Major Link Soccer: Better TV Ratings

Mike Russell Foto

Seattle vs. Sporting KC pulled in much better ratings on NBCSN than last year's season opener.

Seattle

DeAndre Yedlin was featured in the first edition of Plays of the Night, which highlights plays that may have been left out of the game highlights.

Yedlin was also named to the Sports Illustrated MLS Best XI and the MLS Team of the Week for week 1.

Toronto Sun's Kurtis Larson has 5 takeaways from Seattle's win over Sporting KC from a Toronto FC perspective, and they look a lot like Toronto's keys to getting a result in Seattle.

MLS

The overnight ratings for the MLS season opener on NBC Sports Network between Seattle Sounders FC and Sporting Kansas City came in at 0.23, which represents a 283% increase over last year's season opener on NBCSN between the Houston Dynamo and DC United.

The week 1 Goal of the Week and Save of the Week nominees are in. There are no Sounders to vote for this time around.

Nick Rimando was named MLS Player of the week by Soccer By Ives and the official league website.

SBI named the Vancouver Whitecaps its MLS Team of the Week.

Power rankings are back! A former Sounder at Heart writer ranked the Sounders fourth for Sports Illustrated.

Given the unprecedented MLS presence on the likely USMNT World Cup roster, the performance of Klinsmann's squad in Brazil is just as important for MLS as it is for US Soccer.

A Deadspin writer called into question the ESPN poll that showed MLS becoming as popular with children as Major League Baseball. Keep in mind that Deadspin also published an article attempting to convince people to not watch MLS and its eventual response, written by former FC Dallas defensive midfielder Bobby Warshaw.

The league has taken over ownership of the trademark applications for Los Angeles FC and Los Angeles SC that were originally filed by Chivas Guadalajara.

Have you seen this picture of DC United goalkeeper Joe Willis yet?

New York City FC announced the two finalists to be considered for the club's crest when it joins MLS next season. Both designs incorporate elements of Manchester City, the New York Yankees and the New York Mets logos and/or colors.

The Portland Timbers signed Will Johnson to a multi-year contract extension.

The San Jose Earthquakes have signed winger Yannick Djalo on loan from Benfica.

Waking the Red looks into whether a hybrid grass surface should be considered at BMO Field when the CFL's Argos move in. Jermain Defoe participated in training with TFC for the first time and is ready to play in Seattle if Ryan Nelson lets him play on CenturyLink Field's artificial turf.

US Soccer

Jürgen Klinsmann did his best to channel Russell Wilson at a SXSW Sports interview. When Men in Blazers' Roger Bennett talked about the possibility of the USMNT winning the World Cup, Klinsmann added, "Why not?"

The USWNT lost its second consecutive game for the first time in 13 years, falling 5-3 against Denmark.

Brek Shea's loan to Barnsley ended prematurely after the club returned him to Stoke City as a direct result of Shea's gesture toward Barnsley supporters in his last appearance with the team on March 1.

Europe

Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness is currently on trial for tax evasion, with a verdict expected by the end of the week. Although prosecutors believed that he evaded $4.9 million in taxes, he admitted in court that it was actually $25 million.

Bayern manager Pep Guardiola is busy with preparations for the second leg of UEFA Champions League's round of 16, insisting that his team needs to keep the pressure on Arsenal's defense, despite the 2-0 advantage. He also took time to praise one of his former players, calling Carles Puyol "one of the greatest in Barça's history".

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu admitted that his club's reputation took a hit after the Neymar deal got it into trouble with Spanish tax authorities. BBC's David Bond agrees with him.

AS Roma and Dutch midfielder Kevin Strootman will miss the remainder of the 2013/14 Serie A season and the 2014 World Cup after tearing his left ACL this past weekend against Napoli. Strootman is expected to miss 9 months.

Italy's economic issues, the lack of significant commercial development, and relatively low match day revenues are part of the reason Serie A has fallen behind other top European leagues in recent years.

A 16 foot statue of Arthur Wharton, the first black player in England, is set to be revealed at the National Football Centre. Wharton's first professional contract came in 1889 -- 56 years before Jackie Robinson signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers.

World Cup

The 2022 World Cup's labor costs are expected to rise as a result of revelations of the deaths of migrant construction workers.

Tweet of the Day

The category created for the Zlatan still belongs to the Zlatan.

5 Games to Watch

UEFA Champions League, Copa Libertadores and CONCACAF Champions League are all on TV today.

UEFA Champions League 12:45 PM Bayern Munich vs. Arsenal Fox Sports 1, Fox Deportes
UEFA Champions League 12:45 PM Atlético Madrid vs. AC Milan Fox Sports 2
Copa Libertadores 5:15 PM Anzoátegui vs. Santos Laguna Fox Deportes
Copa Libertadores 7:30 PM Emelec vs. León Fox Deportes
CONCACAF Champions League 8:00 PM San Jose Earthquakes vs. Toluca Fox Sports 2, Univision Deportes
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