Major League Soccer
Injuries and a busy schedule mean lots of squad rotation for all but the luckiest MLS teams, so depth is a big deal. If you can get quality depth without spending a lot, you're in good shape, generally speaking. So, who are the deepest teams in MLS? Well, Toronto FC coach Greg Vanney is feeling pretty good about his team right now, saying he believes his squad is the "deepest team in the history of the league." Greg Seltzer says they're at least currently the deepest in the league, but rounds out a top five list, including a familiar team in Rave Green.
For his part, Matthew Doyle, from his Analyst's Armchair in his Analyst's Den, hands out traditional end-of-year awards, but based on the first quarter of the season. David Villa for first-quarter MVP, etc. Joevin Jones gets some love in the best XI.
While we're ranking and awarding, here's the inevitable weekly Power Ranking Averages from RSL Soapbox, in which we watch the Seattle Sounders slowly dribble down the list (don't worry, they'll figure it out soon), and witness the staying power of FC Dallas at No. 1.
Everyone wants better TV ratings, but not everyone can be a late-night show making political jokes. So how does MLS go about boosting their numbers? No they won't be starting every pregame with a scathing standup monologue and a house band, they have a different strategic plan. This includes getting cameras in locker rooms and in team huddles, and mic-ing up the coaches (yes, some of this has been done before). World Soccer Talk says these are not bad changes, but they will do nothing to improve ratings.
A group of Colorado Rapids supporters came together to support their compatriot who is battling cancer, displaying tifo in the stands and raising money for her, and it was awesome.
RSL forward Brooks Lennon is on loan from Liverpool, and he tells Goal.com about how much the level of competition for playing time with the Liverpool U23 team prepared him to come back and earn minutes with the club where he spent his academy years.
The News Tribune had very positive words for the work being done to move S2 to Tacoma under the business operations wing of the Rainiers, but cautioned that the deal still has a ways to go before completion.
You'll Never Yacht Alone. But do you know why you'll never yacht alone? Because Washington produces 80 percent of the country's super yachts. What did you think all those shipyards were for, anyway? I'm thinking of picking up Laurel to host a few parties this summer, what do you think?
A butt, a tattoo, and the story that will not die. Thanks a lot, Herc Gomez.
Despite our hopes and dreams, all signs are pointing to Mallory Pugh signing with Washington Spirit rather than a team in Europe or the Seattle Reign. To be fair, our hopes and dreams were not really based on any evidence, but instead an expectation of Laura Harvey making crazy things happen.
A heads up: The June 3 NWSL Game of the Week on Lifetime will kick off a bit earlier than announced before. Tune in at 12:30 p.m. Pacific to see North Carolina Courage take on FC Kansas City.
According to this article and Google translation, FC Barçelona will become the first European club to have an NWSL team, starting in 2018.
Other North American leagues
Oh, yikes. It probably feels silly sometimes for goalkeepers to swivel their heads around a few times while clutching the ball to make extra sure no one is behind them before they put the ball down. But this video shows why they do it. This lesson is courtesy of Ottawa Fury and the Canadian Championship.
In the continuing fallout from the NASL's near-collapse and unlikely resurrection, everyone is suing everyone. Okay, just the NASL, the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers ownership company, and the Tampa Bay Rowdies owner.
Fabian Johnson has signed a two-year extension to his contract with Borussia Monchengladbach. The US international, 29, has been at the Bundesliga team since 2014 and he has 10 goals and 12 assists in 69 appearances.
Tab Ramos says Schalke and other clubs were uncooperative when it came to releasing young US internationals to play with his U20s, but Schalke said they're surprised to hear about the frustration, and that it was just a scheduling conflict, not playing favorites.
Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein, who you may remember from such FIFA presidential elections as that recent one, says that nothing has changed now that Gianni Infantino has taken the reigns from the disgraced Sepp Blatter. Prince Ali says the ways of doing business in the organization have remained the same.
Nothing makes a boring Europa League draw more interesting than a silly "fight" at the end that results in two unnecessary red cards, like this one in Manchester United vs. Celta Vigo.
In this excellent feature on the effect of Syria's civil war on soccer and the top Syrian players, follow Firas al-Khattib as he makes the wrenching decision of whether or not to return to his national team, which he has been boycotting, to help them with World Cup qualifying. Not because of his love for the sport or his nation, but out of fear for his life.
Soccer to watch today
11:45 a.m. - Premier League -- Everton vs. Watford
12 noon - Premier League -- West Bromwich Albion vs. Chelsea
6 p.m - MLS -- Houston Dynamo vs. Vancouver Whitecaps