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Major Link Soccer: USL players union recognized by league

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Also: Leg 2 approaches; Pareja raiding MLS?; Copa Libertadores fall out still to come; and more

MLS: U.S. Open Cup-Los Angeles FC vs Sacramento Republic FC Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Puget Sound soccer

Tony Alfaro-to-Chivas rumors won't die | RÉCORD
This does not seem very likely, but good for him if he can get that money.

Tony Alfaro reportedly heading to Chivas - Sounder At Heart
This seemingly far-fetched rumor is being repeated by some reputable sources.

Championship Duo: Sue Bird & Megan Rapinoe - ESPN
World class athletes & champions Megan Rapinoe (NWSL's Seattle Reign FC) & Sue Bird (WNBA's Seattle Storm) chat with Sarah Spain on how they met, their careers, LGBT activism in their respective sports and what's next after sports.

Culture & news you can use

Vote for Seattle’s Chef of the Year in the 2018 Eater Awards - Eater Seattle
Pick the chef you want to see win Eater Seattle’s 2018 Chef of the Year award.

Why aren’t more women coaching men? - SBNation.com
There are currently only six women coaching in men’s professional sports. It’s not about ability. It’s about access.

US Stakeholders Create Sports Wagering Integrity Monitoring Association
A group of US sports betting operators has banded together to create a national organization to oversee integrity and protect consumers.

MLS

Playoffs

Supporters groups demand increased away ticket allocation for potential MLS Cup at Mercedes Benz Stadium - Dirty South Soccer
Bigger stadium, bigger requests.

Juice Boxes and Post Game Stats: Besler and Zusi Climbing More Lists - The Blue Testament
Stats and milestones from last night’s playoff game.

Don’t Stop Believin’: A Supporter’s Request of the New York Red Bulls - Once A Metro
Chins up, Red Bulls. Your supporters are behind you.

Nothing but winners in Atlanta United’s emphatic first leg victory - Dirty South Soccer
One small step for man. One giant leap for Atlanta United.

General news

Three observations on LAFC’s offseason roster moves - Angels on Parade
There’s work to do, but no big surprises in the decisions.

LAFC declines to pick up Aaron Kovar's option - Angels on Parade
Looks like the Seattle native will be playing for a new team.

Minnesota United’s Brent Kallman wins $62K in poker tournament - E Pluribus Loonum
He finished eighth at the World Poker Tour Seminole Rock ‘N’ Roll Poker Open

FC Dallas should look at another club legend for their next head coach - Big D Soccer
Former Sounders forward Kenny Cooper as FC Dallas head coach?

NWSL and other women’s leagues

NEW PODCAST: Caroline Stanley, Former Pro Soccer Goalkeeper - Sports Spectrum

USL and other lower men’s leagues

USL Voluntarily Recognizes Players Union

USL players form union, prepare for labor negotiations
The league this week formally recognized the USL Players Association as an independent labor union representing the workforce in the U.S. second division.

USL Players Association gains recognition by league – The Athletic ($)
The USL takes a significant step forward in terms of setting baseline expectations for how teams pay and treat their players

United States National Teams

David Charvet Files for Restraining Order Against Team USA Soccer Star Jermaine Jones | TMZ.com
David Charvet is requesting a restraining order against the soccer star.

How 142 American soccer players abroad fared this weekend - The Washington Post
Bobby Wood scored very early in the Bundesliga, Lynden Gooch scored very late in England's third tier, and several USMNT call-ups rejoined their respective clubs.

World soccer

Óscar Pareja rumored to be interested in bringing FC Dallas players with him to Tijuana - FMF State Of Mind
Shortly after being announced as Xolos manager, Óscar Pareja was already being linked to some of his former players.

Former FC Dallas head coach Óscar Pareja signs with Club Tijuana - FMF State Of Mind
Ending weeks of speculation, Xolos unveil their new boss heading into 2019.

River Plate deserve to be punished for violence but disqualification is highly unlikely
After Saturday's violence & chaos, Boca Juniors are calling for River Plate to forfeit the Copa Libertadores final. That just isn't going to happen.

Suspended match showed soccer’s ugliest side - SBNation.com
The second leg of the Copa Libertadores final between Boca Juniors and River Plate was supposed to be a glorious celebration of football. Instead, it showed the world all of the sport’s ugliness.

Copa Libertadores final 2nd leg to be held outside Argentina | theScore

Roma's Aleksandar Kolarov: Fans don't understand much about football
Roma suffered a 1-0 defeat to Udinese at the weekend to leave them 18 points off of Juventus, but Aleksandar Kolarov said fans should not criticise.

Report: Dortmund ready to accept offers for Pulisic – ProSoccerTalk
Has the time to cash in on Pulisic arrived for Dortmund?

Ex-Korea international Jang gets life ban for match-fixing – ProSoccerTalk
Ex-South Korea international Jang Hak-yong has received a lifetime ban from the Korea Football Association.

FIFA panel urges tough line on Iran’s ban of female fans – ProSoccerTalk
The expert group points to "consistent progress that FIFA is making across a range of issues."

Referee attacks: Keith Hackett wants life bans for players who assault officials - BBC Sport
Assaults on referees should result in clubs being expelled from competitions and players being banned for life, says former top official Keith Hackett.

Irish Soccer Team Caught Faking The Death Of Their Own Player To Get Out Of A Game
Ballybrack FC were strongly condemned by the Leinster Senior League after they committed the grave sin of lying about the death of one of their players, possibly in order to get out of a game this weekend.

Barcelona are the best-paid team in world sport - Barca Blaugranes
Barca is paying their players nearly $14 million apiece.

Borussia Dortmund bus bomber given 14-year jail sentence | theScore
Borussia Dortmund bus bomber given 14-year jail sentence