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Major Link Soccer: V-Rod’s a Dad!

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Also: World Cup Qualifying and anatomy of “The Save” 2.0

MLS: Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Seattle Sounders FC Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Seattle

Congrats to Víctor Rodríguez on the birth of his first child, Astrid!

Can’t get enough of “The Save” 2.0 (Stefan Frei’s stop of Fredy Montero’s net-bound free kick in last week’s Vancouver match)? Soundersfc.com breaks down Frei’s heroic stop in all of its glory.

In his interview with Soccer America Sounders legend Kasey Keller talks about the Sounders’ quest to repeat as MLS champion, and touches on a variety of other topics -from relegation to fishing.

MLS

In a wild and chippy affair, Minnesota pulled off a long-shot win at Atlanta last night, though not without controversy. It was Atlanta’s first home loss in nine (and their first loss in Mercedes Benz stadium). The loss also broke the side’s eight-match unbeaten streak.

USA

Four years ago the USMNT shocked Panama, putting together an epic, late, come-from-behind victory, that ended the Canaleros’ dream of qualifying for the 2014 World Cup. When the Panamanian team (featuring Román Torres) comes to Orlando on Friday, revenge is sure to be on their minds. A win by Panama doesn’t itself eliminate the USMNT outright, but it would secure Panama’s first World Cup trip.

World

The USMNT’s late upset of Panama in World Cup qualifying in October 2013 not only bounced Panama from the World Cup; it also redeemed the Mexican National Team, which was on the brink of a humiliating elimination. As CONCACAF World Cup qualifying wraps up this month, Mexico is now the team riding high while the U.S. is in the hot seat. But Mexico is still feeling the pressure as they are eyeing a first place finish in the Hex and 24 points, a total that would represent their best performance in the Hex.

Has experience gained in MLS helped players raise the level of play and parity throughout CONCACAF?

Crystal Palace is off to a record start in the English Premier League. They have seven losses in seven matches played so far this season, with 0 goals and a -14 goal differential. FiveThirtyEight looks at their numbers and sees a ray of hope.

When Bayern Munich decided to send Carlo Ancelotti packing, it was only six matches into the Bundesliga season. Who is going to pick up the pieces? Bundesliga.com handicaps a shortlist of candidates for the coach job, including interim coach, Willy Sagnol (who could have started more auspiciously than a tie against middling Hertha Berlin). Louis van Gaal’s name has also been floated as a possible replacement.