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Major Link Soccer: Injuries loom large before Sounders season starts

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Also: Chicago Fire want your Valentine’s Day #SoccerGrams

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SOCCER: MAY 25 MLS - FC Dallas at Chicago Fire Photo By Daniel Bartel/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Seattle

In Geoff Baker’s piece on the Sounders’ new 4-4-2 formation for the Seattle Times yesterday , he dropped three important pieces of unrelated news.

  • Ozzie Alonso has a quadriceps injury and is going to miss at least the CONCACAF Champions League matchup at Santa Tecla FC.
  • Kelvin Leerdam went down with an injury after a collision in training. Tough to speculate on what the injury is, we’re hoping to hear more sometime today.
  • Two players have emerged as favorites as first team signings: Jordan McCrary, from Toronto FC II, who has been in camp as a trialist, and SuperDraft pick Alex Roldan.

Sounder at Heart’s Niko Moreno is taking a spot poll on Twitter. Who do you think should fill in for Leerdam if he has to miss matches due to injury?

We have talked a lot about Brian Schmetzer’s home record (MLS regular season and playoffs) since he took over at head coach. But when it’s in front of you in black and white, it really makes an impact.

On the heels of a 7-goal, 12-assist season in 2017 and a successful pre-season, Niko Lodeiro is anticipating another big year in 2018. Seattle Sounders midfielder Nicolás Lodeiro: “This year is going to be huge for me”

MLS

Jared Miller Chief Digital Officer, AMB Sports and Entertainment, talks about the technology at Atlanta United’s Mercedes Benz Stadium. Top tech at Mercedes-Benz Stadium

Chicago Fire want you to use photos of their players to make Valentine’s Day #SoccerGrams to post to on social media. What could go wrong with that?
Celebrate Valentine's Day with Chicago Fire #SoccerGrams!

Columbus Crew wrapped up play in the four-squad Pacific Rim Cup with a victory over Japanese side Iwaki FC. They ended up in third place. RECAP | 5 goal frenzy sees Crew SC through Pacific Rim Cup finale

Vancouver Whitecaps , also taking part in the Pacific Rim Cup, advanced to the championship match, where they were defeated by Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo. Whitecaps FC fall 1-0 to Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo

FC Dallas signed 23 year old midfielder Santiago Mosquera from Colombian powerhouse Millonarios FC as a Young Designated Player. FC Dallas signs Santiago Mosquera as Young Designated Player

In other Dallas news, reports say the team has completed a youth development deal with Bundesliga standard-bearers Bayern Munich. Report: FC Dallas and Bayern Munich sign talent development deal

Notwithstanding Toronto’s dominating 2017 season, Waking the Red’s Allan Singh writes that he has had his faith shaken by Toronto FC’s moves this winter. Opinion: Toronto FC’s lacklustre off-season cause for concern

United States

The 2018 USMNT schedule could be one of the toughest non-tournament stretches the team has seen. France, Ireland and Paraguay matches beginning of competitive MNT schedule for 2018

World

Stars and Stripes FC looks back at an example of how racism has marred the beautiful game. Black history month: racism in soccer, Eto’o says “No más”

Lamentably, more than 10 years after the vicious racist taunting of Barcelona striker Samuel Eto’o by Real Zaragoza fans, racism continues to plague Spanish football. Why Spanish football needs to do more to combat racism

FIFA has condemned a racially-charged tweet by Russian champions Spartak Moscow - not their first strike, either - putting a spotlight on continuing concerns about racism in this year's World Cup host nation. FIFA condemn Spartak Moscow over racially-charged tweet

English Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has shared his fear that the World Cup will be overshadowed by racism and has publicly asked FIFA to take a zero-tolerance approach to racist incidents at the Cup. Jeremy Corbyn says players should walk off if racially abused at World Cup

Will TV networks lose their grip on the most valuable live content in the world? Sports TV rights: Facebook, Amazon eye big game packages

Teams and Players took to social media/prematch team photos to protest FMF’s potential decision to suspend promotion and relegation. Players and teams protest FMF’s decision to suspend promotion and relegation