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The Blue Links: January 23rd

Your Kansas City relevant soccer stories for the day

MLS: Sporting KC at New England Revolution Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

CONCACAF announced today major format changes to CCL

The competition is being split and a “new tournament” is being added. It is technically Phase 1 of the whole competition as the Central American and Caribbean teams will duke it out for one spot in Phase 2, a 16 team elimination tournament. Therefore, the group stage for MLS teams is basically being eliminated and they will join the revamped CCL. Image below explain the path for all teams:

Vermes encouraged by youth, speed and versatility - SKC 2.0?

PV talks in depth about his new players and what they can bring to the squad this year. He even spent some time talking about Jimmy Medranda and his attacking ability, making this blogger very happy.
“Jimmy has some really good qualities in the attacking third. I also think that he has goals in him; he can score goals. Jimmy’s taken a while to assimilate himself into the team, but he really made a mark last year, and I think this is a big year for him.” FULL PRESSER VIDEO HERE.

Chance Myers is gone

The Portland Timbers have signed the free agent defender. It was time for him to move on, but he will be missed in KC! Good luck, Chance.

SKC is right in the middle on 2017 strength of schedule

It really doesn’t matter because of the parity in this league, but we are safe in the middle.

Zusi says he is transitioning smoothly to right back for USMNT

Watch the video of Vermes talking to Extra Time Radio about Zusi in his new spot for the USMNT. Head coach Bruce Arena likes what he sees in camp.
“[Graham Zusi]’s a good player,” said Arena, “and he’s more athletic than people think. Good player, can pass, can think. Physically he’s a lot better than people think. It might be the right spot for him with our group.”

The Guardian’s feature on Dwyer and creating a path for other English players

This is a great piece on Dom and the potential of him playing for the USMNT. It also talks about the trend of UK players coming to America to make a name for themselves.

Dom sat down with ESPNFC

WATCH: The striker covers a range of topics in a quick interview (I would embed for you if ESPN wasn’t stubborn)

Children’s Mercy Park named the #13 Best Stadium Experience of 2016

Came in behind Portland Timbers at #11 but beat the Sounders at #29 and Vancouver Whitecaps at #99

USMNT starlet Christian Pulisic has inked a new deal with Dortmund

The youngster singed a deal with BvB that will keep him there through June 2020

The SKC warehouse sale is back on Saturday

I clean up at this every year! Everything is so cheap. Go check it out this weekend.

Soccer is almost real again. The boys are off to Tuscon!