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Major Link Soccer: Ozzie a salary "best deal"

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Plus debate about a CUSA player shoving a ball boy, and news on a 14-year-old phenom, a stalled TFC deal, and more.

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The folks over at Pro Soccer Talk have been going through MLS team-by-team in the wake of the salary figures released by the players' union last week. In the Sounders salary profile they point out that 50 percent of the team's budget is spent on forwards, and place Ozzie Alonso among the three "best deals" for the money. You can scroll through their posts to find break downs on other teams as well.

A lot of MLS talk sites were abuzz Monday with discussion of the incident in which Chivas USA defender Mario De Luna shoved a Portland Timbers ball boy who refused to give him the ball. De Luna got a yellow for the incident. Many wonder if the punishment was harsh enough, while others wonder why the ball boy wouldn't just give him the ball. Video of the incident on the link (joe.ie)

In Philadelphia, the continued hot streak by striker Jack McInerney - now with seven goals - has one columnist calling for the 20-year-old to get time with the U.S. Men's National Team (sportsnetwork.com).

We reported last week that Toronto FC had signed Queens Park Rangers defender Tal Ben Haim on loan. But TFC GM Kevin Payne says the deal is not done, and may never get done. He also said the team is hoping to bring in a DP forward this summer (Soccer By Ives).

Speaking of not-done deals, some major opposition is rising to the planned MLS stadium in New York City, including this anti-stadium op-ed piece from parks' lovers, which appeared in the New York Daily News (ny4p.org)

Every year MLS runs a competition called "Sueno MLS," a reality, try-out show that allows the winner a chance with an MLS team. This year's winner, 14-year-old Alexander Soto of New Jersey, is from a long line of Colombian soccer players - both his father and grandfather were professionals. Kid is apparently amazing. Link includes video of a free kick goal that shows some major ball-control skills. He will be joining Red Bull's academy (mlssoccer.com).

From the business side of MLS, a couple notes:

Continental Tire has signed an extension as the official tire of MLS, and added U.S. national team sponsorships too the deal (tyrepress.com)

Topps has signed on to make Major League Soccer trading cards. Here's a first-look at the cards and some of the special features that will be included. I can't wait to get my hands on a DeAndre Yedlin rookie card (beckett.com)

- Scott Ayers