Major Link Soccer: Monday Afternoon Football, "Soccer City USA"

Dempsey making faces at skeptics - Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

USA's top soccer city is decided (sort of), the roster for Wednesday's Open Cup game becomes more clear, and an entire World Cup team gets some compromising photos taken.

Today, all news cedes the right of way to the US Men's National Team as they take on Ghana in a game monumentally important to their chances of getting out of the group stage. I for one am bullish on our chances, and will be attending our Sounder at Heart viewing party at Capitol Hill Cider. Every great sports story starts with an underdog becoming a dark horse. Let this be our dark horse moment.

Seattle

Signing a player of the caliber of Clint Dempsey is worth its weight in gold. Now with the National Team, near every interview he does with mainstream media is in his club kit, which right now is a beautiful shade of green. CNN is the latest outlet to show off our colors to the nation.

The Sounders will be rather short-handed for the Open Cup game on Wednesday. We were sure or suspected that Obafemi Martins wouldn't be part of the lineup against PSA elite, but Osvaldo Alonso hasn't been practicing either. In addition, Tristan Bowen had a setback with his concussion and also won't be available. Neither Dylan Remick nor Andy Rose seem likely either. One player who WILL be going is Marcus Hahnemann.

In USA Today, the home of "Soccer City, USA is finally answered. Well, sort of. There's three cities given, but no nominations for top soccer "towns".

MLS

This is as good a day as any to remember how little faith people had in the future of this sport in the United States back in 1994.

Victor Bernandez may have suffered a "serious" injury in the 3-0 Honduras loss to France yesterday. That isn't the sort of news the San Jose Earthquakes want to hear right now.

Everyone's "favorite" MLS referee is now everyone's favorite (really!) World Cup referee. Mark Geiger debuted on the world stage and made waves with his even handed calls.

USMNT

Sigi Schmid shares his own thoughts on today's game with the Seattle Times.

Don't forget about DeAndre Yedlinwho very well make his World Cup debut today.

The weather hasn't been complying for the boys: Natal was in flood watch mode over the weekend.

Stephen Colbert hasn't taken kindly to Jurgen Klinsmann's proclamation that the USA will not win the World Cup, so he brings on the "German Ambassador" to give some insight into what the German coach may be thinking. To match that certainty, Ghana's Andre Ayew guarantees a win over the USA. But as much as our team may want return the favor for their last two ousters, the team is steering clear of the "revenge motif".

USWNT

It's a shame that the women are playing during the World Cup, because their results are entirely buried under the amount of press blasting out of Brazil. Sydney Leroux scored the lone goal in the USA's Saturday game as they took out France in Tampa. It was an exceptionally important game because it was the first under Jill Ellis.

World Cup

Brazil of course hosted the opening match of these games when they took on Croatia. You may have seen a controversial call take place in that match that didn't go Croatia's way. Players are unsurprisingly still mad, with one saying:

"Just give Brazil the World Cup and everyone can go home".

They're even more upset to find that photos of them all bathing in the buff have made it onto the internet. The link doesn't bring you to the pictures, but I certainly can't stop anyone from Googling if that is the sort of angle you'd with to pursue.

Ever since the last World Cup in the United States, it has become harder and harder for countries to host the World Cup (or other big events like the Olympics) and operate at a profit or net benefit. Gizmodo looks at the history and wonders why anyone would want to host the games now.

That goes with the bribery, though FIFA has made a suspension of a voter who has failed to cooperate with the ongoing Qatar investigation.

Ratings are already up big time over the South Africa Cup, over 50% higher at this early stage. Can't wait to see what the numbers are like for the USA. Nearly five million people watched the first game on ESPN platforms, and even more averaged on Univision.

Supposedly Cristiano Ronaldo is back to "100%", but we will see how true that is when Portugal and Germany go head to head this morning.

You may notice that players this year don't seem to be too concerned with symmetry, especially when it comes to the area below the ankles.

They say not to text while driving. But what about chatting while heading?


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