Kick Off: Report says De Rosario likely to be suspended for 2013 opener

D.C. United ended the 2012 regular season without their best player and it seems likely they’ll also start 2013 without him.

The Washington Post is reporting that the MLS Disciplinary Committee is “likely to suspend the D.C. United star” Dwayne De Rosario for an incident involving an alleged head butt on Philadelphia’s Danny Cruz in the clubs final preseason match this past Saturday.

Something else for the category of "likely to happen": Reports out of Spain indicate that Seattle Sounders target Obafemi Martins has accepted a deal to join the MLS club on a three-year contract including an option year and that he apparently could be making in the orbit of $3.5 million a year including bonuses.

But other articles say that his La Liga club, Levante, are insisting that his full buyout clause is paid before letting the player out of his contract. (SPANISH)

The Google+ Hangout held by MLS Commissioner Don Garber dominated the headlines this morning with several outlets, including USA Today, Reuters and The Associated Press, focusing on the league’s quest to be among the world’s elite by 2022.

In case you missed it, here’s the recap of the highlights of Garber’s address, including the full video.

The New York papers are obviously intrigued by the pursuit of NYC2 as the 20th expansion team and the stadium pursuit in Flushing Meadows, Queens, which is being headed by the league. “It’s the biggest challenge we’ve ever faced,” said Garber, who was also asked about the New York Cosmos.

Commissioner Garber made mention of it during Wednesday’s Hangout: The league will be cracking down on mass confrontation incidents when three or more individuals confront a referee or opponent this year. Find out the potential penalties here.

While Garber was giving his “March to Soccer Address,” Orlando mayor Buddy Dyer was giving his “State of the City Address” in which he encouraged his fellow government officials to help Orlando City and its quest for a stadium: “We have an ownership group prepared to invest in our community, but timing is critical and we have a limited window of opportunity," Dyer said. "So, we owe it to our community to work together to make this happen."

FC Dallas’ top executive Dan Hunt will be following Garber’s lead and conducting a Facebook chat with fans this afternoon beginning at 3 pm ET.

It’s not hard to figure out that MLS Cup is the No. 1 focus of the Seattle Sounders in 2013. After GM Adrian Hanauer stated it, here’s newcomer Djimi Traoré, who already knows what’s at stake: "I know that the football club has never won MLS, for example, so for me it's a target, as well. I want to be part of the history of the club. I want to be part of the team when we win the first MLS Cup for the football club."

Staying in Seattle, Sounders beat reporter Joshua Mayers gives a rundown of the new roster rules in MLS this year. Did you know that the charge for a Designated Player against a team’s salary budget has increased?

Philadelphia Union manager John Hackworth held a press conference with media members yesterday during which Freddy Adu’s name doesn’t seem to have come up. Check out the transcript here, including his line about the Union’s season-opening opponents, Sporting KC: “Probably not my first choice to open the new year with.”

For Toronto FC supporters a tad concerned about the start to the season, club president Kevin Payne wants you to know: “The cavalry is coming. It just won’t arrive quite as quickly as we might have hoped at the beginning of the year.”

One of the potential members of the cavalry? Reports in England say one could turn out to be out-of-favor Cardiff City striker Robert Earnshaw.

Could there be a tug-of-war for EPL star Ji-Sung Park? The Korean international used to play alongside current Toronto boss Ryan Nelsen, but it sounds like Vancouver’s Lee Young-Pyo could be doing a recruitment job on him.

The Vancouver Whitecaps were one of five MLS clubs unveiling new kits as part of the first-ever Jersey Week. If you haven’t seen them, check out the new digs for the Seattle Sounders, the Vancouver Whitecaps, Sporting Kansas City, the Montreal Impact and the MLS Cup champion LA Galaxy.

Today, stay tuned for the Portland Timbers’ new releases and Chivas USA will close out the first-ever Jersey Week on Friday.

One of the main features of these new adidas kits are how lightweight they are. Listen to how happy the Sporting KC players are: “It’s the best jersey that I’ve ever put on. It’s so lightweight. It feels great,” said Defender of the Year Matt Besler. His line mate Aurélien Collin agrees: “In summer, we’re going to be very happy, because it’s a light material.”

It’s not only about jerseys. The new-look MLS app MatchDay 2013 was unveiled yesterday for iPhone, iPad and Android phones and tablets. Find out all the details here.

To watch the matches, you’ll want to sign up for either MLS LIVE for the online streams or MLS Direct Kick to watch on your cable TV or satellite network.

And if you haven’t set up your Fantasy squads, ahead of the season, MLS Fantasy ace Schuyler Redpath provides another installment of tips: The latest revolves around the transfer system.

Chelsea manager Rafa Benítez knows a thing or two about the transfer system, but that wasn’t the topic of conversation during his rant on Wednesday night after an FA Cup victory. Benítez finally lashed out at the supporters, who have been targeting him with criticism (VIDEO).

Hey, that’s better than having a concrete brick thrown through your team bus. That’s what happened to Benfica. (PHOTO)

From hate to love. Sporting KC fans may cringe a bit as these Norwich City fans sing about their love for Kei Kamara in a pub. Already. (VIDEO)

Lastly, we close with the "cheeky" chip goal by American forward Jozy Altidore against Ajax, which has him tied for most goals in a season by an American based abroad. Watch it here. (VIDEO)

MLSsoccer.com Musts

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