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Major Link Soccer: Sound Wave Needs You

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Also: Roman Torres sure looks happy

Soccer - Pre Season Friendly - Seattle Sounders v Chelsea - CenturyLink Field Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Seattle

The MLS Cup final loss may have taken a bit of the strut out of our step, but with the new season approaching just remember: The Sounders still have the best overall record in MLS since 2009 (good for an average of 1.62 points per game over that span of time).

This will also make you feel good. Take a minute and relive Chad Marshall’s best moments of the 2017 season.

While you are at it, watch all of Stefan Frei’s best moments of 2017.

If you’ve ever entertained the idea of being part of Sound Wave, the Sounders’ marching band, applications to audition for a spot are being accepted now. Act fast if you are interested; the application period is only open until tomorrow, January 11.

Are you having Román Torres withdrawal? Interested in what he has been up to during the offseason? Check out his Instagram page. He looks happy -

*Celebrating his fifth wedding anniversary ...

*Spending time with his great-looking family ...

Disfrutando del fin de semana en familia #bijao #panama #rt5

A post shared by Román Torres (@romantorres_05) on

*Getting a little fishing in ...

Recordando mi infancia cuando vendía pescado

A post shared by Román Torres (@romantorres_05) on

MLS

This off season continues to be busy with teams building and strengthening their rosters.

The Colorado Rapids have acquired USMNT defender Edgar Castillo on loan from Liga MX powerhouse C.F. Monterrey. They also completed a TAM-level signing for Jack Price, a 25-year-old defensive midfielder from Wolverhampton Wanderers FC (who goes by the pretty awesome nickname: the Pirlo of Pattingham).

It is not official quite yet, but the Vancouver Whitecaps are reportedly finalizing a deal to sign right back Efraín Juárez from Monterrey. The story is sourced from an interview with ESPN Radio Formula and according to Juárez, a former Mexican international, the deal has essentially been completed.

You may have heard that a deal was in the works for Houston Dynamo’s Erick “Cubo” Torres to move to Liga MX side Tiburones Rojos de Veracruz, however it looks like that the deal fell through.

Houston did announce that they have re-signed A.J. de la Garza, though the anticipated recovery period from his November ACL repair surgery is six to nine months.

Real Salt Lake has signed 23-year-old American-born Welsh international fullback Adam Henley (formerly of English side Blackburn Rovers FC). There is more about Henley at RSL.com as well as a scouting report at RSL Soapbox.

New Portland Timbers head coach Giovanni Savarese officially arrived in Portland a few days ago. Read more about him in this interview with Timbers.com.

The Timbers have also announced their 2018 technical staff. Savarese brought several new coaches in, including two who worked alongside him at NY Cosmos: Assistant Coach Carlos Llamosa and Goalkeeper Coach Guillermo “Memo” Valencia.

LA Galaxy have signed midfielder Perry Kitchen after acquiring his rights from D.C. United. The 25-year-old is a former D.C. United Player of the Year and MLS Rookie of the Year finalist before moving to Europe, where he played for Hearts of Midlothian and, most recently, Randers FC. The question is: Where does Kitchen fit in with the Galaxy roster heavy on standout midfielders?

Montreal announced two goalkeeper signings: Clément Diop and Jason Beaulieu. Diop, a Senegalese international who formerly was with LA Galaxy, was selected in the MLS waiver draft. Beaulieu is a homegrown goalkeeper who just finished his degree at University of New Mexico, where he was an academic All-American.

Finally, Minnesota United FC has signed Cameroonian international attacking midfielder Frantz Pangop.

World

The $192 million (£147 million) Phillippe Coutinho transfer from Liverpool to Barcelona finally happened. Ryan O’Hanlon analyzes the transfer for The Ringer. Barcelona are already cruising in La Liga, undefeated in 18 matches, a goal differential of 41 and nine points ahead of their closest competitor Atletico de Madrid.

In his first La Liga match after transferring from Chelsea back to Atletico, mercurial prodigal son Diego Costa scored a goal and earned a red card. It was quintessential Costa.

Real Madrid, on the other hand, are definitely not accustomed to the mediocre season they are having.

Over in the Premier League, Manchester City is having a season to rival Barcelona’s. They are undefeated now in 22 matches with a staggering 20 wins, a goal differential of 51, and 15 points separating them from their nearest competitor. But, like Barcelona, City is also planning additional player acquisitions. Reports indicate that the team may complete a transfer of Alexis Sanchez as soon as the January transfer window.

Talk about a friendly! SC Freiburg coaching staff members and an FC Kaiserslautern goaltender officiated the match between their sides in Spain when the officiating crew were delayed due to a vehicle trouble.