Here is a roundup of some news from the past couple days as we start another week:
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Is Clint Dempsey headed to Fulham for a two-month loan? Multiple reports from England (here is a popular one) have said a loan deal is just about done and would last two months, starting when the transfer window opens Jan. 1. Certainly the expectation has been that the Sounders designated player would exercise the clause in his contract that allows for an offseason loan. Going four months without meaningful games heading into a World Cup year isn’t ideal, particularly for the captain of the U.S. national team.
CONCACAF approves change to give Portland a CCL berth. MLS had requested an amendment to the teams that earn CONCACAF Champions League berths, and it was recently approved by the confederation. The berths going to MLS Cup winner (Sporting Kansas City), Supporters’ Shield winner (New York Red Bulls) and U.S. Open Cup winners (D.C. United) went unchanged.
The berth that previous went to the MLS Cup runner-up, however, will now go to the conference winner that didn’t win the Supporters’ Shield. So when it comes to the 2014-15 competition, Portland is in and Real Salt Lake is suddenly out. If there is a team that claims multiple berths, or a Canadian team captures one mentioned above, the open berth goes to the team with the next-best regular season record regardless of conference.
UW’s Taylor Peay named first team All-American. The Washington senior, who was a semifinalist for the MAC Hermann Trophy, was named to the 2013 NSCAA All-America Team (Div. 1). Another great honor for him.
UEFA Champions League holds Round of 16 draw. There are some loaded pairings: Manchester City-Barcelona, Arsenal-Bayern Munich, AC Milan-Atletico Madrid, Olympiakos-Manchester United, Bayer Leverkusen-Paris St. Germain, Schalke-Real Madrid, Galatasaray-Chelsea, Zenit St. Petersburg-Borussia Dortmund.
MLS announces 24 invitees to first Caribbean Combine. Here is the update from the league. The combine will be Jan. 2-4 in St. John’s, Antigua.