Kick Off: Is Gio dos Santos really heading to the LA Galaxy?

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

1. GIO DOS SANTOS TO LA GALAXY?

Wednesday evening this huge rumor begin undulating around the internet and it just kept picking up speed. Mexican international Giovani dos Santos could be heading to the LA Galaxy, after the MLS side apparently offered $8 million. The 24-year-old former Tottenham Hotspur winger would cause quite a stir if he did join LA. Thoughts?

2. PHILADELPHIA WIN BIG AGAINST CREW

Three goals in six first half minutes were good enough for three points for the Philadelphia Union on Wednesday night. A 3-0 win over Columbus sees John Hackworth’s side up to third in the Eastern conference. Captain Brian Carroll was glad to see his side helping out Jack Mac: “I think it’s huge. Jack has drawn so much attention from the defense just through his run right now. It’s time other guys stepped up.” Watch the highlights here.

3. CREW CAME OUT FLAT; WHAT’S GOING ON?

But the Crew didn’t exactly put up much of a fight, with their first half collapse condemning them to another loss as they’ve won just once in their last six. Robert Warzycha promised changes: “We made mistakes and we paid a penalty. It goes to the passion to some of the guys on the field. There will be some changes.” Is that the answer?

4. ORLANDO’S MLS BID GETS SERIOUS, EXPANSION PRO JOINS FRONT OFFICE

Big news out of Orlando yesterday as MLS Commissioner Don Garber’s former "special assistant" Brett Lashbrook joined Orlando City Soccer Club to help with their MLS expansion dreams. Lashbrook’s appointment is huge news, with his role set as  “finalizing plans for a new soccer stadium and negotiating a MLS expansion agreement” by 2015.

5. WHY ARE SEATTLE’S FANS BEING RIDICULED FOR US ATTENDANCE?

Selling more than 50,000 tickets for the Cascadia clash with Vancouver on Saturday proves the huge fanbase in the Emerald City. We all know it exists. So why has Seattle only sold 30,000 tickets for the World Cup qualifier against Panama? US soccer fans are giving Seattle fans disapproving looks. MLSsoccer.com's Simon Borg breaks it down. 

6. SCHMID “HAPPY THE PROCESS WORKS,” AS MARTINS’ RED CARD RESCINDED

Staying in Seattle, Obafemi Martins will be available to play in that huge rivalry game against the Whitecaps. The Sounders striker had his red card from the win over Chivas USA taken away, much to Sigi Schmid’s delight: “We’re happy that the process works.” Some people at MLSsoccer.com thought the red card should stand. Your thoughts?

7. HIGUAÍN: “I’M NOT JEALOUS OF GONZALO”

Despite the loss to Philadelphia last night, Federico Higuaín has been speaking to FIFA.com and told them he doesn’t envy his brother Gonzalo. He also spoke about his love for Columbus: “I feel very comfortable. Right from the first day, I felt at home. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the standard of play here, and I love the club, the stadiums and the fans.”

8. USMNT IN JAMAICA, BEWARE OF THE PAST

The US national team arrived a day early to Jamaica, as the players and Jurgen Klinsmann gave themselves the best possible preparation to get a result in Kingston. But remember the last time the US played against the Reggae Boyz away? Not pretty. Steve Davis over at NBC Pro Soccer Talk reminisces, while ESPN.com chats with Jermaine Jones ahead of Friday's crucial clash in Kingston, with Jones' new found role pivotal to the USA's chances.

9. IS RFK STADIUM U.S. SOCCER’S “SPIRITUAL HOME?”

This is a really interesting read. Garret Quinn from the Washington City Paper went behind the scenes during last Sunday’s 4-3 win over Germany at RFK. The Stadium is described as “the best place to watch a soccer game in the country” and “the rickety spiritual home” of the USMNT. Any other rival venues people want to throw out there?

10. US U-20s LOSE THREE OUT OF FOUR, HEAD TO WORLD CUP

Tab Ramos’ US Under-20 national team lost 1-0 to the South Korea on Wednesday, as they bowed out of the Toulon Tournament after three defeats in their last four games. Ramos is expected to announce his U-20 World Cup squad on Friday. DeAndre Yedlin, Luis Gil, Jose Villarreal and Mario Rodriguez weren’t with the squad in France but are expected to make it in. Who do you think should make the cut?

11. CONVEY SETTLING IN AT TFC, MORE FREEDOM THAN SKC

Bobby Convey has been around MLS for quite some time, and now that he’s landed in Toronto, the 30-year-old winger is ready to express himself at TFC. “It’s similar to playing for San Jose, it’s much different than playing in Kansas City,” Convey told Red Nation Online. “There’s just such a set thing that they want to do there in Kansas City, and in San Jose, I had more freedom to switch sides and do different things.”

12. A JOURNEY INTO ITALIAN SOCCER’S STRUGGLE WITH RACISM

ESPN.com senior writer Wright Thompson traveled to the heart of Italian soccer to see if he could interact with any of the alleged racist fans, to find out if racism is really as rife in Italian soccer as some say it is. What he found was quite shocking, as he brilliantly depicts his troubling journey across one of the world’s greatest soccer nations. Bravo.

13. LAUDRUP ON HIS WAY OUT AT SWANSEA?

A developing story at Swansea City this morning, as Danish manager Michael Laudrup could be on his way out after a dispute about transfers with the Swans board. The 48-year-old won the League Cup and Swansea finished in the top ten in his first season in charge. But his old club Real Madrid may come calling. Who could say no to that?

14. DOES ANYONE REMEMBER THE OLD NYC SUBWAY TOKEN?

Well, if you do, one designer is basing New York city FC’s new logo and kit design around the historic token New Yorkers once used to ride the City’s subway. The coin with the pentagon shape in the middle will represent the five borough’s of NYC. That will be the theme of the badge. Intrigued? Check out these cool designs from Fast Company Design.

15. SOCCER ON THE TUBE TODAY

Some huge matches coming up today, after the UEFA U-21 European Championship kicked off in Israel last night. The Netherlands vs. Germany is a huge grudge match (2:20 pm ET, ESPNU). And before that, reigning champs Spain take on Russia (noon ET, ESPN3.com). Meanwhile, the group stage of the Toulon Tournament concludes, with Nigeria vs. Portugal (11:30 am ET) and Belgium against Mexico (1:30 pm ET), both on beIN Sport.

MLSsoccer.com Musts

March to the Match: The Jozy factor and why Jamaica have reasons to worry (PODCAST)

As Reggae Boyz stumble, Jamaica fans pile on the pressure ahead of USMNT clash

Anatomy of a Goal: Mike Magee returns home to Chicago with a bang


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