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Major Link Soccer: Roster Cuts Abound

At least 5 teams announce declined contract options and the MLS Cup has a dead tree controversy.

Blas Perez demonstrates his prefered position on the field.
Blas Perez demonstrates his prefered position on the field.
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Seattle

Although both stories were covered here on the site, the bigger story of which contract options the Sounders have declined may have made you miss the release of the opening CCL schedule in February.

The consensus is that this is only the first round of an active off-season for the Sounders.

MLS Cup

The MLS Cup is only a few days away, but the Timbers are completely ready for an opportunity to cement their place as the most insufferable fan base in MLS.

As you might expect, the odds seem to be against them here. Projections from American Soccer Analysis show the Columbus Crew as heavy favorites.

Perhaps the Timbers can improve their odds by bringing along a dead tree and a fake lumberjack, but it the Columbus Crew are a step ahead of them here and have updated the list of items prohibited in their stadium accordingly.

Crew fans are continuing their fight against capos and other forms of authority and organization in advance of the MLS Cup.

MLS Roster Moves

For teams not in the MLS Cup, off-season moves are well under way. Seattle was one of several teams that have announced which options they are declining. Recent announcements have come from the Chicago Fire, the Houston Dynamo, Real Salt Lake, and the Vancouver Whitecaps.

The other big news yesterday was that a move to MLS is imminent for Mexican international Carlos Vela. There are multiple teams in this hunt, but the Red Bulls were quick to take their name off of the list of suitors.

Blas Perez is gone from FC Dallas and MLS (and won't be missed). He'll be on his way to Sarprissa, where rumor has it that he may meet up with former LA Galaxy goalkeeper Jaime Penedo.

One place to stay up to date on the state of player contracts is SI.com where they are maintaining a list of players eligible for free agency and the Re-Entry Draft.

Other MLS

The most recent MLS post-season award is the league MVP which has been awarded to Toronto FC's Sebastian Giovinco.

In yet another sign of the league's growth, Don Garber confirmed that LAFC is the first MLS expansion team to have paid it's full expansion fee up front.

The approval of the sale of the Dynamo continues to move forward the effort to remove the last instance of a single owner with a stake in more than one MLS team.

USA

The broadcast rights for Copa America Centenario have officially been reassigned to IMG and SUM. The total amount of money involved appears to be significantly lower now that the bribes have been (mostly) cut out of the equation.

If you haven't repressed too much, you may remember Jesse Gonzalez as the young goalkeeper for FC Dallas. It seems that he has gained some attention from the US National Team and may be being recruited to make a switch from his allegiance to Mexico.

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