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Major Link Soccer: Eddie Johnson will retire

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LAFC is taking it slow, the Power Ranking Roundup, and why the Galaxy are Lost in Space.

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Seattle

Sad news in recent Once-a-Sounder world: It looks more and more certain that Eddie Johnson's playing career is over at 31. His heart condition made a return to the field for the Designated Player extremely unlikely, and DC United may be getting some "salary cap relief" through the league as a result.

I will always remember EJ's playing days like this:

Sounders tie Galaxy 9/21/13

'Don't provoke a Sydney Leroux', I think that's in every NWSL survival manual in chapter one. But Leroux is not too happy with her trade to WNY Flash, and she's excited for her upcoming return matchup against the Reign. Honestly she should be most upset that she just fell so far in our NWSL jersey emoji-based power rankings!

For his first professional coaching gig, Ante Razov's charge is to tell Obafemi Martins and Clint Dempsey how to be better at scoring goals. That's a tall order, but he says he says his relationship with the two stars is in good shape.

Boo.

Major League Soccer

An MLS team in Dayton, OH? Less than 75 miles from Columbus Crew SC? That seems rather doubtful, but a study on the Dayton area found that an MLS team is the only top-level pro sports team it could really support, and they had to lead with something for this article!

Speaking of The Mother of Presidents, Wil Trapp (when will we be power ranking ridiculous names in MLS?) has lingering concussion issues that are prompting a longer medical evaluation before he can be fully cleared again. He could only play 45 minutes Wednesday before his symptoms returned.

For any lingering questions whether LAFC (or whatever it ends up called) will be absorbing any of the identity or structure of Chivas RIP, it seems the answer is no. Ownership is committed to getting a stadium deal worked out first and foremost, then dealing with the name and branding and identity of the team, as well as waiting until then to start an academy or USL team. Here's hoping for lots of fan engagement in that whole process.

Things aren't exactly clicking for the other Los Angeles team so far in 2015, and that makes me very happy. Unfortunately, I'm sure Bruce Arena will figure something out, he usually does. But right now the Galaxy are Lost in Space.

You can close the books on 2015 now, folks: Vancouver Whitecaps are going to dominate MLS. On the plus side, the Sounders will definitely make the playoffs, with the third spot in the west. RSL Soapbox again has their Power Ranking Power Roundup.

The Red Bulls have a Cameroonian connection, and it's an interesting story - this longer feature on Once a Metro is worth a read. NYRB also has a mysterious benefactor, a ghost - but a ghost of a man who is very much alive. Yes, that's right: The ghost of 'Thierry Henry, Red Bull' has not given up on his former team.

Is American soccer over? Is it not cool anymore because it's too mainstream and only the first album was good and we miss the days when we could still see the teams play at the local dive for five bucks and do drugs with them in the bathroom?

NWSL

Obviously which jerseys are  and which are  isn't the biggest news out of the league. That would be the fact that the league is nearing a national broadcast deal, and that expansion is a hot topic as well.

World

Things are really pretty bad in Cyprus soccer right now. And blown up cars are really just a symptom.

Who gets into Europa League? The answer is complicated, and it may have just become more complicated. (But I can't tell, because it's complicated!) Here's some help. The upshot? Tottenham will probably play in it, which means potential fixture congestion, which means potential first-team playing time for one Deandre Yedlin, so I'm all for it.

Writing prompt: Pep Guardiola challenges you to a game of 1-on-1 basketball.

Qatar's population is booming because of the massive influx of immigrant workers for the 2022 World Cup projects.