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Major Link Soccer: Clint Dempsey finally feels comfortable with the Sounders

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The Sounders star catch came during the midseason and he said he felt like he was playing catch-up all of last season.

Steve Dykes

Sounders

It was pretty much a foregone conclusion that after Clint Dempsey notched a hat trick in the Sounders 4-4 draw against the Timbers that he would lead the Castrol Index Weekly in Week 5. He did so in a dominant fashion, registering 150 more points than second place Chris Seitz, goalkeeper for FC Dallas.

Clint Dempsey told MLSSoccer.com he felt like he was playing catch-up with the Sounders after coming over from Tottenham midseason. This season, he says he is in a good rhythm and feeling sharp. The four goals in 213 minutes seem to support that claim.

Have a future Sounder in the clan? The Sounders U14 tryouts (Y2K birthday and younger) will take place on May 5, May 6 and May 8 at the Starfire Sports Complex on Field 1.

MLS

The LA Galaxy are making a return to the Rose Bowl for a mid-summer friendly against Manchester United. It'll be the first game back in the states for Man U since 2011 and it will also be the first time the LA Galaxy have played at their old home since a match against Real Madrid in 2010. The Galaxy played at the Rose Bowl from 1996-2002.

As teams in the top spot do when they win, FC Dallas didn't move an inch in the latest MLSSoccer.com power rankings. Dallas defeated Houston 4-1 and faces the Sounders on Saturday. Real Salt Lake moved up four spots to No. 2, with Sporting K.C. rounding out the top three. The Sounders held pat at No. 7. The full rankings can be viewed here.

Other U.S. Soccer

Nashville FC, a 100 percent supporter owned club, announced it will play at home on the Vanderbilt Soccer Complex at Vanderbilt University. The club also unveiled its new website, NashvilleFC.net. Those interested in the club can pay $75 to become a founder of club, which grants votes on all major decisions involving the club and free admission to home games.

Europe

For the first time since 1995, the Republic of Ireland will play host to the English national team in a friendly scheduled to take place in 2015. The last venture for the English team into Ireland was called off about 28 minutes into the match after rioting fans tore up seats in the England section, amongst other acts of violence.

Micah Richards, Manchester City's most loyal veteran in terms of years under his belt, announced that he has turned down a contract extension and will try for a fresh start somewhere else. Richards has played close to 250 games with Manchester City since making his debut with the club in October of 2005.

Oh the joys of Serie A, where a coach can get canned not once, but twice in the same season. Catania showed Rolando Maran the door for the second time with six games left in the season. Maran led Catania to eighth place last season, but couldn't replicate his success this year. He was let go in October, but was reinstated in January. He will be replaced by Maurizio Pellegrino, who was the coach from 2001-2003. Catania currently sits bottom of the barrel in the Serie A table.

Here is a rather interesting little topic of discussion coming off the firing of Chris Hughton. After Norwich dismissed its coach, the top five divisions in English soccer are now lacking a single black coach. Both Major League Baseball and the NFL have rules that state a team must interview at least one minority candidate when looking to fill top positions.

World Cup

"We Are One (Ole Ola)" is the official song of the 2014 World Cup. Featuring pop stars Pitbull and JLo, alongside Brazilian artist Claudia Leitte, prepared to get memorized by the tune you will hear over and over again this summer.

All the hoopla surrounding the debut of Julian Green will be put on the wayside for a bit after it was announced that he will be forced to sit for a few weeks because of a shoulder injury. Green fell awkwardly on his shoulder with around 10 minutes let in the recent friendly against Mexico and was subsequently diagnosed with a partially dislocated shoulder. The Bayern media team said Green is expected to sit for three weeks.

Games to watch

11:45 a.m. Pick your poison - Atlético Madrid vs. Barcelona or Bayern Munich vs. Manchester United.