Major Link Soccer: Sounders-Sized Site Switch, Refs Return

The Usual Suspects are back

Meet the new Soundersfc.com. It might look familiar.

Seattle

For over five years, the internet home of Seattle Sounders FC stayed more or less the same. From year one, the site has blazed its own trail separate from MLSsoccer.com. Yesterday was the start of a new era for the club's web portal. It has been redesigned on the same platform as the league and sister team sites.

S@H was the bearer of bad news on the Clint Dempsey front yesterday, with rumors pointing to him receiving a two-match ban for actions he took in the game against Toronto FC. This coming after he started the season so strongly. It is kind of funny that he may be receiving post-game punishment, considering that Jurgen Klinsmann had to come to the defense of his USMNT captain after seeing numerous hard fouls against Dempsey in that game. It likely won't be much consolation for Dempsey to find out that he is featured in a new Seattle advertising campaign.

Joshua Mayers caught up with Sigi Schmid and asked how the coach felt about Marco Pappa's performance in the Toronto match. Sigi credited the poor performance to Pappa getting back into the rhythm of playing consistently again (something he didn't get with Heerenveem). Other questions come up, including the availability of Chad Marshall and Leo Gonzalez for the Montreal match.

Light up the Harvey Meter, because Reign FC are still wheeling and dealing. Their latest move involved signing Niki Cross (currently playing in Germany), and immediately trading her to the Washington Spirit.

After being part of the Eddie Johnson trade, Lamar Neagle spent a year in Montreal (scoring against the Sounders during that time). He reflects on that time with the team site.

A homeless man was attacked in Occidental Park after the Sounders match Saturday. The assailants were a pair of firefighters who were angered at the sight of the homeless man sleeping on the firefighter memorial located in the southeast corner of the square. As a frequent participant to the March to the Match, I can attest that "sleeping" is far from the worst thing going on with that memorial.

Pioneer Square bars certainly benefit from gameday, but what about other businesses in the area? It's a bit of a mixed bag.

MLS

The Washington Post is reporting that the MLS referees have finally reached a deal with the league, days after a blown PK call cost one of the league's marquee franchises two points (and any number of calls we would collectively like to blame on the replacement referees).

2014 will be another year in the long list of years that didn't include an American team in the Club World Cup. Thought to be as good a chance as any for an MLS team to get to the Champions League Final, each of the three remaining teams crashed out over the last two days.

It started with the LA Galaxy on Tuesday night. In one of the shortest road trips in CONCACAF, the Galaxy went to Tijuana with the intent to protect a one goal lead. By halftime they were already down 3-0, with a pair of Robbie Keane goals making the final scoreline less embarrassing. In the end, the "Battle for Southern California" was pretty underwhelming.

Sporting KC would have killed to get those two meaningless Keane goals. They were ahead of Cruz Azul 2-2 with an away goal advantage at the half, victimized twice by Mariano Pavone. He had another one in him for the final 45, and by the 70', the aggregate was 5-2 with no reason left for Sporting to hope.

While LA and KC got completely blown out of the water, San Jose very nearly pulled it off. After 210 minutes the two teams were tied at two, sending the game on to penalties. They were a couple of conversions from the spot away from a trip to the semifinals, but couldn't make it happen. Toluca will advance in their stead. An hour before the game, a report surfaced on MLSsoccer.com that San Jose was accusing Toluca of filming their training sessions.

Mike Magee has been sitting outside of the starting lineup (much to the chagrin of my fantasy team) for each of the Chicago Fire's first two matches of the starts, leading some to believe that he has some beef with coach Frank Yallop. Magee has come out and announced that he expects to play in Chicago's next match, their home opener.

That link directly above also reveals that Toronto's City Council has approved public money towards the expansion of BMO Field. The vote was nearly unanimous, with the only dissenting opinion being that of the mayor of Toronto. You know, that guy who is perpetually cracked out of his mind.

If you clicked on the link "Battle for Southern California" above, you may have realized that there was a pretty big factor left out of that conversation. If you didn't, you'll be forgiven; at this point, they are used to getting overlooked. All the same, leaving Chivas USA out of that equation isn't unlike forgetting Vancouver in Cascadia talk.

RSL Soapbox has another entry in their series on the history of soccer in their state.

MLS Commissioner Don Garber has looked at the issues surrounding Qatar's 2022 World Cup, and thinks it could be a "monumental disaster". And the money is still raking in for live sports.

Games to Watch

Europa League Benfica vs. Tottenham Hotspur 11:00am ESPN3
Europa League Fiorentina vs. Juventus 11:00am ESPN Deportes
Europa League Napoli vs. Porto 1:05pm ESPN3
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