Kick Off: Trash talk continues in Cascadia as Portland Timbers' Pa Modou Kah takes aim at Clint Dempsey
Here are the Top 15 soccer stories we’re following today
1. MLS WADES BACK INTO CCL ACTION
If it's midweek in August, it's time for CONCACAF Champions League action, and Sporting KC face a tough Central American road trip on Tuesday night. Sporting are in Honduras for a match against Olimpia (10 pm ET, Fox Soccer Plus). The team has been kind enough to allow you to follow along on their journey here. Houston, meanwhile, are at home against Aribe Unido (8 pm ET, Fox Sports 1).
2. BIELER READY TO GO VS. OLIMPIA
Sporting Kansas City are hoping to bounce back from their loss in Chicago on Friday night, and one player who is ready to go is Claudio Bieler. The Argentine center forward has already played in three different international tournaments and believes “if you’ve played in that environment before it helps.”
3. FIRST PLAYER FOR NYCFC?
With Manchester City as their primary owner, we all expect a little bit of crossover between NYCFC’s squad and City’s, but could one of the new teams first players have just outed himself? Speaking to Goal.com, defender Gael Clichy says that Thierry Henry has sold him on MLS. In other news, could NYCFC be getting a sister club in Australia?
4. CLASH OF THE STADIUMS
As the Orlando City stadium saga continues, Monday saw two presentations. One on why a renovated Citrus Bowl could help attract major events and then another on why Orlando City won’t play there. It's pretty clear which option Orlando City FC would prefer. If the market exists, having both available could also be beneficial. Just think San Jose and Stanford Stadium.
5. KNOW YOUR RIGHTS
“Our clear preference would be to continue that relationship,” that’s ESPN president John Skipper, talking about MLS and United States national team broadcast rights. It's not certain what will happen with MLS’ future TV deal, but with ESPN no longer having the EPL and losing the World Cup after Brazil, could they be ready to really invest in MLS?
6. COUNTRIES CALLING
With vital World Cup Qualifiers getting closer and closer, it’s time to start wondering about who will make the US squad for matches against Costa Rica and Mexico. While we won’t know who’s in Klinsmann’s plans for sure until next Monday, both Honduras and Panama have already announced their squads which, between them, feature seven MLS players.
7. RED REVIEW
You’d be forgiven for thinking that San Jose wouldn’t want the Disciplinary Committee going anywhere near their match against Dallas. Yet that’s exactly what’s going to happen, as the Earthquakes themselves have asked for clarification on the two red cards they received.
8. SMACK TALK IN CASCADIA
“I’ve seen much, much better in Europe.” That’s the opinion of Timbers enforcer Pa Modou Kah when asked about Clint Dempsey. Kah, who primarily played in Sweden and Norway during his time in Europe and probably should have been sent off on two separate occasions during Sundays match, didn't stop there with the smack talk: “If he was so good he would still be with Tottenham.”
9. DEMPSEY MANIA
It may be Tuesday, but that doesn't mean Seattle-Portland is off the radar just yet. SI.com’s Grant Wahl reflects on Sunday evening's big home debut for Clint Dempsey, a match that, in terms of crowd and atmosphere, rivalled any around the world. You can hear from the Sounders themselves here.
10. IMPACT ON THE FIELD
Will Marco Schallibaum get his contract extended at Montreal? After the 5-0 thrashing of Houston on Saturday, his club definitely seems bound for the playoffs, the main condition of an extension, but the Swiss Volcano has now served four suspensions, could that play a factor in the decision? Not according to Impact President Joey Saputo who claims, “I was ready back in July to extend his contract.” Meanwhile, another less-heralded member of the Impact is also impressing.
11. IMPACT OFF THE FIELD
Saputo was speaking at a press conference to announce the launch of the Montreal Impact Foundation. The club's new charity focusing on education and community programs aimed towards impoverished children and their families. There’s also another Canadian who is giving back, too.
12. CANADA'S BIG DAY OUT
While Canada’s senior national side may have a long wait before their next important fixture, the U-17s now know who they will face in October’s U-17 World Cup. The Canadians have been paired with Austria, Iran and Argentina for the tournament set to take place in Dubai. Could this group allow Canada to earn their first win at the tournament?
13. CHILDREN OF THE REVOLUTION
After the 5-1 dismantling of Philadelphia at the weekend, New England head coach Jay Heaps spoke to the team on ExtraTime Radio about, among other things, his side's playoff potential, Juan Agudelo and the rise of Diego Fagundez. The show also features Justin Mapp, more debate on the relevance of the World Cup and the revealing of a curious Maltese custom. Check it out.
14. GALAXY’S FUTURE
With all the attention in LA being stolen by the Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane partnership it could be easy to forget Gyasi Zardes, the young striker who stepped in when either or both of the club's DPs were unavailable. Yanks Abroad catches up with the 21-year-old, California native as he reflects on his rookie season so far.
15. COLLEGE KICKS
With NCAA soccer set to return on Friday, we run down 10 teams most likely to challenge for honors. Each one has a former player who's made a name for themselves in MLS. Will this year’s crop feature some more?