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Major Link Soccer: Portland Preview

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Caleb Porter says they will snap their road winless streak at CenturyLink. The mysteriously-unnamed Minnesota team is unveiled today. Also, soccer's greatest con man.

Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Seattle

In this profile of Brian Schmetzer from 11 years ago in the Seattle Times, the USL Sounders head coach talks about his busy life coaching the Sounders as well as two youth teams, co-running a construction business and running his kids to school. I wonder if he imagined himself prepping for a Portland Timbers match in the top flight of US soccer in front of 50,000-plus a decade later?

The Timbers are 0-6-6 on the road this season, and have never won at CenturyLink. But Caleb Porter says they have had the "better of the play" in recent matches here, so it's a good time for them to snap their road winless streak.

Allen Kelly will preside over this Sunday's match. That will hopefully mean that the game won't devolve into hack-a-Sounder (or hack-a-Timber, for that matter), as Kelly can be pretty quick with the fouls and yellow cards.

Don't look now, but Seattle are (unsurprisingly) climbing the MLS aggregate power rankings over at RSL Soap Box. From the dismal 18th spot 3 weeks ago, the Sounders have climbed into 13th, with one vote as high as 11th.

Major League Soccer

New England Revolution have signed US youth international goalkeeper Cody Cropper. Cropper is only 23 and has spent his whole career so far at various clubs in England, even spending some time in the Premier League (although he made no appearances). The Revs could use some help in stopping the ball from going in the net, so they may be looking at a long-term move with a younger keeper.

If you want a comprehensive catch-up on how MLS expansion is going, this is the piece for you from Sports Illustrated. Minnesotan Major League Soccer-Playing Club FC will be officially unveiled today. What will they really be called? Whats going on in LA? Who will join the league next?

Speaking of that club with the great crest, it's been a long and bumpy road for pro soccer in the Land of 10,000 Lakes (there are actually many more than 10,000). Learn about the history of MLS's latest edition.

World

The Israeli soccer league starts up this weekend, and the police there are starting to try to make the stands for some of those matches a less hateful and racist place. Fifty members of La Familia (the official supporters group for Beitar Jerusalem) have been arrested, after several high profile acts of violence.

This is the story of the 20-year career of soccer's greatest con man, Carlos Kaiser. He managed to use his network of friends including famous players and agents, as well as some standard injury faking, to move from contract to contract with clubs, but barely play (because he wasn't very good in the first place).