Kick Off: Robert Warzycha fired as new Columbus Crew ownership rings the changes

Kick Off Robert Warzycha

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USA TODAY Sports

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

1. COLUMBUS BEGIN TO MAKE CHANGES, WARZYCHA FIRST TO GO

On Monday, the Columbus Crew made the first big move of the Anthony Precourt era, removing Robert Warzycha from his position as manager. It was a decision the new ownership said they had already settled upon ahead of 2014, but was hastened by a poor run of results.  While some fans will be happy about this decision and many more deem it necessary, it’s still a sad day for a man who spent 18 years with the Crew and deserves to be remembered fondly, according to the folks at MassiveReport.com.

2. WHO WILL REPLACE WARZYCHA?

Technical director Brian Bliss has been placed in charge of first team affairs as interim head coach while the search for a new boss gets underway. Precourt has promised to conduct a thorough search for a long-term replacement, but Bliss is apparently interested in the job. Here's a look at who else might be the leading candidates, according to Columbus Dispatch writer Shawn Mitchell.

3. KAMARA RETURNS TO ENGLAND

As the European transfer window finally shut last night, Kei Kamara made his move. The forward from Sierra Leone will join Middlesbrough for what Sporting Kansas City officials call a “substantial” fee. This will be Kamara’s second spell in England after playing on loan for Norwich last year and, though not an easy decision for SKC, it was one that was made “in days.”

4. EDDIE JOHNSON GETTING PAID

Eddie Johnson’s "pay me" celebration clearly didn’t go unnoticed on Saturday. Not by the fans, not by the media and not by Adrian Hanauer, the Seattle Sounders part owner and general manager. So will EJ be getting more money? Says Hanauer: “Eddie is underpaid at this point and we’ll address that behind closed doors.”

5. DO DALLAS NEED TO MAKE THE PLAYOFFS?

At one point, FC Dallas were the hottest team in the league, but then they went through an 11-game winless streak. Now they sit just outside the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Is the pressure building on Schellas Hyndman to make the postseason? Maybe just a little.

6. CHIVAS USA LOANEE ON HIS WAY BACK HOME

Martín Ponce, who was on loan with Chivas USA, has been sent back to his parent club south of the border after what could only be described as an unproductive spell with the Goats.

7. UNION PROBLEMS

Jack McInerney hasn’t scored in a while, but he’s not the only one struggling to find the net for the Philadelphia Union at the moment. Where does the problem lie? Well, according to McInerney, “playing through the middle of the field just isn’t something we’re good at.” Where are the Union’s attacking midfielders?

8. US CAMP HAS A YOUTHFUL FEELING

“I feel like a youngster” was how Landon Donovan described his return to the national team fold ahead of training on Monday in Florida. And that fact has both the player and his coach thrilled. Says head coach Jurgen Klinsmann: “It’s great to see Landon back in this group."

9. NO MOVES FOR PARKHURST, YET

Despite reported interest from clubs in Europe — including Serie A side Lazio — when Michael Parkhurst reports back from USMNT camp, it will be to the same club he left. But could a winter transfer be on the cards?

10. TIM CAHILL TALKS ABOUT HIS GREATEST DECISION

Tim Cahill will miss his country's upcoming international match against Brazil due to injury but, despite this, he’s still “living a dream.”That’s how the Australian international describes his time in America so far. In an interview conducted with TheRoar.com, Cahill talks about playing for Australia, his international Red Bull teammates, the future of the MLS, his relationship with the Commissioner and his decision to join the league.

11. DEPLETED SOUNDERS SIDE GETS GOOD NEWS ON INJURY

With Clint Dempsey and Eddie Johnson both away with the USMNT and Brad Evans now injured, the Seattle Sounders find themselves stretched a little bit thin ahead of matches against Chivas USA and the Chicago Fire. However, there could be some good news as Obafemi Martins seems to be nearing a return.

12. THE BRITISH ARE COMING!

For some American players, the dream is to one day test their skills in Europe, but did you know there are just as many people who dream of playing in the US? Here’s the story of how one business start-up is helping English students secure soccer scholarships at American universities.

13. CUP DREAM OVER FOR D.C. UNITED AFFILIATE

Despite winning the USL PRO regular-season title, the Richmond Kickers were sent crashing out of the playoffs by the Charlotte Eagles, and with them went three D.C. United players and one from the Houston Dynamo. The Eagles will now play Orlando City, who featured one Sporting Kansas City player in their 3-2 win over the Charleston Battery, in this weekend's final. How did other MLS loanees get on over the weekend?

14. BRUINS OPEN WITH A ROAR

The NCAA season is officially underway. Check out MLSsoccer.com's Top 10 list as well as a couple of players it might be worth watching for the SuperDraft. After all, it’s only four months away now!

15. VOTE FOR THE CHICAGO FIRE'S NEW THIRD KIT

Similar to a move the LA Galaxy made earlier this season, the Chicago Fire are letting fans choose their new third kit. After taking submissions last month, the five finalists have been unveiled and you can view them all, as well as vote, right here. Which do you like most?

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