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Major Link Soccer: Arsenal take down Dempsey and the MLS All Stars

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It was actually a pretty good match! But is it really a good measuring stick for how MLS is improving? Bob Bradley being eyed for a Premier League job.

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Major League Soccer

Arsenal's late winner from Chuba Akpom sealed a 2-1 victory over the MLS All Stars. Both teams subbed heavily at half and throughout the match, but it was a close and reasonably entertaining display of soccer-ing. Clint Dempsey trotted out for an easy 20 minutes or so.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger had plenty of praise for young US prospect Gideon Zelalem, saying he expects him to have a great career -- but he needs to bulk up a bit first.

(I'll throw this other USMNT prospect link in here as well - 20-year-old striker Rubio Rubin is fully recovered from the ankle injury that kept him out for so long and working to stake his claim back in the starting lineup at FC Utrecht)

FourFourTwo points out that it's silly to use the 'All Stars who aren't a real team vs. Top Euro Club in preseason' format as any kind of measuring stick for how MLS is or is not improving, but every year it's the same tired cliches during All Star Week.

Sebastian Giovinco is your SB Nation MLS player of the week after a hat trick performance against DC United.

Here comes another league ranking -- how do the top leagues in CONCACAF stack up against eachother? The Brotherly Game has a list based on data.

Did you know Columbus Crew's offense isn't working? If you don't pay attention to the Eastern Conference, the Crew are the rough equivalent of the Sounders: Expected contender, failing miserably, locker room discord leading to major pieces leaving. Here's a tactical look, though, at what specifically is going wrong in the attack at this point in the season.

I didn't know the Timbers had a "Nasty" centerback, but I guess they're about to sign another one? That headline aside, though, Portland are rumored to be replacing the injured Nat Borchers with an experienced English veteran.

Minnesota United FC is close to being confirmed to join the league in 2017. That's according to none other than the league commissioner.

Jason Kreis sounds pretty happy to be back coaching in MLS, and he's got big plans for Orlando City SC. In fact he says it will be "the absolute ideal MLS club."

Someone edited the MLS Rivalry Cups Wikipedia page to say that NYCFC has won the Hudson River Derby once. They haven't. They also edited it before it was decided for this year, thereby jinxing their team. Good job.

MLS is opening up ticket sales to being sold on all kinds of third-party sites,through a partnership with SeatGeek. Bloomberg talks about what that will mean for the business and the sport.

Seattle

Hope Solo, Megan Rapinoe and Crystal Dunn are starring in a documentary series about their battle for equality in the male-dominated sports industry.

This story about Naho Kawasumi's return to the Reign starts with this amazing quote from Laura Harvey (which means you should read it all): "We could have been top of the league and scored 15,000 goals," she said. "I'd have still signed Naho."

As with all things MLS, the Analyst has to weigh in from his Armchair on the signing of Nico Lodeiro. Matt Doyle takes a look at exactly why the Sounders need a player like him, and how he will change Seattle's fortunes.

Does Clint Dempsey hate all things Seattle and Sigi Schmid? The story described here caused a stir, although the most salient quotes about locker room discord have been scrubbed. Or, then again, you could go with Dempsey's words. Although not directly quoted, apparently he told Taylor Twellman that he wants to retire a Sounder.

So what exactly went wrong between Sigi Schmid and the Seattle Sounders? We have certainly covered it here on our site, but here's the piece from SB Nation's main site that summarizes it well. Also, MLS asked many prominent analysts what they think of the move and what Sigi should consider doing next.

NWSL

Why are Sky Blue FC the underdog success of this NWSL season? A new coach, new recruits, and veterans stepping up and creating a gritty, prideless attitude.

World

The story of "politics, permits and football" in and around Gaza and the West Bank. When hotly contested political boundaries get in the way of a tournament, things get complicated.

Watch Dirk Nowitzki do a 'Zaza' PK (and sky it, of course) at his annual celebrity exhibition soccer match.

Want to play in the Camp Nou in a videogame? Better stick to Pro Evolution Soccer, because in 2017 that game will have the exclusive rights to the famed stadium.

It's certainly not the first time he's been said to be at least under general consideration for a job in England's top league, but Hull City appear to be kicking the tires on the American coach.