Kick Off: Klinsmann the odds-on favorite for USMNT job

Kick Off - Jurgen Klinsmann

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The soccer media this morning claim there is a favorite to succeed Bob Bradley at the helm of the US national team. It’s no surprise that it’s former German national team manager Jürgen Klinsmann. More news from the US Soccer Federation is expected later today. Stay with MLSsoccer.com for all the latest news and analysis.

While US international Clint Dempsey says he was “sad to see him go,” one ESPN.com writer explains why he calls Bradley “the most unpopular coach in memory.”

While one reporter suggests that Bradley is not completely to blame for his firing, another puts forth the names of five candidates to succeed him, including four MLS head coaches.

Not on that list is Swede Hans Backe, who led the MLS All-Stars against Manchester United and this weekend gets set to coach the New York Red Bulls in the Emirates Cup against Arsenal and Paris St. Germain. RBNY and ex-Arsenal star Thierry Henry, who will face his former club, explains how he never took to Emirates Stadium after spending so many years at Highbury.

With a match against the Dynamo at Robertson Stadium looming on Saturday (8:30 p.m. ET, MatchDay Live), Seattle manager Sigi Schmid says he’s not been contacted for the vacant position but that he believes any coach would be interested: “That’s going to be a 'yes' answer from any American coach that you ask.”

Once a US national team coaching candidate, Houston’s Dominic Kinnear says that his MLS club is lacking confidence and his star forward Brian Ching agrees, which is why he held a players-only meeting yesterday: "My first year in the league with the Galaxy, I didn't really have much confidence, and I found my way out of the league real quick."

Real Salt Lake, who are due to find out the extent of the injury to defender Jámison Olave, confirmed that they have not been contacted about the possibility of Jason Kreis succeeding Bradley as USA manager. RSL host the Columbus Crew on Saturday (9 p.m. ET, MatchDay Live).

Ahead of their home match against the Colorado Rapids tonight (7:30 p.m. ET, Fox Soccer and Fox Deportes), Philadelphia Union manager Peter Nowak is trying hard to get his team back in an MLS mindset after two strong displays in international friendlies “If you think [the Rapids] game is going to be same as the Real Madrid game, you’re wrong.”

Meanwhile, oft-injured Rapids midfielder Jamie Smith could be available for Rapids tonight. What’s interesting is that the Colorado training staff believes his issues could be tied to an auto accident in 2007 in Egypt. "Driving in Egypt is just wild," Smith said.

FC Dallas host Chivas USA on Sunday night (7 p.m. ET, Galavisión) coming off a thrilling 1-0 road win in their CONCACAF Champions League debut at El Salvador’s Alianza. Watch the highlights as Kevin Hartman’s goal was peppered, only for Jackson to score on a patented breakaway in the second half. (VIDEO).

Toronto FC, who meet Portland at JELD-WEN on Saturday night (11 p.m. ET, MatchDay Live), picked up another two new players on Thursday. The CBC claims that one of the deals involved TFC rescinding their release of Dan Gargan in order to use him in a trade instead.

Sporting Kansas City received some bad news ahead of their home game against the New England Revolution on Saturday (8:30 p.m. ET, MatchDay Live) as starting central defender Aurélien Collin went down to a back injury. Here’s an idea of the kind of pain he’s in: “Getting out of bed takes five minutes and it hurts just to get in the car.”

When the LA Galaxy travel to face the Vancouver Whitecaps (7:30 p.m. ET, Fox Soccer and TSN), they will have to deal with the inspired play of speedy winger Shea Salinas for a full 90 minutes: “I might not be the fastest guy on the field in the first minute of the game but I'm probably the fastest guy in the last minute.”

While many are looking forward to the star-studded World Football Challenge match between Manchester United and Barcelona from FedEx Field on Saturday, Thursday night saw Juventus win 1-0 again on an error by a Mexican club. Check out the photo gallery from the match which was played in Raleigh, N.C.

Also on Thursday, Manchester United visited the White House without meeting President Barack Obama (see Sir Alex Ferguson posing with the 13th president of the USA), while FC Barcelona attempted to train on the grounds of the National Mall before a security officer thwarted their plans. (VIDEO)

On television today, GolTV has the European Under-19 championship doubleheader beginning at 11:45 a.m. ET, while Galavisión has an Under-20 World Cup doubleheader which kicks off at 6:30 p.m. ET.

In the latest edition of his blog for The Mirror in the UK, ESPN’s MLS analyst Alexi Lalas identifies three players in MLS who he thinks could make an impact in the English Premier League. Two were All-Stars and one was a rookie last year.

According to one article from Africa, there’s an MLS team interested in signing Botswana forward Jerome Ramatlhakwana. And the Daily Mail in the UK claims James Beattie is currently on the radar of MLS clubs.

Apparently one person knew all along that the MLS All-Stars would lose 4-0 to Manchester United. Find out who it was. Clue: he goes by “mentalist.”

Speaking of the All-Star Game, if there’s a highlight that’s really making the rounds, it’s the assistant referee inexplicably taking a tumble on a soft deflection from a ball that bounced his way. (VIDEO)

Lastly, the Seattle Sounders could win another cup this weekend as the ladies team looks to capture the W-League crown on their home turf at Starfire.

MLSsoccer.com Must-Reads:

WATCH: The behind the scenes of the MLS All-Star extravaganza with All-Star 360

FutbolMLS.com: Mexican legend Hugo Sánchez says he’d like to coach in MLS

Manchester United’s Sir Alex Ferguson disappointed in Bradley’s firing


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