Kick Off: LA and Seattle get set to take over the airwaves
The LA Galaxy and Seattle Sounders are about to take over the airwaves.
Not only will the two teams play in Sunday’s ESPN2 Game of the Week (9 pm ET), but they will also feature on national TV at roughly the same time tonight.
First, the Seattle Sounders open their CONCACAF Champions League participation with a home game against Trinidadian side Caledonia AIA (10 pm ET, Fox Soccer).
The Sounders admittedly know very little about their opponents tonight: “They’re probably [the CCL opponent] that we’re going into the most blind,” says manager Sigi Schmid. “They are in their preseason; they haven’t really played games.”
Whatever the scouting report, Sounders midfielder Brad Evans knows what’s at stake: “The first two games [in CCL] are going to be extremely important. …This year's setup [three-team groups] puts a lot of pressure.”
In the same chat with fans, Evans made another revelation about the Sounders: “I think at this point we've been focused – maybe too focused – on going for the Supporters' Shield. … The next three or four games are doing to dictate whether we have a chance at the Supporters' Shield.
Perhaps the Sounders will have sewn up the match against Caledonia by the time the LA Galaxy’s World Football Challenge match against Real Madrid kicks off on ESPN2 (10:30 pm ET). It’s the first Real Madrid match on US soil this summer.
The matchup between the MLS and Spanish champs has become an annual rite. Galaxy midfielder Mike Magee sees it that way, kind of, as he plays the part of the MLS Yogi Berra: “Even though we've played them a couple times, it's a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
LA Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez previews the match against Real Madrid in this radio interview with World Football Daily. Listen here: “I think it’ll be great to go up against Cristiano Ronaldo again.” (AUDIO)
Forget Ronaldo. You’ve never seen anything quite like this goal from Sporting KC’s Kyle Miller last night. Scroll to 02:10:10 of this YouTube video and you’ll see how the Kansas City product scored off a clearance by Stoke City goalkeeper Asmir Begovic in one of the most bizarre goals you’ll ever see. By the way, the match finished 1-1. (VIDEO)
In a game that counted from yesterday, Toronto FC opened CONCACAF Champions League group play with a 5-1 victory over CD Águila of El Salvador, who only arrived into Toronto a few hours before the match and spent the previous night in Miami’s airport after missing a connection.
"I know about their travel issues and I have sentiments after the fact," said Toronto manager Paul Mariner. But judging by these highlights, that’s hard to believe. (VIDEO)
It wouldn’t be hard to believe that defender Bakary Soumare could make his return to an MLS field for the first time in several years this weekend. Philadelphia Union manager John Hackworth revealed it.
The Shalrie Joseph trade dominated the headlines on Wednesday. SI.com’s Avi Creditor compares the move to New England icon Nomar Garciaparra getting shipped away by the Boston Red Sox.
New England Revolution manager Jay Heaps explained why it happened: “He was in and out of the lineup. We just couldn’t foresee him starting every day or coming off the bench. … This situation allows him to be the starter that he deserves to be.”
In addition to the Sounders acquiring Honduran Olympic midfielder Mario Martínez on loan, the Vancouver Whitecaps also acquired veteran English central defender Andy O’Brien yesterday. ‘Caps manager Martin Rennie calls him a “fantastic defender," but he’s coming off a rough spell at Leeds United, where he reportedly refused to play in a league match.
According to the Whitecaps president, the club may not be done wheeling and dealing just yet. Expect something to happen in the next two to three days.
Speaking of player moves … So what’s the latest on the three Americans at Glasgow Rangers? Apparently one of the three is open to staying at the club.
What’s not to love about the Cinderella run by Honduras at the London Olympics, where they advanced to the quarters after a 0-0 draw against Japan. D.C. United’s Andy Najar, whose name continues to churn in the transfer rumor mill, dedicated the game to his grandmother. Next up? Neymar, Pato, Oscar and Brazil on Saturday.
Those Bleacher Report slide shows. We’ve all clicked through one at one point or another. Here’s an MLS-themed one: “7 Signs MLS Is On The Rise.”
Soccer fans in Minnesota want to see some of that positivity trickle into their state. And they’re making a push to make sure that the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings keep soccer in mind in the construction of their new stadium.
Here’s another tidbit to fuel your need for expansion talk: Read the last line of this piece, where a Miami Sports Commission exec hints at a potential timeline for an MLS expansion team.
The national team of Chile has called up their most recognizable stars for the match against Ecuador that will be played at New York’s Citi Field on Aug. 15: Alexis Sánchez of Barcelona, Arturo Vidal of Juventus and Humberto Suazo of Monterrey. (SPANISH)
Tottenham Hotspur – the entire EPL team – was hanging around Grand Central Station yesterday conducting their own FIFA13 tournament. KickTV’s Jimmy Conrad, who is still miffed at how slow they made him out to be in the game, takes the issue up with the franchise’s creator. (VIDEO)
We leave you with a goal scored … by a 39-year-old goalkeeper. Here’s Brazilian Rogério Ceni, who stepped up to score on yet another free kick for São Paulo in the Copa Sudamericana. (VIDEO)
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