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Major Link Soccer: USA vs. Mexico

Will we see "Dos a Cero, part IV" tonight?

Deuce a cero
Deuce a cero

The United States men's national team could secure their spot in the 2014 World Cup tonight. All they need is a win against Mexico and a Honduras win or draw against Panama. What are the chances of a USMNT win tonight? Well, they've beaten Mexico at home 2-0 for the past 3 rounds of World Cup qualifiers, dating back to 2001. That being said, there will be several US players missing, due to injury and suspension. Michael Bradley will be out for 4 weeks with a sprained ankle, which was injured in pre-game warmups in Costa Rica. Despite that, he's sticking around for the game against Mexico instead of flying back to Italy early. Matt Besler will miss the game against Mexico thanks to a dive by Joel Campbell that would make Steven Lenhart blush. The pressure of playing against Mexico isn't new to Tim Howard, even with Brad Guzan breathing down his neck for the starting goalkeeper job.

The Sounders have won 7 of their last 8 matches and taken over the league lead in points per match. Only Real Salt Lake has more total points than Seattle, and nobody has more wins than the Sounders, despite the rave green having a game or two in hand over most of the teams near the top of the table. So the soccer media must be tripping over themselves to laud Seattle's current run of form, right? Maybe not. NBC's Pro Soccer Talk ranked Seattle 6th in their weekly power rankings despite Seattle 6 points from 2 games last week. Last week, they had the Sounders one spot higher. In a subsequent article, they explain some of the reasons for not buying into the Sounders as a top-level team while also suggesting that Seattle could be even better than their current record suggests.

Not all the national coverage of the Sounders is so doubtful though. Soccer by Ives named the Sounders their MLS team of the week for securing two wins without a lot of their first choice players. SBI also named Lamar Neagle their MLS player of the week for his two goals against Chivas USA and Chicago. In local coverage, our own Dave Clark examines the sudden appearance of set piece goals for the Sounders in recent weeks.

In a move that sparked discussion over an apparent new DP classification (later refuted by MLS) for a few hours yesterday (even leading a Whitecaps blogger to threaten non-renewal of his season tickets), Toronto FC sent their newly signed Argentine forward Maximillano Urruti and an international roster spot for the remainder of the 2013 season to Portland in exchange for Bright Dike, allocation money and a first round pick in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft. The move comes in the wake of sweeping changes in Toronto FC's front office, with Urruti having been scouted and signed under former president/GM Kevin Payne.

DC United appears to be moving closer to securing a new stadium, with the announcement that DC United and Mayor Vincent Gray will sign a project labor agreement today at 2:00 PM EDT.

Voting is open for the MLS custom cover of FIFA 14. I don't like to go around telling people what to do, but you should all click that link and vote for Dempsey.

New York City FC has hired former Rutgers athletic director Tim Pernetti to serve as its Chief Business Officer.

In a statement that surprised nobody, Sepp Blatter admitted that awarding the 2022 World Cup to Qatar may have been a mistake, with FIFA's executive committee set to decide whether to switch the World Cup in Qatar from summer to winter.

Ukraine fans have once again been involved in violence in anticipation of an international match. Three England fans had to be taken to the hospital after a mob of 30 Ukrainians allegedly attacked England fans in a coffee shop in Kiev ahead of today's World Cup qualifying match between England and Ukraine. Ukraine fans were previously involved in an altercation with Russia fans at the Euro 2012 tournament.

Real Madrid isn't content to relax their activity on the transfer market after signing Gareth Bale from Tottenham Hotspur. They are reportedly targeting Luis Suarez and Radamel Falcao for the January window, thanks to the transfer fee received for Mesut Özil.

After Kevin Prince-Boateng's move from AC Milan to Schalke 04 prior to the closing of the summer transfer window, Schalke CFO Peter Peters revealed that Prince-Boateng wanted to leave AC Milan due to the alarming rise of racist incidents in Italy this year.

Tottenham defender Kyle Walker avoided disciplinary action after being photographed inhaling nitrous oxide this summer.

Have you ever seen a player miss a sitter and thought that your dog could have finished it? Well, a dog in Argentina actually did finish a scoring chance in a 5-a-side match with a far post header. The dog went on to celebrate with his teammate: another dog, who was watching from the sidelines.

TV listings:

  • Russia vs. Israel 8:00 AM ESPN3, ESPN Deportes
  • Lithuania vs. Liechtenstein 8:30 AM ESPN3
  • Armenia vs. Denmark 9:00 AM ESPN3
  • Georgia vs. Finland 10:00 AM ESPN3
  • Malta vs. Bulgaria 11:00 AM ESPN3
  • Romania vs. Turkey 11:00 AM ESPN3
  • Spain vs. Chile 11:00 AM ESPN3, ESPN Deportes
  • Slovakia vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina 11:15 AM ESPN3
  • Luxembourg vs. Northern Island 11:15 AM ESPN3
  • Cyprus vs. Slovenia 11:30 AM ESPN3
  • Andorra vs. Netherlands 11:30 AM ESPN3
  • Macedonia vs. Scotland 11:30 AM ESPN3
  • Hungary vs. Estonia 11:30 AM ESPN3
  • Italy vs. Czech Republic 11:45 AM Univision Deportes
  • Greece vs. Latvia 11:45 AM ESPN3
  • San Marino vs. Poland 11:45 AM ESPN3
  • Belarus vs. France 12:00 PM ESPN3
  • Iceland vs. Albania 12:30 PM ESPN3
  • Bolivia vs. Ecuador 1:00 PM beIN Sport
  • Uruguay vs. Colombia 2:55 PM beIN Sport
  • USA vs. Mexico 5:00 PM ESPN, Univision Deportes
  • Honduras vs. Panama 6:00 PM beIN Sport

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