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Major Link Soccer: Tim Howard gets backlash for questioning US teammates' passion

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He walks back the comments in a new interview. The Sounders have a pretty favorable 2017 schedule. Deloitte tells you which club made $735 million last season.

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

US Soccer

Tim Howard is pretty happy Jurgen Klinsmann is gone, in part because he felt like some of the players Klinsy brought in showed a "lack of passion and desire." At least, that's what he said a few days ago. He walked back his statements a bit, or at least named some dual-nationals he wasn't referring to with that criticism.

One of those was Jermaine Jones, who more or less politely scolded Howard for calling out individual players, even without naming names.

But Howard's opinion seems pretty clear. Stars and Stripes FC takes issue with the USMNT veteran's need to pick on foreign-born players, when they've been pursued by NT coaches for a long time. Didn't the whole team appear to give up against Costa Rica, not just the newer faces? Couldn't Klinsmann's general ineptitude and poor coaching be to blame for a seeming "lack of passion?"

The CONCACAF general secretary talked about the importance of cooperating with CONMEBOL and continuing to plan events like the Copa America Centenario, but said there were no talks of a merger of the two confederations.

The US Soccer Foundation has added two new members to it's Board of Directors.

Major League Soccer

FC Dallas midfielder Ryan Hollingshead was in a serious accident two weeks ago that fractured several vertebrae, but he is recovering. Hollingshead stopped on an icy road to try to protect a stranded car and driver, but then another car hit him and another good samaritan, sending him flying 30 feet into a guardrail. Quite the story, and luckily he was not further injured.

Speaking of FC Dallas, they are known for producing - and getting results from - top youth talent and homegrown players. Big D Soccer has a detailed look at the staff behind that development, and what makes them tick.

Want to know where each MLS team stands roster-wise at this point in the offseason? Matt Doyle has you covered, with his latest updates of the roster build status for all 22 clubs.

There is a lot of competition for the next round of MLS expansion, and it's not easy to keep track of how each city/group is coming along with their bids (if you're into that sort of thing). Luckily, Brian Strauss at SI has done an excellent roundup of the state of affairs of the top MLS expansion possibilities.

We can't believe we're writing this, but a deal sending Landon Donovan to Real Salt Lake is very close, maybe even essentially done, RSL Soapbox reports from their sources.

Birmingham City have confirmed that American defender Jonathan Spector is leaving the club and heading to MLS.

Seattle

The strength of schedule calculations are in, and Seattle has the eighth-easiest path to the Supporters' Shield. You know, theoretically.

NWSL

The Portland Thorns are hosting a preseason invitational tournament at the end of March, featuring the Houston Dash, Chicago Red Stars and the US U23 Women's National Team.

NASL

Yes, the NASL still exists. Those still clinging on to the burning husk working to rebuild the league are calling for unity and no more infighting if they hope to survive.

Indy Eleven have even signed a new player, former Columbus Crew SC homegrown player Ben Speas. He was formerly with Minnesota United.

World

So here's an interesting way of going about finding a coach. A Scottish businessman is paying £150k for the privilege of managing a team in the Spanish third division, but will get his money back if he wins promotion.

Deloitte has released their yearly Football Money League report, ranking clubs by yearly revenues.Wow, clubs make a lot of money.

FiveThirtyEight has a very nice club soccer predictions interactive for the top Euro leagues and the UEFA Champions League. Also an explanation of the methodology.

Four years ago, Manchester City striker Kelechi Iheanacho couldn't have afforded the "admission price" of 15 cents in his Nigerian hometown to watch himself play in the Premier League. Things are a little different now, as he writes in the Players' Tribune.