Major Link Soccer: Tim Howard: The Internet Sensation

Tim Howard could save Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman from old-timey prisons - Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

If you liked this article, you may also like: "How to get America into Soccer" By Keith Olbermann

Seattle

We've covered the Sounders' use of Tableau before, but Geekwire takes another look at how the team gathers data on player fitness.

Now for some DeAndre Yedlin stuff that isn't strictly Sounders-related, but I write the posts so stuff goes where I say it goes. And also, he's ours. You can't have him.

The soccer world is learning more about Yedlin, and it likes what it sees. American Soccer Now was impressed with his contribution before Belgiumand this piece made what happened almost prophetic. One Italian blog is claiming that Inter and Roma are both interested in him.

DeAndre Yedlin vs. Belgium from Rob Usry on Vimeo.

MLS

Chivas has done it again, knocking off the San Jose Earthquakes 1-0. With their second win in a row, they are now in eighth place in the West, and could potentially be tied for sixth with the right results this weekend. They get to play the Montreal Impact on Saturday, and may have the services of new pickup Nathan SturgisThe Goat Parade takes a close look at the trade here.

In an effort to quell their poor play of late, the Impact have signed a new Designated Player. Meet Ignacio Piatti, an Argentine midfielder and veteran of Copa Libertadores who is yet only 29.

The other game involved Chicago and so of course was a draw. In Toronto with a man advantage they still couldn't score enough for an honest victory.

Kaka has had a lot to say since his swearing in as the first Designated Player in Orlando City history. He has talked at length about how excited he is to be in the States, even taking a pay cut to be part of MLS instead of Brazil or Italy. The exact location appears to have been in doubt until the last minute: the New York Red Bulls and LA Galaxy have come calling more than once and were in it 'till the end.

Keith Olbermann knows how to grow the game in the United States, and he didn't advocate for the abolishment of ties (which puts it above most such suggestion lists automatically). What he did say is that MLS teams maybe shouldn't try to take on the identities of European clubs (he referenced FC Dallas and New York City FC, when a handful of more egregious examples exist). As with a lot of things Olbermann says, I acknowledge his points without outright agreeing with them. Would it be nice to have an American voice as good as Ian Darke? Absolutely. Is it really going to grow the game more than just having Ian Darke? Probably not noticeably.

Finding land in Boston isn't working out for the New England Revolution, so their friend-with-benefits Rhode Island are now in talks to bring the club to the smallest state.

World Cup

I keep an RSS feed going on CNN to keep tabs on how soccer (and occasionally the Sounders) are penetrating the mainstream of the USA. Since the Ghana game, CNN has had something up nearly every day about the sport, which definitely was not the case four years ago. The best of the bunch in the past two days was this video of the President of the United States gave a call to Clint Dempsey (and a certain heroic goalkeeper) for their performances in the World Cup.

In the days since the game against Belgium, Tim Howard has become an honest to goodness meme. There are many brilliant iterations, but my absolute favorites:

Suddenly, FIFA thinks the USA wouldn't be such a bad host for the World Cup after all, saying "it's more popular than the NBA" and "the support is unprecedented" and "they don't employ indentured servants (to build their stadiums)". Okay, that last one is a lie. They don't care about borderline slavery.

FIFA is right though: viewership for the games this go around were through the roof, with a 9.6 overnight rating and 23 million viewersGrantland put together a nifty map of the ratings in various markets, one which the Seattle area performed favorably in. Perhaps because they were already off work when the match started, New York had the best numbers.

Over at SI.com, Liviu Bird looked at the strategies the United States employed and took special note of Yedlin's performance. He also put together a potential roster for the World Cup in Russia, which includes three current members of the Sounders system (hint: Jordan Morris) and three Seattle natives.

SBO did some serious leg work looking at what the players of US opponents made in club salaries, and it turns out the USA is getting terrific bang for their buck.

World

Another incident between rec players and referees ended in tragedy. A ref at a game in Michigan was struck in the face by a member of one of the teams in the game he was presiding over and died from the injury. The assailant has been charged in the death.

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