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Major Link Soccer: Reign picked to win NWSL as season kicks off

The Reign are heavy favorites, and the fourth season itself is a celebrated milestone. Garber calls Bruce Arena's De Jong comments "ridiculous."

Mike Russell / Sounder at Heart

NWSL

The fourth season of the NWSL kicks off this weekend, and predictions are looking good for Seattle Reign fans (but we already knew they would). Stats analysis site FiveThirtyEight has begun to forecast the league, and, barring a total disaster, the Reign are heavy favorites to make it far in the postseason.

Keeper Notes predicts a Reign #1 finish, a championship, and nearly a sweep of the end of year awards.

Fox Sports 1 will air six NWSL matches this year, three regular season matches, two semifinals and the championship final. At least one of those will feature the Reign (Houston vs. Seattle, Sunday, September 25).

Who should USWNT fans be watching on every NWSL team this season? Stars and Stripes FC has a rundown of who is on the bubble of the national team, who might be aging out, and who might earn their first callup.

Major League Soccer

MLS will continue to expand, in case you hadn't been paying attention. Don Garber officially confirmed the 28-team mark as the current goal, but didn't specifically announce Sacramento as the next MLS city (he basically kinda did, though).

Garber did respond to certain comments by Bruce Arena defending Nigel De Jong against media "hysteria," calling Arena's comments "ridiculous" and confirming that the suspension length for De Jong would be announced soon and would be in line with "similar nasty tackles." Sorry Bruce, you're on your own on this one.

If you enjoy reveling in Portland Timbers' misery (minus Nagbe's injury, of course), you can read Stumptown Footy's recap of the garbage fire at Providence Park on Wednesday. To be fair, Dallas are still quite good.

Ben Olsen is confused by the rash of red cards this season, he says he's not sure what to tell his players about what kind of tackles are going to get them sent off without warning.

Kwadwo Poku vs. Mix Diskerud - who should play for NYCFC? Who should play ping pong, I mean. Table tennis skills are important.

USMNT

Sure, plenty of people have been loudly calling for Jurgen Klinsmann to be fired, but what if he just walked out of his own accord and took a job at, say, Everton?

World

Fifa will have to "consider the future" of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar if the human rights situation does not improve within 12 months, according to a study it commissioned on whether or not it should care about mistreatment of human beings. Shruggie emoji.

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