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Major Link Soccer: EPL-NBC debut, Cascadia Coming

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Final NWSL attendance numbers also released

This is a picture of Arlo not calling an EPL match.
This is a picture of Arlo not calling an EPL match.
USA TODAY Sports

NBC Sports made history on Saturday, earning the biggest US share of a Premier League game ever. Their Swansea-Man United broadcast earned a .5 overnight, certainly higher than every regular season MLS game in history. It remains to be seen whether or not the EPL coverage (aided by Arlo White's soothing tones) will lend a boost to the MLS ratings (New York and Philadelphia played to a scoreless draw).

Other than a RSL loss (which came with its own issues) the weekend didn't go great for SaH regulars. The Galaxy took three points. The Timbers took three points. the Rapids took three points (from Vancouver). They aren't any farther out of first place, but there's an even fiercer battle coming from the competition. Even the Earthquakes found some unexpected points when they hosted Sporting KC and took a 1-0 victory.

On the subject of Portland; the combination of Seattle's loss and Portland's victory seems to bode poorly for the Sounders, but recall that the Timbers have a midweek game versus RSL to contend with as well. Not sure what brainiac scheduled a Wednesday fixture three days before Cascadia, but what do I know?

In a score that would only have mattered to the Sounders in the 1980s, the New York Cosmos took a beating from the Carolina Railhawks in a 3-0 loss. There typically isn't room for a reasonable discussion of promotion and relegation (especially when it includes the Cosmos) but here is a solid rundown of the points and counterpoints for such a system. Also, the USL playoffs are now set, and they include a trio of MLS affiliates. Not bad for the first year of that program.

The final attendance numbers are in for the NWSL regular season. As expected, it's Portland in a landslide. Despite the monumental talent advantage they had coming into the season, I have no problem proclaiming them "Women's Soccer City USA". Seattle was below average, though I wonder if they would have got a bit of a bump from including Sounders Women numbers.

It has been over ten years since Afghanistan hosted an international match, but tomorrow Pakistan will be crossing the mountain passes to take on their neighbors in a game that will mean much more than the final score.

I learned something new on Aaron Levine's "Q it up Sports" segment, when he did a story on the son of an original NASL Sounder. Actually, there were a couple of new things. But I was interested to find out that Pat O'Day was a co-owner of the club.