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Major Link Soccer: FIFA Contemplates Penalty Shootout Format Change

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Lower level leagues are already experimenting with making the shootout order more unpredictable.

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Seattle:

Andy Rose took to Instagram following a scary looking head injury this past weekend to let his fans on both sides of the pond that he is feeling better.

In a chance encounter with eternal heel Ricardo Salazar, one SaH member took the high road (high in the air).

MLS:

MLSSoccer's staff listed their predictions for the 2017 season, including FC Dallas as their 2017 Cup winner.

Orlando City's stadium made its long awaited debut, and with it the 49 rainbow colored seats in section 12, a tribute to the victims of the Pulse Nightclub tragedy.

Entering their 22nd season broadcasting the league, ESPN is continuing to grow its MLS game coverage.

The front of an MLS jersey has become very valuable real estate (and a cornerstone for team revenue), but some of the team's primary sponsors can leave fans conflicted in representing their team and their business partners.

FC Dallas has developed a strong on-field product over the last few seasons, and are off to a strong start following  2-1 victory at Los Angeles. Despite this success, their attendance numbers leave much to be desired.

Someone (very smartly) remixed an Atlanta United song with Outkast's "Players Ball". This, combined with the soccer lingo guide they handed out to media earlier this week and a sellout opening day crowd, showcases the dirty south's soccer appetite (which was first satiated by a 2-1 loss to the New York Red Bulls).

The New England Revolution suspended their academy forward Justin Rennicks, after it was revealed that he had trained with Bundesliga side Frankfurt during the winter.

PRO seems to be more often under fire from MLS fans than not, and often rightly so. RSL Soapbox investigated how to potentially increase the quality of MLS officiating, and surfaced the development and hiring of more female officials as a solution.

David Beckham's Miami FC effort appears to be in an ever-present state of delay, but the group is continuing to promise an eventual South Beach deal.

Fox Sports highlighted the ten best offseason signings for MLS, with Fredy Montero (perhaps unfortunately) making the list. Current Sounders players run rampant through MLSSoccer's league-wide depth chart, with Ozzie Alonso listed as the top defensive midfielder in the league.

United States:

Christian Pulisic had seen a dip in his minutes for Borussia Dortmund of late, but posting a goal in his latest appearance should hopefully add to his minute total.

In a controversial move, the U.S. Soccer Federation released a policy this week barring players from kneeling (or otherwise protesting) during the playing of the national anthem.

Clint Smith's look at Freddy Adu's story as MLS and United States soccer savior for The New Yorker is a must-read.

The World:

This past week was the week to mull over rule changes for Soccer federations, headlined by FIFA contemplating changes to the penalty shoot-out format. At the league level, FMF is contemplating eliminating promotion and relegation in Liga MX, with team owners then having to determine who would stay in each division. In Russia, a politician is hoping to legalize hooliganism in lead-up to the 2018 World Cup.

Defying the generations before them, Palestinian girls are increasingly adopting soccer as not just a pastime, but a passion.

This year's Sloan Sports Analytics Conference panel on Soccer Analytics was a rousing success, with analysts focusing on how analytics in soccer have grown in both sophistication and on-field application..