Kick Off: Jurgen Klinsmann leaves playoff MLSers off latest USMNT roster
Here are the top 15 soccer stories we’re following today...
1. US ROSTER REVEALED
Monday saw the announcement of the US roster for the upcoming friendlies against Scotland and Austria, the USMNT's final two matches of 2013. There were few surprises in the squad, although head coach Jurgen Klinsmann chose not to call in any of the players still involved in the MLS playoffs. ESPNFC.com charts the rise of Eric Lichaj and the fall of Timmy Chandler from US contention, while Chicago's Mike Magee is left to wonder just what he needs to do to get a call-up. Magee – who is the frontrunner for league MVP this season – said he was “a little surprised” to have been left off the roster this time around.
2. HEED THE CALL
While Klinsmann may have chosen not to call up any of the MLS players still involved in playoff action, Honduras had no such concerns. As such, Boniek Garcia is set to depart for Honduras’ upcoming friendlies against Brazil and Ecuador. While the Houston Dynamo are trying not to worry about their star player's absence, the good news is Garcia at least won’t be travelling far, with the two games taking place in Miami and at the Dynamo’s very own BBVA Compass Stadium. Meanwhile, Toronto FC's Bright Dike has been called up by Nigeria.
3. REIS AND RECOVERY
There was more bad news involving Matt Reis on Monday, as it was revealed that the injury he suffered in the second leg of the New England Revolution's playoff series against Sporting Kansas City required surgery. The veteran 'keeper had the operation to repair his left quadriceps on Monday but will now be out of action for 5-7 months. Given where we are now he might not miss too much of the 2014 MLS season but, considering the MLS veteran was already talking about possibly calling it quits, could this be the end of the road?
4. SOUNDERS MOVING FORWARDS
Seattle Sounders general manager Adrian Hanauer offered up his end of the season Q&A session with reporters, providing plenty of insight into next season along and some revealing sound bites. The most interesting revelations are that the club will take its time considering head coach Sigi Schmid's future and that Eddie Johnson is unlikely to play out the final year of his contract on his current salary.
5. FAMILIAR FACES FOR LA
Hanauer wasn’t the only one who had some interesting news on Monday, as it also marked the LA Galaxy’s final day of media availability for 2013. As such, head coach Bruce Arena stepped forward and offered some insight on what his club needs ahead of 2014, and dropped the news that the club has re-signed defender Todd Dunivant and brought in former Chicago Fire midfielder Baggio Husidic. Arena also gave an update on Sean Franklin’s future.
6. MORE BANG FOR YOUR BUCK
Which MLS player really does provide the best value for the money? According to Business of Soccer, who conducted a comparison between player’s salaries and their Castrol Index rating, that honor belongs to Lamar Neagle.
7. CCL CONFUSION
There may still be some lingering confusion over the allocation of CONCACAF Champions League spaces for the next couple of seasons. While U.S. Soccer shot down the new claims over the weekend, MLS did have its own revisions it wanted to implement before the current season began. Under those changes the Portland Timbers would have now qualified for the CCL – so what happened?
No one would ever doubt that Tim Cahill certainly gives everything when he’s on the field. Here's a look from the folks at The Guardian at Cahill and Ange Postecoglou, the new Australia coach, and how their relationship will shape the Socceroos squad in the future.
9. TROUBLE IN CAIRO
As Bob Bradley gets ready for what could be his final game in charge of Egypt, it seems there is further unrest in the country. Police and fans clashed before Sunday's African Champions League final and, with the all-important playoff series seemingly already decided, there are fears there could be further trouble surrounding the upcoming game. So much so that FIFA has issued Ghana with security “guarantees” ahead of the match on Nov. 19.
10. QUALIFYING STILL UNCERTAIN
Mexico’s crucial World Cup qualifier against New Zealand edges ever closer and the pressure is on Mexico to avoid missing their first World Cup since 1990. Mexico coach Miguel Herrera isn’t worried though, and explains why he hasn’t selected any European-based players for his roster. Want to know just a little more about the state of soccer in New Zealand ahead of the big clash? The New Zealand Herald has you covered.
11. REMEMBERING THEIR SERVICE
Monday marked Veterans Day, a day when we remember those who currently serve us, at home and overseas, as well as those who have done so in the past. For many it was just a day off, but for Danny Cruz, whose father currently serves in Afghanistan, it’s always an especially poignant day.
12. BRAVE NEW WORLD IN ATLANTA
The Atlanta Braves are set to leave Turner Field, their 17-year old stadium and move to Cobb County. Sure, this is a baseball story, but it has potential soccer ramifications. What will happen to Turner Field? Could it be converted into a home for the long mooted Atlanta MLS team? Does the exodus of the Braves help improve the market for a soccer team?
While MLS already features a number of top level Jamaican talents, the NASL is making a play to engage that audience as well. To do so, they plan to hold a combine in Jamaica this winter as the league seeks to sign up some of the undiscovered or up and coming talents. Indy Eleven, meanwhile, have signed two new players, as well as brought on former MLS defender Tim Regan as an assistant coach.
14. NATURAL HABITAT
D.C. United’s RFK is an old stadium. As such, part of its “charm” is the wide variety of wildlife you can find within it. Now, Open Wide For Some Soccer has set out to chronicle said creatures on their new tumblr. One last little bonus for Tuesday, how does Mike Petke unwind after a long season?
15. BORCHERS AND BERHALTER ON ET RADIO
Check out the latest episode of ExtraTime Radio, examining the first leg of the Conference Championships and welcoming on Real Salt Lake defender Nat Borchers and new Columbus Crew head coach Gregg Berhalter.