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Major Link Soccer - Local Soccer Edition

The Sounders are traveling north of the border this weekend to take on Toronto FC. I'm not going to lie. I expect a big win on Saturday. Toronto, even at home, is one of the easiest match-ups in the league and an opportunity to claw back some points the Sounders left on the table last weekend when the Vancouver Whitecaps came to town. Points taken by an absolute wonder strike, and YouTube sensation, by striker Eric Hassli. I'm starting to lose track of the goal-of-the-week strikes that have robbed us of points this season.

USMNT Escape Group C: The US national team aren't doing things the easy way in the Gold Cup. The US needed a win against tiny Guadeloupe on Tuesday to advance out of group C.  Luckily they got it on the back of a excellent strike by Jozy Altidore. It was a game the US should have coasted through and probably would have if they hadn't lost a shocker to Panama on Saturday. Now they'll face much stiffer competition in Jamaica in the quarterfinals. To aid the process, the USSF have arranged private jets to ensure US stars Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey  arrive back in camp quickly after their respective sister's weddings.

More links after the jump:

No Montano for a While: Sounders midfielder Miguel Montano had a rare chance to play in league action on Saturday against the Vancouver Whitecaps. Unfortunately, he didn't impress Sigi Schmid and will need to work hard in reserve league games to get his next shot. Well, at least he didn't get a red card. 

Player Movements: The transfer window is open and teams are moving players to open up cap space and roster spots. The Chicago Fire have sold Gaston Puerari to Club Atlas which should open up more playing time for young strikers Orr Barouch and Christian Nazarit. The Philadelphia Union plan to release Carlos Ruiz to return to Puebla FC (good riddance I say). Meanwhile, New York Red Bulls are looking to improve during the transfer window with some more foreign imports.    

Cuban Defects to Portland? Another Gold Cup and another Cuban defection. Midfielder/striker Yosniel Messa defected right after the team's game against Costa Rica. He's currently training with the Traffic Sports owned Fort Lauderdale Strikers while securing his work permit. However, the Portland Timbers might be trying to land their own Cuban dynamo to man the midfield. As much as I dislike the Timbers I hope for his sake he ends up at Portland rather than the clutches of Traffic Sports.  

Makinwa Interested in MLS: Former Lazio striker Stephen Makinwa is looking to MLS to continue his career. The 27-year old Nigerian, and impending free agent, recently had a deal fall through with a Canadian club, but still thinks MLS is a good fit for him. I wouldn't be surprised if he's on the Sounders radar. He's got height, speed and is on the right side of 30. His strike rate leaves a lot to be desired, but to be fair, he has experience in the top leagues in Europe.

Dynamo Stadium Promo: A new computer generated promo for the new Dynamo stadium is out. The focus is on the VIP seating probably to secure some corporate cash. I personally like the concept for the outside of the stadium. It looks fun and exciting.

Kitsap Pumas Advance: The Kitsap Pumas have advanced to the 2nd round of the US Open Cup for their 2nd straight year. The Pumas will face the Real Colorado Foxes at home on Tuesday. They will face the Sounders in the third round should they advance. You can see pairings and locations for the Open Cup here.

W-League Final Four Tickets on Sale: The Seattle Sounders Women are hosting this years W-League Final Four at the Starfire Sports Complex. The W-League is the first and longest running women's soccer league in the U.S.   Games will be held on July 29th & 31st and tickets are now available.

Tide Host First International Friendly: The Tacoma Tide will be hosting their first ever international friendly against Port Vale FC today at 4:00 pm. Port Vale plays in the Football League 2 which is the fourth highest division in English football. Tickets are $10 at the Stadium Bowl in downtown Tacoma. Port Vale will also be playing the Pumas and the North Sound Seawolves on their tour.  

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