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Major Link Soccer: Seattle takes on UCLA

Time for "Trialist' and draft picks" to shine in preseason game #1. Will Seattle find a gem like Mauro Rosales or Gonzalo Pineda?

Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Seattle

This time last year, the Seattle Sounders brought a lot of players into training camp in hopes that a few would stick with the team.  Chad Barrett was one of those players. It gave the journeyman an opportunity to prove his worth, and he did just that.

The Seattle Sounders are enjoying the California sunshine as they prepare for the 2015 season.  Today the focus will change a bit because Seattle will play UCLA in their first preseason game.  Don't be surprised to see "Trialist" on today's team sheet. It's a proud label once used for Sounders like Gonzalo Pineda and Mauro Rosales.

The WISL has wrapped up its inaugural season. Playoffs start this weekend, with Tacoma vs. Olympia, and Wenatchee vs. Bellingham. All four teams want a piece of the love in Valentine's Day final.

Is there really a group looking to build an NBA/NHL arena in TUKWILA?

MLS

The MLS and its players are moving forward with preparations for the 2015 season, they are doing so without a Collective Bargaining Agreement. Currently a gentleman's agreement between the players union and Major League Soccer allows the preseason to stay the course. Will that handshake extend past March 6th?

College soccer and recruitment has changed since 2007 and the introduction of MLS Academies. The MLS academy players now have a direct path to the professional ranks via USL. It has also made some colleges re-think who they recruit.

US Soccer

Last week we watched the US dominate Chile in the first half, connecting passes, capitalizing on loose balls and finishing chances. The second half was familiar story: giveaways, missed tackles, bad decisions, and goals for the other team. With one win in their last nine games, USMNT coach Jurgen Klinsmann explains that education is needed. Maybe some home cooking at the StubHub center will help.

Quietly flying the USA flag in Europe, Alejandro Bedoya has signed a new 3 year contract with Nantes in Ligue1. The midfielder has been a solid performer for the French club as a regular starter.

On June 29th, 1950, Frank Borghi had a shutout in goal for the USA. This wasn't just any old game, and the USA wasn't playing just any old team. It was a shutout in the World Cup against the number one team in the world. While Borghi passed away Tuesday, Borghi and his teammates will always be remembered for that shutout of mighty England.

World

Monday night marked the end of the transfer window in Europe, and as always there was a lot of movement. Here is a quick rundown of some of the moves that were made.

One of the moves that went through had Andy Kellett transferring from Bolton to Manchester United. The 21-year-old left back didn't believe his coach when he was told of the transfer, and thought his teammates were pulling a prank.

Kids don't ever say dreams don't come true.  Keshi Anderson went out on trial last Monday; he scored a hat-trick in 6 minutes and changed his life. Now he moves from the 8th tier in English soccer to the Premier League.

Last Wednesday, AS Roma announced the expansion of their famed youth academy to the United States. Seven clubs were picked across the United States to partner with AS Roma, including a club in the Pacific Northwest.

FIFA needs a change at the top: Sepp Blatter has to go. His career as President of soccer has included quotes legendary, farcical, and sexist. Yet he still controls the governing body of world soccer. After the debacle/scandal of awarding Russia and Qatar the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, the world has finally taken notice.  In May of this year there will be an election for the FIFA presidency; Blatter, Michael Van Praag, Luis Figo, and Prince Ali Bin Al-Hussein are all running. The US is backing Prince Ali in hopes that changes are afoot.

At 16 years old, he scored 27 goals in 30 games; that same season he lost a testicle. The next year he scored 32 goals, then fractured his skull and jaw. This is but a part of the special career of Dixie Dean. 87 years later, Dean's goal scoring record has yet to be broken.

Skill of the Week: Nutmeg Brazilian Style

Meta by Dave Clark

Sounder at Heart is looking for a couple writers. Scott is not able to do Player Ratings this year. AJ is no longer able to do the Thursday Links posts. Both are moving on for real life reasons, as happens. I'm going to miss Scott's ability to objectify subjective data. He changed how SaH did things. AJ is a newer addition to the staff here. He always found interesting stories to share. In particular he helped us find links every day of the week.

So we need those two roles filled. We are also looking to staff up in general for the new season, or to cover the "lesser" teams in the area. You may have noticed we cover Tacoma Stars stuff now. If you know of another semi-pro or pro team in the area that needs attention, you can do it.

Email me if you are interested in any role with the site.

Stars v Legends by Wilson Toi

Sunday is the last MASL Tacoma Stars match of the year. It is your final opportunity to head to the free parking of the Showare Center, the $3 beers and the restaurants of Kent Station while enjoying the highest level indoor soccer in the region.

Sounder at Heart arranged for discounted tickets to the match. We get no compensation for these.

Click here, enter SAHStars and get Field Tickets for just $10 (plus handling). Everyone entering that code will be in the same area so you will see other SaH readers. Randy will be covering the match.