Kick Off: D.C. United owner Chang goes on the record

D.C. United owner Will Chang is undeterred.

He spoke to The Washington Post about his club’s 0-2-0 start to the season and he’s convinced that “once we read each other and come together, we’re going to be a good team.”

Another interesting part of the article is Chang's news that the club is in talks with potential partners to help land the club a new stadium.

Former German international Arne Friedrich, meanwhile, was sold on the Chicago Fire thanks to midfielder Pável Pardo and the Chicago skyline, which convinced him to make the move stateside.

Friedrich spoke to media after his first training session with the Fire yesterday and gave a timeline as to when we’ll see him play: “This weekend I will not play for sure. … I haven't played for five months since my last game at Wolfsburg, so three weeks maybe and then I'm fit.”

A team in search of a new defender is Toronto FC after the club announced that Designated Player Torsten Frings would be out for at least a month. He’ll miss both legs of the CONCACAF Champions League semifinals: “We’re looking for a player similar to Torsten for in a case of what has happened,” manager Aron Winter told media yesterday.

The Frings situation shines a spotlight on the offseason signing of Giovanny Caicedo, who left TFC and is rumored to have signed with Deportivo Cuenca in Ecuador: “It wasn’t [Caicedo’s] decision by any means,” TFC director of team and player operations Earl Cochrane made clear to the London Free Press. “We didn’t really see what we expected to see in him and I don’t think he was in the environment he thought he was going to be in.”

Ex-TFC and current Canada Under-23 defender Nana Attakora is in the news again. The out-of-contract player, whose rights are still held by the San Jose Earthquakes, rejected a contract offer from a European club and is hoping the Quakes trade him in the next few days: “San Jose just isn’t the place for me. … Hopefully Frank Yallop and John Doyle can stop being difficult and get something done,” he told Sportsnet’s John Molinaro.

Speaking of Olympic hopefuls, the Earthquakes’ Ike Opara was among the 20 players selected by US Under-23 manager Caleb Porter ahead of CONCACAF qualifying and celebrated by taking part in a Nashville bracket challenge featuring: mac n’ cheese, Carrie Underwood, a cowboy hat and a mocking bird. See the victor here. (VIDEO)

While Porter may have completed his qualifying roster, Chivas USA still have several spots to fill and manager Robin Fraser is examining all his options with seven trialists currently in camp, including one player who was reportedly on trial with Leeds United last week.

The cooking accident suffered by Vancouver rookie forward Darren Mattocks captured headlines yesterday as he recovers from burns at a local hospital. As The Province points out, it's the second bizarre injury to a young Whitecap in as many MLS seasons. Read what happened to Russell Teibert last year.

FC Dallas manager Schellas Hyndman is still being asked about the substitution just before halftime of young playmaker Bryan Leyva, who made his first ever MLS start last Saturday against Portland: “I felt so confident that we were being exposed that it was my responsibility to make an adjustment … to bring in somebody that could deal with Boyd or the big boys coming through.”

There seem to be questions about new FC Dallas forward acquisition Luis Perea and whether he has what it takes to produce in Hyndman’s style of play: “Strength-wise, very strong. Technical, very good but may not have the work ethic or the speed of play that’s going to be demanded right now.”

The Seattle Sounders will need the subs to come through for injured midfield star Mauro Rosales, who’s out of action with a sprained right knee. “It could be a couple weeks, it could be a little more,” says manager Sigi Schmid, who unveiled his options to replace the Argentine.

The Columbus Crew look set to sign a new left back, who’ll compete with Jamaican international Shaun Francis for the job.

Bad luck for Crew forward Olman Vargas, who will miss out on the chance to start for the Costa Rican national team today in Jamaica because his passport is stuck at the Canadian embassy as the Crew look to iron out travel arrangements for an upcoming trip to Toronto. (SPANISH)

Portland Timbers manager John Spencer is already fed up with questions about the club’s lack of success on the road last year: "[The media] keep mentioning this last year thing," Spencer said. "The last year thing is in the past. I keep telling you, that was the first half of the season last year. … You keep hashing back to things that aren’t there any more.”

In this interview with KALL 700 Sports, Real Salt Lake manager Jason Kreis gives an update on which of his injured star players are closest to returning this weekend. (AUDIO)

If you’re looking for a podcast fix on this Wednesday: Vancouver’s Martin Rennie and ESPN’s Alexi Lalas were on the Capital Soccer Show, Herculez Gomez talks Las Vegas expansion on The Best Soccer Show, the Seeing Red show breaks down the New York Red Bulls, and the latest Soccer Matters by veteran soccer broadcaster Glenn Davis has Portland’s Merritt Paulson and the Dynamo’s Corey Ashe as guests. (AUDIO)

Speaking of the Dynamo, who travel to face the Seattle Sounders on Friday (10 pm ET, NBC Sports Network), there’s some potential legal news the club may have to deal with.

The Dynamo are hoping that there is some good news from the Houston City Council later this week. While fans of the NFL Houston Texans are allowed to tailgate before their games, Dynamo fans are currently not able to do the same at the new BBVA Compass Stadium. A proposal for a revision in the city ordinance is set to be discussed.

This Philadelphia Inquirer article makes for an interesting read about the loyalty rewards program employed by the Philadelphia Union in which fans collect points for coming to matches or watching games on TV. The result? You can win a Danny Mwanga jersey, an exclusive look at practice or a meeting with play-by-play veteran JP Dellacamera.

The Shin Guardian has traveling fans covered with an article on the coffee you should be drinking in select MLS cities.

What goes better with coffee than a good book? The former president of the New York Cosmos has a new children’s book that’s out about an evil man on the Mountain of Greed who wants to control all of soccer and Toby, the magical ball.

Will there be magic at Goodison Park when Everton face Arsenal in English Premier League action later today (4 pm ET, Fox Soccer)? ESPN2 has the big one from the EPL as Manchester City host Chelsea (4 pm ET). Queens Park Rangers welcome Liverpool (4 pm ET, Fox Soccer Plus) and Fox Deportes will feature Tottenham vs. Stoke (3:30 pm ET) and a Copa Libertadores match between Corinthians and Cruz Azul (9 pm ET).

In La Liga action, GolTV has Valencia vs. Real Zaragoza (3 pm ET) and Villarreal vs. Real Madrid (5 pm ET), while ESPN Deportes carries Atlético Madrid against Athletic Bilbao (3 pm ET).

To bide your time until the afternoon, there are some good highlights out there: First, Lionel Messi sets the FC Barcelona scoring record with a hat trick against Granada in a 5-3 win. Meanwhile, Juventus and AC Milan tied 2-2 in an exciting semifinal that saw the Turin-based club advance to the Coppa Italia final. (VIDEOS)

According to France Football, LA Galaxy star midfielder David Beckham only trails Messi when it comes to the most highly compensated soccer players in the world. Find out details here.

As Fabrice Muamba’s recovery has taken a turn for the better, we learn about the first question he uttered when he regained consciousness: “Did we lose?”

Lastly, if you have 15 minutes, here’s a video that has each and every one of Messi’s 234 goals in a Barcelona uniform. We weren’t counting. (VIDEO)

MLSsoccer.com Must-Reads:

The player who came out of nowhere to top the latest Castrol Index

Who made the MLSsoccer.com Team of the Week for Week 2?

Set your DVRs with the help of the MLS TV listings for Week 3


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