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Major Link Soccer: Year-Round College Soccer

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The US youth system could be getting an improvement, Sounders and Seahawks open up a new Pro Shop, other goodies

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Seattle

With five players headed to the All-Star Game, the Sounders are the best represented MLS team. This will be a good opportunity for Osvaldo Alonso to see what it would be like to play on the USMNT, as a majority of All-Stars are USMNTers, and a number of Bayern Munich's players also play for the German National Team.

It appears as if Alvaro Fernandez will be staying in Argentina for a while, as he just renewed his contract with Argentine club Gimnasia for eighteen months.

The Seahawks and Sounders are opening up a new retail location out in Renton, "adjacent to Regal Cinemas and Creative Mom Toys." Now instead of buying your mom some yarn (which I assume is what Creative Mom Toys sells), you can buy her a Sounders jersey, and instead of going to see the newest Hollywood blockbuster, you can watch American Football another thirty times.

Do you know what Pete Carroll looks like? Hopefully you would if you visited the VMAC, where some guy took a picture with what was definitely not Pete Carroll.

The Xander Bailey experience continues, with LevyFilms putting out a Bailey edition of In the 18.

USA

Pablo Mastroeni is being inducted into the Colorado Rapids' Gallery of Honor on July 25th for his eleven years of accomplishments with the Rapids. Mastroeni was named to the MLS All-Star squad seven years in a row with the Rapids and served as their captain for nine years. Burgundy Wave has a piece recognizing all the good that Mastroeni has taught them, including leadership, passion, conviction, and responsibility.

Indianapolis is doing something special with its NASL team, having sold out every game this season (with a 10,000 person stadium nonetheless). Their results on the field haven't been quite as impressive however, as they only won one of their first ten NASL games. Hopefully they won't Toronto it up and lose all those fans.

When America underperforms in soccer, one reason usually given is that America's soccer playing youth don't have as much time to practice as their European or South American counterparts. The college system used in the US is therefore put under a lot of scrutiny, as players who are at peak development years spend the majority of their time doing not soccer things. NCAA coaches are doing their part to give their players more practice time, by attempting to make the soccer season school-year-round.

If you've missed Stu Holden, fear not, he will be providing color commentary when the Chicago Fire play the San Jose Earthquakes later this week.

Las Vegas is the latest city rumored to be close to receiving an MLS expansion team. Seeing as Vegas has been pushing a more family-friendly image recently, I could see this thing going through. Although I'd rather see the expansion team go to Minneapolis (unrelated to me moving there in a few months).

Arsene Wenger is quite excited for Arsenal's upcoming preseason in the US, He claims to have been stopped by a number of Americans, and that every single American he meets "knows Arsenal, knows England and knows the Premier League." Regardless of whether or not there's a sampling bias here, his comments still show that soccer is growing in the US.

Other

Somebody made a real-life version of the FIFA video game. No, it's not just going outside and kicking a soccer ball. It's a video of people playing soccer FIFA style (all robotic like), with EA stylings, which is dubbed over by Martin Tyler. So someone made a real version of a video game about a real thing.

Nate Silver's fivethirtyeight.com has done a lot of work to popularize statistical approaches to sports, politics, burritos, and other cool things. One of the central tenets of the site is being "fox-like," which Silver describes in his book The Signal and the Noise as well as his article "What the Fox Knows." Being a fox is about revising your opinions, realizing that there probably isn't a simple solution to a real world problem, and having a wide basin of knowledge to pull from. Another statistics blog has written a piece about why being fox-like may not be the best way for fiverthirtyeight to go about their business. While this piece doesn't seem to fully understand what Silver meant when he referred to being fox-like, (ignoring the first and second characteristics) it does raise some issues with the final fox-like characteristic that are worth considering.