Kick Off: USMNT and Seattle earn rave reviews after utter domination of Panama in World Cup qualifier
Here are the Top 15 soccer stories we’re following today.
1. BEST USMNT GAME IN KLINSMANN ERA? That's what some are contending after the US dismantled Panama in a dominant 2-0 victory on Tuesday night in Seattle (WATCH the highlights here). Michael Bradley (read this piece by Matthew Doyle), Geoff Cameron, Jozy Altidore and the all-MLS center back pairing of Omar Gonzalez and Matt Besler earned most of the praise after the win (catch Greg Seltzer's player ratings here).
2. HERE'S WHAT THEY SAID: Altidore admitted that "the guys can taste Brazil" after the win over Panama. And Bradley made sure to single out the Seattle crowd for praise, calling it: "The best crowd I’ve played [in front of] in the United States, without a doubt.”
3. SEATTLE SUPPORTERS EARN HIGH MARKS: For all the concern about the temporary field at CenturyLink Field, it wasn't a factor in the game. But the 40,000-plus fans on hand were (see the photo gallery here). So much so, that the refrain from US players is "we can't get back soon enough." And it all started with this tifo (see the photo here and the video of its unfurling here).
4. USMNT MOVE TO TOP OF HEXAGONAL STANDINGS: Coupled with the other results on the night, the US sit in sole possession of the top spot in the CONCACAF Hexagonal halfway through the schedule and exactly one year before the 2014 World Cup kicks off. There's trouble for Mexico after a third straight 0-0 draw at home in qualifying, this one vs. Costa Rica (watch the highlights here). And Honduras downed Jamaica 2-0 helped by a goal from Houston's Boniek García (watch the highlights here).
5. BEST AND THE WORST FROM INTERNATIONAL ACTION: In case you missed it, here's how the other MLSers fared with their national teams. In other highlights, there was a golazo by the Netherlands' Wesley Sneijder in a friendly victory over China (watch the goal here) and this bizarre incident that saw Argentina's Javier Mascherano sent off for kicking one of the medical staff members who helped him during an injury (watch it here and another slo-mo clip here).
6. US OPEN CUP FOURTH ROUND TAKES PLACE TONIGHT: Plenty of MLS vs. MLS elimination matchups tonight, as we find out the eight quarterfinalists of the 100th edition of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. Catch all the latest updates and best stories on MLSsoccer.com with a live chat taking you through the night. Sporting Kansas City's match against USL-PRO affiliate Orlando City is arguably the best match of the bunch in the wake of the Dom Dwyer controversy.
7. REVOLUTION SELL OUT HARVARD: You'll need the MLSsoccer.com tracker if you live in New England, where the match between the Revolution and Red Bulls at Harvard University is sold out. And Revolution president Brian Bilello says he hopes Boston will become the club's home: “The stadium is the primary thing we're looking to do to bring the team up there on a permanent basis."
8. MLS TO LOUISIANA? It's the lawmakers in that state that are actually investigating the possibility. According to a report, a state senate resolution has been passed "requesting that the Senate Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection and International Affairs study the possibility of attracting an existing Major League Soccer franchise or expansion team to Louisiana."
9. COULD DALLAS PARTNER WITH BRAZILIAN GIANTS GREMIO?: A Brazilian outlet spoke to a Gremio executive who indicated that there have been discussions with MLS club FC Dallas about a potential relationship which could include players, marketing and matches. (PORTUGUESE)
10. ARE CHIVAS USA PLANNING SWAP WITH CHIVAS GUADALAJARA?: That's what some reports claim, indicating the likes of Mexican Under-20 forward Julio Morales and winger Eric Avila, could be heading to Mexico with the promising Erik "El Cubo" Torres going the other way. But the Goats deny any such thing is about to happen.
11. EARTHQUAKES TO START COACHING SEARCH: Earthquakes president David Kaval has announced the details of a the international coaching search that will produce the successor to reigning MLS Coach of the Year Frank Yallop. He shared details in a blog post on the club's official site. But interim head coach Mark Watson, who shared details of the changes he envisions, will also be given a fair shake.
12. ANOTHER VOTE OF CONFIDENCE FOR OLSEN: D.C. United GM Dave Kasper tells The Washington Post that the club has complete faith in head coach Ben Olsen, despite owning the worst record in the league: "We believe he will turn this around. The future is bright with Ben Olsen.” Find out what player moves the club could be contemplating in the same report.
13. PLAYER RUMORS CONTINUE TO SWIRL: One of those players definitely won't be former AC Milan captain Massimo Ambrosini, whose agent has indicated won't be coming to MLS. He's reportedly in talks with West Ham of the English Premier League. Meanwhile, we wait to find out more about the reports involving ex-Villarreal star Marco Senna heading to the USA. Valencia standard-bearer David Albelda is also said to be considering playing in MLS. (ITALIAN AND SPANISH)
14. MLS DISCIPLINARY COMMITTEE CLAMPS DOWN ON SIMULATION: The latest case features Real Salt Lake midfielder Ned Grabavoy, who was judged to have taken a dive on a challenge from LA's Marcelo Sarvas. But the play earned the Galaxy midfielder a yellow card and will force him to miss the next match due to card accumulation.
15. PLAYER EARNS RED CARD FOR THROWING DOG: A warning to animal lovers: This video will be hard for you to watch. It happens in Argentina, where a player decides to get rid of a canine pitch invader by literally attempting to toss him over a fence. The opposing team was quick to take issue and the ref didn't think twice about issuing the red. Here's the bizarre video.
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