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Major Link Soccer: Atlanta United sign speedy DP from Serie A

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The young Venezuelan joins an impressive roster. More players and coaches speak out on immigration. Frank Lampard is actually (really) retiring.

Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

Major League Soccer

Atlanta United has officially completed their trifecta of Designated Players for their inaugural roster. Venezuelan forward Josef Martinez will join on a loan with option to buy from Torino. The speedy winger/forward is only 23.

Real Salt Lake are close to officially signing US youth international (and former RSL academy) Brooks Lennon for a year-long loan from Liverpool. The 19-year old forward/winger signed with the Premier League team in 2015 but has continued to train with RSL when he has been in the US.

"Concussion Protocol." What is it, and is it sufficient? MLS is trying to be proactive with players' head injuries, but they still have a ways to go, along with the rest of the sports world.

Montreal Impact's Ambroise Oyongo is the last MLS representative active at the African Cup of Nations, with Cameroon reaching the final. They'll take on Egypt.

With all the excitement and money around new expansion teams and the younger franchises, MLS' 'old guard' is being left behind, in attendance, dollars and marketing success.

RSL Soapbox does some thinking out loud and takes a well-researched stab at where MLS is going in terms of expansion. Are we headed for a 4 division league? And who can we pencil in at team 25-28 at this point?

And just when Sacramento was looking really good for one of those spots, San Diego is all of a sudden having the breaks go its way. And it has got to be unlikely that MLS adds three teams in California in just a few years, right?

Speaking of RSL, here's an interesting read about the history of the ownership group for the team based in the unlikely home of Sandy, Utah, and how it all almost never happened.

Seattle

The Sounders are in Tucson, and the local news has the photos to prove it. At Tucson.com there's a great gallery of Clint Dempsey and the Sounders training hard.

The Sounders are looking to stake a claim in California's Central Valley with an official partnership with an academy in Merced. The academy is currently affiliated with Club Atlas of Mexico.

You knew Stefan Frei was a classy guy and an artist, so what else would you expect his home to look like but a minimalist loft full of polished concrete, geometric decor and a floating pod fireplace/champagne chilling station?

Don't miss Susie's article about NWSL's new TV partnership with A+E and Lifetime, bringing weekly televised NWSL matches and further benefits for the league.

US Soccer

USMNT Coach Bruce Arena is the latest to speak out on the executive orders on immigration, calling the actions "sad" because of his belief in giving good people "an opportunity to be part of our country," and because soccer is a global sport.

Geoff Cameron feels differently, saying "it's important to support our President whether he was your candidate or not," and citing security lapses in Europe for his support of pausing immigration and vetting visitors.

Sort-of-retired soccer player Landon Donovan will join John Strong and Stu Holden in the coverage of USA-Jamaica today on FS1 at 4 PM PT.

The USWNT union is restarting negotiations with US Soccer to create a new labor contract, and they are starting fresh with new legal representation. Both sides have expressed optimism about the new tone of the talks.

World

Chelsea legend and (briefly) NYCFC jersey-wearer Frank Lampard is 38, which he has decided is a pretty good age to call it quits as a pro soccer player. He's excited to step into the world of coaching, though, and it won't be long before he's back on the pitch, or at least on the sideline.

As Egypt prepares to play in the final of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations, former manager Bob Bradley says: "Like all Egyptians I am proud."