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March 29, 2012 at 10:16 AM

Heritage Cup returns (Thursday links)

heritage cup 2012.jpgThe rules for the 2012 Heritage Cup have been posted, so take a look if you’re interested.

Sounders FC and the San Jose Earthquakes remain the only participants this year for the fan-based trophy. Vancouver and Portland are also eligible, as clubs with NASL roots, but it appears as though they won’t take part again.

Saturday’s 7 p.m. game between the Sounders and Earthquakes will only count as a tiebreaker due to the unbalanced schedule this season. The games on Aug. 11 (in San Jose) and Sept. 23 (in Seattle) are the main ones in the series, with away goals as the first tiebreaker. If there’s still no winner, Saturday’s match would be next, followed by away goals over the three games, then points in the MLS standings, then league wins, then league goal-differential, and lastly a coin flip.

Got all that?

OK good, let’s get to some more links:

* * *

— Toronto FC played to a 1-1 draw against Mexico’s Santos Laguna in the first leg of a CONCACAF Champions League semifinal at BMO Field. The lone MLS representative left would’ve liked for more against a 10-man opponent as we saw going to Torreon is no treat, especially with Herculez Gomez on his torrid scoring streak. There was also a little scuffle after the game. Monterrey beat Mexican counterpart Pumas 3-0 in the other CCL semifinal first leg.

— Sounders FC’s Patrick Ianni and Roger Levesque are winners. Here’s proof.

Cordell Cato should be returning to Seattle soon after the Trinidad and Tobago team was eliminated from CONCACAF Olympic qualifying. It appears he took a knock to the ankle the other day, which could be a concern.

— Did you see the boarding passes the El Salvador players got after upsetting the U.S. to win the Olympic qualifying group and earning a semifinal berth?

— Around the league, Portland’s turf at Jeld-Wen Field has kept its FIFA two-star rating (the best available), once touted U.S. forward Kamani Hill has come to MLS and signed with Colorado, Peter Nowak isn’t getting very excited for the Philadelphia visit of Sebastien Le Toux, and FC Dallas star David Ferreira is still dealing with injury issues.

— Did you see MLS joined the World League Association? It’s, well, an association of all the major soccer leagues around the world and commissioner Don Garber is on the board of directors. This story says the group’s goal “is to work together to promote professional soccer, to foster relationships among the leagues, to safeguard their common interests, to represent a single voice on the international stage and to organize exhibitions, conferences, training courses and other events.”

— Some fans in Germany found a creative way to direct its team toward goal.

— Lastly, in some UEFA Champions League action, Barcelona was held to a scoreless tie at AC Milan in the first leg of a quarterfinal. Bayern Munich scored a convincing 2-0 road win at Marseille.


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