Major Link Soccer: USA vs. Belgium Edition

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The USA takes on Belgium today in the round of 16. No matter how this one turns out, fries will always be better with ketchup than with mayo.

Seattle

Looking for a place to view today's USA-Belgium game? Look no further than the showing at the CenturyLink Field Event Center. The showing will be hosted by AO Seattle and the Sounders, and a few unnamed Sounders players and staff members will be in attendance. Or you could attend the party at Cheney Stadium's Summit Club in Tacoma.

Apparently Seattle has a lot of soccer fans. Who knew. According to Gigya, Seattle has the largest share of the USMNT's fans of any city.

MLS

Prepare your fantasy teams, Jose Mari sprained his ankle at practice on Friday and is set to miss as many as four upcoming MLS games.

With the US having done better than many expected in the World Cup so far, the Seattle Times takes a look a at how soccer has grown in America over the past few years. Some think that the success of soccer in America is not determined by the USMNT, but by MLS.

If you're like me, you question pretty much everything a referee does. Well it turns out you're right to- at least when it comes to stoppage time. Refs in MLS apparently pay more attention to the needs of the home team when determining stoppage time, tending to give more time if the home team is behind, and less if they are ahead.

The Dynamo are set to announce a new sponsor today.

USA vs. Belgium

USA vs. Belgium: #AreYouReady (via U.S. Soccer)

With the US and Belgium set to kick off at 1:00 pm, Belgium's starting defense is still in question, with Thomas Vermaelen having been ruled out, and Vincent Kompany's status still questionable.

Whether or not you thought Clint Dempsey did a good job of holding up play against Germany and Portugal, you can certainly be happy that Jozy Altidore will at least be an option in today's game.

There are a few previews of the game out there, including one by MLSsoccer.com and one from Bleacher Report.

Top Drawer Soccer takes a look at the Germany-Algeria game, and what it tells us about the USMNT. The article looks at the wide play of the USMNT, and notes that against Belgium both DeMarcus Beasley and Fabian Johnson will likely be forced to stay put on defense. The article fails to mention a certain DeAndre Yedlin and what his effect might be on wide play of the Belgium-USA game.

After numerous headlines about Landon Donovan "rooting against the US," he has offered a clarifying statement, claiming his words were taken out of context.

Michael Bradley has gotten a lot of stick for not having too much of an effect on World Cup games so far, but one thing you will hear no one looking down on him for is a lack of movement. He has run the furthest of any player in the World Cup, 23.6 miles.

World Cup

Wondering how a World Cup commentator prepares for a match? Ian Darke details some of his preparations in this Sports Illustrated article, as well some of his experiences in Brazil so far.

South Korea left the World Cup with a single point, prompting some fans to throw toffee at the players when they arrived in Korea. Apparently that's a bad thing. I don't really get it. I mean comeon candy.

With FIFA 15 set to be released in September, EA Sports is releasing new trailers about some cool new gameplay, which includes moving hair and uniforms. I can not wait to view Obafemi Martins's flowing locks in their full video game glory.

With views of World Cup highlight reels racking up on the internet, Univision and ESPN are cracking down on use of goal footage.

Sounder at Heart's own BallFann has a round up of future USMNT prospects for 2018 and beyond. Seriously guys we aren't even done with Brazil yet.

This World Cup has seen an unusually high number of goals, especially considering that the number of goals scored in World Cups has been shrinking since 1998.

SB Nation's Zito Madu questions the thinking behind African football teams being lumped together into a single playing style of "tactically poor but athletic."

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