Sounders U23 is moving on to the National Semifinals after taking the Western Conference crown on a 2-1 victory over FC Tucson. The USL PDL Final Four consists of KW-United, Ocala Stampede, and New York Red Bulls U23. The location has yet to be determined, but should be announced soon.
If the last seven weeks of Sounders soccer were a roller coaster, it'd be Takabisha. That's the verdict out of American Soccer Analysis' ELO ratings, which had the Rave Green at top bill for all of four weeks before the wheels came off and the car flew into the park entrance, when everyone in my Roller Coaster Tycoon park died various horrific deaths. Great, now i'm conflating reality with theme park management games. WHEN WILL THE MADNESS END?
MLS Soccer's tactics/snark guy Matt Doyle put together a fun story on the evolution of MLS tactics.
The Chicago Fire have been surprisingly active in this window, having reportedly traded the rights to Didier Drogba and obtained the services of former Toronto FC Designated Player Gilberto. Anything to put a dent in all those empty seats at Bridgeview. (Seriously, recent highlight packages are looking rather Chivas'y.)
Karma is real: Two weeks after his scandalous inclusion in the MLS All-Star roster, Frank Lampard has been ruled out of the game as he continues to recover from MLS Toe a wounded calf.
If you thought Sydney Leroux was the only player unhappy with a stint at Western New York Flash, think again: Carli Lloyd (she of the brightest spotlight in Women's soccer) ripped the club a new one, saying that not one US National Team contributor wanted to play in Buffalo when the league held their inaugural draft in 2013. Abby Wambach may have been in the same boat, electing not to play club soccer at all. Maybe it's the name?
The next generation of corruption is beginning to play the Game of Thrones, to decide who will sit in the Iron Bleachers. Two frontrunners met in the U.S. this weekend, Chung Mong-joon and Michel Platini. C+M=S, am I right?
Meet The Guardian's Top 25 U.S. Male Soccer Players of all Time. While it could easily feature three keepers in the top five, any complaints would be mere quibbles. Check out how the voting broke down here.