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Major Link Soccer: Alonso Inspires, Judging Jerseys

Three fellow Cubans have followed his path to Charleston

Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

Seattle

Osvaldo Alonso's story of defection from Cuba is well known in MLS circles by now. It's especially famous in his home country, where he has inspired other soccer players to follow his lead. There are now three players for the Charleston Battery who fled Cuba while on a trip to Toronto, now playing for the same club Alonso did.

Cam Weaver got a chance to play against his old club, the Houston Dynamo yesterday. Weaver isn't at full fitness yet, but says he feels like this is where he belongs.

If you're one of the many interested in trying out for the Sounders FC organization, now is the time to put up or shut up. Registration has opened up for the March 8th session, and you have until the day before to put your money where your mouth is.

MLS

Today, the biggest news is NO NEWS when it comes to the ongoing TV contract negotiations between MLS, U.S. Soccer, and a joint bid from ESPN and FOX TV. Talks last month pegged such a deal at $70 million per year, a step up from what MLS has been drawing recently (closer to $20 million).

Let us hope that a switch to the winter calendar isn't included in those television talks: the last few months have been especially rough in certain parts of the United States and Canada, and playing during these colder months would reduce play quality, hurt at the gates, and would probably force a heavy southern schedule for weeks at a time throughout the North East.

Black and Red United has taken a look at each of the leaked kits (which, according to MLSsoccer's Jersey Week Hype Video, appear to be on the money), and given them all grades. Those of you following along at home probably already have a pretty good idea which ones are hot, and which ones are Chicago's. (That's called playing with expectations)

Eddie Johnson has gone from being A guy to being THE guy. Now with DC United, he will be expected to shoulder more of the burden (and the cash) than he did in previous years with the Sounders.

Daigo Kobayashi is no longer a member of the Vancouver Whitecaps, having been traded to New England Revolution for a draft pick.

MLS has placed one of their own in the position of club president for Chivas USA. Thankless job if there ever was one, but maybe he's just the guy to see Chivas through to their new era.

Soccer on TV - Five to Watch

Time Home Team Away Team Competition Station
10:00 AM Napoli Swansea Europa League Fox Sports 1
12:05 PM Tottenham Hotspur Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk Europa League Fox Sports 1
12:05 PM Benfica PAOK (Gspurning) Europa League Fox Soccer 2Go
12:05 PM Trabzonspor Juventus Europa League Fox Sports 2
4:30 PM Newell's Old Boys Atletico Nacional Copa Libertadores Fox Deportes

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