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Major Link Soccer: Top clubs of northern Europe consider new 'Atlantic League'

Perennial champions from smaller leagues say changes to the Champions League will cut them out. The Rapids are in the driver's seat for the Supporters' Shield. Chelsea and Nike are under new contract through 2032.

Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Europe/England/FIFA

Top clubs from Norway, Sweden, Scotland, Denmark, the Netherlands and Belgium are discussing a potential new league made of the top teams from each of those country's domestic competitions, according to the director of FC Copenhagen. The move would offer an alternative to the Champions League for clubs that feel like they should have more of a chance in that competition, but that new rule changes favor the "Top 4" leagues.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino revealed "FIFA 2.0," which is not a video game but rather a roadmap for the future of the sport's governing body and the game of soccer.Some major goals are set in terms of increasing participation in the sport: FIFA wants to increase the percentage of people in the world who participate (even as fans) in football from 45 to 60 percent. They also want to double the number of female players worldwide in the next 10 years (to 60 million players!)

£60 million is a lot of pounds, and that's what the new Nike deal with Chelsea is worth per season, over the next 15 years.The Premier League giants cut ties with longtime sponsor Adidas early, and the new deal is reportedly worth roughly double what the old one was per season.

West Ham United fans, it's time to celebrate, the moment you've been waiting for is here: an amazing SB Nation site for you to waste time on when you should be doing TPS reports or what have you. Brace the Hammer is here.

Why is Bob Bradley a potential success at Swansea City? It's not his record by the numbers, but his unorthodox history and willingness to take the leap and take on new challenges that sets him apart. He has a lot to prove, starting this weekend.

Seattle

UW and Sounders Academy midfielder Handwalla Bwana has an amazing name ,and an even more amazing story, from a boarding school where he only saw his mother twice a year, to a refugee camp, finally to Seattle with his family.

Terms and discussions of the new NBA collective bargaining agreement are leaking, and one exciting thing seems to be clear: As soon as Seattle can get an arena figured out, they've got a very good shot at an expansion franchise. But they better hurry.

Garth Lagerwey and other executives from around the league talked to Jeff Carlisle about the important factor of signing players who are ready and willing to adjust to life in MLS and in a new city and culture. It's already clear Nicolas Lodeiro is one of the best signings in the league recently, and part of that is how quickly he settled in and committed to his new team.

Without Clint Dempsey, there's no way around it: A deep run by the Sounders in the MLS Cup playoffs will depend on an excellent string of games from the defense. It's a good thing the team seems to be peaking in that category at the right time (Stats!)

Major League Soccer

The Colorado Rapids beat the San Jose Earthquakes 2-1 Thursday night, putting them at 57 points and in the lead for the Supporters' shield with two games to go. FC Dallas is right behind them at 56, but they play the Sounders next, so...

The Columbus Crew and Chicago Fire also played to a 2-2 Draw.

The Philadelphia Union brought in the media to check out their new training center --the only catch being the reporters and bloggers had to do a full day of 'training' in the facility in order to check it out.

Here are five LA Galaxy academy players to watch out for against S2 next year, as it looks like they'll be ready to make the leap to 'Los Dos' in 2017.

Concacaf

The new CONCACAF president wants to change the name and do away with "The Hex." Bring back our old, corrupt overlords!

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