Kick Off: Jason Kreis hasn't penned contract extension yet, but Real Salt Lake owner says they're working on it
Here are the Top 15 soccer stories we’re following today
1. SIX-GOAL THRILLER IN SOCAL
Omar Gonzalez celebrated his new Designated Player contract in a big way Saturday. He scored a goal and Robbie Keane added a second-half hat trick in a 4-2 win over Real Salt Lake (watch highlights). With Keane and Donovan together, are LA the most dangerous attack in MLS? The Galaxy seem to think so.
2. NO CONTRACT FOR KREIS?
Despite the loss to LA, Real Salt Lake remain top of the Western Conference and have a date in the US Open Cup final to look forward to. So how come Jason Kreis hasn’t received a new contract yet? RSL owner Dell Loy Hansen calls Kreis "the most beautiful coach in MLS," but won't tip his hand about the contract negotiations in this article from The Salt Lake Tribune.
3. UNHAPPY HOMECOMING FOR DEMPSEY
It was not a night to remember for Seattle fans on Saturday, as their team wilted 3-1 to the Houston Dynamo in Texas (watch highlights here). Giles Barnes scored two great goals before Will Bruin added a third for the Dynamo. For Dempsey, it was a night of missed opportunities in front of his friend and family.
4. TEMPERS FLARE ON FIERY NIGHT
Head coach Frank Klopas said recently that the Fires playoff chances were “really up to us,” so he won’t have been pleased as a Juan Agudelo wonder goal helped the New England Revolution top Chicago 2-0 (watch highlights here). He might have bigger problems though after being ejected from the match. Klopas’ removal marked the beginning of a fiery end to the game, which saw a further two red cards issued for an altercation in the tunnel after the final whistle.
Klopas wasn’t the only manager to be sent off on Saturday, though. Ben Olsen and Marco Schällibaum also got themselves removed after a heated argument on the touchline, with Montreal defeating D.C. United 2-1 (watch highlights here) thanks to two goals from Marco Di Vaio and some very impressive work from Felipe, who seems to be living up to his recent promise.
5. PLAYOFF, SUPPORTERS' SHIELD RACE TIGHTENS FURTHER
Sporting KC are still first in the Eastern Conference -- tied with New York on 39 points -- but their place is by no means secure after a 1-0 loss in San Jose on Sunday night (watch highlights here). The man to scuttle their hopes for road points? Who else? Chris Wondolowski. Across the country on Saturday, Philadelphia and New York played to scoreless draw (watch highlights here).
6. HIGUAIN DOES IT AGAIN
It’s done, everyone can breathe easy. Maximiliano Urruti is officially a TFC player, although not a Designated Player. Although he did see 25 minutes of action on Saturday, he was unable to prevent a 2-0 defeat to the Columbus Crew which featured another Federico Higuain wonder chip (watch highlights here). What can TFC fans expect from their new signing? Waking the Red looks at his career for clues.
7. VALERI LIVES UP TO HYPE
In front of the 45th consecutive sell-out league crowd, Diego Valeri was pivotal to the Timbers 2-1 win over FC Dallas (watch highlights here). Valeri had a role in both goals and manager Caleb Porter was full of praise for his star DP: “He’s exactly what we thought he’d be.” Dallas are now on a five game winless streak, but one bright spot for the club was a first goal for new DP Mauro Diaz on his club debut.
8. SPOILED FOR CHOICE IN DENVER
Despite the recent addition of two new strikers, Deshorn Brown and Edson Buddle aren’t giving up their places in the team without a fight. The youngster took another step forward in his Rookie of the Year bid by opening the scoring in a 2-0 victory against the Vancouver Whitecaps with Buddle grabbing the second (watch highlights here). With the win, Colorado strengthen their grip on a playoff spot while Vancouver remain above the line for now as well. However, after his performance for Scotland last week, the 'Caps could be set to lose Kenny Miller for a couple of games in September.
9. TESTING TRANSPARENCY
With all the recent controversy involving performance enhancing drugs in sports and with players from Mexico and Jamaica recently being banned for failing drugs tests, should MLS make its policy regarding such things more clear? That’s the view of the Goat Parade.
10. CAMP CANADA
As things get better and better for the USMNT, the Canada haven't had very much to celebrate at all. There might just be something to look forward to now, though, with the Benito Floro era is set to begin on September 1.
11. GOODBYE FOX SOCCER, HELLO FOX SOCCER
Today marks the launch of Fox Soccer Daily on Fox Sports 1, but it also means saying goodbye to Fox Soccer. The wider question might be whether Fox can compete with ESPN, but the immediate question for soccer fans will be which channel has the best daily show. You can judge for yourself when Fox Soccer Daily premieres today at 4 pm ET.
12. THE BRITISH ARE COMING
Of course the really winner in the fight between ESPN and Fox is actually NBC. You would be forgiven if you were suffering a little bit of soccer fatigue today after the deluge of matches and coverage thrown at you by the peacock over the weekend. While this piece from The Guardian does a disservice to many US commentators, it does examine how much the Premier League means to the network. Meanwhile, the Kansas City Star looks at the possible knock on effect for MLS.
13. A CLUB WITH STAKES IN THE OLD AND NEW WORLD
One team that could be uniquely positioned to take advantage of the heightened coverage and bridge the gap between the EPL and MLS is, of course, NYCFC. Yet courting the New York sports market will be anything but easy, as Al Jazeera finds out.
14. AMERICAN EXPORTS GET THINGS STARTED IN THE EPL, KLJESTAN GETS WINNER
So how did the US players fare, not only during week one of the EPL, but also around the world? Well, Brad Guzan and Aston Villa had a memorable game, Jozy Altidore‘s Sunderland did not, Aron Jóhannsson is now four for four this season, Kljestan scored a winner, Bedoya made his Ligue 1 debut and Club Tijuana with their American players lost to Monterrey in Mexico. Although not a US player, special mention has to go to Freddy Montero who has started life well over in Portugal. Fresh from doing this in a preseason friendly, Freddy scored a hat trick on his league debut.
15. THE WORLD'S GREATEST
Now that all the European leagues have started up again, which global top flight really is the greatest in the world? There’s no right answer to that question according to Simon Borg, who says local ties trump all. Which one do you prefer?