Kick Off: With "intriguing" offers turning his head, could Landon Donovan's future lie outside MLS?
Here are the Top 15 soccer stories we’re watching today
1. DONOVAN OPEN TO CHALLENGE
Things are going pretty well for the LA Galaxy right now. They just signed their third DP and the other two can’t stop scoring. However, one of those two could be on the move. That’s according to an interview with Landon Donovan, broadcast on the debut of Fox Soccer Daily. In it, Donovan suggested that he had already received some “intriguing” offers and that he is “open in a way I haven’t been before” to the thought of leaving the US.
2. A SECOND OPINION
Donovan, who topped the Monday Postgame’s list of the greatest all-time players in MLS, also came up when the ExtraTime Radio team spoke to LA Galaxy president Chris Klein. Klein discussed the state of negotiations between the parties, Omar Gonzalez’s new contract and the possibility of MLS one day adding a fourth Designated Player spot.
3. GONZALEZ SETS THE STANDARD
A lot has been said about Omar Gonzalez’s new DP deal and what it might mean for the future of MLS. The final words, for now, go to Kyle McCarthy, who examines the unique circumstances that lead to the deal, and Steve Davis, who looks at what it could mean for LA.
4. CCL LOOMS MIDWEEK FOR MLS SIDES
There are two MLS clubs in Champions league action tonight. The Houston Dynamo travel to Trinidad and Tobago to play W Connection (8 pm ET, Fox Sports 1). After doing well in the last tournament, Brian Ching thinks the current side might have the best chance yet of winning it. The LA Galaxy start their campaign at home, where they will entertain Costa Rican side Cartaginés. Based on his own experience, Marcelo Sarvas expects the opposition to be particularly motivated for the game.
5. CHAMPION OF CHAMPIONS
The Community Shield, the Supercopa de España, the German Supercup, the Supercoppa Italiano and the Campeón de campeones. Most of the top leagues around the world feature some kind of contest between their league champion and cup winner, usually as a good way to kick off the new season. Is it time MLS followed suit?
6. DUNFIELD DOWN, NOT OUT
After being released by Toronto, Terry Dunfield was training with the Vancouver Whitecaps yesterday. However, it doesn’t appear as though a move is on the cards, more just the team helping out a Vancouver native.
7. MORE PROBLEMS FOR CHIVAS
Let’s be honest, neither Chivas team is having a particularly good year. For Chivas de Guadalajara, matters came to a head on Sunday after a 4-2 loss to Puebla (in which DaMarcus Beasley scored). This led the club to fire manager Benjamín Galindo and replace him with Juan Carlos Ortega. The club had won just one of their previous 11 games so it was a justifiable decision … then this happened.
8. WHO WILL GO WEST?
When NYCFC join MLS in 2015, it will likely force a realignment of the two conferences. Houston, being the furthest west, are the obvious candidate to move, but the Bleacher Report looks at some of the other pros and cons such a move would represent.
9. CATCHING UP WITH KANDJI
The last time most MLS fans will have seen Macoumba Kandji was his substitute appearance for the Dynamo during the 2012 MLS Cup final. After that Kandji, like many players, decided to try his luck in Europe. Where did he end up? Dynamo Theory chats to the Senegalese forward to find out.
10. USL PLAYERS AND PLAYOFFS
The USL PRO regular season is over and with that comes the end of season awards, a field that featured two MLS players quite prominently. Sporting Kansas City’s Dom Dwyer shared the Golden Boot thanks to his 15 goals for Orlando City, while D.C. United’s Andrew Dykstra picked up an award for the fewest goals conceded, racking up 10 clean sheets while on loan with the Richmond Kickers. The playoffs begin on Saturday with Richmond and Orlando qualifying as first and second seeds, respectively.
11. TOP 10 COLLEGE KIDS
While the USL season may be winding down, college soccer is just around the corner. With that in mind, we suggest 10 players worth watching this season. Could some of them be the next star in MLS? Maybe, but remember, most of them go pro in something other than sports…
12. SETBACK FOR CHERUNDOLO
Steve Cherundolo appears to have suffered another set back on his return to soccer as reports suggest he needs a second surgery on his knee. While the news is worrying for Cherundolo and USMNT fans, NBC Pro Soccer Talk wasted no time thinking about suitable replacements. The injury concerns are starting to build for the US as Terrence Boyd is also in danger of missing the upcoming World Cup qualifiers after dislocating his shoulder.
13. HATERS GONNA HATE
You might think scoring 30 goals for your country would make you something of a hero in your homeland. Not so for Álvaro Saborío, who is apparently the victim of a hater epidemic taking over Costa Rica. Will the upcoming World Cup qualifiers be his chance to prove them all wrong?
14. VIDEO GAME CHARTS PROGRESS
If you want an example of just how much soccer has grown in America, look no further than EA Sports' FIFA phenomenon. This year the latest version of the game sold 353,000 copies on day one of launch in the US (up 42 percent from the previous year) and was used to vote Marco Di Vaio into the 2013 AT&T MLS All-Star team, but did you know the franchise nearly didn’t exist at all. Back In 1993, American company EA games, famous for its Madden and NHL games, really had to be sold on the idea of a soccer video game. They thought it would be a complete disaster.
15. THE GREATEST GIVEAWAY OF ALL TIME?
Over the years, clubs have given away some strange and wonderful gifts on gamedays. T-shirts and caps, yep, everyone can wear them. Bobble heads, sure, who doesn’t love a bobble head? A Steven Lenhart Chia Pet? Yes please!