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Major Link Soccer: Olympique Edition

Usually All-Star games suck, but we got a gem this year, as the MLS squad broke a 6 year losing streak thanks to the foot of our own GAM, Eddie Johnson. Depending on who you ask, the result was either A) MLS' coming out party, B) Proof that Chelsea is useless without Drogba, or C) A mostly pointless exhibition game originally designed to stroke egos. While it might be that none of the players on the pitch Wednesday dreamed 16 years ago of playing against Chelsea with a bunch of teammates they had never passed to previously, this year's game had the desired effect, and was actually able to draw on their full pool of players for once.

Now that the rant is over, it's time for some Major Link Soccer!

There is a lot of snark to be had when discussing any All Star game, but it is true; the squad that Major League Soccer turns out every year is getting better. Ives details how things have changed since the league's over-the-top celebration the last time they won. Commissioner Don Garber's halftime interview was transcribed by one of our SB Nation brothers, so here it is for all to see. ranked every player in the match. Interesting that after uber-popular homeless man Kyle Beckerman, our two Sounders reps have the most thumbs-down for their performances. To which I hear music in my head, some sort of chant... "No one likes us, we don't care."

Since precious MLS training time was being wasted utilized in Chester this week, there were no League games to note, and little news. The one noteworthy article is that it seems Geoff Cameron is headed to Stoke City after agreeing to terms with the English club. Also, Tim Cahill to New York is official, as the Red Bulls occupy their previously vacant 3rd DP slot.

Clearly the Galaxy didn't have the start of the season that everyone drew up for them. After winning the MLS Cup and bringing back Juninho and Edson Buddle, everyone assumed 2012 would be a cakewalk. This article on MLSsoccer reminds us just how important LA's DPs are. Especially Beckham. BECKHAM BECKHAM BECKHAM. (No, that last link is NOT broken).

The Colorado Rapids have been especially sensitive to the tough conditions their state has had to endure this year. Earlier they had a one game sponsor to benefit victims of the wildfires that plagued the Rockies. For Saturday's matchup against Seattle, they will be selling T-shirts in the memory of the Aurora tragedy, the proceeds of which will also go to a charity.

For the last bit of MLS news, it appears that I am not the only one frustrated with the short Reserves schedule. Whitecaps asst. coach Paul Ritchie couldn't agree more, in fact.

Outside of the US, the only news any of us care about is the fact that Verdu hasn't signed. But that has been covered already on this site, and I still have a job to do.

Seattle Sounder Alex Morgan converted a brace in the first round of the Olympics to help the States over France 4-2. In another Olympic venue, North Korea delayed the beginning of a game for a full hour because the wrong Korean flag was displayed before their match.

Interesting week for former Sounders trialists. Those with solid memories may remember Ever Alvarado, who is attempting to play abroad to no avail. Another Ex scored late for his current club Azam to send his club to the CECAFA Club Final.

Old USL Sounders foe Puerto Rico Islanders are putting the finishing touches on their new-ish stadium, which is being converted from a part-time baseball facility to a full-time soccer stadia. Sound familiar?

Scandals continue to plague Italian football, this time with a gambling ring involving 13 different clubs. More players for the rest of us, I suppose.

And finally, in even more depressing news... well, I'll just let the article speak for itself:

But this talent trawl leaves casualties and an academic study in 2009 estimated as many as 20,000 African boys are living in the streets of Europe after failing to secure contracts with European clubs following their trials.

Football is still a tough business.

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