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Major Link Soccer: MLS end of season awards begin

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Four MLS End of Season awards have already been announced, and the Sounders have won only one! It is still undoubtedly time to panic.

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Update: Chad Marshall was just announced as winner of the MLS Defender of the Year Award.

MLS

The first of MLS's end of season awards were released yesterday. Columbus's Michael Parkhurst won the Individual Fair Play Award, while the Philadelphia Union won the Team Fair Play Award. The MLS Rookie of the Year Award went to Tesho Akindele.

Were the referees in the first legs of the 2014 conference finals particularly bad? There was certainly a lot more talk about their decisions than in average games.

Obviously you think Obafemi Martins deserves the nod as MLS's 2014 MVP. In case you need to back up your belief with "logic" or "reasoning," Sports Illustrated has you covered with a look at why Martins deserves the award.

Branding is big for players nowadays. Who should MLS players associate with to raze raise their images? You should really check out the list, but I'll just tell you that the first one involves "Marco Pappa John's."

At the end of this season, only three head coaches in MLS were not Americans. This marks a general trend of giving Americans opportunities in MLS in order to grow the league from within and reward those who are likely to stick with American soccer. I think it is fair to say the "foreign vs American coach" debate is nowhere near over though.

With that aside, the Impact have hired former player Adam Braz (a Canadian) as their new technical director.

It looks like FC Dallas are close to announcing an affiliation with the already existing USL Pro team Arizona United.

It appears as if RSL's Carlos Salcedo is set to leave the team. Salcedo released a statement on Twitter yesterday saying he asked the club to not pick up his option due to "personal differences with the GM at the club."

Toronto FC are upgrading their stadium, with renovations supposed to be finished in May of 2015. They'll be adding around 8,000 new seats to increase their total to 30,000. It's no 67,000 but I guess it's OK or whatever.

Orlando City FC have an update on their downtown stadium ready for you. It is also not as awesome at CenturyLink Field.

Last piece of stadium news: MLS Atlanta have released new renderings of the MLS configuration of their planned stadium. CenturyLink is better than this one too and I promise to not compare Seattle's stadium to anything else for at least another month.

Landon Donovan says he is retiring from soccer with no regrets. Seems like he is speaking a bit too early to me. Western Conference Finals ain't over yet, Landycakes.

With all the hullabaloo about Donovan's retirement, you might have forgotten about New York's aging and possibly soon-to-be-retiring star Thierry Henry. Get an update about what we know and what we don't know about Henry's future here.

Black and Red United take a look at former Sounder David Estrada's 2014 here.

NYCFC just released their 2015 away kits. In contrast to NYCFC's home kits, they look fairly dissimilar to Manchester City's. The away kits were actually leaked earlier when EA Sports made the away kits available in FIFA 15. EA Sports did the same with Orlando's kits, but the team has yet to confirm whether these kits are actually theirs.

World

Jurgen Klinsmann just did an extensive interview with US Soccer. He talked Jordan Morris, advice for MLS players entering their off-season, and his general thoughts on 2014.

When Roma sent a plane to pick up their forward Gervinho from his international match against Cameroon, they were expecting him and only him. Well Gervinho had different ideas, as he attempted to smuggle an unknown woman into Italy on the plane.

In lighter news, one of the best nutmegs I've ever seen just happened. Remember this ladies and gentlemen, for a sight this beautiful may never occur again.

Check out some of the best goals of the week from around the world here.

When was the last time you were sitting down with a nice cup of tea, and you couldn't help but think to yourself "What's the weirdest thing ever thrown onto a soccer field during game play?" Well fear not, the indisputable list is out. Highlights include a live chicken and a pig's head.

A master's game between Brazil and Argentina was set to feature Claudio Caniggia. Claudio Caniggia missing his flight to the game wasn't about to stop that from happening, as a Caniggia look-a-like donned the jersey and played in his place.

The shortest amount of time between a player coming on in a game and getting a red card is 15 seconds. That record wasn't changed recently, but it was approached when Perth Glory's Ruben Zadkovich came off after 17 seconds of play.

England's national women's team just set a new personal record: a high of 45,000 fans at a game. This number likely could have been higher had capacity not been capped.

The draw for the 2015 Copa America occurred yesterday. Interesting match-ups include Argentina-Uruguay and Brazil-Colombia pretty much everything. It's Copa America.

Reports are saying that Sony does not plan to renew its contract with FIFA when their current contract expires. Sony isn't the only one concerned. Coca-Cola is worried about "conflicting perspectives" surrounding the 2018 and 2022 bidding processes.  Hopefully these are first steps in pressuring FIFA to change it's generally terrible ways.