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July 8, 2013 at 8:34 AM

Gold Cup kicks off with exciting start (Monday links)

gold cup 2013The CONCACAF Gold Cup began Sunday, and what a wild day it was.

Panama, featuring former Sounders FC trialist Roberto Chen, knocked off favored Mexico, 2-1 — another troubling result for coach Jose Manuel de la Torre. Before that, unheralded Martinique got a tremendous late goal to shock Canada, 1-0, on the final kick of the game. Canada’s new coach can’t come soon enough, it seems.

The U.S. doesn’t play until Tuesday, where it will be a very important tournament for some, but ex-Sounder Mario Martinez will be in action with Honduras on Monday.

Let’s get to some links:

*     *     *

— First off, here is an interview with ex-Sounders DP Christian Tiffert, who was bought out earlier this year and joined a second-division team in Germany. He said he would’ve liked more time in Seattle but isn’t mad at the team. He added the team approached him to reach a settlement to go after a big forward signing. He said he enjoyed living in America but also warned of MLS unpredictability.

— In big MLS news, one report says Toronto FC is set to sign Uruguayan forward Diego Forlan. Of course, there are other reports denying as much.

— Elsewhere around the league, New York parted ways with DP Juninho, Real Salt Lake is trying to put an end to a popular expletive-laden chant, ESPN.com has some midseason awards, and might Montreal defender Alessandro Nesta be getting ready to retire?

— Here is a piece from The New York Times on the craziness of international soccer transfers. Along those lines, the Cosmos are reportedly talking with AC Milan’s Massimo Ambrosini and once-rumored Sounder target Jose Barkero has landed with Real Zaragoza.

— In some USMNT news, Jozy Altidore will be joining Sunderland for the upcoming season, and Brad Guzan signed a new four-year deal with Aston Villa. Plus the team made a jump up in the latest FIFA world rankings.

— Tickets for a World Cup qualifier between USA-Mexico in Columbus are going to involve some sort of lottery.

— This was a phenomenal goal in a “Messi & Friends” exhibition from an unlikely source.

— This from Brazil was just about the worst story I’ve ever heard when it comes to violence and soccer (warning: graphic and disturbing).

— Lastly, here’s a video put together by LEVYFilms with the Sounders Women…

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