Kick Off: All eyes on USMNT, Jurgen Klinsmann following Sporting News schocker

Here are the Top 15 soccer stories we’re following today:

1. FALL-OUT FROM SPORTING NEWS ARTICLE?: Tuesday's article by the Sporting News’ Brian Straus painted a negative picture of the USMNT and serious communication issues for manager Jurgen Klinsmann ahead of two critical World Cup qualifiers. How will it affect the squad (check out the Big Debate here)? Although we’ve already seen Carlos Bocanegra’s reaction to it on social media, we’ll get to hear what the players have to say for themselves later today when they speak to the press after practice today. How will Klinsmann manage the situation?

2. SHEA INJURY PROMPTS NEW CALL-UP: MLSsoccer.com’s own Nick Firchau reported how Brek Shea’s left foot injury was still an issue for the former FC Dallas star and less than a day later, the USMNT made sure the left flank was covered by calling up Houston’s Brad Davis: “The easy part’s getting called in,” said the Dynamo captain. “It’s going there and staking a claim to go back each time that’s the hard part.”

3. LAMPARD DROPS ANOTHER HINT: Is he readying for an MLS move? England international Frank Lampard made it clear ahead of his country’s qualifier against Romania that he expected to continue to be called up to represent his country even if he makes a move to MLS: “While I’m available for England – and I certainly am now and in the future – I want to do my best to try to put myself in the squad. I don’t think it rules out anything, including America.”

4. MLS CLUBS TARGET BELIZE NATIONAL TEAM FORWARD: His name is Deon McCauley and if he has his way, he’ll be a star at the 2013 Gold Cup. In the meantime he’s apparently whetted the appetite of the Portland Timbers and the Chicago Fire ahead of the tournament.

5. DID THE HOUSTON DYNAMO DISRESPECT VANCOUVER?: That’s the suggestion of this Vancouver Sun article, citing an article that was looking ahead to a potential new home record at BBVA Compass Stadium. But the ‘Caps have designs on how to hand the Dynamo their first loss: “I’ve noticed in the games [last season] that we’ve maybe played better and attacked more, we’ve lost,” Whitecaps manager Martin Rennie told the Sun. “That’s probably not what I want to do.”

6. DYNAMO PLAYER PREDICTS WIN VS. MEXICO: Big words from Houston Dynamo midfielder Boniek García, whose Honduras squad is getting ready to host Mexico on Friday in San Pedro Sula. He predicts that the catrachos will win the game 1-0. That’s sure to go down well with El Tri.

7. WONDO APOLOGIZING FOR WHAT?: Reigning MLS Golden Boot winner Chris Wondolowski felt he needed to apologize for his outburst at teammate Sam Garza for missing a pass during the weekend match against the Columbus Crew: "It's one of those things I know I need to channel that in different ways," Wondolowski told the San Jose Mercury News. "I know I need to not use the language that I use – that's 100 percent sure. I'm definitely not that person off the field. It's one of those things I can't explain it."

8. ANOTHER MLS MANAGER ON DIVING: Vancouver’s Rennie says he supports Houston coach Dominic Kinnear’s appeal for diving to be eliminated from MLS fields: “I agree with him. I think there are players that do it. Most people know who they are in the league. … It’s something that has to be stamped out in the game.”

9. PREPPING FOR GRAND ARRIVAL: Toronto FC's decision to cut academy product Matt Stinson is believed to be the next step ahead of the rumored signing of striker Maximiliano Urruti of Newell’s Old Boys. Manager Ryan Nelsen spoke vaguely about a potential acquisition: “What I’ve heard is the club is going into some trouble — administration trouble,” Nelsen said to the Toronto Sun. “Which means instead of one signature it needs about five signatures [to get done].”

10. MORE ROOM IN SEATTLE: The Sounders are also expected to make a roster move today, cutting Swedish national team right back Adam Johansson following the emergence of academy product DeAndre Yedlin: “It's very important for Adam's career for him to have regular first-team minutes, because he's on the Swedish national team," said Sounders manager Sigi Schmid.

11. UNION'S SOUMARÉ ASKS FOR TRADE: We’re only three weeks into the MLS season, but there’s a player in Philadelphia who’s asking for a trade: Defender Bakary Soumaré, who was brought in by former manager Peter Nowak, has asked out and manager John Hackworth is apparently open to accommodating him: “The last thing we want,” Soumaré told Philly Soccer Page, “is for this to turn into a Freddy Adu type of situation.”

12. HENRY, NESTA OUT FOR BIG MATCH OF WEEK 4: The big injury news from Tuesday includes New York’s Thierry Henry missing out on a trip to face the league-leading Montreal Impact with the Red Bulls hoping new signing Péguy Luyindula gets his visa on time for a potential debut. The Impact will be without Alessandro Nesta for at least the next two weeks. Meanwhile, a new Bologna recruit from Serie A is rumored to be joining Montreal.

13. CHIVAS USA WIN RED CARD APPEAL: One player who will be available for his team is Joaquín Velázquez, who won’t be serving the automatic suspension that came with receiving the first red card of the MLS season on Sunday vs. LA Galaxy. An independent review panel rescinded the subsequent automatic one-game suspension.

14. POWER RANKINGS: That time of the week. Compare and contrast the various rankings this week: There’s the MLSsoccer.com edition, NBC Sports’ Pro Soccer Talk, SI.com gives its due to Montreal, the Bleacher Report also couldn’t resist, Seattle Times still has the LA Galaxy at No. 1 but The Oregonian went Canadian for their top spot.

15. MORE POWER TO CONCACAF: That’s the appeal of CONCACAF president Jeffrey Webb, who wants an extra seat for the confederation at the FIFA Executive Committee: "What was created 109 years ago does not necessarily reflect the realities, and I don't think is relevant to today's world," he said.

MLSsoccer.com Musts

Cheaters beware: How MLS Disciplinary Committee is cracking down on diving

True Story: Michael Owen nearly became an MLS Designated Player

MLSsoccer.com Team of the Week: Rivalry Week edition


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