Kick Off: Costa Rica wary of Landon Donovan in Gold Cup clash, David Beckham talks Miami expansion
Here are the Top 15 soccer stories we’re following today.
1. USMNT PREPARE FOR COSTA RICA TEST: Tonight all eyes will be on Rentschler Field (8 pm ET | Fox Soccer, UniMas | Live chat on MLSsoccer.com) as the US national team faces Costa Rica in the Gold Cup. Both sides are through, but Jurgen Klinsmann is focused on a revved-up Costa Rican side and looking to finish atop the group. “The benchmark for us starts with Costa Rica,” says Jurgen Klinsmann. Check out the full "Scouting Report" as Los Ticos aim to upset the USMNT.
2. TICOS STILL BITTER ABOUT SNOWY LOSS? Seems Costa Rica are still bitter about that snowy World Cup qualifying defeat in Colorado back in March, but head coach Jorge Luis Pinto is focused. “We know they have a lot of important players in the attack,” said Pinto. “[Landon] Donovan is raising his game, [Joe] Corona sees the field and opens it well, [Kyle] Beckerman is someone who provides quite a bit and [Mix Diskerud], too.”
3. T&T, EL SALVADOR MAKE QUARTERS: Monday's Gold Cup action saw plenty of drama as two more teams booked their quarterfinal spots. Trinidad and Tobago and El Salvador booked their places in the last eight, as T&T knocked off already-qualified Honduras, 2-0, while Rodolfo Zelaya was the hero in El Salvador's controversial 1-0 win over Haiti. Check out all the latest Gold Cup news here.
4. ALL-STAR ROSTER SET: The big news around MLS is the squad for the AT&T MLS All-Star Game in Kansas City on July 31. Plenty of fan favorites made the roster, and some hometown guys feature prominently, too. And a very young Sounders defender was one of the two Commissioner picks. Will it go to DeAndre Yedlin's head?
5. PETER VERMES ON ASG: The head coach of the All-Stars, Sporting KC manager Peter Vermes, is excited with the hugely talented crop of individuals at his disposal for the game against Italian giants AS Roma: “The game is a celebration of the fans. The Fan XI provided me with a starting point for this squad, and I wanted as much as possible to honor the fan's wishes to see certain players in this high-profile game.”
6. ET RADIO CHAT ALL-STAR SNUBS, TANK TOPS: Jack McInerney? Andrew Jean-Baptiste? José Gonçalves? The list goes on and on as the guys at ExtraTime Radio discuss the All-Star roster and who should have made it. Also they explain why tank tops are a no-go in San Francisco.
7. REVOLUTION KID ON THE RISE: Diego Fagundez didn't make the All-Star team, but according to New England Revolution coach Jay Heaps, he has everything needed to be great. In fact, Heaps tells SI.com's Brian Straus, he's already there. "When he's in his zone," Heaps says, "there's nobody better on our team."
8. BECKHAM TO UNVEIL FRANCHISE PLAN? The British media this morning are claiming that David Beckham is edging closer to announcing an MLS expansion franchise. The Sun quotes Becks as saying, “It will be in a few months maybe, but it’s important to get it right. This is a big decision where I’ll have my franchise and how I’m going to do it. It’s something I’m excited about.”
9. GARGAN TWEAKS SOUNDERS VIA TWITTER: Dan Gargan, you’ve just opened up a can of worms for yourself. The San Jose defender took to Twitter following the Earthquakes 1-0 win over Seattle and dished out some banter. Exhibit A: “I wonder if Víctor [Bernárdez] made it home safely last night with Eddie [Johnson] stuck in his back pocket.”
10. AT&T MLS GOAL OF THE WEEK … IT’S A TOUGH ONE: More than a few top contenders this week for the best goal of Week 20 Adam Moffat’s rocket, Javier Morales’ cheeky nutmeg or Sporting KC’s superb team goal? And there’s more, watch them all here and vote.
11. DIGÃO OUT AT RED BULLS?: Is it closing time at Red Bull Arena for Brazilian defender Digão? Kaká’s younger brother has failed to make an impact with New York and reports surfacing yesterday suggest that he’s on his way out of Red Bull Arena. Are the Red Bulls clearing up some cap space to make a big signing?
12. WHAT NEXT FOR CANADA?: After an early Gold Cup exit, where does the Canadian national team go from here? Gavin Day breaks it down as incoming coach Benito Floro has a huge job on his hands.
13. HENRY DEMOLISHES MLS FANTASY: Was Thierry Henry your MLS Fantasy captain this week? If so, you’re sitting there with a pretty smug grin on your face right now. Henry finally unleashed and racked up 16 points to lead the way. Safe to say plenty of people will pick him up this week.
14. AN AMERICAN IN IRAN: US citizen Dan Gaspar is heading to the World Cup in Brazil next year, as goalkeeping coach of the Iranian national team. The Connecticut-born coach, who has travelled all over the world but has settled in Iran as they look forward to their fourth World Cup. Soccer America caught up with the globe-trotting ‘keeper coach.
15. BUT WHAT WOULD ANNA WINTOUR SAY? Suave. Sophisticated. Stunning. These are just some of the words that could describe the latest fashion exploits of MLS players. This Vanity Fair gallery includes two MLSers strutting their stuff. And New York Red Bulls coach Mike Petke went toe to toe with Esquire.com's Style Blog. So who influenced his sweater-vest look? Puff Daddy and Mase, of course.
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