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Major Link Soccer: Twas The Night Before Christmas

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Sounders Academy having success, Houston sign Erick Cubo Torres as DP, US players win CONCACAF awards, and will the MLS need to make a change at the top to help the league grow.

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Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the field Alonso cleaned up and Dempsey back heeled. The defense was shaking and their stockings were bare, goals were coming soon with an Oba flip through the air.

The fans were all nestled snug in the stands, with hopes they will see back flips, cart wheels, and hand stands. Sigi in his scarf, and Barrett in his cap, with all on the bench ready for the chant.

It rose through the Stadium with such a clatter "Seattle Sounders" echoed and the opposing team jumped to see what was the matter. Like a flash Yedlin was gone, stole the ball the attack was on.

The glow of lights on the turf below made all the fans realize the game was a go. When what to their wondering eyes would appear, Neagle scoring goals and Hahnemann celebrating with a beer.

The season was over too soon, too quick, hoisting the trophy and the cameras click click.

Happy Holidays Everyone.

MLS

The Sounders Academy has shown its success at many levels this year. From Home Grown Players DeAndre Yedlin, Aaron Kovar, and Sean Okoli winning trophies at the highest level all the way down to the U14's. 2014 has been a very eventful year for the Sounders and their academy.

Obafemi Martins and Osvaldo Alonso join Landon Donovan on Soccer America's list of best players for 2014. I can't believe Boswell and Hedges beat out Chad Marshall and Zach Scott for best centerbacks and Andrew Farrell beat out DeAndre Yedlin for best rightback.

The Houston Dynamo have signed Erick "Cubo" Torres to a 5 year contract.  "The Robot" had his option picked up by MLS then loaned to Chivas Guadalajara. Part of the new agreement is for Torres to finish the 6 month loan and return to Houston no later than July 1st. A Houston franchise record of $7 million dollars was paid for the new DP.

2015 will be the 20th season for MLS. During these 20 years soccer has made inroads into American living rooms. How does MLS break into the top 3 sports of NFL, MLB, and NBA? Some say a change at the top.

This time of year most MLS teams are deciding if they should sign academy players to HGP contracts. The New York Red Bulls had that decision taken from them recently when one of their top prospects chose to go to the MLS Combine and enter the draft.

Pre-season soccer is going to Texas. The Austin ATX Pro Challenge will be held February 13th -15th at the University of Texas. Austin a city famous for it's music scene and naked drummer Matthew McConaugh hope to show the MLS they can also be a Soccer City.

Promotion and Relegation are a staple in every other league in the world. Some feel in the USA winning and money trump promotion and relegation. While others believe it so much they let it fly at MLS Cup 2014.

US Soccer

Two US Soccer players were recognized by CONCACAF Tuesday for their outstanding play in 2014. Tim Howard was named "Goalkeeper of the Year" and also came in 3rd for "Player of the Year". Abby Wambach won "Female Player of the Year" and US Referee Mark Geiger won "Referee of the Year".

The US U-20 Men's National Team finished the year with a second victory over Honduras. 2015 brings CONCACAF Championship and a chance to play at the U20 World Cup in New Zealand starting in May. The last time the US entered a FIFA tournament in New Zealand a LegenD was born.

"The truth is that Gil is still one of the most talented young midfielders in MLS and his skill and passing ability remain at a very high level. The 21-year-old has 143 professional appearances under his belt, making him one of the most experienced young players in the pool" Will that be enough to make the USMNT camp come January.

Making a move to better your career isn't always easy. Jozy Altidore will have to make that decision in the January transfer window and that decision could either see him prosper anew or wither on the bench at Sunderland.

If you like to plan your schedule around soccer this link is for you. Starting with the January 2nd Caribbean combine all the way to the December 13th NCAA final and everything in between.

World Soccer

For the second time in two weeks Derek Johnson has been named "WISL Player of the Week". Scoring 4 goals against Arlington and showing why coach Darran Sawatzky feels Johnson can play at the next level.

A Former OKC assistant coach has been charged with murder in England.

"Christopher Spendlove was fired Monday as assistant coach of Oklahoma City Energy, which plays in the USL PRO league, after being charged by authorities in his native Liverpool for the murder of an off-duty police officer."

Gary Smith was introduced Tuesday as the Atlanta Silverbacks new head coach. This could be a very good move for Atlanta as they are set to join the MLS in 2017. He won the MLS Cup in 2010 with Colorado and has scouted for the Irish national team.

He signed for Pele's old club Santos in 1986 and has been going strong ever since. Kazuyoshi Miura or "King Kazu" as he is known in his homeland has agreed to a contract extension. This wouldn't normally be major news, but when your 47 and the Worlds current oldest player it should be celebrated.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Ricky Bobby have one very important thing in common. "If you ain't first your last" and if your Zlatan 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 should have been his also.

He may enjoy friends with "Fava beans and a Chianti", but when it comes to having a heart Luis Suarez shows his is in the right place. 500 kids will be a little happier this Christmas thanks to the Barcelona hitman.

Usually Wednesday's brings us "Goals of the Week"  but this week I'm gonna share "Own Goals that make you laugh" enjoy.