcelona defender and long-time captain is reportedly interested in playing for one of the two New York MLS teams.

Seattle

Osvaldo Alonso participated in a live Q&A on Twitter yesterday while Sigi Schmid spoke with the media, old and new alike.

Jimmy Ockford is pretty excited about signing his first professional contract with the Seattle Sounders. He's also excited about the chance to get plenty of first team minutes with the defending NASL champion New York Cosmos.

Seattle Reign and USWNT forward Sydney Leroux attempted to demonstrate the Happy Gilmore golf swing. It didn't exactly go according to plan:

Former Sounders U23 and MLS pool goalkeeper thanked U23 head coach Darren Sawatzky and Sounders/Reign goalkeeper coach Ben Dragavon after signing with the Charlotte Eagles:

MLS

A group in Austin appears to be working on bringing a MLS team to "the live music capital of the world". 80 miles south on I-35, actress Eva Longolia offered her support for San Antiono's petition for a MLS team.

MLS released a 3 part series focused on what it takes to be a referee. Embedded below is part 1, which involves the physical endurance test. Part 2 is the written exam and in part 3, Jason Saghini referees a Red Bull Academy match.

After FC Dallas released HGP forward Bradlee Beladez, Big D Soccer details the hazards of signing too many homegrown players.

Alessandro Nesta is back with the Montreal Impact in a new role. Instead of anchoring the back line, he will join the technical staff as a consultant. Talks with Nesta about a front office role began after the 2013 season ended.

For the second time this year, a Barcelona legend is being linked with a move to New York. This time it's Carles Puyol drawing interest from New York City FC. As Puyol is currently under contract with Barcelona, the deal would require a transfer fee and a DP contract. Another report from the same publication suggests that Puyol is also interested in the New York Red Bulls, where he could be reunited with former teammate Thierry Henry.

Some details from the Matias Laba deal have emerged, in relation to what the "future considerations" actually mean. It turns out that either Laba will be back in Toronto next year or Vancouver will have to give up a lot to keep him.

After suffering an injury with Tottenham Hotspur, Jermain Defoe could miss Toronto FC's season opener in Seattle, particularly with concerns over how the artificial turf could affect his injured hamstring. Despite the injury, Defoe was still called up by England.

NASL

The league's postseason format is being expanded to an English League Championship style of playoff involving 4 teams.

League commissioner Bill Peterson talked about expansion and criticized MLS for plans to enter markets that already have NASL teams

Atlanta Silverbacks manager and technical director Eric Wynalda told SI.com that he is interested in signing Freddy Adu to the club.

The stadium proposal put forth by NASL expansion team Indy Eleven is a good deal for Indianapolis taxpayers, according to Indianapolis Star opinion columnist Matthew Tully. If approved, the stadium would make Indianapolis a strong candidate for MLS expansion, as the stadium would be located in the downtown area and seat 18,500.

The Tampa Bay Rowdies 2014 season took quite a hit yesterday with an injury to one of its key players.

On the positive side of things, the Rowdies announced a new shirt sponsor.

USL Pro

Orlando City signed 17 year old defender Tyler Turner to a multi-year contract, making him the team's youngest player.

Fans in Tulsa voted to name the city's new USL Pro team after the Tulsa Roughnecks, the city's NASL team that won the 1983 Soccer Bowl.

Europe

With the Capitol One Cup (League Cup) taking place on Sunday between Manchester City and Sunderland, the Football League dives into some interesting numbers involving the cup final.

The Football Association suspended West Brom striker Nicolas Anelka for 5 matches and fined him $133,440 for using a quenelle gesture in a goal celebration earlier this season. He was also ordered to complete an education course. Anelka can appeal the decision if he notifies the FA of his intention to do so within 7 days.

Former LA Galaxy midfielder Michael Stephens is in negotiations to join Bob Bradley's Stabæk side in the Tippeligaen for the 2014 season.

New study on soccer and brain disease

A study published by Boston University found that the first documented case of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CDE), a degenerative brain disease "believed to be caused by repetitive hits to the head", was former Chicago Fire Premier and New Mexico Lobos soccer player Patrick Grange. Grange passed away last spring from the effects of ALS, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig's Disease, which doctors believe was brought on by CDE.

2014 World Cup

Fredy Montero was not named to Colombia's squad for its upcoming friendly against Tunisia, which all but guarantees that he won't be on the World Cup roster for his country this summer.

5 to Watch

Friday

Since there aren't 5 games to watch on TV today, you should watch ESPN FC if you get the chance. Let ESPN know you want more soccer programming by tuning in.

Ligue 1 11:30 AM Evian TG vs. Nantes beIN Sport, Univision Deportes
La Liga 11:30 AM Athletic Club Bilbao vs. Granada beIN Sport en Español
Soccer Analysis 2:30 PM ESPN FC ESPN2
Liga MX 5:30 PM Morelia vs. Atlante ESPN Deportes, Azteca America (KFFV 44.2 Seattle)
Liga MX 7:30 PM Santos Laguna vs. Atlas Univision Deportes

Saturday

I'm including Fulham vs. Chelsea on the off chance that Clint Dempsey is actually included in the 18. If he isn't, Stoke City vs. Arsenal should be more interesting because Geoff Cameron is one of the players competing with Brad Evans at right back for the USMNT.

Premier League 7:00 AM Fulham vs. Chelsea NBCSN
Premier League 7:00 AM Stoke City vs. Arsenal NBC Live Extra
Bundesliga 9:30 AM Bayern Munich vs. Schalke 04 Gol TV
Serie A 11:45 AM AS Roma vs. Inter Milan beIN Sport
Liga MX 3:00 PM Cruz Azul vs. Toluca Univision (KUNS 51.1 Seattle)

Sunday

If you have beIN, be sure to get up early to catch the League Cup Final. Perhaps Jozy Altidore will get to experience Europa League again next season.

Capital One Cup Final 6:00 AM Manchester City vs. Sunderland beIN Sport, beIN Sport en Español
La Liga 8:00 AM Atlético Madrid vs. Real Madrid beIN Sport, beIN Sport en Español
Premier League 8:30 AM Tottenham Hotspur vs. Cardiff City NBCSN
Liga MX 10:00 AM Puebla vs. Querétaro ESPN Deportes, Azteca America (KFFV 44.2 Seattle)
Liga MX 10:00 AM Pumas UNAM vs. Pachuca Univision (KUNS 51.1 Seattle), Univision Deportes
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