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Major Link Soccer - Koke(d) Out Edition

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The Sounders play the Chicago Fire after a great win against Real Salt Lake.  Meanwhile, the Fire will be dealing with plenty of changes as they released coach Carlos de los Cobos this week and installed Frank Klopas as the interim head coach.  He'll be looking to get more out of the Fire while searching for a long-term coach for the team. 

The Sounders Reserves beat the Timbers Reserves 2-0 this week off of goals from Servando Carrasco and David Estrada.  You can see pictures of the match here. The Sounders webpage has the two goals, interviews and footage from practice here.  The Carrasco goal is about as good a free kick as you'll see in MLS.  Although I doubt Carrasco and the Reserves will get a break from coach Brian Schmetzer for their 4-0 record.  

Two Gone, Who's Next?: The big news of the week was the firing of coaches Carlos de los Cobos and Teitur Thordarson.  Drew Epperley sees a few more coaches on the hot seat including Steve Nicol in New England, Robert Warzycha in Columbus and Aron Winter in Toronto. Steve Davis, on the other hand, believes it's all about the players, and was shocked to see Thordarson go early.  He sees unwelcome parallels to Toronto FC's first few years in the MLS.

Meanwhile, in Toronto, Aron Winter iss the guy who is supposed to stop the madness of the Toronto FC coach carrousel.  It's going to be hard to survive too many 6-2 losses and diminishing fan support.  I personally think he might be let go before the end of the season. Of course, Jeremiah Oshan disagrees with me on this.  We've placed a good Belgian beer on the line and we'll see who is right as the season rolls on!    

More links after the jump:

Kitsap to Play for USOC Berth: The Kitsap Pumas faced the Portland Timbers U-23 team today for a spot in the US Open Cup.  The match was made a tie-breaker after the Open Cup schedule between the two teams ended as a perfect tie. Thankfully the Pumas prevailed with a 3-2 win over the Timbers U-23 team.

Koke(d) Out: Houston Dynamo striker Sergio Koke is leaving the team for personal reasons after just seven appearances. The Spaniard claims he decided to leave to be closer to his family, but Dynamo Theory thinks the striker found the league much more difficult than he first thought. The Dynamo have applied to MLS to have the contract voided and will likely have cap space to bring in a replacement during the summer window.  

Joseph Won't be in the Gold Cup: New England Revolution striker Sharlie Joseph has decided not to join the Grenadian National Football Team for the upcoming Gold Cup.  The Revolution are struggling to keep out of the bottom of the Eastern Conference and will need Joseph to turn things around.  I'm sure Steve Nicol appreciates the dedication to club over country.

Hahnemann Released: US National Team keeper Marcus Hahnemann has been officially released by the Wolverhampton Wanderers.  Hahnemann was a graduate of Seattle Pacific University and played with the Seattle Sounders before moving to the Colorado Rapids and then Fulham in the Premier League.  He has expressed interest in coming back to the Northwest although there have been no talks so far.  He is currently in camp with Bob Bradley and the rest of the USMNT.

Kickette Approved: Well known soccer blogger Kickette has seen the latest Sounders ad campaign and heartily approves. She also is perfectly willing to claim credit for the teams efforts to reach female fans. Of course, it's not as blatant as the upcoming Virgin Mobile 'Man Auction' that the NSC Minnesota Stars are participating in.  Of note, Ely Allen, a former Washington Husky midfielder from Kent, is also participating in the Man Auction - just in case you happen to be in Minnesota.  Thanks to reader Ballardiana for sharing the Kickette link.     

All FIFA Federations to Vote: International man of myopia Sepp Blatter wants to change how FIFA votes for the locations of future World Cups.  The 24-man executive committee will no longer make the sole decision.  Rather they'll develop a short list of candidates and allow the 208 soccer federations vote on the finalists.  A positive change, but short-sighted.  Only a complete overhaul of the organization will end the corruption endemic in FIFA.   

K-League Crisis: In other corruption news, Korea's highest professional soccer league is undergoing a wide-ranging corruption scandal.  Six players have been arrested for match-fixing (among other crimes) and another former player has allegedly committed suicide.  Even worse...some clubs may have known about the match fixing by their players and responded not by turning the players into the authorities, but trading them to lower division clubs or overseas.  No worries though.  FIFA has decided to step in and provide help to the K-League in dealing with the corruption problem.