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Major Link Soccer: Union CEO Nick Sakiewicz Pens Open Letter, USWNT's Alex Morgan in Sports Illustrated

From wallflower to Sports Illustrated. Not bad for Alex Morgan.
From wallflower to Sports Illustrated. Not bad for Alex Morgan.

In this edition of Major Link Soccer, I, Timm Higgins, will try my best not to poke bears, cause twitter outrage or other such nonsense. Lets all cross our fingers, shall we?

The Philadelphia Union have been under fire from their fan base most of this off season. Recently, on their official website, CEO and Operating Partner Nick Sakiewicz pens a open letter of sorts to the Union's fans.

Here's a bit of a excerpt.

While it is very difficult for us to move on from players like Sébastien LeToux and Faryd Mondragón, it is vital to provide the opportunity for young players who are more than ready to step up, such as Martínez, Zac MacMath, Danny Mwanga, Jack McInerney, Michael Farfan and Gabriel Farfan, among others. Additionally, adding international veterans like López, Gómez and Pajoy means room has to be made on a crowded roster.

While their President is off on safari looking for the team's first designated player, the Montreal Impact have put a call out to the fans. The call is for someone to design the team's Captain's armband. According to the Impact, it must represent the team, city of Montreal and the province of Quebec. Personally, I find this to be pretty cool, though I'm sure they'd like to have a DP more than a skipper's arm band design.

In more Impact news, forward Ali Gerba is stuck in a state of soccer limbo. Even though he still belongs to the Impact, and is on their payroll, he was not offered a MLS contract. The 30-year-old signed a two year contract extension in July of 2010 in his fourth go around in Montreal. Gerba missed all of last year due to injury; he was cut from the team in October.

"Ali’s owned by the Impact and he’s not going anywhere," Courtney James told The Gazette on Friday. "He’s not going to be part of MLS season as a Montreal Impact player. What they wish to do with him is up to them at this point. "Ali is just sitting there ... waiting for the next move."

And the Impact have made it pretty clear where they stand on this issue.

"Montreal made it clear that if he wants to leave he could walk out, but if he wants to get paid he can sit down and get paid. It’s hard for him mentally. He’s a great player. He’s a Canadian national team player. With World cup qualifying coming up, it doesn’t look like he will be a part of that because he’s not attached to a team."

In lighter news, honorary Sounder and USWNT forward Alex Morgan is going to be in this years Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue, and really what she's wearing isn't a swimsuit -- it's body paint. Check out the 'teaser' pic here. But hey, I'm not going to argue semantics on this one.

In related news, that same Alex Morgan scored two late goals on Saturday to give the USWNT a 2-1 victory over New Zealand. See her goals here.

CSU Bakersfield forward Gyasi Zardes, who in 19 games last season scored 18 goals and 2 assists, has decided to remain at the university for at the least one more season (he has two years of college eligibility left). Zardes has reportedly turned down a deal worth (supposedly) $100,000 to sign with the LA Galaxy as a home grown player. He resides in the Hawthorn district of Los Angles.

New York Red Bulls Midfielder Joel Lindpere knows the clock is ticking on his career and a shot at the MLS Cup.

"I have so much to win still. I haven’t got the MLS Cup yet," said Lindpere. "So now I have maybe one or two years to bring it home with the team. I think this is the situation that has been a very good two years for me. Best in my career. This year I need to do my work."

DC United have completed the signing of 7 year MLS vet, 30 year old midfielder Marcelo Saragosa.

"We are pleased to have concluded a deal to bring Marcelo to D.C.," said D.C. United General Manager Dave Kasper. "He is well-acquainted with our League and brings additional depth to a midfield that we feel is already one of the best in the League. We look forward to his contributions to our team."

United also announced that they have sent a international roster spot to the Portland Timbers for allocation money. The roster spot will return to United after the 2013 season.

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