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Major Link Soccer: Diego Valeri wins MLS MVP

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The Portland playmaker earned over 50% of the vote.

MLS: Western Conference Semifinal-Houston Dynamo at Portland Timbers Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

Seattle

Seattle Center’s revamp went through and likely will lead to a NHL team to coming to Key Arena. The renovation of the Key rose from SoDo’s ashes.

Two Washington players made the United Soccer Coaches All-America teams.

MLS

Complimenting Portland is not always an easy task, but Diego Valeri won MLS MVP hands down and definitely deserved it. The Timbers playmaker racked up over 50% of the average vote. It means a lot to our frenemies down south.

Toronto FC is dominating the headlines for “best ever” should they win the MLS Cup but what if — just if — it’s actually the Sounders who are best ever?

Seattle’s return to the MLS Cup final legitimizes their 2016 title and proves it was no fluke. I mean I thought the trophy did that, but whatever.

Waking the Red recognizes that this year’s MLS Cup is a bit of a reversal of roles, as Seattle comes into the final firing on all cylinders while Toronto is limping into the final.

FC Dallas looked better after Mauro Diaz returned from injury, but collapsed as the season wound down. Is it time for Oscar Pareja’s team to move on from Argentine playmaker?

Austin City Council gave some updates on the MLS to Austin rumblings; it turns out the Precourt Sports Ventures (the Columbus owners) are not the only group talking with the city. A group looking to bring an expansion side to the Texas capital has been involved as well.

Meanwhile, up in Ohio, a state senator introduced a bill to keep the Crew in Columbus.

USA

Sunil Gulati has officially announced he will not seek re-election as President of the USSF. After failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup most around the US soccer landscape wanted Gulati to step down, and now we’ll have new boss of the federation.

The next World Cup the USA can qualify for is the Women’s World Cup in 2019, and the US will host the CONCACAF qualifying for that. Barring a catastrophe the USWNT should make it to the Cup, and hopefully reach another final.

Salt Lake continues their naming style with Real, Monarchs, and now the Utah Royals. The NWSL side announced their name and logos for the upcoming season.

It took two tries, but the Pontiac Silverdome was finally taken down. Some of the charges failed to detonate on Sunday, necessitating a second round on Monday to finish the job.

World

Mark Clattenburg, the ref of the 2016 Tottenham-Chelsea Premier League final match, now admits that he allowed Spurs to “self-destruct” against the Blues. If he’d called the game “right” then the Spurs would’ve had a few players ejected.

The FA Cup third round draw is out and features a Merseyside derby, but most major sides drew lower division sides.

Atletico Madrid has been on a transfer ban, but starting this winter they’ll be able to register new players and one of those will be Lautaro Martinez if it is up to Diego Simeone’s club. Racing Club turned down about €12.75m and a sell-on fee, but Atleti is expected to keep trying.

Roughly a year removed from the plane crash that reshaped their future, Chapecoense grabbed a late goal to qualify for the next iteration of the Copa Libertadores.

Mexican sides are unlikely to return to Copa Libertadores after Liga MX and CONEMBOL have been unable to agree on scheduling.