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Major Link Soccer - Anticipation Edition

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We're only one day away from first kick and the excitement is building. The Sounders face a tough start to the season facing both the LA Galaxy and the New York Redbulls in the same week. The prognosis is good on our three injured players. Brad Evans and Steve Zakuani both trained on Saturday and could be ready for either game this week.

On Sunday practice was closed for the first time this season, but Joshua Mayers spotted Steve Zakuani looking good during finishing drills. Miguel Montano and Mauro Rosales were training on Sunday along with academy product Ryan Herman. Mike Fucito is still out with a groin strain, but it thankfully looks like it won't be another season ending injury for the striker.

Sounders Call on Fans to Help Japan: The American Red Cross will be at the game tomorrow against LA to collect donations to help Japan recover from the recent earthquake and tsunami. The proceeds will go to help the victims including those from the devastated region of Sendai. Japan is still in a perilous state right now as the government works diligently to prevent further problems at the nation's damaged nuclear plants.

More news from around the league after the jump:

Catching Up with Marshall: Tyrone Marshall talked recently to Joshua Mayers about his new situation with the Colorado Rapids and the Sounders decision to allow him to go into the re-entry draft. He doesn't feel that he got a fair shake from the Sounders, but is excited to be in Colorado. 

Garber Wants to Reward Attacking Soccer: MLS is known internationally as one of the most physical in the league where enforcers like Dema Kovalenko can have thriving careers. MLS Commissioner is making positive comments about ensuring referees protect technical players and encourage attacking soccer. We'll see if it amounts to much over the course of the season.

MLS Cup in LA?: Tim Leiweke, the CEO of the AEG, hinted in a recent fan luncheon that the 2011 MLS Cup will be held at the Home Depot Center in LA. The Home Depot Center is owned by AEG and the home ground for both the LA Galaxy and Chivas USA. AEG owns both the LA Galaxy and the Houston Dynamo. This could be a big advantage for the LA Galaxy which are aiming to make a serious title run in the last year of David Beckham's contract. 

Know Your Enemy: The Portland Timbers picked up some national exposure this weekend with a story on the website of the USA Today. Lots of 'Soccer City USA' references along with a bit of history from the old NASL days. The Timbers have sold 12,00 season tickets for their inaugural season in the MLS. In other news, Jack Jewsbury has been named captain of the Timbers.

Eric Hassli Debuts Against the Rapids: The Colorado Rapids finished their preseason tour of the Northwest with a game against the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday. The Whitecaps lost the game 1-0 to the MLS Champions on a strike by Jaime Smith. New designated player Eric Hassli had his first start for the Whitecaps, but will have to wait until the regular season before notching his first goal for the expansion team.

A Place to Follow Mexican Futbol: SB Nation has just started a blog for those of you looking for a good English language site to follow Mexican Futbol. SBN's well-known sports and soccer enthusiast Kevin McCauley will be writing for FMF State of Mind. It should be a great place to get information on some of the Sounders opponents for CONCACAF Champions League games.

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