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Major Link Soccer: Eastern Conference catches up, Reign clinch Hardware

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There appear to be four warm-up games left on the schedule for your Seattle Reign.

VICTORY!
VICTORY!
Otto Greule Jr

Seattle

The Seattle Reign have locked up the regular season championship with four weeks to go after going into Houston and knocking off the Dash at 4-1. One goal from that outing, from the foot of the playoff ringer Megan Rapinoe, is getting a lot of people excited.

Also special was the new NWSL scoring record, set by Kim Little's 14th. You can bet that won't be the final number. Her acquisition was one of many which turned this Reign team around from cellar dwellers to the nearly undefeated team of 2014. ESPNW chronicles the metamorphosis.

(Insert article about awesome Seattle Sounders crowds here)

In the newest Seattle Soccer Talk, hear from the new soccer beat writer for the Seattle Times, as well as a long talk with Tristan Bowen.

Oh, and this:

MLS

Wednesday results!

After languishing at the bottom of the East last year, both DC United and Toronto FC have made a big turnaround. Yesterday though, only one of them looked like a contender as DC United dunked Toronto FC for a 3-0 win. United is now only a point back on the Sounders having played just one more game than the local side. To add insult to injury, the New England Revolution also won in their game with Colorado, dropping the Canadian side to fourth.

The news is a little bit better in the Western Conference. Real Salt Lake played the New York Red Bulls to a draw. Salt Lake took the lead early, but when New York got their only shot on goal, they took their chance by the balls.

GIF: MLS brings us a brutal sack grab (req @Dark516Knight) on Twitpic

Of course the Chicago Fire did what it does, playing to a 0-0 draw with the Vancouver Whitecaps.

This isn't the first time rumors of a fourth Designated Player spot have materialized, but Taylor Twellman is actively fanning the fires with this speculative tweet sent out yesterday.

LAG Confidential takes that idea a step further and applies it to their rumored pursuit of Sasha Kljestan (perhaps because of that allocation target they just traded for.)

On Monday, I mentioned that whatever Philadelphia is doing between the goalposts isn't making any damn sense. Now, Ryan Rosenblatt is saying the same thing in many more words (and more eloquently).

The Montreal Impact have moved on from their sporting director, with Nick De Santis now looking for a new job.

World

The two top dogs of the English Premier League went head to head in the new home of Yankee Stadium, in the latest case test for soccer on New York's grass. Liverpool and Manchester City ended up at penalty kicks, where Liverpool (unlike in the 2013-14 season) came out on top.

Germany's "50+1" rule has helped keep Bundesliga clubs competitive on the national stage, as well as financially sound.

In Italy, the country's soccer federation is preparing to elect a new president. One of the men up for candidacy is Carlo Tavecchio, the current vice president. One would think he would have an uphill battle for support after making some seemingly racial comments about foreign players in his league. However, AC Milan is standing behind him, despite his "unfortunate comments".

Also, a PSA: We've expanded the staff for Major Link Soccer a whole bunch over the last few months, and we're looking for one more. Anyone want to get in on the Sounder at Heart staff? Email one of us if you're interested.

PSA2: Cougcenter wants to help make more stories like Xander Bailey's recent stint with the Sounders come true, so they are attempting to raise 20,000 dollars for Make-a-Wish.