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Major Link Soccer: Trades on trades on trades

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Plus news on protected lists and USMNT matters

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Seattle

Per Sounders FC release, Marcus Hahnemann made his retirement official yesterday. Congratulations on a great career, Marcus.

MLS

If you fell asleep yesterday morning for five seconds, chances are you missed a trade. I can't list out every single trade here, but a full list is available in this link. Notable movements include Nat Borchers to Portland, Tally Hall, Aurelien Collin, and Amobi Okugo to Orlando City, CJ Sapong to Philadelphia, Michael Harrington to Colorado, and oh my goodness there are so many notable trades just check out the link.

With all this wheeling and dealing, maybe it's time to think about what the phrase "pending a medical examination" even means. BBC takes a look behind the scenes.

Teams weren't just dealing in players though; the Houston Dynamo signed a new coach. Owen Coyle coached Bolton Wanderers and Wigan Athletic, and is the latest attempt of an MLS club bringing over a coach with European experience to learn the American ropes. Only time will tell how this one turns out.

MLS teams' protected lists for Wednesday's expansion draft were also released yesterday. Players left unprotected include Eddie Johnson, Tim Cahill, and two out of Philadelphia's three starting caliber goalkeepers. The Sounders did not have too many surprises in store for us in their protected list, other than perhaps the protection of Chad Barrett over Leo Gonzalez. Chris Henderson breaks down the protected list for you here.

In other very important MLS news, Adidas unveiled its 2015 MLS ball yesterday. It is round, and shaped conducively to being kicked.

On the field we might hate Landon Donovan, but off the field, I think it's apparent he's a pretty cool guy. He's done a lot to move forward the discussion of mental health in professional athletics and hopefully show that athletes are people too. Steve Davis looks back at what made Donovan special here. If you only read one link today, make it this one.

World

The USMNT already have five friendlies set up for 2015, including games against Chile, Germany, and Mexico.

US Soccer announced some new changes to its development system yesterday in association with the NCAA, including a lengthening of the NCAA soccer season. But is college soccer even the best way to develop players? Top Drawer Soccer says that due to the infrastructure in place, it's at least a good starting point.

If you're Fox Soccer and want to bolster you're reputation before the coming World Cup, what would you do? Hire Alexi Lalas and Brad Friedel? Maybe not, but that's what's happening.

LA's latest expansion team could be announced before the end of December. No I didn't miss the LAFC announcement, I'm talking NASL.

We all love Tim Howard. Not only for his valiant efforts during the World Cup, but also for being a soccer reference that non-soccer people can understand, making us all seem a little less crazy in public. In his most recent appearance in mainstream media, Howard was listed on The Verge's 50 Most Important People of 2014. On a sidenote, Howard was listed under the category "artist," which I think we can all agree is really pretty accurate.