Kick Off: Toronto FC reportedly eye EPL veteran, fans come together in New York for "#BostonStrong"
Here are the Top 15 soccer stories we’re following today.
1. NEW YORK WIN BIG, AS FANS COME TOGETHER FOR "#BOSTONSTRONG": Scenes like this summed up the spirit at Red Bull Arena on Saturday evening. The New York Red Bulls dispatched the New England Revolution, 4-1, after a crazy first 10 minutes and a flurry of late goals. But the whole atmosphere was one of solidarity, as both sets of supporters joined together as one to mark the events in Boston last week. New York, meanwhile, are hoping to get “on a bit of a roll” as New England reflected on their performance following an “emotional” week.
2. SOUNDERS WIN … FINALLY! It’s taken almost two months, but the Seattle Sounders have their first MLS "W" on the board after Saturday’s 1-0 victory against the Colorado Rapids. New DP Obafemi Martins scored the winner, with the Nigerian performing his trademark somersault celebration. Sigi Schmid was relieved, and when asked about Martins flip despite his recent injuries scares, Schmid wasn’t bothered: “No. Not concerned. Happy to see it. Every time I see the back flip I know we’ve scored, so I’m not worried.”
3. JACK MAC STEALS THE SHOW AT RFK: A classic played out at RFK Stadium on Sunday, as the Philadelphia Union continued their resurgence with a 3-2 win against rival D.C. United. Jack McInerney grabbed a brace and Philly raced into an early lead, but United fought back before falling just short. So is Jack Mac the real deal? Well, he’s already targeting the Budweiser Golden Boot. On the other side, NBC ask whether Ben Olsen can take much more of this from D.C.?
4. RSL HAVE LAST LAUGH AFTER CHELíS’ PREGAME COMMENTS: Out West in Utah, El Chelís' slightly derogatory pregame comments seemed to fire up Real Salt Lake ahead of a battling 1-0 win over the Goats. Jason Kreis and Chelís exchanged words in a fiery encounter that included Chivas’ Edgar Mejía missing a PK and getting a red card. RSL’s Nat Borchers responded cleverly to Chelís’ comments on Twitter after the win. Kreis has this to say: “If you didn’t enjoy watching that game, then you should probably think about not watching soccer anymore.” We haven’t heard the last of this.
5. KEVIN DAVIES ON VERGE OF TORONTO MOVE?: News breaking this morning from SB Nation has Bolton Wanderers striker Kevin Davies heading to Toronto FC. Davies is out of contract at the end of the season and it is reported that a deal is almost complete to take him to Toronto. A big target forward, with years of EPL experience, providing knockdowns for Robert Earnshaw? Sounds like a match made in heaven. But there was nothing heavenly about yet another late-game capitulation from TFC on Saturday, as 10-man Houston equalized deep in stoppage time to snatch a 1-1 draw. Ex-TFC captain and DP Torsten Frings also spoke out about life after TFC.
6. DONOVAN: “DON’T COUNT THE OLD GUY OUT YET”: “Guess who’s back? Back….” OK, we all know how that famous (classic/legendary) Eminem song goes. Landon Donovan helped LA to their first MLS win since March against Sporting KC on Saturday, recording an assist and the second goal in a 2-0 win. And while Donovan was impressed with SKC’s Graham Zusi, he isn’t quite ready to let the USMNT youngster keep him out of Jurgen Klinsmann’s plans. “I look forward to continuing to battle back and forth with him and hopefully push each other,” Donovan said. “He’s a lot younger than me. But don’t count the old guy out yet.”
7. THE GOONIES ARE BACK, TIMBERS NOT A FAN OF MOSH PITS: Adam Jahn is reading the script beautifully. The rookie popped up again to snatch a late, late equalizer at Buck Shaw, as the Earthquakes lived up to their nickname once again. Portland had led through Diego Valeri’s strike, but Jahn pounced to grab San Jose a point. “He’s a great player, dude,” Lenhart said of Jahn. “He gets in good spots and is really composed and finishes well. He’s effective.” The Timbers said they failed to cope with the Quakes' “mosh pit” style of soccer.
8. INTRA-LEAGUE LOAN SYSTEM ARRIVES IN MLS: Some huge stories broke over the weekend, with perhaps one of the most significant for MLS being the intra-league loan system now in place. For the first time, teams are now allowed to loan players to each other, with players 24 years old and younger eligible for loans. The rule has actually been in place since the start of the 2013 campaign, but has not yet been used. The deadline to make loan signings is May 6, so any clubs hoping to do business better get busy. So just who will benefit from this? Soccer By Ives takes a quick look.
9. CONCACAF CORRUPTION: On Friday, the huge investigation into fraud allegations at CONCACAF was released to the public, and it revealed former president Jack Warner and ex-general secretary Chuck Blazer “were fraudulent in their management.” The 113-page report (read in full) into the activities of the aforementioned duo, is based on over 5,000 documents and interviews with 38 individuals. Warner resigned from his post as Trinidad and Tobago’s security minister amid the allegations.
10. GULATI VOTED TO FIFA EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE: Congratulations go to U.S. Soccer Federation President Sunil Gulati after he was voted to FIFA's executive committee on Friday. Gulati narrowly defeated Mexican Football Football president Justino Compeán by one vote. In a statement Gulati said: "The game is growing tremendously in our region both on and off the field, and I hope to do my part to continue to expand the development of the game for both CONCACAF and FIFA.”
11. HUGE CROWD FOR THORNS OPENER: Portland’s claim as “Soccer City USA” got a whole lot stronger on Sunday night during the NWSL home opener between the Portland Thorns and the Seattle Reign, as 16,479 packed into JELD-WEN Field to see the home side win 2-1 thanks to goals from Marian Dougherty and Alex Morgan. Instead of a sliced-off segment from the Victory Log from Timber Joey, the goalscorers received a bouquet of roses. Classy.
12. DEMPSEY SPARKS SPURS COMEBACK: A sensational seven-minute second-half comeback saw Tottenham Hotspur's Champions League hopes survive the weekend, as Clint Dempsey inspired Spurs to a 3-1 win over Manchester City. Dempsey put in an effective display and grabbed the equalizer from close range at the back post to send White Hart Lane into raptures. The USMNT attacker harbored hopes of UCL qualification when joining Spurs in August, and thanks to his goal they’re still in the hunt. Manchester United can win the EPL title if they beat Aston Villa at Old Trafford this afternoon (3 pm ET, ESPN2).
13. ALTIDORE ON TRANSFERS, USMNT, RACISM: In an exclusive interview with Jason Davis published this weekend, Jozy Altidore revealed that right now he is happy at AZ Alkmaar. However, he did speak about future moves, playing for the US national team and plenty more. But a move away from AZ doesn’t seem as imminent as some believe. “I’m in no rush to jump into something that’s unsure. I think I still have time to keep improving as a player before I have to rush into any transfer."
14. FAN VIOLENCE IN MEXICO: This shocking video isn’t for the fainthearted on a Monday morning. The brutal attack was reportedly captured in the parking lot of the Estadio Azteca after Club América defeated Pumas UNAM 1-0 this past weekend. Reports suggest the man who was attacked and singled out was a Club América fan. Ugly scenes.
15. SUÁREZ LEAVES HIS (BITE) MARK … TYSON FOLLOWS ON TWITTER: Luis Suárez doesn’t seem to be doing himself any favors. On Sunday during a 2-2 tie with Chelsea — during which Suarez equalized deep into stoppage time — the Uruguayan bit Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic on the arm. In 24 hours, he has apologized, been fined by Liverpool and offered anger management help by the FA. Suárez was banned for seven games in 2010 while playing for Ajax after biting a PSV player. He never played for Ajax again. And oh yeah, Mike Tyson is now following him on Twitter!
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