Kick Off: LA Galaxy's Landon Donovan urges US national team improvement across the board

Here are the Top 15 soccer stories we’re following today.

1. DONOVAN: “WE ALL HAVE TO DO A BETTER JOB.” Citing the failure of the US Under-17 national team to reach the World Cup, Landon Donovan spoke out about the state of all the US national teams. “We need to take a pretty honest look at what's going on, and we all have to do a better job,” Donovan said. “That falls on all of us. It's not one coach or a few coaches or certain players, it's everybody who's involved in soccer in this country.”

2. LA FACE "SHUTOUT KINGS" SPORTING: Donovan’s LA Galaxy side have a tough task on Saturday, as they host Sporting KC (10:30 pm, NBCSN; LIVE chat on MLSsoccer.com). The visitors have not conceded a goal in five games (a streak spanning 519 minutes). NBC Pro Soccer Talk takes a look at the longest shutout streaks in MLS history. Sporting can climb into the top five this weekend as they continue their grueling road trip after Wednesday night's win in New York.

3. SOUNDERS ADD ONE MORE, AIM FOR FIRST WIN: The Seattle Sounders appear to have added one more striker to their ranks on Thursday, news that broke when Supplemental Draft pick Will Bates announced he signed for Seattle via Twitter. That takes the Rave Green’s squad to 30 players, the maximum number available. So with all hands on deck, the Sounders are hoping for a first win of the season against Colorado on Saturday (6 pm ET, watch on MLS live). “We’re confident with every individual out here,” returning striker Eddie Johnson said. “We have to keep believing, which we do.”

4. BONIEK ALMOST BACK, NUÑEZ CLOSE TO DEBUT: The two Texas sides are aiming to continue their good run of form this weekend, with Houston traveling to Toronto on Saturday (4 pm ET, TSN) and FC Dallas host Vancouver (8:30 pm ET, watch on MLS live). Good news for the Dynamo: Boniek García is nearing a return and has stepped us his rehab from an Achilles injury. Meanwhile, another Honduran international, Ramon Nuñez, is getting closer to his second debut for FCD after a few years playing abroad.

5. MATT REIS SPEAKS WITH PIERS MORGAN: As news continues to seep out of Boston this morning, the New England Revolution's players and fans are caught up in the middle of everything. Revs ‘keeper Matt Reis was live on CNN with Piers Morgan last night. He also spoke about his desire to return to training, but caring for his family comes first. “Of course, I'd like to get back here and play and be with the guys,” Reis told MLSsoccer.com. “Right now, it's important for me to support my family now and make sure we get through this.” The Revs face New York on Saturday at Red Bull Arena (7 pm ET, watch on MLS live).

6. ODURO ON CHICAGO RETURN: “I EXPECT THEM TO BOO ME.” Columbus Crew striker Dominic Oduro caught up with the lads on ExtraTime Radio yesterday, as he prepares to return to his old club, the Chicago Fire, on Saturday (8:30 pm ET, watch FREE on MLS Stream of the Week). Oduro also told the guys he expects to win this week’s AT&T Goal of the Week competition! He also expects a slightly hostile reception from the Chicago fans. “I expect them to boo at me a little bit," he said. "If that's the case I'm fine with it. Some will cheer for me. I appreciate that. I still love them. They made me who I am."

7. CHELÍS HAS TO "FIND PLAYERS FOR GUADALAJARA.” It had all gone quiet at Chivas USA recently — well, relatively speaking — but José Luis "Chelís" Sánchez Solá is back with another cracker. “It's part of the instructions that the owner gave me," Chelís told Goal.com through a translator, "look for players who can play in Chivas Mexico as well." El Chelís’ Goats take on Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday (9 pm ET, watch on MLS live).

8. BRADLEY THE GLADIATOR, BRADLEY ON EGYPT, BRADLEY ON GOALSCORERS: Here is a lovely triple dose of the Bradley family for you this Friday morning. First of all, courtesy of KICKTV, Michael Bradley is AS Roma’s first “American Gladiator.” (Which makes sense, living in Rome and all…) Secondly, his father Bob talks about Egypt’s 2014 World Cup hopes: “We'll see if we can win the group and give ourselves a chance to play a home-and-home for a place in the World Cup.” And last but not least, Jeff — senior writer for MLSsoccer.com — delves deep into the minds of MLS’ greatest goalscorers in our latest edition of The Word.

9. GOALSCORERS GALORE, WHO WILL REACH A CENTURY?: Staying on that theme, Armchair Analyst Matt Doyle believes Edson Buddle will be the first active MLS player to reach 100 MLS goals. See who else is close to that historic landmark and who won’t make it, in Matt’s expert opinion. Senior editor Nick Firchau also takes a gander at which Golden Boot winner was the most valuable to his team. Wondo? Twellman? Ruiz? Diallo?

10. GULATI VS. COMPEÁN: With those heavyweight MLS goalscorers on our minds, two heavyweights of the CONCACAF region go head-to-head today as one of Sunil Gulati or Justino Compeán will become a new member of FIFA's executive committee. The battle to take Chuck Blazer’s seat has been dubbed "Clásico personal" by the Mexican media, with a very tight race expected. The meetings will also discuss the alleged corruption taking place across the soccer world.

11. OUTBREAK OF SOCCER VIOLENCE, HOW CAN MLS KEEP IT OUT?: Violence in soccer has been in the headlines in recent weeks after Millwall fans fought each other at Wembley and a bottle was thrown from the crowd and struck George John in Dallas. The Guardian asks, "Can MLS escape the violent side of soccer's globalization?" While in Argentina, fans broke into Huracán's training ground, attacking players, their cars and causing huge amounts of damage after a cup defeat.

12. EPL, EUROPEAN SIDES CIRCLING TO SNAP UP KAMARA: With Kei Kamara making waves while on loan at Norwich City, it now seems plenty of other EPL and European teams are sounding out Sporting KC. Peter Vermes spoke earlier in the week, confirming Norwich had yet to inform SKC if the loan deal was going to be made permanent. And Soccer By Ives reports that Kamara’s services are in demand across the pond.

13. HOLDEN ON LOAN, BOLTON’S POTENTIAL EPL RETURN AND USMNT FUTURE: Stuart Holden spoke with The New York Times about his long road to recovery, and the many pitfalls along the way. Now he is finally back playing regularly for Sheffield Wednesday, on loan from Bolton, and Holden spoke of his discussions with Jurgen Klinsmann on his USMNT future. “Hopefully at some point if I can keep playing games, I can be involved with something for the US this summer,” Holden said. 

14. ADU ON BEING "THE NEXT PELÉ," BENFICA AND THE FUTURE: The BBC released a snippet of an extended interview with Freddy Adu yesterday, which is available to watch in full at 3:30 pm ET on Friday via BBC World News. “When you are 14 and you are described as the new Pelé … I mean, come on,” Adu said. “I had an opportunity to sign for a lot of big clubs at the time, we decided on Benfica.”

15. EXPORTS, SOCCER ON THE TUBE: It is a huge weekend for American Exports across the globe. In the EPL, Geoff Cameron and Brek Shea are hoping to lift Stoke City out of the relegation battle on Saturday. The Potters face QPR on Fox Soccer (2 pm ET, delayed) while Tim Howard’s Everton face Sunderland on Fox Soccer at 9:30 am ET. Arsenal face Fulham at 10 am ET on ESPN2, also on Saturday. The final of the CONCACAF U-17 tournament between Panama and Mexico also kicks off at 9 pm ET tonight on Galavision. Soccer America has the full listings of every game you can watch over the weekend.

MLSsoccer.com Musts

The Word: Inside the meticulous, manic mind of the MLS goalscorer

ExtraTime Radio: Oduro on Chicago return, Goal of the Week contender and Pappa John's... (PODCAST)

Armchair Analyst: Buddle to reach 100 MLS goals, but who else can make it?


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