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Major Links Soccer: Toronto, Tigres, Tijuana advance in CCL

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Also: Frei lists South Lake Union condo; More on Kim Kee Hee

MLS: Concacaf Champions League-Colorado Rapids at Toronto FC Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Seattle

If the Sounders are going to advance in CONCACAF Champions League, one of the team’s stated goals for 2018, they need to take the fight to visiting Santa Tecla during Thursday’s second leg in Seattle. It sounds like that’s the plan. Seattle Sounders to play attacking soccer out of the gate, put Santa Tecla under pressure early in CCL return leg | Seattle Sounders FC

Harrison Crow from American Soccer Analysis looked at the Sounders’ 2018 prospects. The bottom line: the Sounders have a legit chance to go to a third straight MLS Cup Final. Seattle Sounders 2018 Season Preview | American Soccer Analysis

The Sounders Academy continues to generate standout talent. Promising S2 MF Ray Serrano and Academy MF Josh Attencio have gotten call ups for the upcoming U-17 USMNT camp. Sounders Academy stars Ray Serrano, Josh Atencio called into latest U.S. U-17 national team camp | Seattle Sounders FC

The Pro Referee assignments have been announced for the Sounders’ match against LAFC (and the rest of MLS week 1). Take a gander. MLS Assignments: Week 1 | Professional Referee Organization

Carlos Vela of LAFC was subbed out late in the team’s last pre-season match over hamstring concerns. It looks like he just had a little tightness, and is cleared to play in the season opener against the Sounders. Fortunately for the Sounders, Laurent Ciman and Omar Gaber are unlikely to play. Bob Bradley offers injury updates on Carlos Vela, Laurent Ciman, Omar Gaber | Angels on Parade

MLS

FiveThirtyEight has issued their Major League Soccer probabilities for the 2018 season based on their Soccer Power Index (SPI) and team ratings, resulting in simulated records, goal differential, and points. They’ve got good things to say about the Sounders. Major League Soccer Predictions | FiveThirtyEight

Alexi Lalas discusses how MLS can improve on his State of the Union Podcast. His biggest suggestion would certainly be a unique one in the world of soccer. Alexi Lalas: MLS should remove international roster limits | FOX Sports

Anthony Precourt, owner/operator of Columbus Crew SC, issued a statement to Austin about his intent to move his soccer team here. MLS to Austin: Crew owner Precourt to offer huge benefits package | Statesman

In other relocation news: local activist Bruce Matheson, as was expected, appealed a decision clearing a no-bid sale of Miami-Dade County land to the Miami FC ownership group. Beckham’s MLS stadium in Miami hits another snag | ProSoccerTalk

Defender Jonathan Campbell of the Chicago Fire suffered a facial fracture in the team’s preseason match against Nashville SC. He was scheduled to undergo a surgical repair last Monday; estimated recovery time is six weeks. Chicago Fire Defender Jonathan Campbell Diagnosed with Facial Fracture | Chicago Fire

LAFC has signed Midfielder Eduard Atuesta on loan from Independiente Medellin. His paperwork likely won’t be in order in time to play the season opener at Seattle Sounders. LAFC adds Eduard Atuesta from Independiente Medellin on loan | ESPN

USA

Support for the U.S.-led bid to host the 2026 World Cup is divided, with some estimates of voting totals having Morocco ahead in the two-bid race. United States-led 2026 World Cup bid in jeopardy to Morocco - sources | ESPN

Lawsuits against U.S. Soccer Federation and certain members of its Board of Directors will continue while league and clubs explore playing options for 2019 Season. North American Soccer League Announces Cancellation Of 2018 Season | NASL

CONCACAF Champions League

Toronto held on to its 2-0 first leg lead over fellow MLS side, the Colorado Rapids, advancing to the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions League by an aggregate score of 2-0. Toronto FC 0-0 Colorado Rapids (2-0 Agg.): Uneventful draw sends Reds through | Waking The Red

The second leg of the Tigres v. C.S. Herediano match looked like it might see more of the drama of the first leg, where Herediano improbably tied the match late. Herediano made a late push again, but Tigres answered a minute later and then added one more in the 90th to advance 5-3. Valencia double helps Tigres into SCCL quarterfinals | CONCACAF Champions League

In the third match of the night Tijuana tied Motagua 1-1 to advance on an aggregate of 2-1. Early goal puts Tijuana into next round of SCCL | CONCACAF Champions League

World

Real Madrid is hardly doing objectively horribly this season: they’re sitting in 3rd place in La Liga behind cross-town rival Athletico de Madrid, 7 points behind. Even though Los Blancos have been prioritizing UEFA Champions League, they probably weren’t planning on losing to middling Espanyol. Ronaldo-less Real stunned late by Espanyol | ProSoccerTalk

Liga MX side Pumas UNAM refused to carry an anti-drug-gang banner onto the pitch for a match after a shooting on campus. Mexican soccer team refuses to carry anti-drug gang banner | USA Today