Major Link Soccer: Union releases salary data

Steve Dykes

Dempsey is the highest paid player in MLS

Seattle

When DeAndre Yedlin gets bored on the road, he likes to Instagram sneak attack Sounders strikers:

MLS

The MLS Players Union released 2014's first installment of player salary information. Clint Dempsey is the highest paid player in the league, in terms of guaranteed compensation.

Sporting Kansas City defender Ike Opara will miss the remainder of the 2014 MLS season, due to an injury to his right ankle. This means 16-year-old Erik Palmer-Brown may be called upon in the near future.

DC United defender Lewis Neal was suspended by the MLS Disciplinary Committee, but Pa Modou Kah escaped retroactive punishment for the second straight week.

Although MLS would like to find a home for New York City FC within the city limits of NYC, Yonkers mayor Mike Spano is hoping to give them a home just outside the city limits. If he isn't able to convince NYCFC to build a stadium in Yonkers, it could represent a decent alternative option for the New York Cosmos if the Elmont stadium proposal encounters too many obstacles.

San Jose Earthquakes players like to have fun with pre-match photos. Reddit user SomeCruzDude compiled some of their more entertaining moments.

Chivas USA waived Dani Fragoso and Andrew Ribeiro to make room for the signing of Lyle Martin and the trade for Martin Rivero.

NASL

NASL league commissioner Bill Peterson isn't bothered by the amount of money being spent by the New York Cosmos. He does plan on expanding the league to 18 teams "in two to three years", but the 4 team playoff format won't expand as the number of teams increases.

Peterson also has a pretty ambitious plan to convince CONCACAF to give the NASL its own spot in Champions League, although he concedes that NASL teams need to do better against MLS teams in the US Open Cup.

Although it doesn't have a team this year, Oklahoma City FC unveiled its crest earlier this week.

US Soccer

Now that the shock of Tom Sermanni's dismissal has begun to wear off, several potential replacements have emerged, including interim manager Jill Ellis, Portland Thorns head coach Paul Riley, Houston Dash head coach Randy Waldrum, along with several former members of Pia Sundhage's coaching staff. Riley called the USWNT job "the number one job in the world" when asked about his interest in the open position.

The USWNT won its first post-Sermanni match 3-0 against China.

According to a report from beIN Sports, the Copa America Centenario will be held in the United States in 2016, with an announcement coming as soon as May 1.

FIFA

The April FIFA rankings were released yesterday. The United States returns to the #13 spot, while two of their group stage opponents are now in the top 3. The highest ranked non-UEFA team that isn't in the World Cup happens to be Egypt, which climbed to 24th in the FIFA rankings and 2nd in Africa. This comes just a few months too late for Bob Bradley, who is managing the team at the top of Norway's Tippeligaen instead of preparing for the World Cup.

Jürgen Klinsmann won't be the only manager in Group G at the World Cup whose future beyond the tournament is fairly secure. Portugal manager Paulo Bento signed a contract extension that will keep him in his current role through the Euro 2016 tournament. Over in Group B, Netherlands manager Louis van Gaal is ready to move on from managing a national team.

Dozens of workers at the site of the World Cup stadium in Curitiba went on strike for several hours yesterday over unpaid wages before organizers gave in to their demands.

Australia

Alessandro Del Piero is nearing the end of his second season with Sydney FC, and it appears that the effect he has had on the A-League is similar to the effect David Beckham had on MLS. This is possibly his last season as a player.

England

Although Chelsea progressed to the UEFA Champions League semifinals, its hopes for winning the Premier League and/or Champions League took a bit of a hit, as Eden Hazard will miss at least "a couple of weeks" with a calf injury.

Although Jose Mourinho's side eliminated PSG from Champions League, that didn't stop Zlatan Ibrahimovic from crashing Mourinho's post-match interview.

Although Tim Sherwood isn't likely to retain his position as Tottenham's manager beyond the end of the current season, he has reportedly been offered his previous role as the club's technical coordinator.

Everton manager Roberto Martinez defended himself against critics of his use of loans to put his team in contention for a spot in 2014/15 UEFA Champions League, calling the criticism "ridiculous".

Former Fulham owner Mohamed Al Fayed has loaned the 7'6" Michael Jackson statue that formerly stood at Craven Cottage to the National Football Museum.

England's League Managers Association criticized Norwich for its dismissal of Chris Hughton, particularly for the timing of the decision. Hughton believes he would have been able to keep Norwich City in the Premier League.

Tranmere Rovers fired manager Ronnie Moore after he admitted breaking FA rules on betting, prompting the FA to propose stricter gambling rules.

Italy

Roma striker Mattia Destro received a 3 game suspension for punching Cagliari defender Davide Astori. The suspension couldn't be timed any worse, as Roma trails league-leading Juventus by 8 points with 6 games remaining in the Serie A season.

American investment firm Starwood Capital have reached an agreement to purchase a minority stake in AS Roma.

Roma will also play a friendly against Orlando City for the second consecutive season. The match will be held on May 23.

Parma striker Amauri may be heading to MLS this summer. Toronto FC and the New York Red Bulls have each made offers to Parma during the current Serie A season, and they are both prepared to make new offers, according to reports. A move to MLS would require a transfer fee, as Amauri's contract with Parma runs through the end of the 2015/16 season.

Mexico

For the third consecutive season, it will be an all-Mexico CONCACAF Champions League Final when Cruz Azul and Toluca meet, after Toluca eliminated Alajuelense and Cruz Azul knocked Tijuana out of the tournament, denying Herculez Gomez an appearance in 3 consecutive CCL Finals.

Jose Torres played a full 90 minutes for Tigres UANL in a 3-0 win over Alebrijes de Oaxaca to secure the 2013/14 Copa MX title.

Spain

Cristiano Ronaldo has suffered a torn thigh muscle that will not only keep him out of the Copa del Rey final, but the timetable could also force him to miss at least the first leg of the Champions League semifinals.

Former Valencia president Juan Soler has been arrested for allegedly plotting to abduct his successor Vicente Soriano.

FIFA is investigating Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid for similar violations to the ones that got Barcelona a one year transfer ban.

UEFA

We've had March Madness for college basketball, but now we're down to the final four in both continental competitions in Europe. The Champions League semifinalists are Atlético Madrid, Bayern Munich, Chelsea, and Real Madrid. The Europa League Semifinalists are Benfica, Juventus, Valencia, and Sevilla. Spain has 4 of the 8 semifinalists across both competitions.

Games to Watch

Friday
Bundesliga 11:30 AM Schalke 04 vs. Eintracht Frankfurt GOL TV, My German TV+
Ligue 1 11:30 AM Montpelier vs. Olympique Marseille beIN Sports, beIN Play, Univision Deportes
La Liga 12:00 PM Osasuna vs. Real Valladolid beIN Sports en Español, beIN Play
USL Pro 4:00 PM Dayton Dutch Lions vs. Rochester Rhinos YouTube
Liga MX 5:30 PM Querétaro vs. Atlas Azteca, ESPN Deportes
Saturday
Premier League 7:07 AM Fulham vs. Norwich City NBCSN, Live Extra
Premier League 7:07 AM Sunderland vs. Everton Live Extra
FA Cup 9:07 AM Wigan Athletic vs. Arsenal Fox Sports 2, Fox Deportes, Fox Sports Go
La Liga 11:00 AM Granada vs. Barcelona beIN Sports, beIN Sports en Español, beIN Play
La Liga 1:00 PM Real Madrid vs. Almería beIN Sports, beIN Sports en Español, beIN Play
Sunday
Premier League 5:37 AM Liverpool vs. Manchester City NBCSN, Telemundo, Live Extra
Premier League 8:07 AM Swansea City vs. Chelsea NBCSN, Live Extra
FA Cup 8:07 AM Hull City vs. Sheffield United Fox Sports 1, Fox Deportes, Fox Sports Go
La Liga 10:00 AM Getafe vs. Atlético Madrid beIN Sports, beIN Sports en Español, beIN Play
NWSL 4:00 PM Seattle Reign vs. Boston Breakers YouTube
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