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Major Link Soccer: We are the Champions

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Your team didn’t win a trophy? I can’t imagine.

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Max Aquino / Sounder at Heart

They really did that! The Seattle Sounders won MLS Cup! Now that that’s over, the off-season begins and player movement starts! Other things happened too, like a pay equality victory in Australia.

Seattle/Tacoma

With the academy team, the guys are helping to elevate the players around them. It’s also worth noting how young some of them still are! Defiance Players Dominating With Sounders U-19s - Tacoma Defiance

Every guy on the roster played their part in winning that trophy, and these three are no exception. From Dreaming to Defiance to MLS Cup
Tacoma Defiance helped build Justin Dhillon, Danny Leyva, and Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez into players on an MLS Cup roster.

Our Peruvian “punches you in the face for 90 minutes” and that’s just part of what makes him so good. Electric upon arrival in Seattle, Ruidiaz’s work is key to Sounders’ MLS Cup hopes – The Athletic
The Sounders' star striker moved to MLS in a rush, but settled in immediately and hasn't stopped scoring since.

It was a truly special day at CenturyLink Field. Seattle home cooking makes Sounders’ MLS Cup triumph look easy | Charles Boehm | MLSsoccer.com
Seattle home cooking makes Sounders’ MLS Cup triumph look easy.

Efficiency is key to every part of how the Sounders run, both on and off the field. The secret behind the Seattle Sounders' MLS dynasty? Efficiency | Football | The Guardian

Lodeiro’s not going anywhere, but what about the other veterans in the squad? Lagerwey: Seattle Sounders to lean upon veterans for 2020, especially as CCL looms | MLSsoccer.com
“I think because we’re in Champions League, I think we’ll take a more conservative posture than we might otherwise have,” Garth Lagerwey said.

It was a hard year that led to the ultimate victory, and that’s what makes it so sweet. Family: The pain, triumph and togetherness behind the Sounders’ 2019 MLS Cup victory – The Athletic
This was for Victor Rodriguez's daughter. And Nico Lodeiro's dad. And all of Seattle.

In a raucous, chill-inducing environment, Sounders win another title and show how far MLS has come – The Athletic
The game may have been sloppy at times, but Seattle's home crowd made the event epic.

I’ve got a firm “always read Jayda Evans” policy, and that’s never more strongly enforced than after a championship. Twice as nice: Sounders defeat Toronto FC at a raucous CenturyLink Field for second MLS Cup title | The Seattle Times
Kelvin Leerdam got the Sounders on the board, Victor Rodriguez and Raul Ruidiaz sealed the deal, and Seattle walked away Sunday with a 3-1 win over Toronto FC.

Two words: fry bread. Off the Rez Cafe brings Native American food to UW | Arts And Leisure | dailyuw.com
The alum-owned restaurant blends pre- and post-colonial Indigenous traditions.

It wasn’t just a touchdown pass, either, Brynna threw an absolute dime. Fife’s girl quarterback, Brynna Nixon, throws touchdown pass | Tacoma News Tribune
Fife High School quarterback Brynna Nixon became the first girl in school history to throw a touchdown pass in 2A SPSL playoff win over Clover Park

MLS

Someone needs to get Pablo a Dick Tracy costume, immediately. Inside the confidential 2016 study that provided the blueprint for MLS’s modern era – The Athletic ($)
In 2016, Boston Consulting Group delivered a 250-page report analyzing MLS from top to bottom and making a series of recommendations.

I’m going to side with Calen Carr, I’m not picking against the Sounders. Who are early favorites to make the 2020 MLS Cup Final? | Matchday Central | MLSsoccer.com
We're about a year out from the 2020 MLS Cup Final, but that hasn't stopped the Matchday Central crew from predicting who could feature in the marquee matchup next season.

Where, oh where, will Montero go? Do you think we’ll see him back in Rave Green? Fredy Montero: I want to stay with Vancouver Whitecaps FC, even after "tough year" in MLS | MLSsoccer.com
Fredy Montero led the team with eight goals, but it was the Colombian's worst season stats-wise of his six in the league so far.

The former Feyenoord manager could be the next to audition for the City Group in New York. Report: Giovanni van Bronckhorst in line to become next New York City FC manager | MLSsoccer.com
City Football Group are set to give Giovanni van Bronckhorst a chance to prove he’s a worthy successor for Pep Guardiola as manager of Manchester City.

Nagbe’s probably the biggest player to move already, but what other deals will we see? Offseason begins Monday with two-day trade window for 2020 MLS season | MLSsoccer.com
MLS offseason begins Monday with two-day trade window.

It’s definitely a soccer ball. Major League Soccer, adidas unveil MLS NATIVO XXV as match ball for league's 25th season | MLSsoccer.com
Major League Soccer and adidas unveiled the MLS NATIVO XXV as the official match ball for the league's 25th season. The ball's design incorporates colors from the original MLS ball.

Morris and Roldan both found themselves on the Best XI here. Americans at home: Pre-season XI to watch vs. Best XI Yanks in 2019 - Stars and Stripes FC
Left back is still an issue.

USA

A good step for the women in their case. Court certifies USWNT as a class in lawsuit against USSF - Stars and Stripes FC
Basically, they all have the same problem.

The winning begins under Vlatko. Three Takeaways from USA vs Sweden - All For XI
The Vlatko Era begins with a win.

The winning continues under Vlatko. Rose Lavelle, Lynn Williams shine bright in 6-0 USWNT win - Stars and Stripes FC
A thorough clinic was on display in Jacksonville.

World

Someone bring that man to MLS, I beg you. Mario Balotelli: Brescia striker angry at racist abuse from 'small-minded' fans - BBC Sport
Brescia striker Mario Balotelli criticizes the "small-minded" fans who shouted racist abuse at him on Sunday.

That’s probably an improvement over B/R and Turner. CBS, Univision Land Champions League Rights In Surprising Deal
Starting in 2021, they'll move away from B/R Live.

Why not take it to the Big Apple. They can play in Yankee Stadium, too! UEFA Targeting New York Area for 2024 Champions League Final, Sources Say
UEFA, the governing body of soccer in Europe, has informed potential commercial partners that it is trying to bring the 2024 UEFA Champions League Final to the United States, according to people familiar with the discussions.

If there’s any justice in the world, Cristiano Ronaldo won’t hold any records before too long. Lionel Messi equals Cristiano Ronaldo’s La Liga hat-trick record - Barca Blaugranes
The GOAT hit another treble against Celta.

The strong get stronger, I suppose. Liverpool in advanced talks with Bournemouth over Ryan Fraser transfer in January and deal could involve Harry Wilson
Liverpool want to sign Bournemouth winger Ryan Fraser in January, and Harry Wilson could be included as part of any deal.

What’s on TV today?

11:45 AM - Harrogate Town vs. Portsmouth (FA Cup) - ESPN+

11:30 AM - Spain U17 vs. France U17 (U17 World Cup Quarterfinal) - Fox Sports 2

3:00 PM - Italy U17 vs. Brazil U17 (U17 World Cup Quarterfinal) - Fox Sports 2