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Major Link Soccer: Houston teams pledge support for Harvey relief

Also, the top 10 European transfers, Valeri is fined, and Xavi skipped MLS because it’s too competitive.

MLS: Houston Dynamo at FC Dallas Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Seattle

The Soccer Tour took a swing through Cascadia, and here is their take on the matchday experience with Sounders FC and the supporters groups.

Self-professed Clint Dempsey skeptic Btown Bomber wrote a fanpost looking at G-xG and PPG with Dempsey on the field to take a critical look at Clint’s influence on the Sounders.

Diego Valeri was fined by the MLS Disciplinary Committee for embellishment after he dramatically (over)reacted to Nouhou’s ‘challenge’ as Diego cut across the defender towards the box.

Major League Soccer

Xavi decided not to join NYCFC and MLS in 2014. Why? He says it is too competitive and physical a league, and he wanted to “drop down a level”:

RSL Soapbox has another round of Power Ranking Averages. Things are pretty settled at the top right now , but there is lots of movement in the middle of the pack.

The Houston Dynamo and Houston Dash, along with MLS Works and other MLS clubs, have pledged a $1 million donation to support the relief efforts in South Texas after Hurricane Harvey.

Digiday talked to MLS’s marketing team to learn a little more about how they are using targeted Facebook and Instagram video to drive up viewership of marquee games, like with the recent Portland/Seattle match.

FC Dallas has decided not to ship off two of their most important players in the midst of a strong season (recent form notwithstanding), as the Argentinian transfer window has closed. Maximiliano Urruti and Michael Barrios will remain in Dallas at least through the end of the season.

USA

As the USMNT heads into two World Cup qualifiers in the Hex this week, the Armchair Analyst looks at the top five questions Bruce Arena needs to find the answers to (including whether or not Clint Dempsey can be as effective in a reduced role).

Bobby Wood has been slowed down by a knee injury for some time, but it appears he’s fully fit and back in form, scoring goals for Hamburg already this season. That could be great news for the USMNT.

World

With the European transfer window closed, we can look back at the blockbuster moves that made it to the finish line, and here is a top ten.

A cricket match between Surry and Middlesex had to be abandoned after a metal-tipped crossbow bolt landed in the middle of the pitch near the players. It’s not clear where the projectile came from, or even if it was intentionally aimed that way.

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