Major Link Soccer: Qatar Bribes Revealed, Vancouver Takes Cascadia Lead

Ross Kinnaird

The Whitecaps are making a strong push to hold on to the Cascadia Cup.

Seattle

How about that game, huh? Even thought Real Salt Lake was weakened by National Team calls, the result was a pretty fair reflection of the run of play. It was a domination, and even Matt Doyle was impressed. And even against a shorthanded squad, it takes a great effort to beat the mentality of an unbeaten team.

MLSsoccer's Jonah Freedman wrote this piece pretty much tracking DeAndre Yedlin's ascent from homegrown player to World Cup contributor.

Ricardo Salazar has never been a favorite referee assignment for Sounders fans (and even with the 4-0 win, that won't change any time soon. Last Friday, Joshua Mayers put together a synopsis of the games Salazar has overseen involving Seattle. The history isn't unlike that of the Madden Curse. (BTW VOTE SHERMAN)

Jimmy Ockford got another score with the New York Cosmos this weekend.

In case you missed the reserve match with LA Galaxy II, here's a photo gallery to keep you up to date.

MLS

The Vancouver Whitecaps had never beaten Portland. It took them three years to beat Seattle, but until yesterday evening the Whitecaps had never been able to get the best of the "Rose City". Likewise, Portland hadn't lost at home in 22 consecutive regular season chances. Two streaks ended Sunday, and everything came up "Van City".

Cascadia Cup matches have proven to be the most entertaining games of the 2014 season, and this was no different. The two teams tallied 41 shots, 19 on target, and each team got fresh with the woodwork more times than I could count on my fingers. The Timbers allowed TWO shots from the spot after just horrific defending in the box. (Seriously, even Kansas City's current starters have to be better than this.) After the two penalties, Portland seemed more interested in drawing a few box fouls of their own (instead of taking actual shots). By the end, Vancouver had to endure a strong push from Portland (who didn't have the firepower to complete the comeback), finished the game leaving the Timbers to kiss their own boo-boos.

The Timbers may still be a contender, but they are making it hard for the rest of us to decide.

New York City FC may be getting their first whales: David Villa and Frank Lampard are reportedly both in for the new club. That has to have the LA Galaxy even more steaming than the Chicago heat.

World Cup

Clint Dempsey shrugged off his groin injury, made a few pretty moves, and put away a sitter to give the US the deciding goal in their tuneup game against Turkey. The first goal was scored by Fabian Johnson for hist first in a US jersey, a moment that Jimmy Conrad captured nicely.

ESPN and Microsoft have put together a preview of all 32 teams, with fancy graphics and other interesting stuff.

World

Almost no one ever doubted it, but now leaked emails have confirmed that the Qatar bid for the 2022 World Cup was aided by a number of substantial cash contributions to members of the voting committee. At this point, it isn't unfair to dream of the game being moved to the USA: Even the vice president of FIFA has said so.

Even more good news for the Football Federation: the New York Times put together an exhaustive essay on match fixing in past World Cups, including in South Africa.

One more kick in the nuts: those Brazil stadiums still aren't ready.

None of those compare to the tragedy in Nigeriawhere a soccer field in Nigeria was attacked with a bomb. 40 people died in the "resistance" attack.

FC Tuscon is technically part of the world, and it technically had the best goal of the week (probably?) on this terrific bicycle kick.

Ever since man first created papyrus, humans have had one most pressing focus in their lives: getting that paper to move a long distance and hit someone in the dome. Good luck to anyone brave enough to outdo this attempt out of England.

Didier Drogba took a little while out of his day to go see FC Dallas lose to San Jose while his Ivory Coast squad was in town. One can only hope that the comparative quality of the two teams playing didn't dissuade him from signing with MLS himself.

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