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Major Link Soccer: Marsch punished for referee criticism

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The NYRB coach is apparently surprised that David Villa is good at selling fouls. Is the Seattle Sounders "honeymoon" over? And to hell with the US Open Cup.

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Major League Soccer

Arsenal CEO Ivan Gazidis has a long history with MLS, in fact he was deputy commissioner under Don Garber from 2001 to 2008. So as he inevitably comments on the state of MLS when his team visits for an All Star Game, his opinion has more weight than your standard Premier League executive. Gazidis notes the 'extraordinary' growth of MLS, but says the next step is improving the development of the US player pool.

The premise of this article is that player data analytics is valuable in soccer, but that US Soccer has been slow - and MLS too cheap (or revenue-poor) to adopt it. I think it undercuts itself in that regard by describing MLS teams that have analytics staff (most do) and a new US Soccer partnership and facilities at StubHub for analytics, but it's still an interesting read on the subject.

Going into the New York derby this weekend, Red Bulls coach Jesse Marsch had some things to say about MLS referees and high-priced stars, namely that the latter get special treatment form the former. He said "Hoping that we get a ref who understands how to ref the game this weekend." Saying things like that, while probably true, earn you fines.

In this beautiful piece of video content over at the Brotherly Game, they look towards the always-relevant themes of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air to describe their feelings about the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, which for Philly has been tantalizingly close yet so far away.

Seattle can't sign all the Uruguayans, because Orlando City has signed centerback Jose Aja on a 6-month loan from Club Nacional de Football. Also he's 6-foot-4! Cue the Steely Dan jokes.

Sometimes in sports the absolute worst thing that could possibly accidentally happen, happens. This is why goalkeeper is the last position I would ever want on the pitch. This is from Minnesota United's friendly against AFC Bournemouth:

Seattle

The most exciting and shiny players come from outside MLS, known only by fuzzy highlight videos and articles in other languages. But the Sounders, like most teams, have been known to look within MLS to improve the squad as well. This FanPost from Jack2142 takes a look at what MLS talent Seattle might look to acquire at positions of need, and what it might take to swing a trade.

The Sounders changed MLS when they joined the league. Sure, the league was changing anyhow, but the Sounders represented an inflection point in the direction of the league in terms of "numbers, intensity, scale, culture, ambition, investment," as Charles Boehm puts it. And he also says that's all over. The Sounders sending a B-C squad to Carson in the Open Cup represents the end of the 'honeymoon' to Boehm. Is he right?

If you live in or anywhere near Renton, you have a new brewery opening it's doors to you today, from noon to 10 PM. Four Generals Brewing has taken over the Old City Hall building. Why not have a beer and talk about something besides the Sounders for a while (we all need it).

USL

USL has a new season attendance record, set by FC Cincinnati in their first year of existence. The previous record was set the year before by Sacramento Republic, underlining again how small-market soccer can be a success.

US Soccer

Julian Green isn't going to see the field for Bayern Munich, at least not in Bundesliga play, right? Right? Well, his teammate Javi Martinez had lots of praise for the young striker and sees him getting opportunities this season. Maybe he's just being nice, but Green has been starting pre-season matches for the German giants.

Enjoy the USWNT and staff being awesome and granting a wish for a 14-year-old soccer-loving girl suffering from a neurological condition, spending the day hanging out and kicking the ball around, and generally having good times (From ESPN's My Wish).

World

Well it may just be "Premier League" now, but it's time to get used to a different international bank name right next to the name of a famous soccer league: LaLiga Santander.

The Other Sheriff, consider this your scouting cheat sheet: The top 50 Olympics-eligible Argentinian male players.