Kick Off: SuperDraft Rounds 3 & 4 today, who will find a gem or two?
Here are the top 15 soccer stories we’re following today...
1. THE SUPERDRAFT, PARTS 3 AND 4
The MLS SuperDraft, presented by adidas, resumes on Tuesday with Rounds 3 and 4 taking place via conference call. So who are the top players still available for selection and how many picks does your team have left? The late rounds, by the way, are good places to find a few hidden gems, maybe even a future US national team goalkeeper. Get full coverage of Rounds 3 & 4 and follow live on MLSsoccer.com, starting at 2 pm ET.
2. PAPPA RETURNING TO MLS
Marco Pappa himself reported on Twitter that he is returning to MLS, but where will he land? He earlier told the media he would return to Chicago on a two-year deal, but things are a little more complicated than that. Because he left Chicago on a transfer, he would return to the league via the Allocation Ranking process. Philadelphia have the top spot, and the reportedly interested Seattle Sounders are at No. 2.
3. VALDÉS NOT COMING BACK
While the Philadelphia Union’s Carlos Valdés won’t be staying with Colombian club Sante Fe, it seems he won’t be heading back to the Union just yet either. Instead, the club has been negotiating with Argentine side San Lorenzo on a reported six-month loan and perhaps an outright transfer. However, Union officials also stress that the deal is not done yet.
4. RED BULLS FEELING FRENCH
The New York Red Bulls may no longer be looking at Spanish star Xavi, but they are reportedly looking at a Frenchman. Their supposed target is former Lyon man Sidney Govou. The 34-year-old midfielder is certainly familiar with some members of the Red Bulls outfit, having played with Thierry Henry and played for Gérard Houllier, Red Bull's director of global football.
5. WORKING ON DEMERIT
Jay DeMerit will once again be wearing a Vancouver Whitecaps jersey this season after officially signing a new contract. Having overcome a serious injury last year, the 34-year-old defender is thrilled to be back. “I believe the future of this club is bright and I look forward to being a part of it,” he said. The Whitecaps captain also offered his thoughts on the recently departed Camilo Sanvezzo.
6. YOUR PLACE OR MINE?
It’s a debate that could rage on for ages: If you’re playing a two-legged series, is it better to play at home in the first or second leg? That's the questions MLS teams will get to answer according to this report about a potential tweak to the MLS playoffs, including the possibility of higher-seeded teams choosing which leg they want at home.
7. FUTURE LOOKING GOOD FOR CHIVAS
Carlos Bocanegra knows that last year wasn’t exactly great for Chivas USA but he feels they’re heading in the right direction, even hinting at some new acquisitions. The former US captain also has some ideas on what he wants to see in the next Collective Bargaining Agreement.
8. HAVE A BREAK, USMNT
On Monday the US national team completed their second scrimmage against São Paulo and this time it was the US who came out 2-1 winners. It was another behind-closed-doors affair so we don’t know much more than that, but there are at least some photos from the game. The team certainly seems to have put the work in during this trip to Brazil, as Brad Evans will testify to, and as such, Jurgen Klinsmann has granted his players a rare day off.
9. I DO IT FOR YOU, KLINSI
“For the last eight months, all my decisions have been World Cup-based,” says Oguchi Onyewu, and after signing with English Championship side Sheffield Wednesday, the defender made his first start in a very long time on Saturday. So can Gooch still make the US squad for Brazil? “I definitely think it’s possible and probable.” He isn’t the only one still holding out hope of a spot though, as Juan Agudelo still dreams of making it as well.
10. NEW NATIONAL COACH … OF THE PHILLIPPINES
Thomas Dooley, a veteran of the US national team with 81 caps to his name, is in the running to become the next head coach of the Phillippines. “He has experience and has played at a high level,” said Phillippines national team manager Dan Palami. “We look forward to hearing his thoughts on the job.”
11. COLORADO COLUMN
By now, chances are you know who Richard Sherman is and what he did, even if you aren't an NFL fan. So what is an MLS player’s perspective on the whole situation? Rapids goalkeeper Clint Irwin tackles that question in his new guest-writer spot for SI.com. Meanwhile, is Irwin’s club on the verge of taking advantage of a new intra-league loan system?
12. BUILDING IN SAN JOSE
Things are going well for the San Jose Earthquakes right now in all areas. On the field, new signing Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi calls his move to the club a dream come true, while off the field their brand new stadium is really starting to come together. With that in mind, Earthquakes president Dave Kaval has been talking about what goes into the search for a naming rights partner and other stadium sponsors.
13. CANADIAN FANS
The unforgiving weather in March in Canada leads the Montreal Impact to play the first few home games each season inside Olympic Stadium. This year is no exception, although fans will now have the option of getting a little bit closer to the action. Meanwhile, Toronto FC’s owners have reassured taxpayers they will be repaid for any future expansion to BMO Field.
14. FIFA PRESIDENT
With it looking increasingly likely that Sepp Blatter plans to renege on his word and run for yet another term as FIFA president, it seems he has an interesting challenger in the form of Jerome Champagne. The Frenchman was a former FIFA employee, was instantly endorsed by Pelé, believes the Premier League's monetary system is akin to communism, and thinks soccer should introduce orange cards for referees.
15. PLAN B FOR MANCHESTER UNITED?
Could Manchester United’s summer tour of the USA be in jeopardy? According to the Telegraph, the club has put its plans for the trip on hold as its stuttering form means it has to contemplate a summer schedule involving Europa League qualifiers.
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