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The Blue Links: October 13th, 2015

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Ike Opara and Roger Espinoza have returned to training, Nemeth nets a brace for his country, and Jurgen Klinsmann's terrible week continues.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Well, it is a good thing we have had the Royals to hold us over during this two week break. But we finally have San Jose coming up on Friday night. And hopefully some sweet redemption after the 5-0 shellacking back in August.

The USAvMEX match, while very exciting, of course left a bad taste in my mouth. Yesterday, Jurgen released 9 players and called up 5 new players ahead of the friendly with Costa Rica tonight. Matt Besler and Graham Zusi are among the players sent home and will be available for Sporting KC in San Jose.

The interesting part of the players sent home is Fabian Johnson. Johnson has long been a favorite of Jurgen (and myself), but the head coach was very public about why he sent home Johnson.

"I had a very severe word with Fabian Johnson, and I sent him home today," Klinsmann said. "He can rethink his approach about his team.

"He said he couldn't go anymore and I reacted to it and obviously and made the substitution," Klinsmann said. "He just feared to possibly get an injury, but he was not injured in that moment. He got all stiffened up. It's a muscle issue. It's normal."

Very weird to see Jurgen throw him under the bus when he could have said nothing and simply released him like all the other players. But ESPNFC reports that several of the players on the team were also 'very upset' with Fabian at the end of the game.

However today it looks like Fabian's club Borussia Mönchengladbach is now treating him for a thigh injury.

The game against Costa Rica is tonight at 5:30 on ESPN.

There were of course, plenty of other soccer games on during this FIFA break. Krisztian Nemeth had a brace for Hungary in a Euro Qualifier against Greece (HIGHLIGHTS). Nemo had the two go-ahead goals that were each quickly erased by Greece, who eventually won 4-3.

But this week we return to MLS, where the league is again trying to be ahead of the curve in the soccer world. League officials have confirmed that they will be testing out video reviews during friendlies between MLS sides in October. What will be reviewed will be penalty kicks, red cards, and awarding goals.

"We are huge proponents of using technology to improve the game without disrupting the flow. It’s about marrying those two things. Ultimately, we believe the referee should have as much, if not more, information than the fan who goes to the game. At the moment the fan has more on his smartphone. We don’t think that makes sense."

ESPNFC discussed whether or not this idea is feasible in the game today.

Sporting KC have just three matches left, and they can clinch a spot in the playoffs on Friday night. If they win, they are in. However, if they are only able to draw with the Earthquakes they can still clinch this week if RSL are unable to beat Portland. RIGHT HERE are all the different playoff scenarios for each MLS team this weekend.

At this point, it looks like the Red Bulls have all but locked up the Shield. Here are the current MLS standings. Dallas, LA, and Vancouver have all secured their spot already. SKC sit in 4th place with a game in hand on LA and VAN who they trail by just 3 points and 2 points, respectively. Every game is big as we need to climb the ranks and get a better playoff seed. The top of the West, which is another bid for the CCL next year, is only 3 points away.

In the latest MLS Power Rankings, Sporting KC are at number 4. The Red Bulls lead the way followed by FC Dallas and the Galaxy.

Speaking of FC Dallas, Swansea City of the Premier League are being linked to young star Fabian Castillo. Although Dallas claims he isn't going anywhere.

"We have Fabian Castillo signed through 2019 and we are not interested in selling key pieces of this franchise. We are trying to build a champion for many years to come starting with one this year. Fabian is a terrific player and I can promise you this isn't the last rumor we will hear."

I'm not sure what the deal is with these jerseys or if they are being sold anywhere.. but a couple of these Hispanic Heritage MLS jerseys are awesome. LA and Orlando City are my favorites.

You have an extra chance to watch soccer at Sporting Park coming up in December for the NCAA D-1  Men's Championship.

In some real Sporting KC news, Roger Espinoza and Ike Opara have returned to training!

We still don't know when either will actually return to the lineup, but this is just a beautiful thing right here.

Even if Ike isn't fully fit by the time playoffs come around, how great will it be to be able to bring him in off the bench for set pieces!?