Kick Off: USMNT gear up for rare road showdown against Bosnia-Herzegovina
Here are the Top 15 soccer stories we’re following today
1. BIG DAY IN SARAJEVO
Wednesday is the big day for the US national team against Bosnia (2:30 pm ET, ESPN2; Live Chat on MLSsoccer.com), but how well will they do in an international friendly on European soil? Here’s a match preview from MLSsoccer.com and another from The Shin Guardian, as well as a look from the Bosnian perspective ahead of this first-ever matchup between the two teams. And here’s the latest from ESPNFC’s Roger Bennett, who spoke with US national team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann, who downplayed the team’s current 11-game winning streak.
2. JÓHANNSSON GETS GREEN LIGHT
Yes, Aron Jóhannsson is officially a US player, after word came down from FIFA on Tuesday that his paperwork has cleared he is free to play against Bosnia. On the other side of the field, Bosnia have a dual national of their very own with Stoke ‘keeper Asmir Begovic, who once rejected Canada.
3. CONQUERING ROME
“Michael Bradley isn’t the best US soccer player alive. He’s simply the most important.” That’s the verdict of a long form article by Luke O’Brien from Howler magazine (also appearing on deadspin.com), which examines the US midfielder’s role for both Roma and the US. With “the general” almost certain to feature heavily vs. Bosnia he believes the US are more than capable of getting a result.
4. JONES TO MLS?
Jermaine Jones took over the USMNT twitter feed for a short Q&A yesterday, during which he was asked the now standard question “Would you consider playing in MLS at some point?” His answer may have followed the standard template as well, but it also suggested it’s something he’s thought about. If it happened where would you like to see Jones end up?
5. ROGERS TALKS RUSSIA OLYMPICS
As one of the few openly gay athletes in professional sports as well as a former Olympian, Robbie Rogers is in a unique position to address the recent controversy over the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. In an interesting column in USA Today, Rogers discusses his thoughts on the games, what fans should do to make their voices heard and about the positive interactions he’s had with his LA Galaxy teammates. On a related note, FIFA has asked Russia, host of the 2018 World Cup, to clarify its anti-gay law.
6. URRUTI IN TORONTO
Could TFC be on the brink of getting their man? The news broke Tuesday afternoon when the Toronto Sun used a hotel room booking to confirm that Urruti was in the city and then hours later Toronto FC broke their silence to release this short press release.
7. EVOLUTION OF THE DP
When David Beckham became the league’s first Designated Player, most of us probably never thought we’d be using the same term to describe players such as Chris Wondolowski or Omar Gonzales. Empire of Soccer examines how the role has changed as MLS continues to grow.
8. ARE THE KIDS ALRIGHT IN CHICAGO?
No one can deny the success of the MLS Homegrown Player system, but Chicago Fire fans are still waiting for one of their youngsters to make a real impact on the squad. Here's a look at how the Fire stack up, and perhaps why their players have struggled to find time.
9. MONTREAL TRUST IN YOUTH
One team that isn’t struggling for Homegrown players is the Montreal Impact, who currently have five such youngsters on their roster. With plenty of Champions League fixtures to come and with the club waiving Dennis Iapichino on Tuesday, there’s a good chance that will mean more minutes for some of those players.
10. ANGER MANAGEMENT
You wouldn’t like Mike Petke when he’s angry, especially if you’re a chair in Crew Stadium. After being forced to watch the Red Bulls 2-0 defeat from the stands, with the Columbus fans in close proximity making him feel particularly “welcome,” it was all just a little too much for Petke to handle.
11. LEGENDS OF THE GAME
This year’s entrants to the U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame will be Sporting Kansas City manager Peter Vermes and former New England player Joe-Max Moore, and they're set to be inducted on Oct. 11 in Kansas City. Meanwhile, another MLS great may be set to play again.
12. DETROIT SET FOR STADIUM REVIEW
City officials will meet Wednesday to review proposals, one of which includes a soccer stadium for a site in downtown Detroit. If accepted, could this be the first step on the road to an MLS expansion? TotalMLS.com has an interview with Andrew Kruz from the Motor City Supporters group where they discuss the cities chances.
13. THE REVOLUTION WILL BE TELEVISED
It’s going to be a big couple of weeks for soccer on TV with not one but two daily soccer programmes launching. The first one was ESPN FC, which made its debut on Sunday evening to mixed reactions. Charles Boehm suggested that the show was “heavy on opinions and debate, light on deeper analysis or actual reportage.” While Soccer America wonders whether the show is trying to cast too big a net. Next up: ‘Fox Soccer Daily’, which starts Monday.
14. MLS AFFILIATES SQUARE OFF
Wednesday sees an important game in USL PRO as two MLS affiliated teams battle each other for the regular season title. Both teams have taken advantage of their links with an MLS club to call in reinforcements ahead of the big game. Orlando City have reacquired Kevin Ellis from Sporting KC while D.C. United have sent three players back to the Richmond Kickers. A win for Orlando City, a club with their own well-documented MLS ambitions, would give them their third consecutive title.
15. CLUB SELECTOR
Need an MLS team? Already got a team but unsure if the two of you are really the “right fit”? Well, taking SB Nation's new "12th man club picker" test could be just what you need. The test isn’t exactly scientific, but it’s definitely good fun.