Major Link Soccer: US SOCCER Already Asked to Prepare to Host World Cup?

That other hand down there is writing down the 2022 stadium alignment. - Chris Trotman

Zlatan talks MLS, Jay DeMerit will be out for six weeks, and remembering Brazil's opening day.

Please, over the next month and a half, remember that while we are having a ton of fun following the World Cupnot everyone enjoys soccer or sports in general. So have your fun, but stay respectful of the ignorant others.

Seattle

It has been a tough week for those of us who cover the team. Yesterday we announced that Randy Meeker was shifting his focus, and later that day news dropped that The Seattle Times' Joshua Mayers will be pursuing other opportunities outside the realm of sports. Luckily we still get him for two more weeks.

MLS

David Beckham is a man not accustomed to being jerked around. He is typically the one doing the jerking. So when Miami continually shuts him down and says "anywhere but there" ("oh, there? That one is problematic too"), Beckham take his ball and go home to LA. That's right, Beckham may be the next owner of Chivas, which would mean there are two more expansion slots open.

When the Sounders visit Vancouver on July 5, the Whitecaps will be without the services of Jay DeMerit with an ankle knock.

Be still my beating heart: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (which, really, it's just Zlatan) might be interested in coming to MLS in the near-ish future, according to this interview with Sports Illustrated. Anything for more of this:

NYCFC Doesn't seem to value their top draft picks. They've traded their second-rounder to the Montreal Impact for Jeb Brovsky, who I suppose becomes their second player signing? And I suppose means that he is done for the year? Man, soccer expansion is WEIRD.

The Impact weren't alone making moves during the break: the Colorado Rapids released second-year pro Brenton Griffiths.

Tempo Free Soccer looks at the popular formations of today, as well as the tactical flexibility different teams employ. MLS ranks highly among world leagues in the number of different formations that teams employ. Our league still really likes the 4-4-2.

US Soccer

A report that came out yesterday claimed that FIFA has already asked the United States to start preparing to host the 2022 World Cup. ESPN's Jorge Ramos released a tweet saying as much, which was later taken down. The tweet created some significant reactions in the soccer world on a day that also saw the start of... what's that popular Quadrennial event hosted in BrazilSunil Gulati and US Soccer have already taken the time to deny it, so it must be true.

Get Hype.

The Onion's finest reporters have picked out a few players to watch out for in the tournament, and one of those is our own Clint Dempsey. They of course treat the event with the seriousness and respect it deserves.

Timmy Chandler wasn't with the team training yesterday for an unspecified leg injury. This thins out the US even more at the fullback positions.

World Cup

Brazil, at least parts of it, have been waiting and expecting Thursday for a long, long time. And they weren't about to let FIFA skimp on the pregame festivities. Be sure to check out the tree men straight out of Guardians of the Galaxy (I can almost hear Vin Diesel growling "I AM GROOT"), and when the world's foremost soccer governing body tries to pull an Oscars with the National Anthem, the nation of Brazil does its best Halle Berry impression.

Twitter was all over the first match yesterday, with over 12 million tweets sent from whistle to whistle. Twitter's blog has all sorts of fascinating breakdowns of the conversation from yesterday, including my personal favorite: Live heat maps.

That witch doctor sure did a number of Cristiano RonaldoHe left practice again yesterday with ice on his knee.

The Brotherly Game came upon this nifty map showing where the players of each team play their club soccer.

There is one more former MLS player headed to Brazil. Ex-Philadelphia Union David Myrie played in the first ever Union match (in Seattle), and has been called up by Costa Rica.

John Oliver did that wonderful piece on his HBO show over the weekend, and now he has a followup in an interview with Seth Meyers on "Late Night". Oliver is about as expectant of the US' chances as anyone else is, I suppose.

9:00 a.m. WORLD CUP Mexico vs. Cameroon ESPN2
12:00 p.m. WORLD CUP Spain vs. Netherlands ESPN
3:00 p.m. WORLD CUP Chile vs. Australia ESPN2

There will be a World Cup Open Thread later today.

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