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Major Link Soccer: The U.S. Open Cup Final is Here

Also: big-hearted Brad Evans, another milestone for Messi, and Pulisic is a True Belieber.

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Seattle Sounders FC v Sporting Kansas City Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

Seattle

With the Sounders’ big road match against Real Salt Lake looming this Saturday Sept. 23, get in the mood with the Sounders’ “RSL v. SEA 101.”

Week 29 officiating crew assignments from PRO are out, and Sorin Stoica will be the referee Saturday night.

Brad Evans and wife Becky have been steadfast supporters of the Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer Research at Seattle Children’s Hospital. You may remember back in April we reported here that Evans was donating all proceeds from the sale of “Be Rad” tee shirt designed by Sounders Community Trust Board President Kyle Boyd to the center. Today they presented a check for $15,000 to support the center’s work.

MLS

Tonight Sporting KC will take on the New York Red Bulls for the U.S. Open Cup title. MLS Soccer has a preview, but really all you need to know is SKC is going to aim to play the platonic ideal of a Peter Vermes match.

The Red Bulls have never taken the U.S. Open Cup (or any meaningful cup, for that matter). So for the Red Bulls it “means everything” to win that first major trophy and keep a leg up on their upstart cross-town rivals.

The Sporks, on the other hand, have hoisted the U.S. Open Cup three times in the past (and are two-time winners of the MLS Cup). They are drawing on that experience to give them an edge in the match.

USA

The U.S. has become justifiably enamored with wunderkind, and USMNT rising star, Christian Pulisic — but how much do you know about him? Bundesliga.com counts down 10 interesting bits of Pulisic trivia. Would you believe he is a Belieber?

The USWNT played the second of their two-match friendly series against New Zealand last night — this time cruising to a decisive 5-0 victory in emerging soccer hotbed Cincinnati, in front of an enthusiastic Nippert Stadium crowd of 30,596. Super-sub Alex Morgan earned a brace.

World

Yesterday a large earthquake struck Mexico City, causing loss of life and significant damage. Amongst the casualties, historic Estadio Azteca was damaged, forcing last night’s planned Copa MX round of 16 match between Club America and Cruz Azul to be rescheduled to an unspecified later date. At Sounder at Heart we echo FMF State of Mind; our thoughts are with the people of Mexico who were affected by the natural disaster.

In La Liga, Lionel Messi put four goals on the board (including his 39th hat trick and 300th goal at Camp Nou) in Barcelona’s 6-1 beatdown of Eibar.

Barcelona have stormed out of the starting gate this season. They are currently at 5-0-0 with 15 points and a goal differential of 15. ESPN FC has player ratings. Can you guess Messi’s?

Premier League clubs have a lot on their plate this season. How do their prioritize? ESPN FC breaks down the game plan for the top sides.

Things are off to a rough start in the new home of Neymar. After a spat over who got to take a free-kick reportedly carried over into the locker room, the Brazilian is demanding PSG sell Edinson Cavani.

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