Kick Off: "Big-time" US national teamer on the way to Columbus? Ronaldinho-to-RBNY rumors heat up

Here are the top 15 stories we’re following today:

1. "BIG NAME" USMNT PLAYER TO COLUMBUS?

Let’s face it, Columbus isn’t always the first market that springs to mind when thinking of likely destinations for big name MLS signings. But Gregg Berhalter has claimed that a “big-name” US national team player wants to join the Crew, with the franchise already at the top of the allocation order. But has Juan Agudelo given the game up with a now-deleted tweet?

2. RONALDINHO SECURED AS RBNY’S THIRD DP?

It’s the rumor that won’t leave the New York Red Bulls at the moment. Ronaldinho’s exit from Atlético Mineiro has fuelled speculation that the Brazilian playmaker could be on his way to the Big Apple, with reports in Brazil claiming he will join as the club’s third DP on a deal worth $3 million per year.

3. QUAKES MAKE PEREZ GARCIA A DP

Matías Pérez García has become the San Jose Earthquakes’ third Designated Player in the franchise’s history, although the terms of the deal have not been disclosed. The creative playmaker joins from Club Atlético Tigre in Argentina, having played his entire career in South America. Pérez García follows Geovanni and Chris Wondolowski as DPs in San Jose.

4. WHY DID VILLA CHOOSE MLS OVER EUROPE?

The top two Premier League teams might have been present, but David Villa was the guest of honor at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday night. The all-time top goalscorer in Spanish national team history performed the coin toss between Manchester City and Liverpool, and explained why he decided to join New York City FC over several options in Europe.

5. QUAKES PULL ON THEIR LEVIS

More San Jose Earthquakes news, but this time regarding their venue schedule. The Quakes signed a five-year deal with the 49ers to play an annual regular-season MLS game at Levi’s Stadium. The Bay Area side has already played games at Stanford Stadium and will move into its new soccer-specific stadium next year.

6. BEING DOMINIC DWYER

It’s been a pretty good year for Sporting Kansas City striker Dom Dwyer. The former Norwich City youngster has netted 13 goals in MLS this season, as Peter Vermes’ side defends its MLS Cup title. And the English forward was also the focus of MLS Insider, showing off just how far he can drive a golf ball off a tee.

7. ARENA COY ON KLJESTAN RUMORS

With the end of the summer transfer window fast approaching, the rumors are flying about MLS, one suggesting USMNT midfielder Sacha Kljestan could be on his way to the LA Galaxy. However, Bruce Arena brushed off questions about the speculated move, which was first raised by Belgian media back in May.

8. JOHNSON AND CHING LOCK HORNS

EJ hasn’t always lived up to his DP billing since finally getting paid at D.C. United, aned Brian Ching called out the forward for what he sees to be only playing a new contract is on the line. But Johnson took to his Twitter soapbox to hit back at Ching, turning the debate into a contest about national team caps and goals.

9. AT THE SPEED OF SOUNDERS

Have you ever wondered at what speed a Major League Soccer goalkeeper would pass out on a Blue Angels jet? If so, today is your lucky day. Seattle netminder Marcus Hahnemenn was filmed on a ride with the famed air troop, but you’ll need to watch to find out how many Gs the Sounders man can take.

10. DAMARCUS AIN’T DONE YET

DaMarcus Beasley has changed a lot over the course of his lengthy career, given his transformation from a flying winger to full back (although still flying). But the Houston Dynamo’s latest signing isn’t about to call time on his international career. He’s even set a number on the number of World Cups he wants to play in for the US (to be taken seriously or not, depending on whether you like humor).

11. VEGAS WANTS MLS, AND THEY PLAN TO SHOW IT

Las Vegas already has the Mobsters (that’s an actual team, just in case you missed that), but now the entertainment capital of the world now has its sights set on an MLS franchise, with fans gathering for a march ahead of a meeting with City officials on Saturday. It worked for the Sons of Ben, so why not Vegas?

12. JOHN UNDERGOES SURGERY

The FC Dallas’ season is over, with George John undergoing surgery on a knee injury. The successful operation brings to an end a search for a solution to John’s injury problems, and has now been placed on the Season Ending Injury List, opening up the possibility that cap space could be opened up for a replacement.

13. PREPARE FOR DOS A CERO

The USMNT’s clashes with Mexico are still fresh in the memory, including the World Cup qualification-clinching win in Columbus last September, and now the women’s national team looks set to take on El Tri as well. September 18 will see the two rivals suit up at Rochester’s Sahlen's Stadium, and considering how the last USWNT game to be played in the city sold out in 20 minutes tickets might be slightly hot for this one.

14. PIETTE HEADS TO SPAIN

Canadian midfielder Samuel Piette, who had been contracted to Fortuna Dusseldorf in the 2.Bundesliga, has now signed for Racing de Ferrol in the Spanish third division. The 19-year-old midfielder already has a number of Canadian national team caps under his belt and had even been linked with a move to Stoke City earlier this year.

15. MULTI-TALENTED MAN, DAN!

Not only has Dan Gargan emerged as one of the LA Galaxy’s most consistent performers this season, the defender has also shown himself to be a sure hand with a pencil and brush. Gargan has designed the Galaxy’s commemorative matchday poster for Saturday’s clash against the Portland Timbers. Note Bruce Arena stepping on the roses.

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