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March 15, 2012 at 7:55 AM

Picking up the pieces (Thursday links)

MLS Logo.jpgThe Sounders don’t have any time to wallow in Wednesday’s loss to Mexico’s Santos Laguna in the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals.

The MLS opener is in two days.

The Sounders fly home today, have one day of practice Friday and then kick off the league season at 7 p.m. Saturday at CenturyLink Field against surprising CCL semifinalist Toronto FC. Expect to see a large amount of reserves from both sides in that one.

But let’s get to some links:

* * *

— How could I not lead with this picture of Roger Levesque in a kilt? He did it for a good cause.

— Here’s a post that tells us the Sounders were the first MLS team since the CCL format changed in 2008 to allow six goals in a game. But enough of the negative, right? Well, you should definitely check out Chris Coulter‘s photos from last night’s match. He made the trip down to Torreon and captured the scene well.

— The Sounders Women made another signing Wednesday in midfielder Megan Manthey, who had been playing in Denmark the past few years.

— The venue selection process for the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup has begun. Think Seattle has a chance?

— Around the league, D.C. United signed veteran midfielder Lewis Neal, New England signed defender Florian Lechner and here’s a good look at what San Jose is building.

— Montreal’s opening-day crowd will top 50,000.

— Houston’s new stadium is coming together nicely. SI’s Grant Wahl, who provided that tweet, also wrote about the influx of Colombians to MLS.

— The New York Times had a good Q&A with Portland Timbers owner Merritt Paulson.

NPR had a feature on Egyptian national team coach Bob Bradley (formerly of MLS and U.S. Soccer), here’s an interesting video interview with David Beckham and the philanthropic work of some middle schoolers caught the eye of Timbers defender Futty Danso.

— Another member of the U.S. World Cup team from 1950, forward John “Clarkie” Souza, has passed away. Two members from that team, the one known for the big upset over England, are still alive.

— Here’s an interesting historical piece on the American soccer scene during World War II.

— Lastly, the UEFA Champions League field is down to eight. Chelsea and Real Madrid were the last teams to book quarterfinal berths, joining Bayern Munich, Marseille, Barcelona, Apoel, AC Milan and Benfica.

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