Kick Off: Seattle fans tasked with leading USMNT supporters in Columbus
Here are the Top 15 soccer stories we’re following today
1. DONOVAN STAYING PUT
This time last year no one was sure if Landon Donovan was even going to be playing soccer this year. A week ago it looked like he might be going to Italy. But now, according to a report from SI.com, Donovan is about to sign a new multi-year deal with the LA Galaxy. It’s a decision that “was never in doubt,” according to Galaxy president Chris Klein, who also revealed some of the other things Donovan brings to the table. The Galaxy have scheduled a press conference for 3 pm ET on Wednesday.
2. HOUSTON BOUNCE BACK
Despite a shaky start, two goals from Cam Weaver were enough to see off Panamanian side Arabe Unido 2-1 in the CONCACAF Champions League on Tuesday night. It was not a pleasant affair, with a questionable penalty awarded to the visitors in the first half and seven yellow cards in the second. After the match, Dynamo head coach Dom Kinnear didn’t mince his word: “The team that had more respect for the game won the game.”
3. SPORTING KC ROLL ON THE ROAD
Two wins out of two and with both their remaining games to be played at Sporting Park? Things are looking good for Sporting Kansas City. A brace from Soony Saad led SKC to a 2-0 win over Honduran side CD Olimpia in the CCL. While there’s still work to be done, SKC manager Peter Vermes acknowledges “we’re in a good place.”
4. SAN JOSE'S LOFTY SHINY CCL OBJECTIVE
While the Earthquakes are by no means out of the MLS playoff race, the focus now shifts to a potential run in Champions League. Interim coach Mark Watson seems ready to give it a go when the team returns to action Wednesday night against Heredia in Guatemala: “We’re definitely trying to get hardware in the CCL”
5. 'CAPS EYE THE CUP
“Every game feels like a playoff game right now.” That’s the view of Whitecaps President Bob Lenarduzzi, talking about the incredibly tight race developing in the Western Conference. Despite his team dropping out of a playoff spot after the weekend's results, Lenarduzzi still believes the ‘Caps can win the MLS cup.
6. CONTROVERSY SPARKED AS U.S. PLANS TO SEATTLE-IZE COLUMBUS
The upcoming USMNT qualifier against Mexico is a sell-out, with upwards of 9,000 supporters expected at Crew Stadium on September 10. As usual, US Soccer is working with the American Outlaws supporter group, but in a break from the past, they have charged the AO Seattle chapter to help organize the matchday support. While the move was agreed to by both Seattle and Columbus chapters, some in Columbus are unhappy with the decision. Not that this guy cares.
7. GIL BACK IN RSL RHYTHM
Luis Gil is one of the US’ brightest prospects but, as any RSL fan will tell you, he wasn’t quite the same player after coming back from the U-20 World cup. Gil seems to have put that behind him now by focusing on his defensive play, and he’s set for a “big, big game against Portland” on Friday evening.
8. ORLANDO REACHING OUT TO BRAZILLIAN FANS
If Orlando City get their new stadium, as reported, the next thing they need to do is fill it. One way could be by engaging Brazilian fans, and it appears to be working. The club recently created a Facebook fan page especially for Brazillian supporters, and it already has 13,600 fans.
9. (OLYMPIC) GOLD STANDARD FOR BUZZARD POINT
Did you know that Washington, DC, wants to host the 2024 Olympics? Perhaps you missed the low-key announcement. But could the city’s Olympic aspirations benefit the DC soccer scene? A soccer stadium would surely help an Olympic bid.
10. THE SWEDISH MARK
There was a time when young American players would travel overseas to places like Sweden and Norway to try and earn moves to bigger European clubs. This article from ESPN FC looks at the links between one particular club and the LA Galaxy and why, with the continued growth of MLS, that old trend may have long since passed away.
11. EMILIO’S JOURNEY
Remember Luciano Emilio, the 2007 MLS MVP and Golden boot winner? He’s back in Washington, but not to suit up for D.C. United again. Find out why he's in town and where he's been.
12. BECKHAM RETURNS
Another former star made a surprise return to his old MLS city. The LA Galaxy on Tuesday welcomed David Beckham to their training session. “He’s got to work on his crossing, on his passing a little bit,” Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena coach joked. Associate head coach Dave Sarachan, meanwhile, likened Beckham's return to "a warm blanket."
13. AMERICANS ABROAD
Jozy Altidore scored his first goal for Sunderland Tuesday, which sparked a huge comeback in the English league cup. Danny Williams also played a full 90 minutes for Reading, and Jermaine Jones picked up the seventh red card of his career during a big win for Schalke,
14. POWER SURGE
15. STICKING TOGETHER
Finally, here’s a moving story of how a group of USMNT supporters have bandied together to help one grieving fan find some temporary respite by sending her to the US Mexico match.