Soccer news was flying all over the place Thursday. I tried to cover the Sounders-related items as they happened, but there were several other stories of interest that I wanted to pass along, as well.
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MLS All-Stars will face Bayern Munich in 2014. This wasn’t a very well-kept secret, but it finally became official. The reigning champs of Europe will take on the league’s best on Aug. 6 at Jeld-Wen Field in Portland. The German powerhouse, of course, would be an attractive opponent for a Sounders FC friendly.
Houston Dash joins NWSL. We have our first expansion team in the women’s professional league, and it’s the Dash, owned and operated by the Dynamo of MLS. They’ll play at BBVA Compass Stadium. With nine NWSL teams, there will be 24 regular-season games in 2014, three against each opponent. The top four still make the playoffs.
Jurgen Klinsmann gets extension from U.S. Soccer. A four-year contract extension was not expected, particularly heading into the World Cup. Klinsmann is now under contract through 2018 and will assume the role of U.S. Soccer technical director.
MAC Hermann Trophy race trimmed to three. Unfortunately, UW senior Taylor Peay, one of 15 semifinalists for the award, was not named one of the three finalists. The honor of best soccer player in the country will go to either Patrick Mullins (Maryland), Harrison Shipp (Notre Dame) or Leo Stolz (UCLA).
Reign FC trades Nikki Marshall to Portland. Seattle got a first-round pick (No. 6 overall) in the 2014 NWSL college draft in return. The Reign also sent its second-round pick (No. 9 overall) in exchange for the Thorns’ 2015 second-round pick. Marshall, a defender acquired by Seattle in a postseason trade, had played the past year with Portland.