Kick Off: Orlando City aim for third straight MLS scalp in US Open Cup quarterfinal vs. Chicago Fire
Here are the Top 15 soccer stories we’re following today.
1. ORLANDO GO FOR USOC UPSET: Orlando City will look to continue their impressive run in the US Open Cup, looking for another MLS road scalp in tonight's quarterfinal against the surging Chicago Fire (8:30 pm ET). Watch a video preview of the match here and then watch it live Wednesday night courtesy of Chicago-Fire.com here.
2. WIN OR LOSE, ORLANDO CONFIDENT IN MLS EXPANSION BID: Orlando City co-owner Flávio Augusto da Silva conducted this video interview with a local outlet in which he does not hide his MLS ambitions, stating that his club's vision is that "probably between July and August to have everything done." And don't miss what he had to say about his dream players for OCSC: Kaká is among them.
3. NASL TITLE MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE OPEN CUP: We're not making that up. It's what Carolina RailHawks captain Floyd Franks stated in the lead-up to tonight's US Open Cup quarterfinal at Real Salt Lake (9:30 pm ET, watch the preview here and catch the live stream here): "Even though we have a big game at Salt Lake, the biggest game is at home with Atlanta." That NASL league match comes on Saturday and it would give the RailHawks the spring season title.
4. MLS HEAVYWEIGHTS FACE OFF IN USOC QF: If Chicago vs. Orlando is the most intriguing matchup tonight, the most attractive has to be the Dallas vs. Portland fixture at FC Dallas Stadium (9 pm ET, watch the preview here and watch the LIVE stream at FCDallas.com). The other all-MLS clash is the one between the New England Revolution and D.C. United at Maryland SoccerPlex which gets things started tonight (7 pm ET, watch the preview here and watch the LIVE stream here).
5. GOLD CUP ROSTER LEAK REVEALS FIRST USMNT CALL-UPS: The final Gold Cup rosters are due by midnight Thursday and SI.com claims both Landon Donovan and Jack McInerney will be on the list. And we learned of a third name that may surprise some: Jose Francisco Torres will be back in red, white and blue, according to his Mexican club.
6. OGUCHI ONYEWU OPENS UP: He's one of those players we don't hear from and we don't read about for months at a time. But he sat down for lunch with Steve Goff of The Washington Post and revealed details of his club future ("Germany might be the only place I haven't been"), his national team aspirations ("I'm not surprised I'm not in the national team") and his potential future in MLS ("I will never exclude MLS"). Read the full article here. He could be in the Gold Cup mix.
7. SOUNDERS READY TO GET BUSY IN TRANSFER WINDOW: Seattle's sporting director Chris Henderson, who has been scouting in Europe and South America recently, confirmed that the club is looking for impact players "up the spine" and he confirmed that Levante center back David Navarro is one option being considered. Meanwhile, the Sounders are currently in "ongoing negotiations" about whether to keep Honduran Mario Martínez when his loan deal expires on Sunday.
8. FIRE AND UNION BATTLING IT OUT FOR POLISH RIGHT BACK?: A report from Poland claims that the two MLS clubs are options for Polish right back Marcin Wasilewski, formerly of Anderlecht in Belgium. The player made world headlines for being involved in a 2009 horror tackle from Alex Witsel. Watch it here, but be forewarned: It's one of the most graphic injuries you'll ever see.
9. GET TO KNOW MAURO DÍAZ: That's the name of the rumored summer signing for FC Dallas, and even FCD technical director Fernando Clavijo admitted Díaz was "one of the players that we looked at, absolutely." Now Díaz, nicknamed "El Nonito" is doing the talking: "It's most likely I'm going to the United States. Right now we're waiting to arrange things to be able to travel … Since it came about I liked the idea of going to play [in the USA] and have another experience. It's a great challenge in a soccer league that's growing with every season. I hope things go well for me there."
10. CAHILL TO POTENTIALLY SEEK LOAN DEAL IN MLS OFFSEASON: With a World Cup looming in 2014, Australia's Tim Cahill is already planning ahead on how to stay game fit during the MLS offseason. And a loan deal to Europe could be an option: "My first option would be to go on loan to the Premier League or somewhere in Europe," Cahill told Fox Sports Australia. "It all depends on the scenario – how my body is, where I'm at and whether I need it."
11. HOW CAMILO BECAME THE HOTTEST PLAYER IN MLS: The Vancouver Whitecaps' Brazilian is the reigning MLS Player of the Week and has 11 goals in his last 12 games in all competitions. But this hot streak was only possible because of a transformation in his game brought about by an early season benching. Find out what changed about him in this article.
12. COMPARE AND CONTRAST – THE LATEST POWER RANKINGS: The Timbers top the MLSsoccer.com rankings released yesterday. See how that compares to Yahoo's rankings, the one on Bleacher Report, the Goal.com version, NBC Sports' Pro Soccer Talk, Avi Creditor's list on SI.com and the one generated by SoccerByIves.net.
13. IMPACT SET TO MAKE DECISION ON PAOLO DELPICCOLO: According to a report by Pascal Milano in Montreal, the East leaders will be making their move in the coming hours on whether to retain their 2013 draft pick. The main obstacle facing DelPiccolo is the fact that "there are already many players in his position," according to manager Marco Schällibaum.
14. MLS LEGEND WANTS A COACHING JOB IN THE LEAGUE: Jaime Moreno, one of the top scorers in MLS history, is currently head coach of the D.C. United Under-23s. But he's aiming for a much higher post: a head coaching position in MLS. Find out exactly what he said to CSN Washington here. The timing of his declaration will certainly raise a few eyebrows.
15. MEET THE MAN WHO TEACHES THE "FAN CONDUCT CLASS": It's a class that's used by the NFL and now we find out it's also used by MLS to help "manage anger and educate ejected fans." The Philadelphia Union were the first MLS club to adopt the course and 10 fans have gone through the program. Any supporter can decide to take the four-hour class at www.fanconductclass.com.
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