Kick Off: East heavyweights New York Red Bulls, Sporting Kansas City face off for first time in 2013

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

1. EAST HEAVYWEIGHTS FACE OFF AT RBA: It’s one of the tastiest midweek matchups you can get in MLS. Two contenders for MLS Cup 2013 – Sporting Kansas City and the New York Red Bulls – will meet for the first time this season at Red Bull Arena (7:30 pm ET, MLS LIVE). To get you ready for the match-p, read what RBNY’s Thierry Henry said about Sporting KC’s menacing backline and then catch up with the Scouting Report video which will set the game up for you.

2. ONLY HOURS LEFT TO SET YOUR FANTASY TEAM: With the kickoff to Week 8 just hours away, don’t wait until the last minute to make those final transfers. Before you do, get the best advice from two of the experts in MLS Fantasy: Manager by watching "Starting Lineup."

3. REVOLUTION REACT TO BOSTON TRAGEDY: In their first practice session since the bombings at the Boston Marathon, the New England Revolution had one of their own foremost in their thoughts. Two articles from Southern California – one from the Los Angeles Times and the other in the Daily Bulletin – reveal more information about the father-in-law of Revs goalkeeper Matt Reis and the serious injuries he suffered in the blasts.

4. SAN JOSE’S GORDON REACTS TO SUSPENSION: There was no need for the Disciplinary Committee on this one. MLS Commissioner Don Garber issued a three-game suspension to San Jose’s Alan Gordon for use of a homophobic slur in last weekend’s match against Portland. Gordon tells the San Jose Mercury News that he hasn’t been able to sleep since the incident and that he contacted Robbie Rogers, who recently announced he was gay, to apologize through a teammate.

5. GALAXY PRESIDENT ADDRESSES CCL ELIMINATION: Chris Klein spoke to Goal.com about the reasons for the defending champions getting bounced from the current edition of the CONCACAF Champions League. "I think there's a number of issues with Champions League and its format,” he said. “The league is looking very hard at our schedule and to see from all vantage points how we can be most effective as a league."

6. CAN WE GET A CONSENSUS NO. 1?: Not the way the MLS season is shaping up thus far. Look at the different weekly Power Rankings across the various media outlets: MLSsoccer.com has Sporting KC in the top spot, Avi Creditor at SI.com bumps up FC Dallas to the top spot as did NBC Pro Soccer Talk and The Oregonian.

7. NEW FEATURES UNVEILED FOR EA FIFA 14: It’s a big day for gamers as they learn about what’s new in the upcoming edition of the FIFA franchise. KICKTV will have exclusive interviews with the producers of the game, who will explain all the nuances.

8. BRAZILIAN CLUB FLUMINENSE WANTS TO BUY US TEAM: Read what the club’s president said about his plans to establish roots in the United States. It turns out he’s being advised by a former MLS player who knows soccer in the US very well.

9. USMNT SHOULD PREPARE TO ENTER MONSTER’S CAVE: The president of the Costa Rican federation announced the decision to play their home World Cup qualifier against the USA on the artificial turf of the cauldron that is the Estadio Ricardo Saprissa. They could have played at the state-of-the-art National Stadium, which features a grass field and a greater capacity, but the Ticos clearly want revenge after the SnowClasico in March.

10. USMNT STRIKER JOZY ALTIDORE SET FOR ANOTHER EURO MOVE: It’s no secret that the combination of Altidore’s monster goalscoring season for AZ Alkmaar and the overall poor season by the club could likely result in a transfer for the American at season’s end. He’s mentally prepared for it: “I've settled down well but if the club feels it's in their best interest to part paths, you have to look and find a situation that's good for you, too.”

11. SCOUTING THE ENEMY: The Mexican national team play their latest friendly match on US soil Wednesday night when they host Peru in San Francisco (11 pm ET, UniMas and ESPN2). Fox Soccer’s Kyle McCarthy breaks down what the match means for manager José Manuel “Chepo” de la Torre and the players he called up, including former MLS man Omar Bravo.

12. NBC UNVEILS PREMIER LEAGUE PLANS: The MLS network partner unveiled what its coverage of the English Premier League will look like come the summer. If you want to know more about the details, including the all-British broadcast team, Jonathan Tannenwald has the most comprehensive collection of the news on Philly.com.

13. ON THE TUBE TODAY: The Premier League dominates the afternoon on the tube today with Fulham vs. Chelsea (3 pm ET, Fox Soccer), Manchester City vs. Wigan (2:30 pm ET, Fox Soccer Plus) and West Ham vs. Manchester United (2:30 pm ET, ESPN2). There’s also the Inter vs. Roma Coppa Italia match (2:30 pm ET, beIN Sport). Toluca will face Boca Juniors in Copa Libertadores action (6:30 p. ET, Fox Deportes), while for those still following the CONCACAF Under-17 championships, Fox Soccer will have the semis tonight: Mexico-Honduras at 6 pm and hosts Panama vs. Canada at 9 pm ET (also on Sportsnet World in Canada).

14. DETAILS REVEALED FOR STREAM OF THE WEEK: No cable or satellite channels necessary for this week’s Stream of the Week on MLSsoccer.com. Set your calendars for Saturday at 8:30 pm ET for the battle between the Chicago Fire and the Columbus Crew, brought to you free of charge by El Jimador. Will Dominic Oduro (Columbus) and Dilly Duka (Chicago) get a chance to exact a dose of revenge on their former clubs?

15. PAOLO MALDINI LIVING THE LIFE IN MIAMI: Check out Simon Evans’ chat with former AC Milan and Italian national team legend Paolo Maldini, who has made Miami Beach his home. He wants the Serie A to take a lesson or two from how sports are run in the USA.

MLSsoccer.com Musts

Team of the Week: Defenders stand tall in Week 7

POLL: Who should take over Arlo White’s play-by-play duties?

The Sideline: Get the Besler Burger at new KC eatery

 


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