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February 25, 2013 at 11:40 AM

Countdown to opening day (Monday links)

We’re counting down to opening day, and as a quick note, the Sounders are taking today off from formal training. The team just returned to Seattle on Sunday following a couple weeks in Tucson.

Practice resumes Tuesday leading into Saturday’s MLS opener against Montreal (7:30 p.m. at CenturyLink Field).

Let’s get to some links:

*     *     *

— First off, you might have seen the news that The Seattle Times will be requiring a digital-subscription plan in mid-March for readers of our website. I don’t know much beyond what was expressed from our executive editor David Boardman, but I’ll try to keep you up to date as we get closer to the big move.

Check out the damage suffered by Sammy Ochoa in the Desert Diamond Cup final (a play that you might remember wasn’t deemed a foul). Warning: It’s a bit graphic.

— Sounders FC isn’t very well represented on ProSoccer Talk’s positional rankings at right back, left back and center back.

— Regarding some a previous DP rumors, recent reports have Javier Saviola possibly returning to River Plate. Looks like the Argentine forward addressed the MLS/Sounders rumors here and said he never got an offer and hopes to stay at Malaga.

— One Chivas USA reporter is saying the L.A.-based team will pick up more than $200,000 of Shalrie Joseph‘s salary this season. That’s how Seattle would be able to avoid to a full DP cap hit.

— Is there a new MLS logo in the works?

— Around the league, Chivas USA made some more roster moves here and here, Colorado will be bringing back leading scorer Jaime Castillon but the midfielder will be undergoing knee surgery, and Real Salt Lake has officially signed goalkeeper Josh Saunders and midfielder Khari Stephenson.

Here’s an interview with new Whitecap Nigel Reo-Coker, a player Portland admitted it wasn’t much interested in despite the discovery claim.

— Also around the league, here’s a good read from Jeff Bradley, ex-Sounder Mike Fucito has continued a strong preseason with San Jose, and here’s another letter to the fans from Philadelphia coach John Hackworth.

— It wasn’t a bad weekend for MLS alumni abroad, as Kei Kamara scored a big goal for Norwich City, Brek Shea played and drew a PK for Stoke City, and David Beckham helped set up a goal for PSG.

— MLSsoccer.com, which underwent a recent re-design, has information on a new partnership between the league and the French Football Federation for development purposes.

— The U.S. U-20s won their group in the 2013 CONCACAF U-20 championships. And regarding the senior team, Soccer By Ives is reporting the final of this summer’s Gold Cup will be in Chicago.

— Reign FC has released more information on its open tryouts, which will take place March 8-10 at Starfire. Registration is $80. Check out the team website for more details. And on-loan midfielder Megan Rapinoe scored for Lyon over the weekend.

— The Sounders Women will take on the Vancouver Whitecaps FC Girls Elite on May 17 at Starfire. Kickoff is 7:30. Tickets on sale (season-ticket holders get in for free).

— Lastly, Gorilla FC announced a couple new partnerships Monday.

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