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November 10, 2012 at 7:23 AM

Away to L.A. (Saturday links)

Well, about 15 hours after returning home from Salt Lake City, I’m back at the airport. I’ll be making my way down to Los Angeles today for Sounders FC training ahead of Sunday’s first leg of the Western Conference finals against the Galaxy.

As a note, there is expected to be a conference call with coach Sigi Schmid today that I might miss while in transit. I’ll try to keep you posted as much as possible, but I just wanted to give a heads up in case I can’t listen in.

Let’s get to some links:

* * *

— First off, here’s a feature on Steve Zakuani and his foundation, Kingdom Hope.

— We’re starting to see some coaching moves around MLS as it was announced that Hans Backe won’t be back with the New York Red Bulls and Robin Fraser is out at Chivas USA, as well. Oscar Pareja will stay with the Colorado Rapids.

Andy Najar has been suspended two games for tossing the ball at the referee in frustration earlier in the playoffs. A couple other punishments were handed out, too.

— Elsewhere around the league, FC Dallas midfielder Brek Shea will be out a while after undergoing foot surgery, the Whitecaps announced some cuts, and Galaxy midfielder Mike Magee had some curious things to say about the Sounders leading into the conference finals.

— The New York Cosmos announced a front office move recently.

— Here’s an interesting story on Jurgen Klinsmann when he was coach of the German national team. Back on the USMNT side, it looks like Timmy Chandler might be involved again soon.

— Should MLS use the away-goals tiebreaker? That’s the topic of this story.

SoundersFC.com has an update on the team’s academy program.

— The UW men’s soccer team won its regular-season finale and will wait for the NCAA tournament to be announced. The Husky women were eliminated from postseason with a 2-1 loss vs. Auburn last night.

— Lastly, a look at how the Jewish-Arab conflict has affected a club soccer team in Israel.

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