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Major Link Soccer: No US/Mexico World Cup?

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Sunil Gulati pumps the brakes. Tim Howard is ready to step back in goal for the US. Nike might be breaking the billion mark when it comes to number of euros they are paying to make Barçelona's kits.

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US Soccer

US Soccer Federation President Sunil Gulati is throwing some water on the hot rumors that the US and Mexican federations were in discussions over presenting a joint bid for the 2026 World Cupdenying the reports and saying no decisions have been made.

In an interview with ESPNFC, Tim Howard talks about how he's ready to take the No. 1 spot for the USMNT again now that his time at Everton is over, although he's not positive it's still his to take.

Seattle

The cutest ferry on the planet is for sale, because the M/V Hiyu has reached the end of its lifespan as a people and car mover for the Washington State Ferries. It currently carries 199 passengers and 34 vehicles, although it looks like it could easily be converted into an ultra-luxurious yacht at the cost of just a few dozen million dollars. Just a shout for the bargain shoppers out there.

When you go see the first Nintendo-produced Mario Brothers or Zelda film in a couple of years, know that it was the sale of the Seattle Mariners that partially paid for it, as Nintendo plans to develop it's own movies featuring the company's famous characters using that capital.

Speaking of movies, who's ready for the Fifty Shades of Grey sequel? Well, hold on to your handcuffs, because it's filming right now in Seattle -- or at least it will be on the viaduct over the next few days. Plan accordingly (avoid it).

Maybe you are like Kimostick, the author of this Fanpost, and it took a while for your friends or family to convince you to join them at a Sounders match. Maybe you had a similar experience: First you were watching the crowd cheering for the team, and then, without realizing it, you joined in and became a supporter. Read one fan's first experience.

More local news: Are you a 206? 360? 425? 253? Soon your new neighbors could be a 564. The new area code for Western Washington will start being distributed in 2017:

Major League Soccer

Salaries are out! This is your daily reminder that Frank Lampard makes $6 million per year.

Nick Rimando's fingers have taken a beating over the years, particularly his right pinky finger. Apparently he can dislocate it at will so it points out at silly angles, scaring children and confusing strangers. Don't look at this if the idea of seeing that grosses you out (it's not too bad).

The Zlatan's wife would like to live in a major city in the United States (so...not Manchester, UK). Word on the street (this article) is that he already has a deal on the table from an MLS team worth around $20 million a year.

American Soccer Analysis wonders how true Kei Kamara's words were about not relying on Federico Higuain for his production. Will his departure actually improve Higuain's effectiveness on the pitch?

Other US Leagues

NWSL's Orlando Pride has signed their final 2016 draft pick, M/F Christina Burkenroad. With Cal State-Fullerton, Burkenroad was Big West Conference Midfielder of the Year and was named MVP of the Conference's tournament in both 2014 and 2015.

Liverpool U21 player Daniel Trickett-Smith has joined Sacramento Republic FC, and his first match for Sacramento could actually be against his former U21 teammates as the Liverpool squad takes their US tour this week.

Nashville will be the latest USL expansion city, and the ownership group there is in the process if finding a home stadium. They will begin league play in 2018.

The drama continues in the opening rounds of the US Open Cup, as another team was caught fielding an ineligible player. This time it was The Villages SC who were the culprits, pulling off an upset in the second round over Charleston Battery, but using a player who had participated in the qualifying rounds with Boca Raton FC!

World

In case you missed it, Aston Villa just changed hands, from Randy Lerner to Tony Xia, and the selling price is actually slightly less than the 60 million pounds Lerner paid in 2006.When you add in all the investment Lerner has put into the club, thats quite a loss.

Speaking of English football, the entire system in that country might be shaken up soon. The FA has proposed a change to a 5-tier, 100-team system. 90 percent of the teams would need to agree to implement the reform, which is designed to control fixture congestion and help clubs make more money.

La Liga plans to start fining clubs for allowing empty stadium seating to be seen on TV broadcasts of their games.

Have you seen Case Jernigan's cool minimalist animations of famous moments in soccer history? Now you have, and you get a bonus interview with the artist.

Why is the Europa League, the "undercard of tournaments" so amazing? Because it's more fun,like the WCW vis-a-vis WWE, it's a little more unpredictable and exciting.

Nike are upending dump trucks full of cash at various top clubs in the world, notably Chelsea, where they double Adidas deal, and FC Barçelona, where they have almost locked in a 10-year, 1 BILLION EURO contract with the Spanish giants.