Kick Off: Tonight's LA vs. DC matchup is a family affair

Kick Off - Bruce Arena and Ben Olsen

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It will be a family affair when the LA Galaxy host D.C. United tonight on Soccer Night In America (11 pm ET, Fox Soccer and Fox Deportes).

D.C. head coach Ben Olsen lived with Bruce Arena and his family during his rookie season with D.C. United. “Rotten kid,” says Arena, who reveals that Olsen could have chosen Harvard University over Arena’s University of Virginia college squad and would probably be a US senator.

After registering two assists last weekend, rookie Blake Brettschneider will hope to get the call ahead of Charlie Davies, who is coming off a hamstring injury. To think it wasn’t even Olsen whose eye Brettschneider caught at the MLS Player Combine.

It’ll be Military Appreciation Night at The Home Depot Center and Galaxy goalkeeper Josh Saunders will be donning special military camouflage gloves.

As Vancouver head to Rio Tinto Stadium (9 pm ET, MatchDay Live) to take on a Real Salt Lake side whose coach called Teitur Thordarson’s firing “appalling,” one Whitecaps beat writer breaks down each of the tactical moves made by new manager Tom Soehn in his first match. There’s one move that Soehn admits was “aggressive.”

While the Seattle Sounders travel to Chicago to face the new-look Fire under Frank Klopas (8:30 pm ET, MatchDay Live), Sounders winger Steve Zakuani, who is recovering from a leg break back in April, has penned a blog post for the Sounders’ official website in which he provides details of his recovery process and the emotions he has grappled with since that match in Colorado.

Reports indicate that Seattle Designated Player Álvaro Fernández will not be traveling to Chicago, leaving the door open for Lamar Neagle to have an encore performance after his stunning goal last weekend at Rio Tinto Stadium.

When the Houston Dynamo visit the San Jose Earthquakes this Saturday (10:30 pm ET, Galavisión), expect Houston star midfielder Geoff Cameron to turn into a central defender again at Buck Shaw Stadium.

The defending MLS Cup champion Colorado Rapids welcome the Philadelphia Union (9 pm ET, MatchDay Live), Jeff Larentowicz’s hometown club. The Rapids midfielder calls the Union “a different team.”

Union manager Peter Nowak is more concerned about building on the 6-2 win in Toronto, which saw the midfielders get on the scoring sheet. The Polish head coach wants “to encourage the guys that everybody is capable of scoring.”

Colorado did get some good news as Omar Cummings and Tyrone Marshall will not be joining the Jamaican national team for the 2011 Gold Cup. Marshall’s chief concern: “I just want to make sure we’re solid here.”

Toronto FC are preparing to face Sporting Kansas City this Saturday wishing that things were farther along than they are (7 pm ET, TSN and MatchDay Live). TFC director of player development Paul Mariner compares these first few months to “a classroom: sometimes people get it quick, sometimes they don't.”

This has been a short week of training for the Portland Timbers, who only conducted their first full team training on Thursday ahead of a trip to The Home Depot Center to play Chivas USA (10:30 pm ET, MatchDay Live). A reserve match on Monday wreaked havoc with John Spencer’s plans.

The World Cup is coming to Foxborough, Mass., today. Members of Spain’s national team — in town for Saturday’s friendly against the USA — will bring the greatest trophy in soccer and pose for photos with fans at a local soccer store later today.

Busy day in Foxborough. Fans can also buy tickets to watch the Spain and USA training sessions on Friday afternoon. Not to mention the US Soccer Hall of Fame induction ceremony happening on the grounds of Gillette Stadium at Patriot Place before Saturday’s match.

A future Hall of Famer is making news today. The agent for American goalkeeper Brad Friedel confirms the player’s move to Tottenham Hotspur on a free transfer, where he becomes the first US player since Kasey Keller, who last played at Spurs in 2005. The news will surely be well-received by Villa back-up ‘keeper Brad Guzan.

In addition to the LA Galaxy vs. D.C. United Soccer Night in America matchup at 11 pm ET on Fox Soccer and Fox Deportes, fans will have a Euro appetizer as Austria face Germany in a Euro 2012 qualifier (2:30 pm ET, ESPN2).

This will be tough to swallow for years to come. A Vélez Sarsfield forward had a penalty-kick opportunity to give his club the lead it would need to qualify for the Copa Libertadores final when tragedy strikes. Watch the video here. It’ll be Peñarol vs. Santos for the title. (VIDEO)

Lastly, although the web is abuzz with stories of Lionel Messi getting punched by a Rosario Central fan — Messi’s a fan of rivals Newell’s Old Boys — the player himself says he doesn’t even know he was touched.

MLSsoccer.com Must-Reads:

Frank Klopas talks about his decision to take over the Chicago Fire on the latest edition of ExtraTime Radio

The Throw-In: The USA are in need of a new hero in the 2011 Gold Cup

MLS All-Star head coach Hans Backe has an impressive record against Manchester United


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