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Major Link Soccer: The off-season begins

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If the Expansion Draft sees its shadow, we’re in for a long off-season.

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MLS: MLS Cup-Toronto FC vs Seattle FC Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

The off-season is a time of change, a time of optimism and uncertainty. The looming Expansion Draft will bring lots of change, and new opportunities for many players. Portland didn’t want to wait to start making changes, though, and jumped out in front by cutting ties with their star striker.

Puget Sound

At least it didn’t happen during the MLS and USL seasons, I guess. Soccer championships impacted by copper wire theft at Tukwila’s Starfire Sports complex | king5.com
Multiple games had to be rescheduled this weekend because of copper wire theft, which resulted in thousands of dollars in damage.

MLS/USL

For the first time, a USL Championship champion has been crowned. Real Monarchs SLC are USL Championship Final victors over Louisville City FC - RSL Soapbox
3 come from behind goals by defenders Erik Holt, Konrad Plewa and Noah Powder power them to the victory

Some stability this offseason should be good, although I don’t know how much stability Wynalda offers. WYNALDA TO REMAIN AS LIGHTS FC MANAGER

With their own stadium nearing completion, Louisville are playing the long game. Louisville is holding the blueprint to how soccer can survive, and thrive, in America
Stadium project underscores strength of Louisville City FC

You love to see it. Power Rankings: MLS Cup champions Seattle Sounders finish atop pack for 2019 | MLSsoccer.com
Sounders finished up right where they belonged.

There’s plenty of talent available, and I think Shipp would be a smart choice for either expansion team. Seltzer: An expansion mock draft for Inter Miami CF and Nashville SC | MLSsoccer.com
MLSsoccer thinks Harry Shipp may set sail for Nashville.

The complete list. 2019 MLS Expansion Draft: Official list of players eligible for selection | MLSsoccer.com
The 2019 MLS Expansion Draft will be held at 5:30 PM ET on Tuesday, November 19, streaming live on MLSsoccer.com and the free MLS app.

‘Tis the season to keep an eye on the social media accounts of various professional soccer players! According to Irish Right Back Tom Gaston, Portland Timbers Sign Irish Right Back Tom Gaston - Stumptown Footy
So far information about the Portland Timbers’ offseason pursuits has been hard to come by. To date, the only firm pieces of information to come from the team are that Gavin Wilkinson and Giovanni...

Rumors last time around put a $5 million offer on the table for Long. What will it take to secure his signature? Report: EPL club Southampton eyeing transfer swoop for RBNY's Aaron Long | MLSsoccer.com
English Premier League side Southampton have reportedly “been offered the chance to sign” the New York Red Bulls center back and US international in the upcoming January transfer window, and French club Marseille are also interested in the 2018 MLS Defender of the Year.

We probably need to see a coach that’s not Jesse Marsch actually use the league to climb the ladder before making that claim. Boehm: Is MLS becoming world soccer's new runway for aspiring coaches? | MLSsoccer.com
Not so long ago, Major League Soccer appeared to be a “closed shop” when it came to head coaching hires.

Making predictions is hard, it turns out. Revisiting MLS 2019 season predictions - which pundit did the best? | MLSsoccer.com
With the 2019 MLS season in the books, we look back at the predictions several MLSsoccer.com pundits made in the preseason

You hate to see it. Both sort of jokingly, but also genuinely. Substance abuse is a terrible burden to carry, and I hope Fernandez can get the help that he needs. MLS terminates contract of Timbers’ Brian Fernandez, readies lawsuit against former club Necaxa – The Athletic
The striker has been sacked for non-compliance with the league's substance abuse and behavioral health program

USA

How big a part of the team’s success was she? We’re going to find out. Dawn Scott reportedly leaving US Soccer for England - All For XI
The long-time USWNT head of fitness will be working with the Lionesses now.

This 8 year old is good, does she want to write with us? We had an 8-year-old club soccer player ask Megan Rapinoe questions. And she actually answered them. - SFGate

Back on the field after an extended injury layoff, Yedlin’s opening up about his experience. DeAndre Yedlin opens up on injury heartache - and dealing with criticism over his defending - Chronicle Live
Magpies full-back DeAndre Yedlin is back and impressing in his right-wing-back role under Steve Bruce

Sota Kitahara opened the scoring on a run from deep in the midfield in the U-16s’ second game of the tournament. Sounders, DC United, FC Dallas prospects shine as US U-16s defeat US U-17s | MLSsoccer.com
The US Under-16 national team got the better of their U-17 elders on Saturday night, as two rising MLS prospects scored in a 2-0 victory for the U-16s at the Nike International Friendlies, held at the Premier Sports Campus in Lakewood Ranch, Florida.

Not the strongest competition, but I guess a win is a win. Will it help in their quest for Olympic qualifying? USMNT U-23s rout Canary Islands | SBI Soccer
The U.S. Under-23 Men's National Team ended its November schedule on a winning note thanks to a four-goal second half on Sunday. A 4-0 win over the Canary Islands saw Sebastian Saucedo, Brooks Lennon, and Richard Ledezma all score goals.

World

I don’t know how to solve racism in sports, but we definitely shouldn’t be punishing the abused for having a reasonable reaction. Taison red card after reacting to alleged racist abuse 'should be symbolically withdrawn' - BBC Sport
Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Taison's red card after reacting to alleged racist abuse should be 'symbolically withdrawn", says the world players' union.

It seems a little silly, even the manager thought so. Imagine if NFL players got suspended every time they ran into someone on the sidelines. David Abraham: Frankfurt captain banned for barging opposition manager - BBC Sport
Eintracht Frankfurt skipper David Abraham is banned for seven weeks and fined £21,410 for barging over an opposition coach.

Sheffield Wednesday are having a rather extended case of the Mondays. Sheffield Wednesday charged with misconduct over Hillsborough sale | Football | The Guardian
Sheffield Wednesday said they will ‘vigorously defend’ their position after being charged with misconduct by the EFL

Sports and politics will always be intertwined because the people involved are always going to be people. Medel: Chile players decline friendly over civil unrest – ProSoccerTalk
"We are soccer players, but above all people and citizens."

This couldn’t possibly be more relevant to my interests. Food and soccer are meant to be together. An introduction to the rich history of soccer in La Comarca Lagunera - FMF State Of Mind
Jesús "Chuy" Aranzábal’s restaurant Patachueca is a place to get a good meal and learn about the history of soccer in La Comarca Lagunera.

Lyon came out on top in one of the biggest rivalry matches in women’s soccer. Saki Kumagai helps Lyon to league win over PSG this season - All For XI
Olympique Lyonnais now sit alone at the top of Division 1 Féminine thanks to Kumagai’s 49th minute goal.

The LA Galaxy player shone especially bright at the U-17 World Cup this Fall. Stars of the future: Mexico’s Efrain Alvarez has a dose of devilment – ‘Ibrahimovic loved playing with him’ – The Athletic
Raw star power, devilment, an eye for a pass and a weapon of a left foot could take Alvarez far...

A look at the best and worst signings of the decade for Liverpool, City, Chelsea, Tottenham, Arsenal and Manchester United. Premier League clubs' best and worst transfers since 2009
The top Premier League clubs have made some poor transfer decisions since 2009, but does the good outweigh the bad?

It’s always good to have contingencies in place. LIVE Transfer Talk: Man City to get Coman if Bayern Munich secure Sane
Manchester City could get Bayern Munich's Kingsley Coman if Leroy Sane joins the German side. Transfer Talk is LIVE with the latest.

What’s on TV today?

8 Euro Qualifiers kick off at 11:45 AM, including Gustav Svensson and Sweden — ESPN App/ESPN+/ESPN3