Major Link Soccer: Kaka Approved, Costa Quits

IT'S HAPPENING - Adam Pretty

Ann Coulter's troll job seems to have simply given the new, strong American soccer fandom a board to spring from.

Seattle

A quick shout-out to the Reign fanbase, who drew close to 6,000 people for their 0-0 draw with Sky Blue FC. That's good for nearly filling up an entire side of Memorial Stadium. Here's hoping things continue to trend upward, enough so that ownership is tempted to open up the other side.

Our friends at Black and Red United took the loss surprisingly well in our look at "what the other guys are saying".

Spot the NASL teams:

Brian Schmetzer is a quality interviewer, and a 45 degree ice bath brings out the hard answers to the hard questions.

This is how Seattle watches the World Cup:


MLS

According to the Orlando Sentinel, today is the day that Kaka officially becomes an MLS player. The move has been rumored for a long time.. In fact, we covered the first mention in this space just more than a year ago, where one expert deemed the move "unlikely". This was so far back that we didn't even have sections in the Major Link Soccer posts. Barbarians, we were.

Jack McInerney probably didn't mean to score on a completely undefendable shot yesterday, but that's exactly what he did in the second of his contributions to Montreal's 3-0 defeat of the Houston DynamoHe has been the lone bright spot for an otherwise moribund Montreal club.

Erick Torres had his own sweet strike (the only goal in a 1-0 defeat of a ten man Salt Lake) but I like Jack's better.

The scheduled Saturday Columbus Crew-FC Dallas match was postponed to Sunday after violent thunderstorms passed over the stadium, even striking one fan in the parking lot. The original game had sold over 20,000 tickets, but only 5,000 redeemed their tickets for the Sunday draw.

Do you remember the rightous indignation of the Timbers Army after Sebatian Fernandez acted as though he was popped in the face by a wayward Portland Timbers elbow? Well, funny story, looks like Maxi Urruti was taking notes and tried to pull the same stunt earlier this month. Urruti received a fine from the Disciplinary Committee over the weekend. Meanwhile, Fabian Espindola and Fabian Castillo (last week) both received suspensions (though Castillo's is being appealed).

That Ann Coulter piece that was floating around soccer circles last week was little more than a troll job meant to incite internet riots, but it appears to have worked a little differently than it was probably intended. in subsequent days, an uncountable number of articles examining how support for US Soccer has grown have come out in direct opposition to that cynical piece. Here's The Washington PostCNN, and our own sister site of Vox. Oh, and the Germany game was ESPN's second best World Cup ratings ever.

After Clint Dempsey and Michael Bradley came back to MLS, Jermaine Jones' World Cup performances have some wondering if he may also follow the gravy train and become a DP.

Red Bull Arena's facade had a sign reminding stadium goers that biting would not be tolerated. Neither will, apparently, losing to your smaller, cross-town rivals.

Oh yeah: MLS is BACK


United States

They've liked what they've seen: Mark Geiger will be the first ever American referee to be involved in the World Cup knockout rounds.

More Americans streamed the USA-Germany game on their computers, tablets, or various other devices than streamed the Seahawks-Broncos Super Bowl this year, according to Quartz.

Landon Donovan has admitted to rooting against the USA right after his surprising and controversial rejection from the final 23.

Chicago is opening up Soldier Field for a massive viewing party of tomorrow's USA-Belgium match, which I assume will replace the Grant Park event they've been doing.

Is the US Soccer coach starting to see things in a more positive light? The families of the players in Brazil have all been told to move back their flights back to the States. Omar Gonzalez cities a certain shared confidence.

Rooting interests can be complicated when the fans come from immigrant families, or those with strong ties to another country.

Much of the national team's success can be attributed to the domestic league's growth.

World Cup

The most optimistic of USA supporters may be looking at the Cup-ending injury to Nigel De Jong and counting it as a karmistic (sic) victory that they will be able to take advantage of after taking care of business over the next week. Meanwhile, teammate Arjen Robben is saying both that he was fouled and that he also embellished on the call leading to the game-winning penalty kick against Mexico.

Costa Rica played their way past Greece and made it into the final eight. Their surprising success can in part be attributed to Joel Campbell. He has been part of the Arsenal program for years but couldn't get work in England until his play began to lift his country. He may get to don the cannon this coming EPL season. But while Arsenal is certainly finding Campbell on their depth chart now, Campbell is struggling to find himself; that is, finding the World Cup sticker featuring his likeness among the five-hundred stickers he bought.

Kevin-Prince Boateng was sent home hours before Ghana's critical match with Portugal (a win in which could have knocked the USA out of the tournament). The company line was that he was sent away for fighting with players, but Boateng is speaking back out, saying that the real reason was because he was asking where the money was going.

Rooting for England in the World Cup is much like rooting for Seattle Sports to win the league trophy (or at least it was, pre-2014). Their entire history is one of heartbreak. So it irritates some English folks to see the fervor for US Soccer rising while their team has almost never been lower.

Some players are currently observing Ramadan, fasting while participating in Soccer's highest level of competition. How do they play without food or water during the day?

Europe

The hiring of Helena Costa as the head coach of a male second-division team was supposed to be something of a watershed moment, but her assignment only lasted 49 days before she could no longer put up with the people running her team.

Chicharito appears to be actively pursuing a move from Manchester United.

He'd be a great target for the soon-to-be-rebranded Chivas USA.

The English Giant surely wishes now that they would have put down some cash on James Rodriguez when they had a chance; supposedly they were offered the Colombian striker for 5 million pounds years ago, and didn't take it. The striker has scored five goals in four games this World Cup.

Aston Villa looks to be fighting for their lives this coming season as well: the club only has 10 million pounds to spend on new players this summer.

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