Kick Off: Could Herculez Gomez be in line for shock return to MLS? Seattle, TFC linked with US forward

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

1. GOMEZ BACK TO SEATTLE?

The Herculez Gomez saga is continuing to run its course, with the latest twist perhaps the most surprising yet. SI.com’s Grant Wahl revealed on Fox Soccer’s Goals on Sunday show that the Seattle Sounders and Toronto FC have expressed interest in Gomez’s signature. Only last week, Gomez questioned MLS Commissioner Don Garber in a Twitter Q&A about why Sporting KC still hold his MLS rights. Just a coincidence? What do the people up in the Emerald City make of it?

2. MAN. CITY OWNER SHEIKH MANSOUR IN LINE FOR NYC2?

Rumors surrounding the potential ownership behind the proposed NYC2 franchise surfaced late last week and they’ve only grown stronger over the weekend. Several national media outlets believe Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour and the Abu Dhabi Royal family group will be involved in the 20th MLS franchise penciled in for Queens. What do you think?

3. GOALS, YOU SAY? ... WELL, YOU CAME TO THE RIGHT PLACE

What a weekend of MLS action. There were goals galore as offenses burst into life with 27 goals scored and some real classics played out. Watch Tim Cahill’s double for New York, Portland’s comeback over Sporting, Chivas USA and San Jose going at it and screamers from Andrés Romero, Giles Barnes and Kekuta Manneh. Did the weekend have to end?

4. PETKE HOPES PEOPLE “SHUT THE HELL UP” ABOUT CAHILL

Red Bulls head coach Mike Petke didn’t mince his words when asked about Cahill’s contribution in New York’s 2-1 win over Toronto on Saturday. "Now maybe all the critics that talk about him not scoring goals could shut the hell up, to be honest with you," Petke told MSG. "That's how I feel.” Cahill was the hero at BMO Field, as RBNY recorded back-to-back wins for the first-time in 2013.

5. PORTER: “WE’RE ONE OF THE BEST IN THE LEAGUE”

One of, if not the, best game of the season played out at Sporting Park on Saturday, as the Portland Timbers surged back to defeat Sporting KC 3-2. Caleb Porter’s men are making waves, and extended their unbeaten run to six games. “I think we showed tonight that we’re also one of the best teams in the league,” Porter said. “It’s a huge result for us to come on the road and to get a win against a team of the caliber of Sporting Kansas City.”

6. CREW ON FIRE … LITERALLY 

On the pitch, the Columbus Crew put in a hugely impressive display, downing D.C. United 3-0 with all the goals coming before the half. But it was looking unlikely that the game would even go ahead after the scoreboard at Columbus Crew stadium caught fire during the team's warm-ups. However, nobody was injured and the game went ahead, which was good news for Columbus and not so good news for D.C. United boss Ben Olsen wasn’t happy with some of the decisions. At all.

7. CHELÍS: INSPIRING MOMENTS REQUIRE CONSTANT SEARCH

Another Chivas USA game, another memorable Chelís quote. “We had to have an inspiring moment,” the Goats' head coach told reporters. “When that moment came, we scored. The team is always in search of that, but you’re not going to find it by just looking. It has to be a constant search.” The 2-2 tie with San Jose showcased Chivas' grit and determination in an all-out battle for a draw with their Northern California rivals.

8. LABA, THE REAL DEAL

Another late goal will frustrate TFC head coach Ryan Nelsen and the fans up in Ontario, but a talented new DP will help ease their woes. New Argentine Young Designated Player Matías Laba spoke with the Toronto media over the weekend, and TFC president and general manager Kevin Payne expects big things. “Diego Maradona, Juan Román Riquelme, [Fernando] Redondo, [Esteban] Cambiasso – they all began their careers as youth players at Argentinos Juniors.” So did Laba…

9. SKC ROCKING ARGYLE — BEST MLS JERSEY OF ALL-TIME?

Despite their loss to Portland this weekend, Sporting KC fans have something to celebrate: a top-notch third kit. Argyle on a soccer jersey. But where does this snazzy new edition rank all-time in MLS jerseys? We would love to hear your suggestions; there’s been some belters over the years.

10. HOUSTON’S HOME STREAK GOES ON

Down 1-0 at halftime, the Houston Dynamo had 45 minutes to extend their MLS record unbeaten streak at home. They did that, just. Giles Barnes scored a stunning equalizer and Will Bruin saw a late chance hit the bar, as Houston could’ve won. Despite that, the Orange weren’t happy. “They took it to us and we woke up in the second half,” Brian Ching said. “For us it feels like a loss because we expect to win at home. It’s a lesson learned and we need to pick it up.”

11. ORLANDO’S WAIT CONTINUES, ATLANTA AND NASHVILLE LINED UP?

As the Orlando City stadium deal waits on the resolution of a bill from the state congress, are other cities in the southeast moving ahead of the Floridian outfit? The Orlando Sentinel believes Atlanta and Nashville would be targeted by MLS, and plenty of you wade in on the debate about ATL, as Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank believes a MLS franchise in the Falcons' new stadium would be a winner.

12. ALTIDORE REACHES 30 AS EXPORTS' SEASON COMES TO A CLIMAX

Jozy Altidore hit the magic 30-goal mark on Friday, with yet another brace for AZ Alkmaar. The US forward spoke recently about his desire to stay with the Dutch club, but many clubs in Europe must be watching the New Jersey native closely. Elsewhere Tim Howard had another shutout for Everton and Michael Bradley helped AS Roma to a resounding win.

13. GUZAN’S VILLA TAKE ON SUNDERLAND IN CRUCIAL RELEGATION CLASH

Aston Villa ‘keeper Brad Guzan has been battling away to keep Villa out of the EPL relegation zone all season, and this afternoon (3 pm ET, Fox Soccer) his side could take a huge step away from the drop if they beat fellow relegation rivals Sunderland. Guzan is ready: “We had a tough spell earlier in the season but that was what made us stronger.”

14. BECKHAM SENT OFF, PSG CLOSE IN ON FRENCH TITLE

Former LA star David Beckham is closer to winning his third straight title, as Paris Saint-Germain edged closer to the French league on Sunday. However, Beckham’s brief appearance lasted only six minutes after he was sent off against Évian. So the debate carries on, should Becks remain at PSG next season? Retire? Move elsewhere? Or turn to coaching?

15. RVP HEADS BACK TO ARSENAL … ALMOST MAKES EMBARRASSING MISTAKE

Robin van Persie returned to Arsenal for the first time since leaving for Manchester United on Sunday, and the Red Devils leading scorer almost made a huge mistake. A video shows RVP arriving at the Emirates, then turning and walking towards the Arsenal changing room … before finally remembering that he wasn’t a Gunner anymore. Hilarious reaction. Meanwhile, the EPL Player of the Year went to Gareth Bale last night and check out the EPL team of the year, which includes Luis Suárez.

MLSsoccer.com Musts

TOP 3: Who were the top three performers this week?

Short-handed LA Galaxy hail youngsters after road win against RSL

Shea Salinas after San Jose draw: "I’m a really good runner and an OK soccer player"


Get the Kick-Off delivered to you!

Enter your email address and favorite team below to sign up for The Kick-Off mailing list and get it delivered to your inbox every morning.