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May 16, 2013 at 9:54 AM

Seattle man killed while dribbling a soccer ball to Brazil (Thursday links)

A great story has turned into a tragic one.

Richard Swanson, 42, set out on a 10,000-mile trek to Brazil earlier this month. His goal was to bring attention to the One World Futbol Project, which donates seemingly indestructible soccer balls in developing countries, by dribbling one from his hometown of Seattle to the host country of the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Sadly, he was hit by a pickup truck on the Oregon Coast and died Tuesday.

You can read more on the news from OregonLive.com and this AP story. Those reports say Swanson was a Sounders fan.

Here are some more links:

*     *     *

— First off, David Beckham has retired at 38 years old. He’s coming off a French league title with PSG and issued this statement.

— It sounds like FC Dallas might sit local product George John (who this story thinks the U.S. should cap) and star David Ferreira against the Sounders this weekend.

— Honduran media is reporting there is a second-division team in England interested in signing Mario Martinez from Real Espana if Seattle elects to pass. The midfielder is here on a one-year loan that comes up this summer.

— Want to know why Levante didn’t want Obafemi Martins to leave? They have one goal in their last 509 minutes without him, just four goals in eight games overall.

— Not a bad few days for Chelsea, a two-time friendly opponent of Sounders FC. The English side won the Europa League and signed Frank Lampard to a new contract. Is Jose Mourinho next?

— In some MLS news, D.C. United’s Robbie Russell has retired to go to medical school, Portland’s turf goes under the microscope after a rash of injuries, Tim Cowlishaw of ESPN fame gave FC Dallas some love, and the disciplinary committee was busy this week with suspensions.

— Here are the referee assignments for next weekend (Baldomero Toledo is in charge of the Sounders-Galaxy game).

— In some transactions, Toronto FC has traded for Bobby Convey, Chivas USA has traded for Gabriel Farfan, and the Galaxy is in talks with Chicago over Robbie Rogers.

— The U.S. men’s national team roster for upcoming World Cup qualifiers and friendlies will be released this afternoon, so look out for that. One report says Landon Donovan won’t be included (the Galaxy star responded here).

— Also, here is a projection of a potential Gold Cup roster (the tournament has a new trophy, by the way). And The Washington Post has some more USMNT notes.

— Here is a look at NWSL’s struggles in attendance.

— In some miscellaneous reads, here’s is another story on Bob Bradley in Egypt, Frankie Hejduk was in an eating competition with some elephants, MLS will have Topps playing cards coming out, and ESPN is starting a new daily soccer show starting Aug. 11.

— Wigan’s Roger Espinoza, formerly of Sporting KC, became the first to win an FA Cup and U.S. Open Cup in back-to-back years.

— And lastly, did you see Jimmy Nielsen has an autobiography coming out? His darker days actually go beyond stoppage time against the Sounders.

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