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Angels Links: Sounders cruise into MLS Cup final rematch

Plus, the 2018 World Cup draw is official.

MLS: Western Conference Championship-Houston Dynamo at Seattle Sounders Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Sounders Dominate Dynamo to Set Up Repeat of Last Year’s Final

The Houston Dynamo had a tough task ahead of them, heading into CenturyLink Field against a Sounders team that had already buried two away goals in Houston. The Dynamo would have needed to win by two goals to just get even, but Seattle had other plans. The Sounders dropped three goals at home and kept a clean sheet, starting with Will Bruin’s ball setting up Victor Rodriguez in the 22nd minute. Clint Dempsey finished off a Joevin Jones cross in the 57th, and Bruin got on the scoresheet himself in the 73rd. The Sounders advance to their second straight MLS Cup final with a 5-0 aggregate win over Houston, and will travel to Toronto to take on Toronto FC on December 9th.

2018 World Cup Draw Results: Russia Gets Lucky, Mexico Did Not

The draw for the World Cup in Russia took place this morning, and while there is far less excitement because of the U.S. missing the tournament, there are some interesting groups and matchups to look forward to. The host nation, Russia, got a group with Uruguay (avoiding Spain in the second pot), Egypt, and Saudi Arabia. England is in a group with Belgium, Panama, and Tunisia. Portugal and Spain got drawn into the same group, which sets up two (hopefully) great games early in the tournament. Mexico has to deal with Germany and Sweden, as well as South Korea. Overall, the Group of Death is probably Mexico’s group, and the Group of Life is Russia’s, so now we just have to wait for the tournament to kick off in the summer.

Laurent Blanc approached about vacant U.S., Australia jobs

Laurent Blanc’s agent has told L’Equipe that his client has been approached for the USMNT and Australia jobs. While the U.S. will not be in Russia for the World Cup, Australia will, as Ange Postecoglou quit after getting the Socceroos into the tournament. Blanc, however, does not sound like he’s interested in the Australia job, and sounds like he and his agent are pursuing club jobs first:

“He's looking forward to starting again, but he doesn't want to coach for coaching's sake. He wants to try to get a big project, at a big club. If the project doesn't arrive, we'll see.”

When asked if he would helm Australia for the World Cup, he basically shot it down:

“Not really, no. We have also had some English clubs. But when you have coached Paris, you want something at least as good.“

Blanc seems like a reach for the USMNT job anyway, given other candidates who have been mentioned for the job, but we’ll keep our eye on this to see if the U.S. Soccer Federation goes a different route.

Sam Allardyce: Everton manager aims for European football and cup finals

“Big” Sam Allardyce, now manager of the floundering Everton, has set the goals for the club after he signed an 18-month contract. He said that he has been entrusted to bring Everton back to where many think they should be in the Premier League, after the Toffees sit in 13th place, just five points off of the relegation zone.

"They have asked me to take over the reins to bring stability to club. This time I want to be much more than that.

"They finished seventh last year and it's my job to steer them back in the right direction and get among the European places and the FA Cup final or League Cup final."

Big Sam has a history of revitalizing clubs when they are struggling and keeping them in the EPL, so it will be interesting to see how the Big Sam effect shapes the rest of Everton’s season.

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