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October 11, 2012 at 9:48 AM

Johnson off to Antigua with the USMNT (Thursday links)

It’s a slow week for the Sounders with the weekend due to the international window, so naturally a lot of attention will fall on the national team call-ups (here’s a list of all those 45 players in MLS).

As you can see in the tweet posted above, forward Eddie Johnson is en route to Antigua for Friday’s World Cup qualifier with the U.S. squad.

The forward’s return to the national team was covered on the U.S. Soccer website the other day. Here is some preview coverage of the game from the federation, SI.com and ESPN.com.

Let’s get to some links:

* * *

— Did you see Kasey Keller is coming out of retirement (not really)?

— Lots of MLS representatives, including Sounders FC owner/GM Adrian Hanauer, are in England for a Leaders in Football conference. They were the keynote speakers this morning and you catch up with what was said on these Twitter feeds (here, here, here and here).

— Elsewhere on the national team level, here’s a story making the case for a Brad Evans call-up, and here’s a look at potential options to replace Pia Sundhage as coach of the U.S. women.

— Around the league, it sounds like 2016 is the target for an MLS expansion team in New York, the Timbers are excited about having a bigger field next season, and some have found it curious that the Whitecaps are already selling playoff tickets (surely it makes business sense, but superstitions arise where you’re not in yet and aren’t assured a home game).

— Did you see Sports Illustrated’s Grant Wahl will be doing TV work for FOX Soccer?

— Did you see Sirius XM radio is going to launch a soccer channel?

— What do you think of the Soccer by Ives redesign?

— Sounds like reported Sounders target Joan Verdu might be available next summer.

— Lastly, here’s a feature on UW goalkeeper and local product Spencer Richey, who has been out at Sounders FC training before if I’m not mistaken.

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