Major Link Soccer: Arsenal to visit New Jersey

Some are calling the friendly a pseudo Thierry Henry testimonial - Richard Heathcote

Arsene Wenger's team will set foot on American soil for the first time in 25 years. Unfortunately, that soil will be in New Jersey.

Seattle

Lamar Neagle is the subject of a feature in The Daily Herald of Everett, chronicling his experience playing for 3 different teams in 3 different countries since initially signing with the Sounders in 2009.

If you haven't done so already, you should check out Matt Negrin's longform treatment of the Cascadia rivalry between Seattle and Portland, "Burn, destroy, wreck, kill: Soccer's Pig War produces spies and battle cries in the Pacific Northwest".

The Sounders are partnering with the American Red Cross to raise money for relief for the victims of the Oso mudslide. The team will collect donations at the game tomorrow, and Paul Allen's foundation will match donations, up to $15,000.

Columbus Crew midfielder Wil Trapp previewed tomorrow's game in Seattle:

MLS

Former Sounder Alex Caskey is reportedly set to be loaned to the Richmond Kickers for their game this weekend against the Charleston Battery, his other former club.

James Riley, another former Sounder, will be out for 6 months after a successful meniscus surgery.

Toronto FC has reportedly signed Canadian national team midfielder Issey Nakajima-Farran.

Some new details about Orlando's new stadium emerged yesterday. It will have a capacity of at least 18,000 when the stadium is finished next year.

Arsenal will make an appearance in the United States for the first time in 25 years when they play the New York Red Bulls in a friendly on July 26 at Red Bull Arena.

Nigel Reo-Coker had the misfortune of suffering a concussion after tripping over a bike rack, in what MLSsoccer.com described as an "off-field walking accident". He is expected to miss this weekend's match against Houston.

The 2014 season hasn't exactly started the way New England Revolution fans had hoped. After playing only 22 minutes last season and failing to make an appearance so far this season, the Bent Musket wonders if it's worth considering loaning Charlie Davies to Rochester.

The LA Galaxy has formed a sports science department.

The latest episode of MLS Insider takes fans behind the scenes at Toronto FC:

US Soccer

Jürgen Klinsmann is looking for his MLS players to display a sense of urgency with their clubs, now that the MLS season is underway.

Oguchi Onyewu is still trying to make his case, now that he's seeing regular minutes with Sheffield Wednesday.

Josh Gatt reportedly has suffered a torn ACL and will be out indefinitely.

Will Bruin's hot start to the 2014 MLS season has some wondering if he deserves a chance to earn a spot on the World Cup roster for the USMNT.

After securing the commitment of Julian Green to the USMNT, Klinsmann and his staff are setting their sights on Arsenal's Gedion Zelalem, who recently pulled out of Germany's U17 team.

Mix Diskerud remembered last year's Gold Cup win for Throwback Thursday.

USL Pro

The owners of the Pittsburgh Riverhounds and the group that owns Highmark Stadium have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, which will allow each entity to restructure its respective debt. USL Pro released a statement in response to the news:

USL PRO is aware of the voluntary filing for Chapter 11 protection and reorganization taken by the entities which own and operate Highmark Stadium and the Pittsburgh Riverhounds.

The necessary financing to ensure the Riverhounds continued fulfillment of their USL PRO obligations during the initial phase of these proceedings has been set in place, and there will be no modifications to the league schedule at this time.

The Riverhounds will open their 2014 USL PRO season this Saturday, March 29, at defending champions Orlando City.

We are strongly committed to USL PRO in Pittsburgh and will closely monitor developments in this situation in order to protect the interests of the league and its member teams

The 2014 USL Pro season is underway for some teams, while others still have yet to finalize their rosters. Despite that, Red Nation's Aaron Nielsen was able to compile a season preview.

Europe

UEFA has given its approval for plans for a new Nations league tournament to go forward. The competition is expected to replace international friendlies and Euro qualification, with the potential to replace World Cup qualification. The plan isn't without its critics, including the international players union and Borussia Dortmund manager Jürgen Klopp.

13 police officers have been identified as suspects in the 1989 Hillsborough tragedy that killed 96 fans in Sheffield.

Was it the right decision for Bundesliga clubs to vote against using goal-line technology? Citing the costs involved, Ryan Cowper thinks it was.

In England, the FA had nearly $2.7 million of funding cut by the country's sports agency, due to declining participation in soccer at the grassroots level. Part of the blame for the decline belongs to a combination of bad weather and substandard facilities, leading to more games being cancelled. The lack of investment on the local level has also made it more expensive to participate in local soccer.

Victor Valdés' playing career at Barcelona appears to be over, after the Catalan goalkeeper learned that his injured right knee will require a 6-8 month recovery timeline. Spain manager Vicente Del Bosque expressed his sympathy for Valdés after learning the news. The injury has consequences for both the World Cup and the La Liga title race. With the injury and Real Madrid's loss on Wednesday, there is perhaps an opening for Atlético Madrid to claim the league title. Barcelona will have to trust that Jose Manuel Pinto will be a capable replacement for the remainder of the season.

Several Manchester United players have agreed to purchase non-league club Salford City FC, a club to which some of them have direct ties.

5 Games to Watch

Friday
Bundesliga 12:30 PM Schalke 04 vs. Hertha BSC Gol TV, My German TV+
Ligue 1 12:30 PM Nice vs. PSG beIN Sports, beIN Play, Univision Deportes
Liga MX 6:30 PM Querétaro vs. Tijuana Azteca, ESPN Deportes
Liga MX 8:30 PM Santos Laguna vs. Pumas UNAM Univision Deportes
Australia A-League 11:30 PM Central Coast Mariners vs. Western Sydney Wanderers Fox Soccer 2 Go
Saturday
Serie A 10:00 AM Bologna (Friberg) vs. Atalanta beIN Sports, beIN Play, RAI
Premier League 10:30 AM Arsenal vs. Manchester City NBCSN, Telemundo, Live Extra
La Liga 12:00 PM Athletic Club Bilbao vs. Atlético Madrid beIN Sports, beIN Sports en Español, beIN Play
Liga MX 4:00 PM Cruz Azul vs. Atlas Univision
MLS 7:00 PM Seattle Sounders vs. Columbus Crew Q13, MLS Stream of the Week, MLS Live
Sunday
Premier League 8:00 AM Liverpool vs. Tottenham Hotspur NBCSN, Mun2, Live Extra
Liga MX 11:00 AM Puebla vs. León Azteca, ESPN Deportes
Serie A 11:45 AM Napoli vs. Juventus beIN Sports, beIN Sports en Español, beIN Play, RAI
MLS 12:00 PM New York Red Bulls vs. Chivas USA UniMás, MLS Live
Liga MX 6:00 PM Guadalajara vs. América UniMás, Univision Deportes
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