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Major Link Soccer: Robbie Rogers retires

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Nashville takes major step towards getting an MLS team.

Gallery Photo: Sounders vs. Galaxy: Photos

Seattle

The big news of the day around Seattle soccer was the departure of Laura Harvey. The Seattle Reign brought in FC Kansas City coach Vlatko Andonovski to take over half of Harvey’s role. We’re covering those moves in full here.

It was a foregone conclusion at the end of the regular season since the award is given based on a mathematical formula of disciplinary points, but Sounders FC were officially announced yesterday as the winners of the MLS Team Fair Play award for 2017.

MLS

As a young boy I dreamed of becoming a professional soccer player and representing my country in front of the world. But as a teenager I grew more and more consumed by fear and shame. And sadly, at some point the scared kid inside me decided that pursuing my dream meant sacrificing a part of myself and hiding my sexuality from the world instead of embracing it. My happiest years as a player are the ones where I could walk through the stadium at the end of games down the tunnel to my partner and son waiting for me at the other end. And my only regret in my eleven year career are the years I spent in the closet. I wish I could have found the courage that so many young individuals have shared with me in the past five years to live honestly and openly as a gay person. These are the young people that inspired me to overcome my fears and return to playing. They’re still the kids that send me letters every week. To those kids, I say thank you. My proudest accomplishment in my career is helping to create a more open sport for you. None of this would have been possible without my teammates and brothers on and off the field, without the LA Galaxy and Bruce Arena who saw me as another player and not a distraction, or without the fans who judged me for my work ethic and my play and not my sexuality. And finally, it couldn’t have been possible without my family, who loved me through all of my ups and downs and always supported my dreams and still do. Lastly to all of the women and men who are still frightened to share their truth with the world, I’d encourage you to come out. By sharing who you are you will not only be improving your own life but inspiring and literally saving the lives of young people across the world. You deserve to take that same walk, down the players tunnel and have your own partner or loved ones waiting for you. Again thank you to everyone who watched or help me follow these dreams. I could never have imagined the happiness I’ll take with me into retirement and into my next chapter.

A post shared by Robbie Rogers (@robbierogers) on

After a season beset by injuries, Robbie Rogers has announced his retirement from MLS. Rogers will be remembered both for his successes on the field, and for being the first openly out male athlete in U.S. pro sports.

In a major win for Nashville's Major League Soccer expansion hopes, the Nashville Metro Council on Tuesday approved Mayor Megan Barry's financing plan for a new $275 million MLS stadium on the city's fairgrounds.

Teams that are out of the MLS Cup playoffs have begun making moves in preparation for 2018. One of the bigger moves revealed thus far comes from Colorado Rapids, who have announced that Director of Soccer Claudio Lopez will not return, amid a larger shake-up that could see the team sign up to 11 new players, three front office personnel, and a new head coach.

While Columbus Crew are still in playoff contention, their future remains uncertain. The Austin City Council met yesterday to debate the definition of “urban core” and “underutilized parkland”, which could be critical to Precourt Sports Ventures obtaining land and the necessary permits for their desired stadium location.

According to sources close to the negotiations, the New England Revolution are poised to name former U.S. national team goalkeeper Brad Friedel as head coach.

US Soccer

Fresno FC has unveiled a snazzy vulpine secondary logo and mascot in anticipation of their debut in USL next season.

Long-time American soccer executive Richard Groff sat down with Soccer America to give an extensive interview on the state of US Soccer, his thoughts on Sunil Gulati, and whether he would consider running for USSF President again after an unsuccessful bid in 1994. His key take-home message? “We need to keep doing what we do well.”

World Game

VAR isn’t just getting a bad rap in MLS. Even in leagues such as the Bundesliga, where outside sentiment is that it is working fairly well, there are significant concerns that it is causing problems due to incompetence or malfeasance, which led to the dismissal of the lead VAR official after claims he influenced some key decisions for his hometown club.

As part of the process of selecting the host (or hosts) of the 2026 World Cup, FIFA has demanded that all applicants should provide government guarantees on visa-free travel, plus work permit and tax exemptions for their bids to be accepted.