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Major Link Soccer: College Cup weekend kicks off

Can Jordan Morris win his title and come to the Sounders already? The US spanks Trinidad & Tobago after fronting the money for their players' pay (ouch). The New York Cosmos still want to build a stadium for some reason.

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

College Sounders

It's NCAA College Cup time, and we've got your preview right here. The semifinal matches kick off this evening, when you can watch Jordan Morris and Stanford take on Akron for the chance to return to the Cup game itself on Sunday.

Stanford Coach Jeremy Gunn took over four years ago, and he has brought with him a rigorous and disciplined system that Morris says is different than any other team he's played on.

Now that the season is over for nearly every college soccer team, all-region honors are being handed out, and J Mo Smooth isn't the only Sounder recognized. Seyi Adekoya of UCLA was named to the Far West second team, and Ryan Herman and Henry Wingo of UW made the first and third teams respectively.

Major League Soccer

We've seen DC United's new logo, and now we get a little glimpse of the new home shirt, featuring the "this shield can't contain me, i'm an eagle" crest and subtle horizontal stripes in gradations of black.

Philadelphia Union really wanted to hold everyone in suspense, but they finally released their out-of-contract and declined-option players. Like most teams, they are in talks with some of the players to bring them back under new contracts.

Steven Beitashour is reportedly headed to the other end of Canada. Toronto FC have apparently picked up the right back after the Vancouver Whitecaps declined his contract option.

Meanwhile goalkeeper Zac McMath, who was on loan with the Rapids last season, has now been fully acquired from the Philadelphia Union after a trade for a 2017 draft pick.

Here's version 1.0 of the MLS Draft Big Board from Top Drawer Soccer, and it's full of lots of names I don't recognize. I'm hoping the Sounders pick up defender Keegan Rosenberry for his name alone.

Will Johnson is on the outs in Portland, and for some reason other teams want to sign him. It won't be the Vancouver Whitecaps, though one writer wished he would slot in next to Matias Laba. Instead, Johnson is likely headed to the East.

Sacramento Republic have a lot to be optimistic about when it comes to joining MLS, but can they maintain the positive momentum for the next several years while they wait their turn for expansion?

Other US Leagues

The Chicago Red Stars will return to Toyota Park for the 2016 NWSL season. The stadium was their home in 2009-10, but they've been playing at Benedictine University in the interim.

The Orlando Pride continues to build its roster, trading a 2016 third-round pick and GK Adrianna Franch to the Portland Thorns in return for Australian defender Stephanie-Elise Catley.

The New York Cosmos have updated their proposal for 25,000 seat soccer stadium next to the Belmont racetrack just past the far reaches of Queens. Also retail, a hotel, and "restaurant row." If they could sell me a seat where I could have food and drinks brought to me and I could watch both the horse races and Cosmos at the same time, then maybe maybe I would do it once for the novelty of it.

US Soccer

The US women pummeled Trinidad & Tobago 6-0 at the Alamodome, but the game almost didn't happen (for the second time in a row). US Soccer apparently had to loan T&T's soccer federation the cash to pay their players to get them on the field.

The US men have scheduled a friendly near the end of January camp. They'll host Iceland in Carson, Cal. They may also host Canada in early February as well for a second friendly.

Klinsmann may have his eye on another dual national player. Israeli-American Kenny Saief  currently plays for Gent in Belgium. The 21 year old already has Champions League experience.

World

Tigres UANL took a huge 3-0 lead over Pumas UNAM in the first leg of the Liga MX final at Estadio Universitario.

Looking for work? FIFA is in need of a social media manager, which seems pretty straightforward. Ignore everything bad, highlight the good stuff...in fact, nevermind, I'm going to apply. From the listing: "If you have the necessary qualifications and are keen to work in an international organisation, why not pass the ball over to us?" Does that imply I'm supposed to fill a soccer ball with cash and kick it over to them to get the job? I'm still new at this.

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