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March 8, 2012 at 11:25 AM

Victory (Thursday links)

johnson santos.jpgPhoto credit: Erika Schultz, The Seattle Times

Big win for the Sounders last night against Santos Laguna, but conceding an away goal keeps things interesting going into next Wednesday’s road leg in Mexico. Might Eddie Johnson (right), who debuted as a second half substitute, get the start? David Estrada has definitely made the most of his opportunity so far. Should be interesting.

Lot of links today, so let’s get to them:

* * *

— Here’s some national reaction to the day of CONCACAF Champions League action: ESPN.com, FOX Sports. Lots of praise for the Sounders.

Classy move by the Timbers Army, I must say. Here’s some context.

— Over at ProSoccerTalk, Steve Davis said the CenturyLink Field turf looked good on TV. It certainly passes all the tests now, in my opinion. But how it holds up over time will be key.

— Philly.com made the trip over the game and chatted with Pennsylvania’s own Jeff Parke and looked at the return of Eddie Johnson and Herculez Gomez to the U.S. soccer spotlight.

Brian Dunseth had a brief sit-down chat with Johnson recently.

Here’s a look at W-League affiliating with MLS teams, including some thoughts from Sounders Women general manager Amy Carnell.

— Sports Illustrated’s Grant Wahl was kind enough to join us for a live chat yesterday. He provided a lot of great insights, so be sure to check it out. Here’s his MLS preview, as well.

— More good stuff from ESPN.com: Jeff Carlisle had a good chat with the commissioner, here’s a video preview of the upcoming season and also a look at which MLS teams had the best offseasons.

— Big news from MLS and U.S. Soccer is the formation of the Professional Referee Organization (PRO), an organization that will be responsible for managing refereeing in professional soccer leagues in the U.S. and Canada. Here’s a transcript of a recent teleconference addressing the project.

— In other news, NBC Sports held a teleconference to discuss it’s plans for MLS and other soccer coverage. MLSsoccer.com has a good roundup and Goal.com takes a wider look at TV coverage.

— Around the league, Chicago has signed German national Arne Friedrich, FC Dallas has a new technical director in Fernando Clavijo and over in New York, they’re confident in what they’re doing.

Kasey Keller will be an onsite analyst for ESPN’s first MLS broadcast when Portland hosts Philadelphia on Monday.

— Sounds like Chelsea is going to play Celtic at Yankee Stadium this summer.

Tim Howard signed a new contract with Everton.

— What was more impressive in international action, Leo Messi‘s five goals, little APOEL of Cyprus advancing to the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals or this solo effort from Neymar?

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