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Major Link Soccer: CCL Begins, Open Cup finalists are RSL & DC

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And the rest of the news on and off the field are the world of soccer.

Riley is going for his fifth US Open Cup
Riley is going for his fifth US Open Cup
Otto Greule Jr

From a Sounders perspective, the semifinals of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup could not have gone any better than they did last night. Chicago will not add to their lead over Seattle in Open Cup trophies and Portland will not win their first major competitive trophy. DC United beat Chicago 2-0 before Real Salt Lake defeated Portland 2-1. If DC United manages to win the final at Rio Tinto, they could become the first team in MLS history to win the Open Cup while also finishing with the league's worst record, following in Wigan Athletic's footsteps a bit.

The Group Stage of 2013-14 CONCACAF Champions League kicked off on Tuesday night and continued last night. In Group 7, Xolos Tijuana opened with a disappointing scoreless draw at Salvadorian side Luis Angel Firpo on Tuesday. Last night, Montreal defeated San Jose 1-0 in the Group 5 opener while Sporting Kansas City handled Real Esteli 2-0 in Nicaragua in Group 2.

A few American players signed with European clubs recently. 18 year old Kainoa Bailey signed with Bayer Leverkusen last week. The former member of both the DC United and Real Salt Lake academies decided to sign with Bayer after being consulted by former national team player Brent Goulet. After a strong performance in the 2013 Gold Cup, Alejandro Bedoya is reportedly signing with FC Nantes of Ligue 1. New England Revolution striker Juan Agudelo has signed a pre-contract with Stoke City and will join them in January.

Orlando is really stepping up their talk of MLS expansion. Their claim that they will sign the "Brazilian Beckham" is widely seen as a hint that they intend to sign Kaká when they join MLS. The Orlando Sentinel opines that Sporting Kansas City's success bodes well for a MLS expansion franchise in Orlando.

Racism and match-fixing are two topics that don't seem to be going away any time soon. Could doping be the next topic expose even more of the dark side of soccer? There have certainly been more news stories on doping recently. Now, two Liga MX players have tested positive for a banned drug. A member of the Jamaican national team has also tested positive for a banned substance. Bundesliga has announced that they plan to start blood testing players this season.

Italy has handed out the first lengthy ban for racist abuse since passing new rules in June. In England, the player's association has begun advising players concerning racist and homophobic language. A referee crew from Armenia has been suspended after an admitted attempt to fix a match in the first qualifying round of Europa League.

A couple of MLS teams added to their ranks yesterday, with Houston signing Honduran midfielder Alexander Lopez as a Young DP. Toronto FC is expected to sign their next home grown player in midfielder Manuel Aparicio.

Clint Dempsey has received a ton of attention in the media after returning to MLS, but Obafemi Martins was the subject of a feature store on New York Red Bulls fans won't be happy to learn that they had a shot at signing Clint Dempsey but declined the opportunity to pursue him.

In last night's NWSL match between the Portland Thorns and the Boston Breakers, Alex Morgan suffered a knee injury 10 minutes into the match.

I'll leave you with this: Alvaro Fernandez' club in Uruguay, Nacional, unveiled probably the largest flag I've ever seen. It wrapped around half of the stadium.