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Major Link Soccer: Drafting, Trading, Building

How much more of a success would this year be considered if the Sounders were playing Hiroshima in the Club World Cup right now?

Lintao Zhang

So many links this week, so let's just get this going.

Sounders brass will have a shorter flight than usual when they make their way to the Superdraft January 17. This year, instead of flying to Baltimore or Philadelphia, they only have to fly to Indianapolis. Maybe they can use the savings to lower ticket prices by one cent a piece. Or sweeten the deal for Verdu?

Drafts in any sport are more like the lottery, save with marginally better odds. Picking first should come with some guarantee, but the history of sports is littered with early flameouts and late-round Cinderella stories. The resources that go into scouting have become egregious, but sometimes it takes more than just money.

Sounders Women and USWNT player Sydney Leroux is hoping to join one of the west coast squads in the coming Women's pro league (hereforth known as WLS, because then you just have to flip the M in MLS and someone more skilled in Photoshop can build their portfolio). Her team mate Alex Morgan is up for Seattle Sports Star of the Year. I would like nothing better to see these two playing Seattle soccer again next year. (Eddie Johnson is also up for the award).

Steve Zakuani made his way back from a broken leg this year, to play (off and on) the last few months of the season, and while he isn't his old self yet, his recovery and that of other MLS players is inspiring.

Favorite of Sounders everywhere will be...verb?... to know that Sebastian Le Toux is back in Philadelphia, where he and the fans seemed to be getting along swimmingly before he was shockingly traded last offseason. Here's hoping he finds himself on an episode of "Always Sunny".

Speaking of former Sounders, Hot Time in Old Town doesn't paint a pretty picture of Alvaro Fernandez' time in Chicago. Since all things are better in threes, O'Brian White's rights will keep his rights in Seattle after he withdrew from the re-entry draft. Here's hoping he can someday return to his former ability. However, their goalkeeper is heading across the pond to show off his skills with Stoke City and Everton.

The tidal wave of MLS moves have begun, and the most active players have been Salt Lake and Portland. LA wasn't satisfied with having a pretty good keeper in Josh Saunders, and are looking across the HDC aisle at Chiva's Dan Kennedy. I'm sure Kennedy doesn't love wallowing in the mess that is Chivas USA, but Kennedy ending up with the Galaxy would be ridiculous. I mean it, if this happens, I'll do something drastic. I'll... I'll... throw my hands up in the air and sigh loudly.

Speaking of teams with central defenders that I want, FC Dallas has put a ring on the finger of George John, consummating a relationship expected to last 2-3 years. My dream off-season has been ruined. He and Omar Gonzalez were supposed to turn the Sounders defense into an impenetrable wall. Unlikely you say? Far-fetched you say? Doesn't matter in my dream world.

Things were looking up in New England for Revolution fans searching for a home, but just when they thought Suffolk was going to adopt them, a Casino Terrier appears to have swooped in and taken the opportunity. The other club looking for new grounds is fresh off a record low in attendance. The former model club did see a big attendance boost at the end of the year, however. Interesting note from the article states that Seattle's road games were among the least attended in the league. While part of that can be explained by their inability to play road games at the Clink, it isn't the whole story.

Over the last several months, every possible combination of words has been used to describe the creep of MLS in Queens. So if you are still interested, just click on the link. They can take their time, since the Cosmos aren't even ready for NASL right now, much less MLS.

An analysis of the most successful soccer clubs in American history unfortunately only demonstrates how limited the sport's history truly is in this country. A meager four championships is enough to get a team in the running.

Right now, the Sounders could still be playing. The Club World Cup has started, and the first goal was a doozy. If the Sounders had been the ones hitting that goal, it would certainly be a moment worthy of the coming documentary (yes, the article is old).

We should be getting news on 2013 kits during the SuperDraft events, but SaH's own Likkit has some ideas of his own. I'm fond of the left sashes myself, though frankly there may be no need for anything but the green Adidas stripes. Please, no hoops.

Here's a recap of the 2012 season from MLS. It seems Decades of Dominance wasn't as long ago as I thought.

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