Kick Off: USMNT manager Jurgen Klinsmann says Stuart Holden will get Gold Cup spot this summer
Here are the Top 15 soccer stories we’re following today:
1. TIMBERS HUFF AND PUFF, BUT REVS HOLD STRONG AT JELD-WEN
You can blow all you want, but sometimes the door just won't come down. That's what happened to the Portland Timbers last night as the New England Revolution rode a nine-save performance from goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth to a scoreless draw at JELD-WEN Field. You can watch the full highlight pack here, and read why Caleb Porter isn't up in arms about a game his team could have – and probably should have – taken three points from.
2. ATTICUS GETS "ANATOMY OF A GOAL" TREATMENT, SELLOUT STREAK CONTINUES
Before we move on, let's circle back one more time to Wednesday's Make-A-Wish event at JELD-WEN Field that made more than a few in the sports community teary-eyed. Welcome to the big time, Atticus Lane-Dupre, as MLSsoccer.com's Greg Lalas breaks down your game-winner in a special edition of Anatomy of a Goal. More than 3,000 showed up to watch the Green Machine play, and here's a story about how the Timbers have managed a 39-match sellout streak for MLS games as well. Two words: customer service.
3. MAY THE FOURTH BE WITH YOU IN PHILLY
At MLSsoccer.com, we love Star Wars just as much as the next editorial staff, which is why the Union may just be onto something by taking advantage of the annual May 4 activities. Check out this Stars Wars scouting report for now, and rest assured MLSsoccer.com will get in on the action as well. How? You'll have to come back to find out.
4. YALLOP TO LENHART: SETTLE DOWN ... FOR US
The Earthquakes' Steven Lenhart is on the shelf for two weeks, and head coach Frank Yallop doesn't seem too surprised. In fact, he's come out publicly to acknowledge that the bruising forward needs to change. And soon. “I’m 100 percent behind him, but he has to change,” Yallop told MLSsoccer.com before training on Thursday. “And I think he knows it. I know it. The team needs him to change.”
5. HIS BETTER HALF IS ON BOARD: LAMPARD'S RUMORED LA MOVE A STEP CLOSER?
According to the Daily Mail, Frank Lampard's fiancee, Christine Bleakley, is now behind a move to Los Angeles should the Chelsea midfielder opt to take his talents to Major League Soccer this summer. Although he seemed sure to leave the club a few months ago, it was revealed recently that Lampard and Chelsea were at least talking about a new deal. If José Mourinho returns, which looks likely, the odds of the midfielder staying in London would rise as well. Still, he wasn't going anywhere without his future wife, and that appears sorted should the Galaxy make Lampard an offer he can't refuse.
6. CAMEROONIAN TRANSFER SAGA NEARLY OVER FOR RAPIDS?
Could Colorado finally get their hands on Charles Eloudou, the 18-year-old Cameroonian striker whose been the subject of prolonged wrangling between his club and MLS? Well, it seems like things are moving in the right direction at least. The Denver Post has the most recent update regarding what is being done to bring the prospect to the US months after signing with the league. There's also bad news in Colorado, though. Hendry Thomas is out for two to four weeks.
7. YOUNG AMERICAN TALENT ON THE TIP OF NATIONAL MEDIA'S TONGUES
With the U-20 World Cup coming up, youth development in the United States is going to be a hot topic. On Thursday, two national voices took a crack at it. At Grantland, Noah Davis eschews the typical, 'When will the US produce a Lionel Messi?' question for one more practical: Why haven't we forged another Landon Donovan? Meanwhile, Fox Soccer's Leander Schaerlaeckens cautions against building up the current crop of young standouts too much.
8. TURF ... DERIDED FOR NOW, BUT SURFACE OF THE FUTURE?
If you missed it yesterday, check out the most recent installment of "The Word," tackling the lightning rod that is turf in American soccer. What role does it play now across the American soccersphere? More importantly, what role will it play in the future and what does that say about the game in North America?
9. DID WE MENTION TURF? WELL, HERE'S EVERYTHING ELSE YOU'D WANT TO KNOW
The biggest matches in MLS history played on turf? You can find those here. US national team boss Jurgen Klinsmann's opinion of plastic pitches? He certainly doesn't seem concerned. Giants Stadium's astroturf legacy? It's only as strange as the club itself, which is to say quite. And, finally, an expert weighs in on why grass is just as financially viable. That will surprise some.
10. GARBER SQUASHES COPA LIBERTADORES TALK
Don't get too fired up about the possibility of MLS in Copa Libertadores. MLS Commissioner Don Garber poured cold water on that dream, for now anyway, in Columbus yesterday: "There's always this buzz about Copa Lib every now and again as if we're engaged in conversations with CONMEBOL about it, and we're not at all."
11. MAYBE MLS SHOULD WIN CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FIRST ANYWAY...
Monterrey are headed to Morocco on their what-seems-like annual trip to the Club World Cup in December. Before MLS starts thinking about how to join the South Americans for their biggest soccer party of the year, we should probably get our hands on some regional silverware. How, you ask? Well, MLSsoccer.com's Jonah Freedman thinks he has the answers.
12. MLS HEADED BACK TO COLUMBUS FOR BUSINESS SUMMIT
What's the next step for MLS as a business? They'll figure that out in Columbus again this year as the US take on Mexico at Crew Stadium. Here's a roundup of everything else Garber said at Thursday's press conference. Another interesting note in Columbus? They're sinking a quarter of a million dollars into seatbacks. Ohio soccer fans thank you.
13: KLINSMANN SAYS HOLDEN WILL GET GOLD CUP CALL
Make no mistake, you'll be seeing Stuart Holden in red, white and blue again this summer, according to Jurgen Klinsmann: "He’s on his way back. That being said, we want to have him back in our picture. We are going to bring him for the May-June camp, and also for the Gold Cup.”
That will certainly be special. Speaking of special, though, Steve Cherundolo is about to take over the mantle as Hannover 96's all-time appearance leader. That's huge, and it cements his status as the "Mayor of Hannover."
14. WHERE TO WATCH THIS WEEKEND'S ACTION ON TV
Don't lie, the weather might be gorgeous, but you'll probably plop down on the coach for a few matches here and there. First, here's where to catch all the MLS action. If that's not enough for you, the listings for all the rest is right at your fingertips, too.
15: CHERRIES AND MANURE: INSIDE THE MIND OF EL CHELÍS
We all love Chelís. If you wouldn't watch a behind-the-scenes video series with the Chivas USA boss, I don't know what to say to you. Check out the preview here, and find out what cherries and manure could possibily have to do with each other.
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