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Major Link Soccer: Sounders better than you think

Second best start in MLS play. Plus Keller gets a new endorsement gig, Fagundez player of the week, Becks excited about Miami, and more.


The Sounders are actually doing really well so far in 2013 - second best start in team history in MLS play. The News Tribune's Don Ruiz explains in a piece headlined "Only expectations eclipse reality for Sounders."
I don't know, are our expectations as Sounders supporters unrealistic sometimes?

A lot of talk about the Obafemi Martins red card around here. Martins' performance in the Chivas USA match even got notice on "London's fastest growing financial website." Blogger calls the carded play an "innocent coming together."

Alessandro Nesta got a red card last weekend too, and there was no doubt about his head butt on Sporting KC'sClaudio Bieler. But this ProSoccerTalk piece argues some of the fault lies with the referee, for letting things get out of hand.

Kasey Keller has a new gig - "brand ambassador" for Castrol.

If you haven't seen any New England Revolution games you probably have missed out on the maturation of 18-year-old Diego Fagundez. Playing a winger since the team's switch to a 4-3-3, Fagundez has been scoring, but more than that he is really standing out on the field, creating a lot of chances for himself and his teammates. The North American Soccer Reporters named him the league's player of the week.

We had an interesting back-and-forth in the comments Friday about David Beckham arriving in Miami. Here's an update. It seems, based on his comments and the fact he spent almost every waking moment at the side of billionaire Marcelo Claure, a wannabe MLS owner since 2009, that something truly is in the works in Miami. And let's be honest, if Beckham shows up at MLS offices and says "I'm ready to exercise my ownership option, and I'd like to do it in Miami," there is very little chance the league says "no."

Not sure if anyone noticed over the weekend, but the former Home Depot Center, home of the Galaxy and Chivas USA, is being renamed the StubHub Center. Actually it already has been renamed, but they are saving the big grand opening for a Galaxy game, not a CUSA game.

Finally today, here is a really nice piece from the folks at RSL Soapbox about the team's use of video and data to scout and evaluate performances. Sabermetrics in soccer? Well, maybe not exactly "moneyball," but the team seems to put a lot of effort into this.

- Scott Ayers

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