Here are the top 15 soccer stories we’re following today:
1. BEST US TEAM OF ALL-TIME?
Following the US national team's assured victory over Mexico and qualification for the 2014 World Cup, it’s time for that question again: Is this the greatest US team of all-time? With that 12-game win streak and a Gold Cup win, the signs point to yes, but perhaps it’s best to wait until after the World Cup before we start throwing such phrases around. Landon Donovan will surely be a huge part of that conversation but, for right now, the LA Galaxy star seems happy to just go with the flow.
2. CHICAGO HELD IN TORONTO
The Chicago Fire missed a chance to jump back into the play-off places on Wednesday night when they were held 1-1 by Toronto FC at BMO Field (watch highlights here). The Fire opened the scoring, thanks to a fortuitous bounce that tricked TFC ‘keeper Joe Bendik, but Robert Earnshaw leveled the match shortly after. It was Earnshaw’s first goal in three months although he appeared to injure himself in the process. In the end, neither team was happy with the result.
3. NEW HOPE FOR MEXICO
Tuesday was a great night for US fans (see the match from a fan perspective here), although not so much for Mexico. El Tri have two games to turn it around and the Mexican Football Federation has called a press conference for 1 pm ET today in which it is believed it will unveil its new manager. In related news, whichever team does finish fourth in the Hex will definitely be facing New Zealand, after FIFA threw out a case over an alleged ineligible player.
4. CANADA OUTSOURCING?
In Dwayne De Rosario, Will Johnson and Patrice Bernier, the Canadian national team has three of the best players in MLS at its call. Unfortunately, as recent results have shown, that is not quite enough star power to be a force in CONCACAF, let alone the world. So, could the Canadian MNT look to other sources? Well, one Montreal Impact player has joined other internationals in expressing an interest and, if they’re serious, it seems that new boss Benito Floro is definitely willing to listen. Two players who are already part of Canada’s future are Jonathan Osorio and Russell Teibert and the two will be taking part in the latest MLS Google+ hangout series today at 4 pm ET, which you can be a part of right here.
5. GALAXY YOUTH TO GET NEW OPPORTUNITY
With players like Jack McBean, Jose Villarreal and Gyasi Zardes, the LA Galaxy have a number of impressive young talents coming through their ranks. That’s a number they intend to grow even further as the Galaxy have revealed plans to field a team in the USL PRO. While the club may be looking at some bright futures in the academy, does it currently rely on its international forwards too much?
6. END OF THE LINE FOR MARCO DI VAIO?
Marco Di Vaio has been in outstanding form this MLS season, his hard work and league-leading 17 goals undoubtedly proving one of the reasons the Impact sit atop the Eastern Conference. Yet, while the 37-year-old seems to want to stick around one more year with Montreal, it looks as though family concerns might force the Italian into retirement after this season.
7. MLS KLOSE TO NEW SIGNING?
If Di Vaio does retire, could Montreal replace him with Miroslav Klose? The German international revealed to German publication Sport Bild that he has apparently received “two very good offers from the US,” although the names are unknown. The German international's contract at Lazio is up next summer.
8. SEATTLE MAKING MOVES ON AND OFF THE PITCH
While Toronto fans expressed their displeasure this summer with the club playing international friendlies, one club that doesn’t seem to have that problem is Seattle. The Sounders announced they will be bringing them back for 2014 with one of those games included in season ticket packages. That's not all. Sounders GM Adrian Hanauer also revealed that the club is considering moves to strengthen the team before Friday’s roster freeze and that club sponsor Xbox will be returning for at least one more season. Seattle face Western Conference leaders Real Salt Lake in a battle for first place in the West on Friday night and it seems that ticket sales for the clash have reached another impressive number for the Sounders.
9. TWIST OF FATE FOR BELTRAN
Real Salt Lake right back Tony Beltran looks to be having a career-best year. He was part of the US squad that won the Gold Cup and is an integral part of an RSL side that could very well win three trophies before the end of the year. Yet there was once a time that Beltran could have been playing a very different sport.
10. DO VANCOUVER NEED HELP?
Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. That seems to be the dilemma facing manager Martin Rennie and the Vancouver Whitecaps. Last year, their season nearly collapsed after making two high-profile summer acquisitions. This year, with the exception of a new goalkeeper, they have avoided such moves and their season again looks in danger. With the roster freeze coming up quickly, and Jay DeMerit perhaps unlikely to feature again this season, do the Vancouver Whitecaps need to add some extra players?
11. NYCFC'S NEW RADIO PARTNER?
The New York Yankees are on the verge of signing a new 10-year radio contract with WFAN worth somewhere between $15 million to $20 million per year. So, why is this relevant to soccer? Well, aside from the Yankees being part owners in NYCFC, one aspect of the deal reportedly includes the station acquiring the new soccer team's broadcasting rights as well. Elsewhere in New York, did the recent clash between Thierry Henry and Mike Petke actually help the Red Bulls?
12. STILL WORK TO DO FOR THE CREW
Despite the fantastic scenes in Columbus on Tuesday night, there is still plenty of work to do for the MLS team that calls Crew Stadium home. That’s according to MLS president Mark Abbott, who addressed the club's steadily improving ticket sales: “We know the team can draw more than it’s drawing now.”
13. ROBBIE ROGERS SETS EXAMPLE
While injury may have currently sidelined Robbie Rogers, he might be pleased to know that he is still inspiring people. “After reading and following his story … I felt inspired that I could play soccer and be happy because he was doing it.” Those are the words of Atticus DeProso, a freshman on the Cornell University men's soccer team, who has written an essay to try and help other people in a similar situation.
14. REO-COKER'S EXTREME FISHING
OK, perhaps there’s nothing extreme about this really, but Whitecaps star Nigel Reo-Coker seems to have taken a page out of Clint Dempsey’s book and taken up fishing since his move to Canada.
15. HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW DELVES INTO SOCCER
Specifically, the art of managing as perfected by former Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson. Find out all of his secrets in "Ferguson's Formula."
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