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Major Link Soccer: USMNT Prepares for World Cup Qualifying

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The USMNT starts World Cup qualifying Friday against Guatemala, but an even more important game will be played also on Friday between the U.S. U-23 team and Colombia's U-23 team for a spot in Rio this summer.

Jamie Squire/Getty Images

U.S. Soccer

Given the previous generation’s failings (and even some of its own) the US Under-23 Men’s National Team knows just how much pressure awaits them in the coming weeks. Here is a preview of the must-win games.

With sole possession of an important US scoring record just one goal away, veteran US forward Clint Dempsey returned to the squad this week, ahead of a pair of pivotal World Cup Qualifying matches against Guatemala.

Borussia Dortmund midfielder Christian Pulisic was called in by Jurgen Klinsmann for the USMNT's pair of World Cup qualifiers against Guatemala, but is still in Germany due to illness, US Soccer has confirmed he could make the game in Columbus if he is feeling better by the weekend.

Will Pulisic is joining his cousin Christian at Dortmund. Will is hoping to rise through the ranks like his cousin.

Where do you play DeAndre Yedlin? Jurgen Klinsmann has had to (try to) answer that question with frequency lately. Yedlin is finally getting regular minutes with Sunderland in the English Premier League, but is that enough to merit a spot?

USMNT forward Bobby Wood could be moving on up to the big time. Wood is in discussion with Hamburger SV about a potential move to the German club. Wood stated that he is "playing harder" than ever in his career.

Seattle

Is it possible that the Seattle Sounders don't have the players to make the new 4-3-3 work; according to one journalist the loss of Obafemi Martins mucked up the whole thing.

Just a little gossip to start the day for Seattle Sounders fans; could we see the Boateng brothers in Rave Green one day?

Major League Soccer

The MLS and FIFA schedules don't usually line up and this has been a problem for teams like the Sounders. This week Seattle is lucky and has a bye, but in other years they haven't been so lucky.

Does anyone remember Joe Cole? English National Team player? Looks like he will be enjoying the sunshine in Tampa Bay. Rumor has Cole signing a one-year deal to play with the Tampa Bay Rowdies in the NASL.

It has been said that the MLS is a bit of a retirement league for European stars. Now with Tim Howard returning to the league is MLS allowing the same for aging USMNT players. Are these players overrated and over paid?

World Soccer

Soccer is the shining light in Crotone, Italy. Known as the poorest town in Italy, the city has been mismanaged for decades, and the unemployment rate is the highest in the country, incredibly estimated at 31% in 2015. None of that has stopped the team from succeeding.

A dramatic retelling of the heyday of the New York Cosmos in the original era of the North Ameircan Soccer League is the subject of a recently announced television project. Who wouldn't want to see Pele, Beckenbaur, and Chinaglia partying it up in 70's New York?

Going big (like anything that is done in China) is what it's all about. Soccer academies and schools are popping up all over China and they are a sight to be seen.

Steve Zungul spent parts of his career in New York, San Diego, and Tacoma. He liked to dance and drink to all hours of the night, (and he wasn't what you would call much of a practice type player.) But make no mistake about it, Zungul could play.

If you are making plans to be in Qatar for the 2022 World Cup you better make sure you have a comfy sleeping bag and a nice sleeping mat since you may be sleeping in a tent!

Goals of the week: Two long distance stunners, and a no look wonder