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Major Link Soccer - Lots of Signings Edition

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I hope everyone is having an excellent Friday despite the gloomy weather.  I was under the impression this was August, but I must be mistaken.  Oh well, at least the Sounders lifted the gloom a little bit with their 2-1 on aggregate over-time victory against San Fransisco.  Sure, it wasn't the prettiest of games, but a win is a win.  Especially when it's in front of 21,000 Sounders fans.  There was the odd San Francisco supporter here and there, but I surely couldn't hear them!  Highlights from the match are available here.

Klinsmann Sets Roster: New USMNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has made his first national team selections for an upcoming friendly against Mexico.  Some of the surprises include DC United goalkeeper Bill Hamid, Real Salt Lake CDM Kyle Beckerman and Benefica CAM/Striker Freddy Adu.  Some of the notable absences include Clint Dempsey, Jozy Altidore, Oguchi Onyewu and Brad Guzan.  Also, FC defender Zach Loyd has replaced an injured Timothy Chandler on the roster.  However, all of these players are busy preparing for upcoming games in Europe so shouldn't really be an indication that they've fallen out of favor. 

More interesting are his choices for assistant coach as they will be one of the biggest factors in the future success of the team under Klinsmann.  The most familiar name for the Mexico game will be former USMNT midfielder and U-20 assistant coach Tab Ramos.  Ramos will be able to provide some valuable knowledge about the US system as a veteran of the national team and the acting coach of the U-20 team.  Joining Ramos will be Martin Vasquez, Thomas Dooley, Mike Curry and Mark Verstegen.  Dooley is a strong choice with extensive experience playing and coaching in the US and Germany.  Martin Vasquez is currently the director of operations for RSL's Arizona based academy and was previously Klinsmann's assistant coach at Bayern Munich. He should provide some valuable insight about the MLS academy system in addition to his previous experience with Klinsmann.  Curry and Verstegen are candidates for the goalkeeping and fitness coach positions, respectively.       

It's been a very busy week around MLS so check out some more links after the jump:

Kitsap to Play in Finals: The Kitsap Pumas have an excellent shot at some hardware this weekend when they host the PDL finals.  At 7:30 this evening the Pumas host the Thunder Bay Chill in a semifinal match preceeded by a 5 p.m. match-up between the Long Island Rough Riders and the Laredo Heat.  Hopefully, we'll see the Pumas play in the championship match at 4:30 p.m. this Saturday on FSC. Tickets are only $10 per game or $15 for a weekend pass. This will be the 7th adult Championship in the Greater Puget Sound in last 5 years.

Ferreira On the Road Back: Fans of the beautiful game in MLS are surely rejoicing with the news that David Ferreira is back training with FC Dallas.  The rest of us should be in fear of his skills on the field.  The Sounders will likely face FC Dallas multiple times in their quest for the Open and MLS Cups.  The creative midfielder, and reigning league MVP, can provide a missing spark to a very tight defensive team in FC Dallas.  

Bob Kraft Opens Wallet: Dust and moths fly everywhere.  Seriously though, the Kraft Group has finally opened up their wallets to sign a designated player.  The 22-year old Milton Caraglio is the kind of young, exciting striker that the New England Revolution need to get their fans excited about going to games again.  So, what's the catch?  A history of knee and fitness problems may turn this signing into an expensive flop very fast. 

A Deserving DP Goes Wanting: Meanwhile, the current Revolution player who has deserved a DP nod for a couple years now looks like he wants to leave.  Sharlie Joseph has been the heart and soul of the team for a while now and will be out of a contract at the end of the season.  At the age of 33, this could be his last chance to get a big payday out of the Revolution or by plying his skills in Europe.  He'll probably have better luck getting that payday in Europe.  

Ruiz Finally Leaves: The Philadelphia Union and Carlos Ruiz are finally parting ways after weeks of rumors, denials and sorta-denials.  His uniquely Central American brand of flopping never really won over the fans of Philly or coach Nowak.  This should be good news for two players I'd much rather see on the pitch: Danny Mwanga and Sebastien Le Toux.  The Philadelphia Union have also secured the rights to stand-out center-back Carlos Valdez.     

Costly Move for the Dynamo: The Houston Dynamo have gone out and acquired some attacking talent with veteran Honduran striker Carlos Costly.  The 6'3" Costly fits right into the powerful target striker role that head coach Dominic Kinnear loves.  He also comes at a great time as rookie standout Will Bruin just underwent surgery to his left knee after picking up an injury during the most recent game versus the Seattle Sounders.  There are also rumors that the Dynamo are close to signing 24-year-old Brazilian midfielder Luiz Camargo.    

More Toronto Trades: Toronto FC have sent leading scorer Maicon Santos to FC Dallas in exchange for 23-year old midfielder Eric Avilla.  The trade has upsides for both sides.  FC Dallas gets a good finisher to help with their quest for an MLS Cup (among other trophies).  Aron Winter gets a very promising young midfielder who was having a hard time finding playing time in the packed FC Dallas midfield.  Dallas have also signed dynamic Colombian midfielder Daniel Cruz.         

Chivas USA Boosts Depth: The goats have added some more depth to their midfield with the signing of veteran midfielder Laurent Courtois.  The 32-year old left winger has previous experience in Ligue 1 and the English Premier League.  He is expected to be ready to play this Saturday against the Revolution.