Over at Fifty Five One, an ongoing series evaluates each MLS team's relative performance in the DP era -- who have they signed to designated player contracts and how did they do compared to their salary? The Seattle Sounders, as most teams, have had an up-and-down record when it comes to signing DP's, but overall they earn a good grade with some of the most successful DP signings ever.
Reader Paul Kahl writes a poetic and fitting tribute to Mr. Sounder himself, Zach Scott, in this FanPost.
Goal.com has a feature on second-year midfielder Cristian Roldan, who has exceeded expectations since his surprise drafting by Seattle from the University of Washington. Coaches and teammates alike praise him as an excellent learner and smart and hard worker at practice.
Megan Rapinoe took a knee again during the national anthem before the latest USWNT match, and people still care I guess.
Speaking of Rapinoe and flags and anthems, US Soccer found it necessary to release a statement about Rapinoe's actions, without mentioning her by name. The statement itself is sort of exactly what you think it would be, and I have to say I agree with Kevin McCauley's take on it on the main SB Nation site. [As always, please keep discussion civil and on topic.]
Heather O'Reilly played her last game in a USWNT shirt last night, and her sendoff couldn't have been better: A shutout, 9 goals (she wears #9), and a goal and an assist for the woman of the evening. She continues to play for FC Kansas City.
For more on O'Reilly's international career, you can read her whole story in her own words at The Players' Tribune.
The USMNT has risen a few notches in the FIFA World Rankings. They sit at 22nd after a couple of WC qualifying wins.
Major League Soccer
Univision created some special MLS team jerseys for Hispanic Heritage Month, some of which are horrendous and some of which are actually pretty nice. The Sounders shirt gets a botanical edition that could have a double meaning.
If Guatemalan teams are booted from CONCACAF Champion's League (which looks likely), it's a boost to the New York Red Bulls. Antigua FC would have to forfeit their CCL game against NYRB by a score of 3-0.
NFL is back in LA, but are the Rams a real threat to the LA Galaxy? Naw, LAG Confidential thinks the only threat is from LAFC.
What LAG do have a problem with, however, is pitch invaders at the StubHub center. Despite efforts against it, there was a second fan rushing the field in two weeks.
Speaking of LA, it sounds like the SuperDraft combine will take place there in January prior to the 2017 draft.
Sporking KC have signed promising 22-year-old midfielder Benji Joya. You may know him from the US U20's, from his loan stint from Santos Laguna to the Chicago Fire, or (probably not) from his last year playing on loan in the Mexican second division at Club Necaxa.
FC Dallas has just won the US Open Cup and has dreams of the treble. Remember that feeling? I sure do. Over at Big D soccer, they'd like to remind fans to stop and smell the Open Cup trophy and simply enjoy the win without looking too far forward. We remember that too.
Wait, what am I saying? Dallas has just signed Carlos "Pescadito" Ruiz, the Guatemala and MLS legend who flops so much he is literally called fish. The winning goal in the MLS Cup will be from a direct free kick after Ruiz hits the ground about 25 yards out, you heard it here first.
Portland Timbers still bad. (Sorry, that's as far as I got in the headline. I think the story is about their recent CCL loss).
Orlando City SC's history as a club or franchise is a little hard to track objectively -- they do give it a shot at The Mane Land, and potentially could go all the way to 2007.