Kick Off: With special announcement, David Beckham promises "a good day" in Miami
Here are the top 15 soccer stories we’re following today...
1. BECKHAM IN MIAMI FOR A SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT
Wednesday is a day soccer fans in Miami have long been waiting for as David Beckham is set to deliver an announcement on the status of his potential franchise in the city. Beckham himself wasn’t giving away any secrets at an event on Tuesday night but did state, “Tomorrow is going to be a good day.”
Watch the press conference LIVE on MLSsoccer.com starting at 10 am ET.
2. MAKING AN IMPACT
Now entering their third season in MLS, the Montreal Impact aren’t known for coaching longevity. Yet Frank Klopas believes he is the right fit for the club, especially as he is also the director of player personnel, meaning the coach has the final say on players at the club, a stumbling block for the previous coaches. With that secondary role in mind, Klopas has also revealed that the Impact are negotiating to bring in a new striker.
3. DRESSED FOR SUCCESS
Adidas has been a long-time partner of MLS, and Ernesto Bruce, head of the company's soccer business in North America, talks about how, through Generation adidas, the sports manufacturer has helped promote and improve young talent in the league. Adidas, of course, continue to produce the MLS uniforms, one of which was was leaked on Tuesday.
4. ONE AT A TIME FOR WONDO
With the number of forwards clamoring for a place in this summer’s US World Cup squad, San Jose Earthquakes striker Chris Wondolowski knows how important his performance against South Korea on Saturday may prove to be. Did he do enough? “My mind frame is, ‘Just one at a time’ -- all I am trying to do is get one more opportunity," he says.
5. GOING ON TRIAL
Several notable players began trials this week. Former D.C. United right back James Riley is trying out for the LA Galaxy. The 31-year-old has played for five different clubs during his MLS career, including the Galaxy’s rivals, Chivas USA. Meanwhile, the Vancouver Whitecaps are taking a look at a young Nigerian international along with a slightly more familiar face.
6. A WIN-WIN YEAR FOR D.C. UNITED?
United were one of the first teams out the gate last year in announcing an affiliation with a USL PRO side, the Richmond Kickers, and now the two clubs have chosen to extend that partnership. General manager Dave Kasper predicts “another win-win year” for the two clubs. Meanwhile, United favorite Chris Pontius is also in a winning mode, believing the club can challenge for multiple trophies in 2014.
7. DIFFERENT GALAXIES
It was a momentous day for the LA Galaxy on Tuesday as their new USL PRO side took to the training field for the first time. New head coach Curt Onalfo led the session and laid out more plans for how he'll shape the squad. Meanwhile Galaxy general manager Chris Klein went one-on-one with Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl: "We have an expectation to be back [in the MLS Cup] every year."
8. RED DEVILS IN LA-LA LAND?
Staying in Hollywood, the Manchester United USA Supporters Club claims that the LA Galaxy will take on their beloved Red Devils in friendly in July. In other international news, the Copa Centroamerica, a qualifying tournament for the Gold Cup, will take place right here in the USA.
9. SAME OLD CAHILL
New York Red Bulls star Tim Cahill is notorious for playing through pain, ignoring doctor’s orders and generally willing to risk life and limb for the good of the team. However, with the World Cup this summer, might the Australian be a little more cautious? Forget about it. “This season will definitely be the same as last season,” he says.
10. THE SOUND OF RUMORS
Are the Seattle Sounders chasing Didier Drogba as a new Designated Player? That’s the latest story doing the rounds, but when asked about it, Sounders general manager Adrian Hanauer shot it down: “It is a rumor.” Speaking of the Sounders, while the Vancouver Whitecaps and San Jose Earthquakes celebrate turning 40 this year, they weren’t the only clubs founded in 1974.
11. THE UNION'S YOUNG GUNS
The Philadelphia Union have made plenty of signings this winter, but the side's nucleus remains its contingent of young talent. Can the youngsters lead the side to success this season? They did just fine in a 1-1 draw in their first preseason match, with Jack McInerney finding the net again.
12. ORLANDO KEEPING IT SIMPLE
Orlando City are busy preparing for their move to MLS in 2015 but, before that, they still have one final season to play in the USL PRO. Head coach Adrian Heath rightly points out: “This league has been good to us. We want to give it the respect it deserves."
13. REPLAYS IN MLS?
MLS has yet to implement goal-line technology, but there could be another method to consider: instant replays. MLS Commissioner Don Garber wieghed in with this tweet in support of the International Football Association Board considering the idea.
14. ALTIDORE ADJUSTING
Jozy Altidore’s time at Sunderland didn’t get off to a flying start and the striker admits that it’s affected his performance: “The confidence or quick thinking isn’t there. I’m overthinking things a little bit.” Yet his manager, Gus Poyet, has backed him to turn things around. Meanwhile, in the Nethelands, Aron Jóhannsson scored yet another goal on Tuesday but had to leave the game at halftime due to a thigh strain. Finally, Freddy Adu played 45 minutes of a behind-closed-doors friendly for English second-tier side Blackpool.
15. PRESEASON TRAVELS
No MLS team has traveled quite as far as FC Dallas this preseason. FCD are currently working out in the United Arab Emirates. You can read all about it here and, if you want to feel really jealous, check out the photos here. Be sure to keep up with all the preseason action for every club using MLSsoccer.com's daily preseason tracker.
Get the Kick-Off delivered to you!
Enter your email address and favorite team below to sign up for The Kick-Off mailing list and get it delivered to your inbox every morning.