Kick Off: Portland, a.k.a. "Soccer City USA," gets 2014 MLS All-Star Game

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

1. 2014 ALL-STAR GAME GOES TO PORTLAND: The Rose City will welcome the best MLS has to offer in 2014, as MLS Commissioner Don Garber announced yesterday that the 2014 AT&T MLS All-Star Game is heading to Portland and JELD-WEN Field. “This match will showcase to an international audience the incredible devotion to the game in the Pacific Northwest,” Garber said. So has Portland’s title of “Soccer City USA” been strengthened further?

2. “BIGGEST GLOBAL NAME” TO BE ASG 2014 OPPONENT?: At the press conference to announce the venue for the 2014 ASG, Garber was joined by Timbers owner Merritt Paulson. He gave a hint at the opposition Major League Soccer has lined up. “We’re going to make sure we’ve got the biggest global name, opponent, that’s ever played in Portland,” Paulson said. Who do you want to see take on the All-Stars?

3. PORTER: “I’M NOT A REVOLUTIONARY”: Great insight on the March to the Match podcast yesterday, as Portland Timbers head coach Caleb Porter joined the guys. He discussed the Timbers terrific start to the season and his coaching philosophy amongst many other things. A must-listen.

4. SPORTING KC TO LOAN SAPONG TO ORLANDO? Who saw this one coming? With Dom Dwyer back at SKC after a sensational loan spell at Orlando City, it seems as though the USL PRO frontrunners have added another young Sporting star on loan. The Scoring Third believes C.J. Sapong is on his way, here’s the lowdown. And more SKC stars could join Sapong.

5. CHANGES IN DC, VANCOUVER: According to reports, D.C. United defender Alain Rochat has been sold to Swiss side Young Boys. Word is Rochat wasn’t happy at the way he was traded so abruptly and wants out. Meanwhile, one of his former Vancouver teammates is already off to in Europe: Young striker Caleb Clarke has gone on loan to German side Augsburg.

6. CHICAGO LOSE FRIENDLY TO CLUB AMÉRICA, MACDONALD LEAVING? Last night the Chicago Fire lost 3-2 to Liga MX champions Club América in an entertaining friendly at Toyota Park. Watch the highlights here. A sold-out crowd saw las Águilas take the win. Chicago DP forward Sherjill MacDonald got on the score sheet, but reports indicate his future could lie elsewhere.

7. POLICE INVESTIGATE ARNAUD DEATH THREATS: Today it has been reported that complaints have been made by the Montreal Impact after captain Davy Arnaud received death threats via Twitter following the Quebec side's recent last-gasp defeat to Colorado. More news on this to come later, we're sure.

8. CANADA AND MEXICO SQUARE OFF TONIGHT: Canada and Mexico are battling for their Gold Cup lives after both teams tasted defeat in their opening Group games. The Canucks have been rocked as captain Will Johnson has returned to Portland after a stomach illness. Check out all the latest news by watching our Gold Cup today series. Tune into Fox Soccer tonight, as Martinique take on Panama at 8 pm ET, followed by Canada vs. Mexico at 10:30 pm ET (on Sportsnet World in Canada).

9. RAFA MÁRQUEZ SOUNDS OFF ON HIS TIME IN THE USA: Speaking to a radio station in Barcelona, the Mexican legend and former New York Red Bulls midfielder had some choice words about American soccer and his time in MLS: “Maybe being one of the United States’ rivals and a somewhat hated figure in the USA, due to the rivalry between Mexico and the US, affected me. ... I felt it in the public. I felt it in the people. It was a little difficult."

10. BELIZE PLAYERS MAKE MATCH-FIXING CLAIMS: A disturbing and questionable report has emerged in which players from Belize's national team claim they were approached by individuals hoping to fix their game against the USA on Tuesday night. Meanwhile, Belize's tormenter in that match, hat-trick hero Chris Wondolowski, inspired TV personality and Seattle Sounders co-owner Drew Carey to donate $5,000 to two charities to grab the famously misspelled jersey Wondo wore that night.

11. RBNY’S KAKÁ PURSUIT DEAD – FOR NOW: Real Madrid's Brazilian midfielder Kaká isn’t heading to MLS right now. But will he ever? According to the New York Post, any deal for Kaká with the New York Red Bulls has been shelved.

12. MLS KIDS GRAB TOP US SOCCER AWARDS: Youngsters from the New York Red Bulls, Chivas USA, FC Dallas and Seattle Sounders academies all received huge awards from U.S. Soccer. Find out who was announced the player of the year in each age group. Plus Richie Williams named his U-17 national team squad heading to Japan for a tournament.

13. ALTIDORE SCORES IN SUNDERLAND PRESEASON DEBUT: OK, so the score was 13-1 to Sunderland in a preseason friendly against local Italian minnows … But Jozy Altidore scored. The Black Cats' new forward also spoke about his ambitions for the upcoming season: “I’m really excited about this season – it has everything here, all the combinations to be a big club.”

14. NFL OWNER SET TO BUY FULHAM FC: Shad Khan, the owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars, is close to sealing a deal to buy English Premier League side Fulham FC. Longtime owner Mohamed Al Fayed is said to be looking to sell after 16 years. He bought the West London club for $10 million in 1997. Khan’s offer is said to be $225 million. Shrewd business. Sticking with the Cottagers, the grandson of FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman has signed a new deal until 2016.

15. DJ EVRA IN THE HOUSE: The secret behind Manchester United’s success has been revealed. Patrice Evra’s DJ skills are the difference. To quote the French international left back: “The dressing room is where we focus but it’s also time for DJ Patrice. I put on very good songs and that’s why we win the league — because my sounds are magic.” Amazing.

MLSsoccer.com Musts

Between The Lines: Unsung midfield heroes

Gold Cup Preview: Canada vs. Mexico

PHOTO: Incredible tifo display unveiled by US fans in Portland


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