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Major Link Soccer: Stars for All

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Stars can now be added to purchased Sounders gear, via official team stores.

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Claus Andersen/Getty Images

Seattle:

If you're wondering why you saw a dump truck full of stars heading down I-5, the culprit is the Sounders, who have been permitted to apply stars to any purchased Sounders gear.

Defender Nouhou Tolo has been called up by the Cameroon U-20's for the upcoming Africa U-20 Cup of Nations.

Whether you've never played fantasy or are rearing to try out this year's unlimited transfer ability, the Sounder at Heart MLS fantasy league has you covered.

MLS:

A rare straight swap of players happened over the weekend with Brek Shea and Giles Barnes switching coasts. ESPN FC takes a look at which player will take the most advantage of their change in scenery.

MLS has been steadily growing as a league through the years, with their latest benchmark being privately financed stadiums coming into play. As the league continues to trend towards soccer specific stadiums, The Guardian ranks all current MLS stadiums (Centurylink Field comes in at #4).  As the league continues to hit these benchmarks, the daunting goal of becoming a top 10 league in the world by 2022 is fast approaching.

MLS was fixated on bringing in stars to the league for a long time, and were able to bring recognizable talent to the league through the Designated Player rule. Now through targeted allocation, teams are able to focus their rosters on retaining talent.

Miguel Aguilar faces a tenuous future with the Los Angeles Galaxy after his pre-season trial, but his residency in the United States is even more so.

Fredy Montero has returned to MLS after a journey across continents, but despite this circuitous journey, his goal to score goals and win championships stays true.

Bill Hamid is feeling fresh after offseason surgery, which is a welcome sign for DC United ahead of their opener versus Sporting Kansas City.

A prospective Atlanta United chant is unique to both the club and to the city they play in. This chant, on top of this Andrew Carleton hype-video, gives the dirty south faithful much to be excited about.

The San Jose Earthquakes are also looking fully tuned up for the regular season, after defeating Sacramento Republic FC. Their stalwart poacher, Chris Wondolowski, has no intentions of retiring just yet, but soccer will continue to be on his mind when he does hang up his boots.

With the regular season almost underway, transfer speculation can rightfully begin to kick into high gear. Two names that are beginning to power the rumor mills: Javier Hernandez and Wayne Rooney. For Rooney, this comes off his rejection of an offer from the Chinese Super League.

RSL has parted ways with one of the pillars of their academy system, the Grande Sports Academy based in Arizona.

United States:

The Women's U-20 National Team will be traveling to Spain this week to play three games against U-19 European sides.

Shaun Wright-Philips is bringing his talents to the USL, signing with Phoenix Rising FC over the weekend.

In a stunning move, Turner Sports and Univision have acquired the rights to broadcast UEFA Champions League fixtures in the United States, beginning in 2018. Hopefully this means a slate of pre-, half, and post-game shows featuring analysis by Charles Barkley is already in the works.

Hope Solo is now eligible for a return to the USWNT, but that is just one of many obstacles for her comeback. Despite this long road, Solo is on the shortlist for the Women's best XI, along with eight other U.S. players.

USMNT Striker Bobby Wood got into a groove with the senior team under ex-manager Jurgen Klinsmann. He now faces a new comfort zone to break out of.

The Charlotte Independence are slated to broadcast 24 matches with WCCB-TV.

VfL Osnabrück has been a tear through the German Second division, thanks in part to their Petaluma, California native manager, Joe Enochs.

The World:

Leicester City ownership is beginning to meet to assess their options for their newly vacated coaching spot,while ousted manager Claudio Ranieri is already on the lookout for future opportunities, .

Barcelona and Real Madrid will be hosting a preseason El Clasico in the United States, along with matches versus Juventus and Manchester United.

Real Madrid's La Liga title hopes took a hit (and what a hit) via two Valencia goals.

The Copa Verde is set to kick off in Brazil this year, with officials now able to award green cards to players displaying acts of fair play.

The Guardian counts down six of the best goals to receive an assist from the goal posts.