Major Link Soccer: MLS expansion returns to Florida

David Ramos

David Beckham and Don Garber are expected to announce Miami as the 22nd team in MLS.

Seattle

Retired Mariners right fielder Jay Buhner is pretty excited to see a team from Seattle finally win a major sports championship trophy. The way the city has embraced the Seahawks run for the Super Bowl reminds him of what it was like in 1995 when his Mariners team refused to lose (until the ALCS anyway).

In the latest episode of Rave TV, Sigi discussed Joe Roth meeting with the team for the first time in 2014, Jalil Anibaba and Chad Marshall gave their scouting reports on Marco Pappa and the co-MVP's of the flag football game did their best impressions of Richard Sherman and Doug Baldwin in the post-game interview.

A new episode of the Sounders FC Roundtable podcast was also released yesterday and includes an interview with Chad Marshall, one of the shiniest additions to the team in the offseason.

After landing with the Sounders, Pappa is excited to bring his creativity to the team and promises to give 100% of his effort to the team.

Sounder at Heart reader Lachlan Galbraith posted another report from training and came away particularly impressed with Pappa and trialist Dzenan Catic (and, of course, their boots). For more on Catic, check out his trialist profile if you haven't already.

Sounders Women and UW goalkeeper Megan Kufeld was recently awarded the UW President's Medal, which is only awarded to four students each year. Kufeld is the first student athlete in decades to win the award for academic excellence.

MLS

Despite the fact that a stadium deal is not yet done, David Beckham and MLS commissioner Don Garber are reportedly ready to announce plans to add a MLS expansion team in Miami.

Columbus Crew chairman Anthony Precourt sat down for an interview with Fox Inside MLS's Kyle McCarthy to discuss his vision for the franchise for 2014 and beyond. One topic that came up was the team's logo. Precourt thinks the theme of the logo can be tweaked to better represent the city of Columbus.

The Vancouver Whitecaps announced plans to celebrate the team's 40th anniversary, including an anniversary match on May 3 against the San Jose Earthquakes, who they faced on May 5, 1974 in the team's first ever match.

Toronto FC has released the final block of season tickets to go on sale for the 2014 season. The club has capped season ticket sales at 17,000 and expects to sell out every match this season.

Philadelphia signed goalkeeper Brian Holt for the 2014 season. Holt is expected to sit behind Blake and MacMath in the depth chart.

Former Philadelphia Union and current Chivas USA midfielder Gabe Farfan has been loaned to Liga MX side Jaguares for the remainder of the 2014 Clausura season.

Seattle fans weren't the only ones happy to see the Seahawks win the Super Bowl by such a wide margin. FC Dallas ran a promotion yesterday, offering single game tickets for 51% off, one percentage point for every point scored in the Super Bowl on Sunday. Luckily for the Hunt family, it wasn't a 55-45 shootout.

Over at MLSsoccer.com, John Bolster ranked all 19 MLS teams on the moves each team made over the offseason. Unlike that episode of March to the Match, there was no jab at Seattle this time, and the Sounders were placed in a respectable spot in the rankings.

MLS announced yesterday that it will sponsor a warm up tournament for the World Cup from May 27 until June 10. Participating national teams include Spain, Nigeria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Greece, Honduras, and Ivory Coast. In addition to national teams that are participants in the World Cup, El Salvador and Bolivia will also participate.

NASL

All of us at Sounder at Heart and SB Nation would like to welcome Twice a Cosmo, the network's first blog dedicated to a NASL team.

US Soccer

The future of the USMNT attackers appears to be in good hands, as the U17 squad recently won the Aegean Cup after beating France, Norway and Turkey, scoring 10 goals in four games.

Brad Evans is beginning to face strong competition for his spot as the USMNT's starting right back. The most immediate threats are Geoff Cameron and Timothy Chandler, who are both beginning to find success for their teams in Europe.That success gives Klinsmann options at a spot that has been lacking in depth for a while now.

The USMNT will reportedly play a 3 match series in the US before leaving for Brazil in June. The final warm up opponent will be Nigeria.

Chris Wondolowski's brace against the Republic of Korea has led to renewed debate over whether he should be included in the World Cup roster. Since having an extra "W" placed on his jersey in the first match of the Gold Cup last summer, Wondolowski has scored 7 goals and added 1 assist in 8 appearances.

Jürgen Klinsmann revealed the 5 players he plans on building the USMNT roster around for the World Cup, and it certainly looks like a spine. The only part of the spine that isn't set in stone is the central defenders.

Michael Parkhurst said that he would have kept playing in Germany if it wasn't a World Cup year or he didn't have a shot at making the World Cup roster.

Canada either hasn't gotten sick of being scored on by Sydney Leroux or it has some masochistic tendencies. In either case, they have scheduled another friendly against the USWNT in Winnipeg on May 8.

Spain

Luis Aragonés, the former manager of the Spanish national team, passed away this past weekend at the age of 85. Aragonés played a key role is building Spain into one of the best national teams in history, establishing its tiki-taka short passing style that was retained by Spain's current national team manager, Vicente Del Bosque. After falling to eventual finalist France at the 2006 World Cup, Aragonés led Spain to its win at Euro 2008 that began the national team's historic run of winning 3 consecutive major international tournaments.

FIFA

FIFA's International Football Association Board (IFAB) will hold preliminary meetings to discuss the expanded use of video replay technology to assist with penalty and offside decisions in addition to previously reported issues such as sin bins and the so-called triple punishment that sometimes occurs when a penalty kick is conceded.

TV Listings

Coppa Italia 11:30 AM Udinese vs. Fiorentina beIN Sports en Español
FA Cup 11:45 AM Fulham vs. Sheffield United Fox Sports 2, Fox Deportes
Coupe de la Ligue 12:00 PM Nantes vs. PSG beIN Sports USA
Copa MX 12:55 PM Cruz Azul Hidalgo vs. Monterrey Univision Deportes
Copa Libertadores 3:00 PM Nacional vs. Oriente Petrolero Fox Deportes
Copa MX 4:50 PM Querétaro vs. Necaxa ESPN3
Copa MX 4:55 PM Guadalajara vs. Estudiantes Tecos Univision Deportes
Copa MX 4:55 PM Lobos BUAP vs. Chiapas ESPN3
Copa Libertadores 5:30 PM Santa Fe vs. Morelia Fox Deportes
Copa MX 6:55 PM Celaya vs. Atlas ESPN3
Copa MX 6:55 PM Universidad Guadalajara vs. Dorados Univision Deportes
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