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Major Link Soccer: MLS buys Chivas USA

The league will operate the team until a new owner is found.

2014 will be the Goats farewell tour before re-branding
2014 will be the Goats farewell tour before re-branding
Seattle Sounders

Perhaps the non-roster player that has looked most impressive thus far in the pre-season for the Sounders is Kevin Parsemain, who describes his trial with the Sounders as the first time in his career that he has played "on a high level team".

Seattle's participation in the Carolina Challenge Cup brings Lamar Neagle back to Charleston, where he made his case for returning to MLS for good while playing for the USL Pro's Charleston Battery in 2010.

Sounders FC digital media manager Shane Evans posted some of his thoughts on the team's first training session in Charleston.

Seattle's first match of the Carolina Challenge Cup will take place tomorrow at 4:15 PM PST against the Charleston Battery.

It's still early, but Brad Evans and Marcus Hahnemann both seem pleased with the Brazuca ball that will be used in the World Cup and MLS this year.

Two former Sounders U23 goalkeepers landed with pro teams yesterday. Doug Herrick signed with the Carolina Railhawks in USL Pro and Zac Lubin signed with IFK Luleá in Division 1 Norra, one of the two leagues that comprise the third level of Sweden's league system.


Thierry Henry and Landon Donovan see the recent trend of USMNT players returning to MLS in their prime as a sign that the league is growing stronger. As Brad Evans puts it, "money talks".

With Miami and Orlando already announced, and all signs indicating that Atlanta will have an expansion team as soon as its NFL stadium deal is finalized, there is no shortage of competition for the final expansion team expected to join the league by the end of the decade. The league is looking into (in nor particular order) Sacramento, San Diego, Minneapolis and multiple cities in Texas (presumably Austin and San Antonio).

Chivas USA

The biggest news to come out yesterday was the announcement that Jorge Vergara and Angelica Fuentes had sold Chivas USA to MLS. The league will operate the franchise until a new ownership group in the LA area is identified. The MLS press release indicates that there are several parties interested in buying the franchise. One potential owner that will not be involved is Stan Kroenke, putting an end to speculation of a LA Gunners franchise. What is certain is that the team will be re-branded and it will stay in the Los Angeles area.

On the subject of staying in the LA area, this is probably a good time to revisit this article from last October detailing Chivas USA's options for its own stadium in southern California.

The Original Winger came out in support of re-branding the team the LA Aztecs -- a move that would simultaneously acknowledge the history of pro soccer in southern California and provide the team with an identity with Latino appeal that isn't specific to a particular club in Liga MX.

Garber wrote an open letter to Chivas USA fans, explaining the move and clarifying what it will mean for the team in 2014 and beyond.

One negative consequence of the sale of the team is that Erick "Cubo" Torres will only play for the team until June, when he will return to Guadalajara. This means that Sounders fans won't get another chance to see him play live in Seattle for the foreseeable future, as the Sounders only play Chivas USA at home in September..

After the sale was announced, Vergara admitted that the concept of Chivas USA "did not work out".

The Goat Parade has full coverage on the sale of Chivas USA to MLS. Its newest contributor is excited about the future of the team with Vergara no longer involved. Alicia Ratterree recounted the 10 lowest moments since Vergara took over.

According to MLS commissioner Don Garber, the Chivas USA discrimination lawsuit has been resolved.

FC Dallas

Big D Soccer compares season ticket prices for FC Dallas fans to those paid by fans of other MLS teams. As it turns out, fans in Dallas pay just as much for their season tickets as do fans in Seattle, with the teams tied for the third highest average season ticket prices in the league.

Houston Dynamo

Houston plans on opening talks with Will Bruin and Kofi Sarkodie in an attempt to sign both of them to multi-year contract extensions.

LA Galaxy

LA signed two new players to homegrown contracts yesterday: Raul Mediola and Bradford Jamieson.

Now that the sale of Chivas USA to MLS is official, LAG Confidential looks into what this means for the future of the Galaxy.

Red Bull New York

Another MLS player is heading south of the border -- barely. Red Bull New York homegrown forward Amando Moreno has signed with Club Tijuana on a free transfer after spending only one season with RBNY's first team.

San Jose Earthquakes

With a new head coach, a new logo, kits with a new look and a new stadium coming soon, San Jose is beginning to evolve into a team that is more structured and less chaotic than the team the league has known for the past several years.

Sporting Kansas City

Although it may have surprised some people when Sporting KC traded Teal Bunbury to New England, head coach Peter Vermes explains that it is part of the team's strategy to cope with the expansion draft that will take place after the 2014 MLS season. Not only does it mean that the team has one less player to worry about protecting, it gives the team a first round pick that can be used to replace spots on the roster affected by the expansion draft.

SKC and USMNT midfielder Benny Feilhaber spoke with about what it would mean to him to play for the United States in his native Brazil this summer.

Vancouver Whitecaps

The Whitecaps are facing a similar problem to the one that was facing the Sounders a year ago. After losing their strongest offensive weapon in Camilo Sanvezzo to Querétaro, Vancouver has yet to replace him with a significant signing in the attacking third.

At least Vancouver doesn't have to worry about losing Kenny Miller the way it lost Camilo. Miller is pretty open about his hopes to stay with the team beyond the expiration date of his current contract.


UEFA Champions League

On Wednesday, two of England's top teams tested themselves against two of the top teams in Europe, as Arsenal hosted Bayern Munich and Manchester City hosted Barcelona. Both English clubs lost against teams that like to use a heavy possession advantage to win games, and in both cases the English sides lost 2-0 and finished the match with 10 men.

Ryan Cowper offered a tactical breakdown of how Bayern Munich gained such a strong advantage in the away leg over the team that has topped the Premier League table for most of the 2013/14 season.

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini wasn't pleased with the way his team's match was handled by the referee, going as far as calling the referee's impartiality into question. Pellegrini's comments are now being investigated by UEFA. Barcleona midfielder Sergio Busquets hit back at Pellegrini, saying "excuses are for losers".

UEFA Europa League

The teams that didn't quite make it to the Champions League group stage have joined Europa League for the round of 32.

Former Sounder Michael Gspurning was on the bench as his new club, as PAOK lost 1-0 to Benfica in the first leg. That makes two former Sounders players whose current team has suffered a defeat at the hands of Benfica within 10 days of each other, as Fredy Montero's Sporting CP lost to Benfica on the 11th of this month.


We Ain't Got No History chronicles the emergence of Eden Hazard in a beautifully designed long form piece by Graham MacAree.

Netherlands manager Louis van Gaal sees England as the most likely next stop in his career, having already managed in Spain, Germany and the Netherlands. The club he has been linked with most closely thus far is Tottenham.

Hull City co-owner Ehab Allam revealed that the club may be forced to raise season ticket prices by 50% if the FA doesn't allow it to change its name to Hull Tigers, citing sponsorship agreements in place that are contingent upon the Tigers name.


Barcelona has been formally charged with tax fraud to the tune of $12.5 million over the deal that brought Neymar to to club last summer. Barça has reiterated its denial of the allegations. For his part, Neymar came out to defend his father, who profited from the deal, after both the current and former president of Santos criticized Neymar's father.

Meanwhile, the most exciting La Liga title race in recent memory seems to become more interesting by the week, with each of the top 3 having no room for error.

The Copa Del Rey final between Real Madrid and Barcelona has been rescheduled to April 16 at Mestalla Stadium in Valencia. The final was originally scheduled for April 19, but there is a very real possibility that one or both of the teams will be involved in the semifinals of UEFA Champions League in the week after the Copa Del Rey final.

US Soccer


USSF is looking at its options heading into the USMNT's upcoming friendly against Ukraine, given the recent escalation of violence in the eastern European nation.

Jeff Bradley of spoke with former USMNT, KC Wizards, Metrostars/Red Bull New York goalkeeper Tony Meola, who was inducted into the US Soccer hall of fame in 2012 and is an assistant coach to Tab Ramos for the U20 national team.

Sheffield Wednesday central defender Oguchi Onyewu spoke with Sports Illustrated on his hopes to make the World Cup roster this summer for what would be the third time in his career.

Luis Felipe has been called up for the US U20 team once again -- this time for the Dallas Cup that will be held in mid-April. Felipe was born in the US but has been raised in Brazil and currently plays for Cruzeiro, who are the defending Brazilian league champions.


The USWNT will meet China in a friendly on April 6 at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado. The match is the final friendly for the US before the NWSL season begins on April 12. China plans on using the friendly to warm up for qualification for the 2015 Women's World Cup.

TV Listings


Ligue 1 11:30 AM Monaco vs. Reims beIN Sport, Univision Deportes
Bundesliga 11:30 AM Schalke 04 vs. Mainz 05 Gol TV
La Liga 12:00 PM Real Valladolid vs. Levante beIN Sport en Español
Liga MX 5:30 PM Querétaro vs. Cruz Azul ESPN Deportes, Azteca America
Ascenso MX 6:30 PM Universidad Guadalajara vs. Delfines Gol TV, Mexico TV
Liga MX 7:30 PM Tijuana vs. Chiapas ESPN Deportes, Azteca America


If you have beIN Sport, be sure to check out Roma vs. Bologna at 11:45 AM. Erik Friberg made his first appearance for Bologna last week as a late substitution and he may see more significant minutes this weekend.

Premier League 4:45 AM Chelsea vs. Everton NBCSN, Mun2
Bundesliga 6:30 AM Hamburger SV vs. Borussia Dortmund Gol TV
Premier League 7:00 AM Arsenal vs. Sunderland USA, Mun2
La Liga 7:00 AM Real Madrid vs. Elche beIN Sport, beIN Sport en Español
Ligue 1 8:00 AM Olympique Marseille vs. Lorient Univision Deportes
La Liga 9:00 AM Celta de Vigo vs. Getafe beIN Sport en Español
Premier League 9:30 AM Crystal Palace vs. Manchester United NBC
Bundesliga 9:30 AM Wolfsburg vs. Bayer Leverkusen Gol TV
Ligue 1 11:00 AM Montpellier vs. Ajaccio Univision Deportes
La Liga 11:00 AM Real Sociedad vs. Barcelona beIN Sport, beIN Sport en Español
Colombia Primera A 11:00 AM Fortaleza vs. Patriotas Boyacá TV Colombia
Serie A 11:45 AM Bologna vs. Roma beIN Sport
La Liga 1:00 PM Almería vs. Málaga beIN Sport en Español
Colombia Primera A 2:00 PM Santa Fe vs. Millonarios TV Colombia
Uruguay Primera Division 2:30 PM Nacional vs. Danubio Gol TV
Liga MX 3:00 PM América vs. Pumas UNAM Univision, Univision Deportes
Liga MX 5:00 PM Tigres UANL vs. Veracruz UniMás
Liga MX 5:00 PM Pachuca vs. Morelia Univision Deportes
Colombia Primera A 5:00 PM Atlético Nacional vs. La Equidad TV Colombia
Liga MX 6:00 PM León vs. Santos Laguna Telemundo
Liga MX 7:00 PM Atlas vs. Monterrey Univision Deportes
Australia A-League 10:00 PM Melbourne Heart vs. Brisbane Roar Fox Sports 2


UEFA Euro 2016 3:00 AM UEFA Euro 2016 Qualifying Draw ESPN3
Premier League 5:30 AM Liverpool vs. Swansea City NBCSN
Serie A 6:00 AM Inter Milan vs. Cagliari beIN Sport en Español
Serie A 6:00 AM Sampdoria vs. AC Milan beIN Sport
Eredivisie 7:30 AM Twente vs. Feyenoord ESPN3
Premier League 8:00 AM Norwich City vs. Tottenham Hotspur NBCSN
La Liga 8:00 AM Real Betis vs. Athletic Club Bilbao beIN Sport en Español
Bundesliga 8:30 AM Hannover 96 vs. Bayern Munich Gol TV
Costa Rica Primera Division 9:00 AM Puntarenas vs. Carmelita Centroamerica TV
Serie A 9:30 AM Juventus vs. Torino beIN Sport
La Liga 10:00 AM Valencia vs. Granada beIN Sport en Español
Liga MX 10:00 AM Toluca vs. Guadalajara Univision, Univision Deportes
Brazil Serie A 11:00 AM São Paulo vs. Santos Gol TV
Serie A 11:45 AM Lazio vs. Sassuolo beIN Sport
Ligue 1 12:00 PM Lille vs. Olympique Lyon Univision Deportes
La Liga 12:00 PM Osasuna vs. Atlético Madrid beIN Sport, beIN Sport en Español
Colombia Primera A 12:15 PM Itagüí vs. Medellín TV Colombia
Argentina Primera Division 1:00 PM Boca Juniors vs. Estudiantes Gol TV
Brazil Serie A 1:25 PM Botafogo FC vs. Palmeiras ESPN3
Ligue 1 2:00 PM Toulouse vs. PSG beIN Sport (tape delay)
Colombia Primera A 2:30 PM Once Caldas vs. Deportes Tolima TV Colombia
Liga MX 3:00 PM Atlante vs. Puebla Univision Deportes
Colombia Primera A 4:30 PM Junior vs. Deportivo Cali TV Colombia

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