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Blue Links: Power Rankings, Sports Betting, Don Garber, the World’s Most Expensive Soccer Match

So much Sporting Kansas City we can barely handle it.

MLS: Sporting KC at Atlanta United FC Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

All the links you need. Unless we missed something then by all means, throw it in the comments and we’ll try to do better next time.

Kansas City

(SKC YouTube) I love these Behind the Shield videos. This one is from Atlanta and it has a few pretty awesome moments. Johnny Russell saying “what have I just witnessed” in response to the final Tim Melia save (the Almiron shot, by far the best save IMO). Plus a couple cool shots of the Roaddron going 150 strong to the ATL.

(MLS) Sporting Kansas City hold steady in the Power Rankings at 3rd despite the win... on the road... against first play Atlanta United (I get that they had 10 men).

(SB Nation) A quick four minute explainer on the legalization of sports betting. I’m personally not a gambler because I hate losing. However, I have found quite a few suckers willing to bet against UFC superstar Jon Jones. At least I didn’t bet he wouldn’t repeatedly fail drug tests.

(KC Star) Don Garber dropped by Pinnacle yesterday and talked to about a myriad of things including Promotion and Relegation, the winter schedule, potential Homegrown changes, sports betting and more.

(MLS) Speaking of Homegrown rules changing, Sam Stejskal has a really good story about recruiting players outside of team’s territories. It features SKC players Jaylin Lindsey and Gianluca Busio as well as a cameo by Swope Park Ranger forward Camillo Benitez. (Also, while this is a bit dated now, it’s a good primer on the Homegrown rule and its territories).

(The Blue Testament) Still no word from the team officially but Johnny Russell is on the roster for the upcoming friendlies for Scotland.

(MLS Twitter) Ilie Sanchez, Tim Melia and Ike Opara (bench) all make the MLS Team of the Week. All defenders in a game where SKC were up a man. In other news, Atlanta is quite good.

(MLS) Daniel Salloi is up for MLS Goal of the Week. You have until Wednesday at Midnight PST to vote (2 AM CT on Thursday).

(SKC YouTube) Nate Bukaty gets to drive around and interview guys. On the road they have Carter Augustine just walking around (and talking). I think he should feel slighted. He gets a chance to talk to Ike Opara.

(Dirty South Soccer) The Atlanta player rankings from last week’s game are a bit amusing. Quite high marks all around (except Brad Guzan of course). I guess I’m just stingy when I rate players. Atlanta played good for being down a man it should be said. I’m not sure it was this good. The author does say Tim Melia deserves a USMNT call-up, though I wonder if it’s just because he stopped Atlanta.

(SKC Twitter) As if I didn’t want this bad enough without additional photos. “Oh When the Wiz” snuck onto the bottom of the kit.

(SKC Twitter) The Canadian Tuxedo makes it’s way to Chile.

(SKC Twitter) Because I’m raiding Sporting KC’s entire twitter timeline, here is a quick video with their Executive Chef.

(MLS) Matthew Doyle bucks his trend of dissing Sporting and puts them in his “Alphas” tier (the best one) when he ranks all 23 MLS teams. They are only one of two Western Conference team in that group with Atlanta United, New York City FC, New York Red Bulls and Los Angeles FC.

(PRO) SKC drew Jair Marrufo to officiate the game this week. It’s called getting Marrufo’d for a reason.

Around the World

(ESPN FC) I toyed with making this Blue Links 100% blue but I can’t leave out the world’s richest game. First, Fulham came from behind with a 2-0 second leg victory over Johnny Russell’s old club Derby County. Then a bit of controversy in the second leg of Middlesbrough as late in the game the Aston Villa keeper Johnstone made a save from outside the box on a ball that appeared to be heading for the back of the net. Instead of a red card though a yellow was issued. If the keeper gets sent off it’s possible it all changes (judge for yourself). Instead Villa held on for a 0-0 draw (1-0 on aggregate) to advance to play Fulham. The game will go down at 11:00 AM CT Saturday to see who goes up to the Premier League. The game will likely air on ESPN+ in the United States but it seems it should be on proper TV — and for the record it’s not listed on their schedule as of now. On a personal note though I’m loving ESPN+.