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Major Link Soccer: MLS Cup rematch edition

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Read the reactions as the Cup teams are set. Also, the rest of MLS is in offseason mode, making roster decisions.

2016 MLS Cup - Seattle Sounders v Toronto FC

Seattle

ICYMI, the Seattle Sounders defeated the Houston Dynamo by an aggregate score of 5-0 to move on to an MLS Cup rematch in Toronto. (Who knows, maybe you don’t watch the games, and just wait to learn the results in the links post!) Here’s a little visual preview of what that may look like.

Charles Boehm says these two teams are contesting not just this years cup, but ‘ownership’ of this era in MLS.

Nouhou has come a long way this year since making his emphatic, speedy jump to the first team. The Sounders, especially Assistant Coach Djimi Traore, have put a lot of effort into making him comfortable and happy in Seattle.

Speaking of features on Sounders who have exceeded expectations this year, ESPN gives Gustav Svensson his dues as a veteran “team guy” who has fit seamlessly in wherever he’s been needed.

Major League Soccer

In contrast to the Sounders’ relatively comfortable trip through the postseason so far, Toronto FC have been battling through incredibly close games, occasionally riding their luck. They’ve found many different ways to win this year, and they’ll be desperate for this final victory at home.

Anibal Godoy has been one of the San Jose Earthquakes’ best and most consistent performers since joining in 2015, and the ‘Quakes have signed him up to a fresh multiyear contract.

Greg Garza is now on a permanent deal at Atlanta United, ending his loan and signing a multiyear agreement.

The Portland Timbers’ Merritt Paulson and Gavin Wilkinson held a half-hour press conference earlier this week to provide information on their coaching search and other plans for the offseason. Stumptown Footy has the highlights.

United States

The Rochester Rhinos will take a one-year hiatus from USL play, but remain in good standing with the league. Financial difficulties spurred the move, and they will continue to host some games at their stadium and attempt to shore up support for 2019.

The Amazon HQ2 proposal for Chicago includes a 20,000-seat multi-use (but mainly soccer) stadium that would be the home of a new USL franchise. Not, say, the Chicago Fire. That would make too much sense.

Montpelier, Vermont thanked Montpellier, France via Skype for the shipment of soccer jerseys that were one ‘L’ short of being perfect.

World

New FIFA rules are great news for players around the world who have gotten far too used to never seeing portions (or all) of their salaries. FIFPro has been lobbying for the changes, which allow players to break their contracts with clubs in these cases, and establishes transfer bans for clubs that won’t pay up. This will be especially massive in Africa, where unpaid wages are extremely common.