Former Sounders Academy and current Bucknell forward Jesse Klug has written an open letter on SB Nation's Outsports regarding how homosexuality is viewed by those who disapprove of it. In the article, Klug challenges some of the most common reasons people have for disapproving of homosexuality. Klug, who is gay, is currently a sophomore at Bucknell University, where he has scored 7 goals in 847 minutes (0.74 per 90) for the Bison. Although Klug did not graduate from the Sounders Academy, he did manage to win a 1A state title with Overlake, as described in a Fan Post last year.
Fulham manager Martin Jol dismissed speculation that Clint Dempsey might return to Craven Cottage on loan during the MLS off season.
The Sounders are doing everything they can to help you come up with an excuse for why you can't make it in to work, due to a midweek playoff game this week. The cutting edge technology of Mad Libs is used to come up with a perfectly legitimate and personalized excuse.
Major League Soccer
After a disappointing 2013 season, in which Vancouver failed to qualify for the playoffs, the franchise has fired head coach Martin Rennie and plans to hire former San Jose Earthquakes and LA Galaxy head coach Frank Yallop. This will be Yallop's first soccer-related job based in Canada since managing the national team from 2004 to 2006. Yallop has 11 years of experience as a head coach in MLS. During that time, he has won the MLS Cup twice (2001 and 2003) and the Supporters Shield once (2012). He is also a two-time MLS Coach of the Year (2001 and 2012).
As frustrating as it was for the Sounders to settle for a draw in the final game of the season against the LA Galaxy, Colorado is entering the playoffs with even less momentum, having lost at Vancouver 3-0 on Sunday night.
Real Salt Lake has a new shirt sponsor, beginning next season. LifeVantage will reportedly pay RSL $30 million over the next 10 years to have its name on the front of the team's jerseys. Like XanGo and Herbalife, LifeVantage is a "netraceutical marketer" with a network of independent sales representatives.
The race for the MLS playoffs, CONCACAF World Cup qualifying and the CONCACAF Gold Cup all helped boost the internet traffic for the league's official website. The number of users per month accessing the web site has nearly doubled in the past year.
ESPN opted not to cover the midweek knockout games in the MLS Cup playoffs. NBC Sports Network will broadcast both games, but as KONG will also broadcast the Seattle vs. Colorado match, it is likely that NBCSN will simply pick up the video feed of the home team's broadcast rather than sending a crew to Seattle and Houston.
Remember when I said Atlanta might be the next MLS expansion team yesterday? I'll be okay with it if you never bring that up again or rub it in that I was wrong, because MLS is reportedly close to announcing an expansion team in Miami owned by the group led by David Beckham. As crazy as it sounds, it's entirely possible that Miami is announced before Orlando. If the reports are correct, Miami could begin play as soon as 2015, but no later than 2017.
As the playoffs begin, Steve Davis of Pro Soccer Talk asks whether there are too many teams in the playoffs. While that might be a relevant question most years, it doesn't seem so this season, when the team with the top regular season record only finished 10 points above the last team to qualify for the playoffs. For perspective, Seattle finished 10 points above #3 seed Real Salt Lake in 2011 as the #2 seed in the Western Conference.
Although the racist abuse that occurred in Moscow last week is primarily a UEFA issue, FIFA isn't wasting any time as they attempt to address the issue of racism in Russia. The sport's global governing body is now seeking assurances from Russia that racism will not be tolerated at its stadia during the 2018 World Cup. FIFA president Sepp Blatter does not seem to think boycotting the World Cup would be helpful, as Yaya Touré suggested as something players might do if the issue is not adequetely addressed.
In response to the UEFA investigation of the racist chants directed at Touré in Moscow, CSKA president Evgeny Giner is now accusing the Manchester City midfielder of inventing the entire incident. Giner goes on to claim that the British media is bitter over losing the 2018 World Cup bid to Russia, insinuating that the coverage of the incident is motivated by revenge.
Racism isn't always overt and it isn't just limited to Russia. CONCACAF president Jeffrey Webb, who heads FIFA's anti-racism committee, recently met with ethnic minority players in England and said that many of them feel demoralized due to the apparent lack of opportunities to move into coaching or management after their playing careers have ended. In many ways, English football finds itself in a similar position to where the NFL was 10 years ago when the Rooney Rule (which requires teams to interview ethnic minority candidates for certain coaching and management positions) was established. It may take a similar ruling by the FA for ethnic minorities to be given better chances in England in the near future. Webb says England must address this issue.
UEFA president Michael Platini would like to see the World Cup expanded from 32 nations to 40. This suggestion comes in response to Blatter's position that there should be more representatives from Africa and Asia in the tournament. Platini doesn't want that increase to come at the expense of any of Europe's allocated spots in the World Cup. The last time the World Cup was expanded was from 24 nations to 32 in 1998. Sports Illustrated's Brian Straus sees further expansion as motivated by money and politics.
There will be no replay of the match between Bayer Leverkusen and Hoffenheim, in which the Leverkusen's winning goal was mistakenly allowed to count after going through the side netting. Germany's sport court dismissed Hoffenheim's appeal of the outcome of the match.
It appears that no fourth official is safe near Borussia Dortmund manager Jürgen Klopp. When a decision doesn't draw the rage of Klopp toward the fourth official, he may simply kick the ball at the official's head and make it look like an accident. Watch your backs, fourth officials of Germany and UEFA. You never know when he'll strike next.
After being upset by UCLA over the weekend, the Washington Huskies dropped to #5 in the latest Top Drawer Soccer rankings. Previous #1 team Cal also lost last week, but UCLA's rise means there are still 3 Pac 12 teams in the top 5. Sean Okoli's Wake Forest moved up one spot to #7.