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February 17, 2012 at 6:49 AM

Seattle to face motivated Gomez in CCL (Friday links)

santos’s Grant Wahl had an interesting piece Thursday. He got in touch with new Santos Laguna forward Herculez Gomez, a former MLS veteran and lower-league Sounder who said he’s very much looking forward to playing Sounders FC in the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals.

He particularly remembers an exchange with Sigi Schmid, who coached Gomez with the Los Angeles Galaxy.

“At an end-of-season meeting he told me soccer wasn’t in the cards for me as a career,” Gomez told Wahl.

Safe to say it provided the forward some motivation and also adds a little extra drama to the upcoming matchup. Schmid provided his explanation in the story, as well.

Here are some other links:

* * *

— Thursday was a busy day leaguewide. First off, Brian Ching has returned to Houston after the Dynamo gave up a conditional draft pick to Montreal in exchange for the veteran forward. Jose de Jesus Ortiz of The Houston Chronicle tweeted that its a second-round pick that becomes a first-round pick if Ching plays at least 20 games.

— Also, the Whitecaps confirmed the signing of midfielder Barry Robson. He will join the team in July and be a designated player. The Portland Timbers signed Frank Sango’o, who has impressed in preseason. Argentinian playmaker Martin Rivero has joined the Colorado Rapids.

— Well-traveled forward Eddie Johnson, who has been in and out of the national team in recent years, is returning to MLS. Colorado is believed to be most interested, but there are probably others. From my perspective, Johnson would’ve been a more viable option for Seattle last year when he was believed to be signing with the league in the summer. The Sounders had just missed out during the transfer window and seemed better suited to bring him in then. Here’s an updated allocation order and Seattle is 15th, one behind the Rapids. Johnson’s future club will be determined Friday and maybe there will be a surprise.

— Goalkeeper Luis Robles seemed set to sign with the New York Red Bulls, but since he has a USMNT cap, the league determined he had to go through the allocation order. As a result, the deal is off.

— Former Sounder Pat Noonan scored a preseason goal for the LA Galaxy. Cynics will say that’s as many goals as he scored for Seattle in 21 games. They’re getting ready for early CCL action down there, too.

— The latest podcast from’s ExtraTime Radio is available.

— Is Chivas USA seeking a new home?

— Did FOX try to get FIFA to put pressure on MLS to change to a winter schedule?

— U.S. U-23 coach Caleb Porter called in 23 players for a 10-day training camp in Texas. They’ll play the Mexican U-23s on Feb. 29 at FC Dallas Stadium.

— Here’s an ESPN interview with USMNT midfielder Michael Bradley.

— The Manchester teams had a good day in European competition. Too bad they’re in the Europa League and not the Champions League.

— Lastly, here’s a fun goal that involved a lot of back heels…

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