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Major Link Soccer: Hat-tricks

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You won't believe how Messi gets his latest hat-trick! Other players HATE him!

Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Seattle

Marco Pappa was on ESPN Deportes Monday night. He talked about his time in Holland, what's going right with the Guatemalan national team, and the MLS preseason.

A good goalkeeper can make or break a team, a game, and a season. For the Tacoma Stars goalkeeping is a dual job instead of duel. Aaron Anderson and Chris Kintz pulled double duty over the weekend for the Stars and now share "Player of the Week" honors.

MLS

David Beckham, Kaka, Frank LampardDavid Villa, Thierry Henry, and Steven Gerrard are all big names in world soccer. They were also all past their prime when they decided to come to MLS. Sebastian Giovinco on the other hand could be the start of something new for MLS: signing players at the top of their game.  Some don't agree and feel Giovinco "signed away his soul".

We all know that Jozy Altidore signed last week for Toronto FC, but did you know that it was Michael Bradley who facilitated the move? In more ways than one, Bradley was the point man.

Drafted players vs. Home grown players is a debate starting to take shape in MLS. Draft for a need, or take the best player in the draft? Develop for a need, or develop to fill a role? Teams now do both, but will that be the case in the future?

Two weeks later and still trying to process why Mike Petke was fired, many fans of the New York Red bulls are still scratching their heads. Say what you will, but when your team is owned by an overseas conglomerate that puts up big money for wins, ultimately as a coach you're given little time to show you can produce.

US Soccer

The US U20 MNT will try and make it 3 for 3 today when they play Trinidad & Tobago in Montego Bay, Jamaica. The US is rolling after an 8-0 drubbing of Aruba, and a horribly officiated 2-0 win over the host nation Jamaica.

The USMNT can now look at MLS and see Bradley, Altidore, Clint Dempsey, Jermaine Jones and Mix Diskerud, among the players calling the league home. On the defensive side, the USA's European pipeline could be the difference.

Jones has had a transitional 6 months. World Cup in Brazil, a move to New England, an MLS Cup final, and of course some hob knobbing with Hollywood. His next move could be very beneficial to his USMNT career if it goes well.

Bobby Wood is hoping to find a new club team in the January transfer windowPicked out as a player who can contribute to the USMNT in 2015 by Juergen Klinsmann, Wood has only seen time in 6 games with 1860 Munich this season. Could we see another National Team player move to MLS?

In 2014 he was up for "Rookie of the Year" in MLS, he's been called an "an absolute stud" by his club coach Ben Olsen. Can Steve Birnbaum make the most of his first National Team camp and force his way onto the field?

World Soccer

He scored more goals than Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in 2014, but you won't find his name on any Ballon d'Or ballot. Chris Venables plays his soccer in the Welsh Premier League. Scoring 39 times in 2014 as a semi-pro,  Venables was Europe's top scorer.

The modern game has changed in many ways; players are faster, stronger, smarter, and more durable than any other time in the history of the game. What hasn't caught up with change is the way the modern game is officiated. Is it time to add goal line technology and a 4th official with TV replay ability?

In Scotland two names came to signify Scottish soccer: Rangers, and Celtic. These days Celtic carry on the tradition of Scottish soccer, but for Rangers it's a different story.

Developing players in the modern game is hard. Learning the game young is the key element, being given the opportunity to play different positions is how that happens. Is the USA's pay to play youth soccer system hindering development of players?

Watching Messi score his 22nd hat trick in La Liga over the weekend had me thinking about hat-tricks. The first hat-trick at a World Cup was scored by an American named Bert Patenaude. The fastest International hat-trick was scored by Japanese international Masashi "Gon" Nakayama. The fastest hat-trick in EPL history came from the feet of Liverpool forward Robbie Fowler. Additionally, the fastest ever hat-trick in MLS was courtesy of LA Galaxy player Harut Karapetyan back in 1998. The fastest Seattle Sounders hat-trick was scored by Fredy Montero against Chivas USA (67') back in 2012. Here are my all time favorites: which one is yours?

A few more hat-tricks to get you in the soccer mood:

Rivaldo played 24 years of professional soccer, his 5 year spell at Barcelona was the most successful of his career. On this night, needing a win to qualify for the Champions League, Rivaldo took things into his own feet:

Wayne Rooney made his debut in EPL play with Everton at the age of 16, but it wasn't until his move to Manchester United that he began to sparkle. His Champions League debut at 18 was a night to remember.

Dennis Bergkamp scores beautiful goals that is a given. Two of his greatest goals were scored back in 1997 with this hat-trick against Kasey Keller and Leicester City.