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Angels Links: Cincinnati awarded MLS expansion spot

Plus, World Cup news and analysis.

MLS: MLS Expansion-Press Conference Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

FC Cincinnati to become the newest MLS team

MLS commissioner Don Garber announced Tuesday that FC Cincinnati will be getting the next MLS expansion slot. The team has only existed for a few years in USL, but after breaking numerous attendance records, and with an ambitious stadium plan, the team from Cincinnati did enough in the eyes of the league to earn an expansion slot. They will continue to play in their current stadium till 2021, when their new 21,000 seat soccer specific stadium is supposed to be done. This is a tough pill to swallow for Sacramento, who have been a model USL team for years, hoping for their MLS shot. And then there is the situation with Columbus Crew SC. Don Garber has expressed that he thinks Ohio can support two teams, and nothing with the Crew has been decided yet. Still, on the surface, this does not seem like good news for Crew fans.

World Cup Soccer at its peak typically doesn’t reach the heights of the Champions League

The World Cup is right around the corner, and most everyone who follows soccer is excited any time a World Cup comes around. However, when it comes to the actual level of play at the tournament, nowadays the Champions League is the high bar for most skillful soccer being played, higher even then the World Cup. There are a number of reasons for this, high level club teams can pick their players from basically anywhere, whereas International teams are limited by those players who are eligible to play for that country. Club teams and their managers have years to perfect their systems, International teams get qualify campaigns where teams play a few games within a couple weeks, then don’t play again with each other until months later. Also, the World Cup comes after the season ends for Europe and most other continents, and the players are just tired. Michael Cox of ESPN explores what to expect from the level of play for this World Cup coming up.

Can Lionel Messi overcome his own teammates en route to World Cup glory?

Lionel Messi is thought of by quite a few as the greatest soccer player ever. Many of the people who do not agree wth this thought (including a fair number of people in his home country of Argentina) believe that Messi is not at that top spot because he has not won a major tournament with Argentina. This will be Messi’s last major tournament with Argentina where he is still in his prime, maybe his last International tournament in general. Messi is looking to finally get that elusive World Cup trophy, which Argentina have not won since 1986. Leander Scharlaeckens of Yahoo! looks at how Lionel Messi’s biggest challenge in the World Cup might be his teammates.

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