Another week, another turf field: Seattle have probably set a record for most consecutive weeks played on an artificial surface, or at least they will have when this weekend's game rolls around. Saturday's "grass" may not be in optimal shape, either.
Dominic Oduro is reportedly still feeling the blow to the hip that Djimi Traore earned a red card for. The game was Oduro's first back since returning from a suspension, and now he says he will likely sit out a game or two to heal up. On that play, the Professional Referee organization stands by the call that Allen Chapman made to send Traore off.
It isn't really news, but Lamar Neagle and other members of the Sounders went on record in a video for MLS Soccer about how much better the fans in Seattle are than their counterparts in Portland. It is always nice to hear an unbiased take on the rivalry.
We have the greatest fans in the league. It's not even comparable.
The Seattle-Portland rivalry has played out in many forms over the years, but 2014 may be the start of a new tradition: reading battles. This afternoon, be sure to tweet at the Seattle Public Library (link here) about a book you enjoyed. The library will be tasked with supplying another book you might enjoy. As both a tech and literacy leader, Seattle should have no problem blowing any other port, berg, or town out of the water.
SB Nation has revamped its Major League Soccer hub, which carries the most important news from around the 19 MLS blogs. If the convenient, witty, smart (and humble) packing of Major Link Soccer just isn't quick enough for you, I suppose this revamped hub isn't the worst place to start.
Detroit has been on the outside looking in with regards to most MLS expansion scenarios, but gears are being put in motion to lure the league to the Motor City. The mayor's brother is currently questing to get a USL team playing in a downtown park for the start of the 2015 season, with the hope that it would be another example of the USL stepping stone.
DC United made a trade yesterday with Chicago to pick up Chris Rolfe, seemingly with the intent to make their roster even older than it already was. Rolfe will provide United with some midfield depth.
No word has come out on the status of Portland Timbers defender Michael Harrington or Pa Madou Kah, which is both good and bad news. Head Coach Caleb Porter is on record with his feeling that Harrington's ejection was unwarranted, and would surely take exception to an additional ban for Kah's own foul. But the only decision from the Disciplinary Committee so far is the one game ban for Toronto's Steven Caldwell.
Portland can't afford to lose anyone else after the slow start they've been on so far. Between the 2013 East winning Red Bulls and the West leaders in Stumptown, many prognosticators are surprised to see how hard it has been for these clubs to match their form from last year. Pro Soccer Talk goes as far as to call the Timbers "this year's San Jose". Missing Donovan Ricketts and Michael Harrington, as well as the likely absence of Darlington Nagbe with an injury sustained in Dallas, makes this game an important win for Seattle.
The NASL's new pay-to-play streaming service starts soon, with registration open now. There will be a 10-day free trial available for those on the fence.
In Wednesday's USA-Mexico friendly, the home team took a 2-0 lead before giving up a pair of second-half goals for a 2-2 draw. Clint Dempsey very nearly sprung Eddie Johnson for a goal late, but it was ruled offsides (by inches). DeAndre Yedlin played and contributed after halftime, and Dempsey passed Kasey Keller for tenth all time in USMNT appearances.
The game was also the U.S. debut for 18 year-old Julian Green, who took the field to much fanfare.
Barcelona is one of the biggest soccer clubs in the world, but even they are not immune to the strong arm of the FIFA law book. For the illegal transfer of "non Spanish minors", the team will be banned from making any transfers in the next two windows. That could end up being big for the next season. But before you Madrid supporters gloat too much, be aware that your club is also under investigation at this time. Suddenly not quite so funny?
Another report, this time from BBC Sport, that Brazil's World Cup stadiums may not all be ready to go when the tournament rolls around in mere months.
Paris St Germain downed Chelsea in the first leg of their Champions League matchup, but it may have come at a great cost. The Great Zlatan pulled a hammy and shouldn't be expected to play in the second leg.
Four North-East cities will soon be home to Arsenal Soccer Schools with the goal of teaching kids the "Arsenal way".
The only thing wrong with "Breaking Bad" was that it didn't have more soccer in it. Maccabi Tel Aviv has come at it from the other end, introducing the hit drama and Netflix cash cow to the world of tifo.
Between the Lamar video and the library links, I feel like there was a missed opportunity for a Reading Rainbow joke. Ideas?