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Major Link Soccer: Alan Kelly wins Ref of the Year

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Russell Wilson joins the Sonics Arena group and Frank Lampard is done in MLS.

Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

Seattle

The Sounders won't have to face Tim Howard when their Western Conference semifinal begins next week after he injured his groin against Mexico on Friday, but the Rapids have a lot of confidence in their backup plan, Zach MacMath.

Seattle University's Kyle Bjornethun was named Western Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year; Alex Roldan (Cristian Roldan's brother) was also honored as All-WAC First Team.

Former Sounder Michael Azira finally broke into the Uganda national team with his first cap on Saturday in World Cup Qualifying against Congo.

Another former Sounder is enjoying a career year in Colorado - the club's website caught up left back Marc Burch for an interview on what's led to his success this season.

Seahawks QB Russell Wilson announced that he's partnering with Chris Hansen's SODO arena group to bring back the Sonics to Seattle, as well as the NHL.

MLS/NWSL

Alan Kelly has been named as MLS Referee of the Year for the second consecutive season, winning the vote of the media, coaches, and players well ahead of his peers.

New York City FC fans have a lot to feel good about this season, between the club's first playoff appearance as well as finally parting ways with English midfielder Frank Lampard.

Robbie Keane has yet to reach a new deal with the Galaxy but has said with 100% certainty that he'll be playing in MLS; what other teams make sense for the Irish legend?

Whitecaps striker Niles Barnes may be on the move back across the pond to Blackburn in a potential reunion with manager Owen Coyle.

LAFC would be an interesting fit for Keane if they began play next year, as the club is looking for a player of "global stature" for their 2018 entry, including Wayne Rooney, Cesc Fabregas, Luka Modric, and Javier Hernandez.

The Chicago Fire have been spinning their tires for years now as younger MLS teams pass them by - what does this say about management's intentions with the team?

Atlanta United announced a slew of technical staff additions yesterday, many with MLS experience including Dario Sala, the agent that brought Mauro Rosales to the PNW.

DC United goalkeeper Bill Hamid will be training informally with Bob Bradley's Swansea squad for a week or two to start this offseason.

The Montreal Impact are the only team remaining in the playoffs that knows it will not host MLS Cup; might as well go out with a bang as 50k+ are set to flock to Olympic Stadium for the rivalry charged Eastern Conference semifinal.

USA

The USMNT's loss in Columbus to Mexico makes today's qualifier in Costa Rica that much more important; Stars and Stripes previews tonight's game.

Continuing on the road to recovery, Abby Wambach will be moving out of Portland, signed with ESPN to cover international soccer, and announced her new girlfriend.

World

Ex-Uruguay international Sebastian "El Loco" Abreu set a dubious world record by completing the 28th transfer of his 22-year career, which has spanned 23 clubs across nine countries.

Soccer to Watch Today:

World Cup Qualifying

2:35am Japan vs Saudi Arabia ESPN3, WatchESPN

3:00am Korea Republic vs Uzbekistan ESPN3, WatchESPN

4:00am Syria vs Iran ESPN3, WatchESPN

12:00pm Bolivia vs Paraguay beIN SPORTS, fuboTV

1:00pm Ecuador vs Venezuela beIN SPORTS, fuboTV

2:05pm Honduras vs Trinidad and Tobago fuboTV

3:30pm Chile vs Uruguay beIN SPORTS, fuboTV

3:30pm Argentina vs Colombia fuboTV

6:05pm Costa Rica vs USA beIN SPORTS, fuboTV

6:05pm Panama vs Mexico fuboTV

6:15pm Peru vs Brazil fuboTV

Friendlies

11:30am Czech Republic vs Denmark ESPN3

11:45am Italy vs Germany ESPN3

11:45am Austria vs Slovakia ESPN3

11:45am Northern Ireland vs Croatia fuboTV

12:00pm England vs Spain Fox Sports 1, Fox Soccer 2Go

12:00pm France vs Côte d'Ivoire ESPN Deportes, ESPN3

U20 Women's World Cup

10:00pm Spain vs Japan Fox Sports 1, Fox Soccer 2Go

10:00pm Korea DPR vs Brazil Fox Sports 2, Fox Soccer 2Go