You may have missed the Sounders' first preseason match in Arizona on Wednesday, and I can say for sure that if you weren't there in person, the best you got was a rather subpar cell phone feed. Well, Sounder at Heart had a reporter on the scene, and don't miss Eric Flatness' followup observations on the friendly/scrimmage.
Think you are good at EA's FIFA? Probably not as good as these people. In February, THE NINETY will host eight finalists trying to qualify for a grand final in New York to be crowned the best FIFA-er in the world.
Also, it's good to know that the team is bonding. And that the "dads" are treating:
Major League Soccer
The text of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement has dropped, and it has been unpacked. First, read Jeremiah Oshan on the subject. And here is some further reading:
If you thought the salary document released by the players' union was sketchy at best before, well, you were right. It clearly is only a very rough idea of how a player hits the cap, (especially since the league can change a cap hit at their discretion).
Sports Illustrated breaks some numbers out of the document and presents them in a more readable format.
The salary cap isn't going anywhere in MLS for the time being. Sure it limits spending within the league, but is it also limiting the return teams get on selling players on to other leagues?
LA Galaxy did a good job, so LA Galaxy gets a gold star. Apparently not wanting to clutter up jerseys with pieces of flair, MLS has a new policy for what happens to your shirt when you win a championship.
Sal Zizzo, besides perhaps having the most Italian-American name in the league, is also now a reality TV show "star".
New York City FC fans are delighted to see a light at the end of the tunnel that is playing in a cavernous baseball stadium. As someone who will visit their stadium whenever the Sounders come to town, this writer is also pleased with this development.
The USL's Wilmington Hammerheads have signed on for another year of affiliation with NYCFC.
The New York club is also rumored to be courting world-famous goalkeeper Iker Casillas to keep a few more of those balls out of the net this season.
Atlanta United inaugural season ticket holders will be getting a great deal on tickets. Supporters' section seats will run $360, and with over 26,000 ticket deposits put down, it should be a great environment for MLS.
You know water supply is a problem when you are thinking of having kids play soccer on packed dirt fields, like in San Jose, California.
DC United may be planning to officially cry foul on Orlando City SC, after the latter team blatantly made a competing offer to Antonio Nocerino whie DC had a discovery claim on him.
Why would US Soccer sue the union that represents players on the USWNT? This article breaks it down, but more or less it's because US Soccer feels the union is threatening to strike. Here's another very good explainer piece from the Guardian.
Speaking of the CBA for the USWNT (or rather the memorandum of understanding that may/may not be legally the same as a CBA), those agreements dating back to 2000 were released as part of the lawsuit. As a result, the details of salaries and other interesting numbers for USWNT players are now out in the wild.
John Brooks isn't going anywhere for now, although he'd definitely consider leaving Hertha Berlin for the Premier League in the future (duh).
The US U19s were on the receiving end of a beat-down by France in the Copa de Atlantico in the Canary Islands, 5-0.
US youth international Joshua Perez has made the move to Serie A's Fiorentina.
San Francisco's upcoming NASL team may just be an elaborate troll. Probably not, but the early goings almost seem to be a self-mockery of NASL soccer. This is a must-read.
Guam's national team is the "little team that could." That is mostly thanks to one Englishman who wanted to make a mark in Asian football.
Donald Trump played varsity soccer in high school. This is very important news. This is not an invitation to talk politics in the comments section.
John Terry is likely gone. Does that end the era of the Super-Captain, the blood-sweat-and-tears captain? Does anyone even care anymore? Think of the children.
How are the Chinese planning to become a soccer nation? By pure force of dollars, and they are well on their way.
A crucial vote in Africa today may go a long way to deciding FIFA's next president.