Major Link Soccer: Julian Green sides with the USMNT

Thomas Niedermueller

The U.S. squad got a huge boost when one of the brighter prospects in Europe announced his intentions to permanently side with the stars and stripes on the national stage.

Seattle Sounders

MLSSoccer.com has a great article about Gonzalo Pineda and his return to the pitch after he came off the bench to play 61 minutes in the Sounders 2-1 loss to Toronto.

The opposition to the rising ticket prices related to away games and the arrival of the Seattle Sounders has been starting to get a bit ugly on Twitter. Like all reasonable citizens, ECS took to social media to just use data and numbers instead of words.

MLS

I was baited by the link "Robbie Keane Amazing Trick Shot" and was a bit disappointed it just involved a shopping cart.

The Generation Adidas Under-17 Cup will begin on April 14 and take place at FC Dallas' Toyota Stadium. The Seattle Sounders squad is in Group A with the New York Red Bulls, Colorado Rapids and Flamengo (from Brazil).

US Soccer

A few hours after the Missouri Comets won the franchises' first Major Indoor Soccer League championship, the Comets might not have a league to play in after the MISL dissolved. Both sides traded some heated statements and it looks like there is a lot of water that needs to be swept under the bridge before the MISL and USL can reconcile their differences.

The U.S. Soccer Development Academy made a slight change to the postseason this year, creating an elimination format for the Under-15/16 and Under-17/18 groups. The postseason will have a knockout round, followed by a semifinals and finals. The will be held on July 19.


USMNT

Earlier today, Bayern Munich gave Julian Green permission to join the U.S. for a friendly against Mexico on April 2. Green, who had played soccer with the Germany youth teams, was wavering between the USMNT and the German national team. Earlier on Tuesday, he made the right decision.


Europe

Andre Villas-Boas, former boss at Chelsea and Tottenham, has replaced Luciano Spalletti as head coach of Zenit St. Petersburg. The Russian club canned Spalletti earlier in the month and sits three points back from the top spot in the standings.

Hull City defender George Boyd was charged with misconduct and suspended for a game after allegedly spitting at Manchester City's Joe Hart during a 2-0 loss on Saturday. In other Hull City news, with all of the hullabaloo swirling around owner Assem Allam's threats to change the team name, it looks like things might be swinging in the fans favor. The BBC reported the FA rejected the proposal to rebrand the club to the Hull City Tigers and will ask the season ticket holders to vote on a rebrand.

In a different twist, two unnamed EPL clubs have commissioned tests of their players' DNA by the British company DNAFit. While some skepticism abounds about how the information is used, others think that genetic profiling among athletes will be the new norm in just a few years.

Nicolas Anelka and the quenelle keep on drumming up controversy. Anelka was sacked by West Brom for "gross misconduct" but now the FA has requested that FIFA extend that sanction across the world, so that no matter who he signs with he has to serve the suspension.

Ruper Stadler, the Chairman of the Board of Management at Audi, and Pep Guardiola sat down for an interview that shines quite a bit of discussion on Audi, but also some nice insight (and slick web design) on Bayern's star coach.

The BBC released a report on Tuesday that the EPL is falling well short of providing appropriate services for disabled fans. According to a report by BBC Sports, only three of the top stadiums even provide enough wheelchair spaces in the first place. Eight of the 20 EPL teams don't even offer half of what they should under national guidelines.

Manchester United is having a very public fall from grace all over the place. Fred Done, a very rich bookmaker, said he would give any fan that bet the team would win the league this season a full refund. Despite the team's struggles, David Moyes denies that his job security has faltered recently. The response seems like yet another in a long line of slightly clueless responses to bad things happening to the club.

World Cup

The Guardian has been doing a fantastic series on the 25 best moments in the history of the spectacle, and today's piece on Scotland's 1978 is well worth a read.

Pretty much the common theme now for the World Cup in Qatar is that any news isn't good news. After evidence of corruption involving Qatar's bid came to light, many countries are pushing for FIFA to re-run the bid for the 2022 World Cup.

Games to watch

UEFA Champions Olympiakos vs. Manchester United 12:45 p.m. Fox Deportes, Fox Soccer 2GO
UEFA Champions Borussia Dortmund vs. Zenit 12:45 p.m. Directv, Fox Soccer Plus
CONCACAF Champions Toluca vs. San Jose Earthquakes 5 p.m. Univision Deportes, Fox Sports 2 USA
CONCACAF Champions Cruz Azul vs. Sporting KC 7 p.m. Galavision, Fox Sports 2 USA
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