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Major Link Soccer: CCL Fever

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If you suddenly got a cold sweat and shin-splints, don’t worry, that’s just CCL Fever

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Max Aquino / Sounder at Heart

It’s that time of year — the Concacaf Champions League draw has given us the Sounders opponent for their first round of the tournament next year. Megan Rapinoe got yet another honor, and while many of the players are away in Australia for their second season, NWLS is trying to get some business done.

Seattle/Tacoma

Playing the world’s game, on the world’s stage, under attack by a world leader, she dominated. And in doing so without fear, she became a voice for so many across the world. Megan Rapinoe is SI’s 2019 Sportsperson of the Year. Megan Rapinoe: Sports Illustrated 2019 Sportsperson of the Year - Sports Illustrated

The Reign FC contingent down in Australia are having a pretty good run of things so far. Celia only just arrived, and has a Team of the Week nod as well as a Goal of the Round. Reign FC's Lauren Barnes and Celia make the W-League Team of the Week

I’m sure Garth was more interested in the actual trophy his team won, but being named Sporting Executive of the Year isn’t a bad little bonus. Seattle Sounders' Garth Lagerwey named MLS Sporting Executive of the Year | MLSsoccer.com

The Seattle Sounders are going to get to go another round with C.D. Olimpia of Honduras in the 2020 Concacaf Champions League. Will someone top the late-game drama of Brad Evans’s PK goal and ensuing tomfoolery? Concacaf Champions League draw takeaways: LAFC, Atlanta United get tough bracket | Tom Bogert | MLSsoccer.com

I’m sad to see Victor go, but I hope he’s able to find success back in Spain with his family. We’ll always have his MLS Cup goal, and I’m glad that’s how he got to go out. MLS Cup MVP Victor Rodriguez bids farewell to Seattle Sounders | MLSsoccer.com

MLS/USL

At least New England got something new. Now if only they could work on a new stadium and maybe a new logo. Bruce Arena: New Revolution training center is best in my career | MLSsoccer.com

Monday was relatively busy for MLS teams. Not for Seattle, but certainly for other teams. What do Monday's moves mean for LA Galaxy, Atlanta United and more? | Tom Bogert | MLSsoccer.com

Bobby Warshaw explains how FC Dallas beat out Toronto FC and Portland for the spot. Toronto’s not been as consistently decent over the last 10 years, but their highs have certainly been higher. MLS best clubs of the decade: No. 5, FC Dallas | MLSsoccer.com

I don’t know how he’ll do, but I hope Joevin’s brother plays well. I do know that he’s got some fire trash-talk material when it comes to USMNT players, though. Real Salt Lake sign Trinidad and Tobago defender Alvin Jones | MLSsoccer.com

Inter Miami are negotiating with Club América for their second Designated Player. At 25, he would be a player that they could build around for several years. Report: Inter Miami in negotiations with Colombian forward Roger Martinez | MLSsoccer.com

Maybe Thierry Henry will know how to realize the potential that made Jackson-Hamel seem so promising in the past. With a one-year deal, he’ll certainly be playing for his future. Montreal Impact and Homegrown FWD Anthony Jackson-Hamel agree to new contract | MLSsoccer.com

David Loera is a 21 year-old midfielder who spent his college career playing at North Carolina State University. He’ll probably spend the season in USL League 1. Orlando City SC sign midfielder David Loera to Homegrown deal | MLSsoccer.com

Oakland Roots are launching a second team in their organization. The NPSL side will be modeled in some aspects after the Nike-led Project 40 that helped develop players like Demarcus Beasley and Carlos Bocanegra. Oakland Roots Launch NPSL Team Project 51O – National Premier Soccer League

No mention of either Sounders Academy-connected players still in the tournament It’s still a good list of guys to watch, though. Top professional prospects to watch in this weekend's 2019 College Cup | MLSsoccer.com

USA

Ahh, yes, U.S. Soccer should of course continue to manage the league, as they’ve done such a wonderful job of it up to this point. Of course the league owners’ offer involved an increase in funding, they’re getting by on scraps right now. NWSL: U.S. Soccer counters owners' funding request

Following their World Cup victory, the USWNT received a private invitation to visit the White House after Megan Rapinoe and others said they would not. USWNT received private White House invitation after World Cup - Sports Illustrated

After a standout season with Portland, Purce is looking to cement a place with the national team and effect change at her alma mater. Back in USWNT camp and running for Harvard board of overseers seat, Midge Purce isn’t slowing down this offseason – The Athletic ($)

Gulati spent Sunday at Princeton University as one of the keynote speakers at the inaugural Princeton Soccer Conference. Here are some highlights from his remarks. Sunil Gulati on USWNT equal pay, Jay and Gregg Berhalter, and his time as U.S. Soccer president

Jesse Marsch is trying to break the mold of American coaches in Europe. Doing that is made easier by how he’s treated in Salzburg. Jesse Marsch: 'At Salzburg, I'm not treated like an American coach' | Football | The Guardian

World

He’s pretty good. Lionel Messi gave La Liga strikers a month’s head start. He’s top scorer now. - Barca Blaugranes

Let’s be honest, it was one of anyone’s best goals. Luis Suarez says Real Mallorca backheel is one of his best ever goals - Barca Blaugranes

The FA will not consider Anfield for an England friendly. Good. FA Refuses To Use Anfield For England Friendly Due To Ban On Sun - The Liverpool Offside

Australia’s W-League crowd figures have never been lower. But why? Is the league lacking role models, marketing, community connection or relevance? It might be all of the above. Set up to fail: why the W-League’s popularity problem is not on the pitch | The Guardian

Fred was reportedly the subject of the abuse in the weekend’s derby win. Police make arrest for ‘racist gestures’ in Manchester derby - The Busby Babe

I feel like Bayern’s league dominance has been supposed to wane almost every season for a while now. Maybe it’s true this year, but it seems too early to call them out at this point. Gladbach win sends out message to the entire Bundesliga: Bayern’s stranglehold on the title is finally coming to an end – The Athletic

Manchester United are apparently after Saul from Atletico Madrid. There’s probably some sort of limit to how much money they can spend on midfielders, but I don’t think we’ll be finding out what that is any time soon. El United viene a por Saúl - AS.com

How an Australian manager adapted to a new culture and used an emphasis on transition to help lead Yokahama F Marinos to a league title. The tactics that helped Postecoglou conquer Japan

Everyone loves a passionate coach, someone who cares about the team and their fans. What you don’t want is a coach who’s going to throw hands in the tunnel at half-time. Sérgio Conceição beat Belenenses SAD coach to punch - Football - Correio da Manhã

What’s on TV Today?

9:55 AM: Napoli Vs. Genk (UEFA Champions League) - B/R Live

9:55 AM: Salzburg Vs. Liverpool (UEFA Champions League) - B/R Live

12:00 PM: Chelsea Vs. Lille (UEFA Champions League) - B/R Live

12:00 PM: Borussia Dortmund Vs. Slavia Praha (UEFA Champions League) - B/R Live

12:00 PM: Benfica Vs. Zenit (UEFA Champions League) - B/R Live

12:00 PM: Olympique Lyonnais Vs. RB Leipzig (UEFA Champions League) - B/R Live

12:00 PM: Ajax Vs. Valencia (UEFA Champions League) - B/R Live

12:00 PM: Internazionale Vs. Barcelona (UEFA Champions League) - B/R Live