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Major Link Soccer: Sounders top power rankings average again

As the Sounders prepare for the Sportings, Xavi sells out to Qatar and the US might lose Junior Flores to El Salvador.

ell ll / Sounder at Heart

Seattle:

Matt Pentz at the Seattle Times details the Sounders recent possession-happy play with some great quotes from Sigi Schmid and the players. It really highlights the tactical flexibility of Sigi and the tactical intelligence of the individual Sounders on the field.

Seattle Sounders FC have retaken the top spot in the RSL Soapbox weekly MLS power ranking average, with the Red Bulls and FC Dallas rounding out the top three. Tomorrow's opponent hovers around the middle of the pack.

You really aren't doing yourself any favors if you miss this new Seattle Reign Youtube series, the result of handing a GoPro camera to the players and saying "go for it." It's amazing.

Yes, the US Open Cup fourth round pairing draw happened, and the Sounders will play the Timbers. It's the only MLS matchup in the round, and it's between the two biggest rivals in the league. Oh, the perils of playing in the isolated backwaters known as the PNW.

Major League Soccer

David Beckham is again inching towards finding an appropriate stadium site in the Miami-Dade County area. Beckham, Don Garber, and University of Miami president Donna Shalala (awesome name) meet today to discuss options. Shalala isn't pleased with the current Hurricanes stadium.

Jason Kreis, Ned Grabavoy, Sebastian Velasquez and Kwame Watson-Siriboe return to Rio Tinto stadium Saturday, and it's gonna be weird. Kreis looks forward to a "beautiful affair," or he would be thinking about that if his new team weren't doing so badly. Grabavoy will learn what the visitor's locker room looks like.

US Soccer

I think it's best if I just provide this headline without comment: "Young players must learn to pass the dadgum ball".

Junior Flores didn't make the cut for the US squad in the U-20 World Cup. Is that snub enough to convince the player in the Dortmund system to make the permanent switch to playing for El Salvador?

Jozy Altidore's hamstring is hurt again - who should play instead? Also, what forwards should start for the USWNT at the World Cup? This and more discussed on the Planet Fútbol podcast.

World

Xavi Hernandez has sold out in a very big way, signing a deal that will see him play in Qatar and serve as an ambassador for the controversial 2022 World Cup. I can only imagine the amount of money the Barcelona legend will be making over the next years, but he has lost credit in the eyes of many.

Israeli authorities have detained a Palestinian player as his team attempted to travel to Tunisia for training camp. Despite an agreement to ease restrictions on travel for players, it seems things aren't so simple.

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