Major Link Soccer: Drogba returns to Stamford Bridge

Mike Hewitt

The former Chelsea striker will try to eliminate his former club from Champions League.

Seattle

Brad Evans was asked to reveal the best and the worst Sounders players in multiple categories, including "worst dancer", "worst dresser", and "biggest social media whore".

Evans also had dinner with the Seahawks newly re-signed kicker Steven Hauschka.

Sounders players were nominated to both the MLS Goal of the Week and the Save of the Week awards.

When the Sounders entered MLS, the front office looked to Toronto FC as a model of early success for an expansion team. Now that the teams are well past the expansion phase, Toronto has learned a few things from the example set by the Sounders.

Gonzalo Pineda filled in nicely for Brad Evans last weekend. He played so well, you probably wouldn't have been able to guess that he considered retirement while rehabilitating from a sports hernia injury.

If you're looking for a place to watch the USMNT vs. Mexico friendly, Mike Gastineau will be at Atlantic Crossing signing copies of Sounders FC: Authentic Masterpiece.

The performances by Michael Bradley and Clint Dempsey last weekend showed that they bring out the best in each other, even when they're on opposing sides.

Montreal has already sold 24,000 tickets for its home opener against the Sounders next weekend at Olympic Stadium.

Although the New York Cosmos haven't yet started the NASL regular season, Sounders draft pick and loanee Jimmy Ockford has already scored 2 goals in 3 preseason matches in Dubai, in addition to strong defensive performances.

Two Sounders Academy players have been called up for the USMNT U15 March training camp: defender Oscar Zepeda of Tacoma and midfielder Alec Zimmerman of Olympia.

MLS

There were no Sounders on this week's MLS Team of the Week, but former Sounder Mauro Rosales made his second consecutive appearance after getting an assist for shorthanded Chivas USA, bringing him to a league-leading 3 assists.

Jermain Defoe was named MLS Player of the Week for his first half brace against the Sounders. The team performance was good enough for Soccer By Ives to name TFC its MLS Team of the Week.

The league is doing something different with its free stream of the week this week. It's allowing fans to vote on which MLS Live match should be the stream of the week. One stream that will be free in addition to the Stream of the Week is DC United's match at Toronto FC, which will be streamed on DC United's website -- but only within the DC metropolitan area.

If you liked the Sounders full stadium mosaic/tifo display, you might want to see what Real Salt Lake has planned for its season opener.

Will Kuntz, a 30 year-old scout for the New York Yankees has left baseball to take over as Director of Player Relations for MLS, calling it "the one opportunity outside of baseball that would make me leave [the Yankees]".

Inter Milan midfielder Esteban Cambiasso may be headed to MLS this summer. Frank Lampard may do the same, unless he doesn't want to make $6.7 million to play for the LA Galaxy.

Cambiasso may have heard former Italy midfielder and Palermo manager Gennaro Gattuso, who sees a declining Serie A and improving MLS as ripe for players moving from Italy to North America.

The LA Galaxy put out a pretty useful infographic ahead of its second leg match against Tijuana in CONCACAF Champions League:

Europe

Sporting CP kept its Premeira Liga title hopes alive on Sunday, beating Porto for the first time in over 4 years and putting a 5 point gap between the two sides for the last guaranteed spot in the group stage of 2014/15 UEFA Champions League with 7 games remaining in the season.

Bayern Munich's former president Uli Hoeneß will begin his 3 1/2 year prison sentence six weeks from now. In addition to tax evasion, Hoeneß appears to have misled the club concerning the severity of his offenses and the likelihood that he would face prison time, leaving Bayern without a plan in place for a smooth transition to his successor.

Lionel Messi became Barcelona's all-time leading scorer over the weekend, with his 369th, 370th, and 371st career goals for the Blaugranes. Adidas celebrated the record with new bespoke boots.

Didier Drogba returns to Chelsea today, but this time he is attempting to eliminate the Blues from Champions League instead of helping them win it.

It has been two years since Fabrice Muamba collapsed on the pitch, suffering from cardiac arrest. Now retired, Muamba is pushing for more defibrillators to be made available at stadia across England. The FA and the British Heart Foundation have teamed up to fund 900 defibrillators for every club in the top 6 levels and the Women's Super League. So far, 360 clubs have signed up.

The FA will likely decide to reject the plan to change Hull City AFC's name to Hull Tigers, after the FA Membership Committee recommended that the name change be rejected. Hull City chairman Assem Allam said that he will keep his promise to sell the club if the name change is rejected.

US Soccer

The USMNT has scheduled its first post-World Cup friendly. It will face the Czech Republic in Prague on September 3, marking the first time the teams have faced on Czech soil.

Matt Besler's 82 year-old grandfather decided to test out a footgolf course in Kansas:

World Cup

Ghana's national team has budgeted $9.6 million for its 2014 FIFA World Cup campaign.

Former FIFA vice president Jack Warner is under investigation for accepting bribes for awarding the 2022 World Cup to Qatar. Accepting bribes may only begin to scratch the surface as far as Warner's corruption is concerned.

NWSL

The Houston Dash announced yesterday that all of its home games in the 2014 NWSL season will be broadcast locally on CSN Houston.

5 to Watch

UEFA Champions League 12:45 PM Chelsea vs. Galatasaray Fox Sports 1, Fox Soccer 2 Go
UEFA Champions League 12:45 PM Real Madrid vs. Schalke 04 Fox Sports 2, Fox Deportes, Fox Soccer Plus, Fox Soccer 2 Go
Copa MX 6:50 PM Monterrey vs. Pachuca ESPN Deportes
CONCACAF Champions League 7:00 PM Tijuana vs. LA Galaxy Fox Sports 2, Fox Soccer 2 Go
Copa Libertadores 8:15 PM Santos Laguna vs. Anzoátegui Fox Deportes
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