Kick Off: USMNT prepare for Honduras eyeing third straight victory after wild weekend of MLS action

Here are the top 15 stories we're looking at on Monday:

1. USMNT AIMS FOR THIRD STRAIGHT WIN ON TUESDAY

The US national team is in Salt Lake City ahead of Tuesday’s World Cup qualifier with Honduras (9:30 pm ET, ESPN, live chat on MLSsoccer.com) and Jurgen Klinsmann’s men are looking to make it three wins out of three. Soccer America suggests three changes to the lineup could come, while Goal.com examines where the turning point came for the US. They also take a gander at why the US want to finish on a positive, as the next qualifier isn’t until Sept. 6. So who do you think should start against Honduras?

2. GOLAZO FROM NAGBE BAGS WIN FOR PORTLAND

Something special had to be the difference between the Portland Timbers and FC Dallas during a closely fought encounter took place at JELD-WEN Field on Saturday afternoon, and it was. Darlington Nagbe scored a stunning goal to put table-topping FCD in their place and seal a 1-0 win for Portland. The Timbers are now unbeaten in 13 games. “We’re happy. We believed we could win,” Portland’s coach Caleb Porter said. “We performed well, and also knew we were playing against a really good team.”

3. MILLER LEADS VANCOUVER TO VICTORY IN THRILLER

Kenny Miller was the man of the moment as he scored two spectacular strikes to seal a wild 4-3 win for the Whitecaps. The Scotsman belted home a memorable second goal, as Vancouver rallied after trailing 2-0 to the Revs. Vancouver certainly huffed and puffed in a topsy-turvy affair. “We’ve got to take the positives” Miller said. “It’s three points, it’s four goals at home.” Miller now leads MLS in goals/90 mins (0.93) among players who've played at least 100 minutes. Impressive.

4. NO YALLOP? NO PROBLEM FOR SAN JOSE

Mark Watson started off life as San Jose Earthquakes head coach in the best possible manner … with a W. After Frank Yallop left last week, his assistant took the reigns and the Quakes toppled the Colorado Rapids 2-1 thanks to goals from Steven Lenhart and Sam Cronin. Watson was finally able to partner Lenhart with Alan Gordon, and the duo didn’t disappoint. “Lenny’s goal was fantastic,” Watson said. “He took it well. It came from some hard work and pressing in the right areas.”

5. TORONTO FINALLY WIN, AS UNITED’S SLUMP CONTINUES

Some had cruelly dubbed Saturday’s clash between D.C. United and Toronto FC as “the basement bowl.” Well, Toronto are your champs. Ryan Nelsen’s side got their first win in 11 and D.C.’s winless streak increases to 13. Robert Earnshaw and a Daniel Woolard own-goal capped a TFC comeback for the 2-1 win after Dwayne De Rosario’s fourth goal in two games had given United the lead. Toronto’s Steve Caldwell was pleased with the win, but acknowledged this is only the beginning for the Reds.

6. CREW BEAT MONTREAL, BUT GLÁUBER OUT FOR SEASON

Columbus defeated the Montreal Impact 2-0 on Saturday, with the Crew finally grabbing an early goal and dominating for large spells. Dominic Oduro added the insurance goal, his team-leading seventh of the season. So can the Crew make the playoffs? If they do, it will be without star Brazilian defender Gláuber, who tore his ACL in last week's Open Cup defeat to Chicago and is out for the season.

7. BRADLEY’S EGYPT INCH CLOSER TO WORLD CUP

Go, Bob, go. Bob Bradley’s Egyptian national team qualified for the final stage of African World Cup qualifying by beating Mozambique in Maputo. The Pharaohs won 1-0 and are now just a home-and-home playoff series away from reaching their first World Cup since 1990.

8. CHIVAS USA PURSUING NEW STADIUM?

Could Chivas USA finally have their own soccer-specific stadium in downtown LA? Rumors out of Southern California over the past few days seem to suggest some movement on a new soccer stadium being built within Los Angeles city limits. But club sporting president Dennis te Kloese was tight-lipped when asked about the topic. The Goat Parade takes up the story. Meanwhile, Eric Avila finally looks set to swap Chivas USA for Chivas Guadalajara, as he said goodbye to his teammates after a scrimmage between the two squads.

9. DETROIT CITY DOING BIG THINGS

Wow. Just check this video out. Fox News’ Detroit affiliate went along to watch National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) side Detroit City FC last Friday and were pleasantly surprised. A huge crowd chanting, banging drums and letting off smoke flares provided an intimidating atmosphere for Zanesville Athletic FC. Detroit are 6-0 in the Great Lakes division of NPSL league play, so MLS expansion franchise? Just ask MLSsoccer.com editor in chief and Detroit native Greg Lalas…

10. KAKA VISITS ORLANDO CITY…

… to watch a training session. Calm down, guys. The Real Madrid and Brazilian legend was enjoying his break from La Liga by watching USL PRO outfit Orlando City practice on Friday. Kaká does own a house in Florida and is a close friend of Orlando’s majority owner, Brazilian businessman Flávio Augusto da Silva. Are you already putting two and two together in your head (Kaká playing in MLS for Orlando if they become an expansion franchise in the future)? You rascals. Some other Brazilians are in Orlando this week, as Fluminense flew in for next weekend's friendly.

11. HAPPY BELATED FATHERS DAY

To all you Dads out there, we hope you had a great day on Sunday generally being told you’re the man over and over again. To celebrate everything you do, we took a look at which current MLSers are following in their father’s footsteps in professional soccer, and check out this snazzy fan photo wall as we ask, “What sets your #MLSdad apart?”

12. NASL, COSMOS: “WE ARE NOBODY’S MINOR LEAGUE”

Speaking to USA Today, the New York Cosmos and NASL made their intentions loud and clear for the future. The Cosmos think three pro teams in NYC can thrive, and so does NASL Commissioner Bill Peterson, who also described the league’s relationship with MLS as ‘cordial’ and played down any links the the US top tier. "What [MLS] does doesn't affect us, and what we do doesn't affect them," Peterson said. "We don't make any of our decisions based on what they do."

13. NEW LA GALAXY JERSEY: BACK TO THE FUTURE

What do you think of this one guys? Honoring their inaugural MLS jersey back in 1996, the LA Galaxy have released this beauty as their new third kit. Sharp, full of color and a hat tip to their history. What’s not to like, right?

14. MEXICO LOSE TO ITALY, ESPN RELEASE WORLD CUP PLANS

Well, at least Mexico didn’t tie. It looked like 1-1 would be the final score between El Tri and Italy in the Group A Confederations Cup clash, but Mario Balotelli popped up with the winner late on. Andrea Pirlo scored a spectacular free kick, and credited New York Red Bulls midfielder Juninho. Javier Hernández equalized, but the pressure is mounting on Mexico boss José Manuel "Chepo" de la Torre. This afternoon, Tahiti play Nigeria at 2:45 pm ET on ESPN, Univision and ESPN3.com. Speaking of ESPN, they've announced their coverage plans for the 2014 World Cup. All 64 games live across various platforms and a headquarters on the beach in Brazil. Not bad. Not bad at all.

15. 60 MINUTES REPORT: CAN U.S. SOCCER DEVELOP BARÇA-ESQUE ACADEMY?

OK, we’ve all heard it before: “Just copy Barcelona, their academy is the best in the world.” But it isn’t quite that easy. So over at CBS this week, 60 minutes Overtime delves deep into the famed La Masia academy at Barça to see exactly how they keep churning out stars of the future. Can the US follow suit? Must see stuff for those interested in the players of the future.

MLSsoccer.com Musts

MLS Goal Timeline: Watch all the weekends goals

Boniek García's incredible tale, after he only spoke to his father on the phone for the first 20 years of his life

MLS Fantasy: Kenny Miller the winner after brace lands him big points


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