Kick Off: Have the Seattle Sounders made a lucrative offer to rumored DP target Didier Drogba?
Here are the top 15 soccer stories we’re following today:
1. SOUNDERS CUTS AND CALLS
Danny O’Rourke’s time with the Seattle Sounders didn’t last long as the former Columbus Crew man was one of four trialists cut ahead of the squad's trip to Charleston, S.C. Meanwhile, the Sounders have another couple of questions to answer when it comes to their squad. Plus, could the team really be trying to lure Didier Drogba to the Emerald City? They might not need him if Kevin Parsemain continues to impress.
2. BYE-BYE BUNBURY
In what may have seemed a surprising move, Sporting Kansas City traded Teal Bunbury to the New England Revolution on Wednesday. However, SKC received a healthy amount of allocation money and a first-round SuperDraft pick in exchange for the forward, and as head coach Peter Vermes revealed, the move was made with next year’s Expansion Draft in mind. It’s not just on the field that Sporting Kansas City are making smart moves either.
3. CHIVAS MAKE MOVES
The Argentine contingent in MLS continues to grow after Chivas USA added two more of their own on Wednesday. First, the club announced the official signing of trialist Agustín Pelletieri, a 31-year-old midfielder, then Argentinos Juniors revealed that they would be loaning 22-year-old striker Leandro Barrera to the LA-based team.
4. PEARCE TO MONTREAL?
Has Heath Pearce found a new club? News broke on Wednesday that the former FC Dallas, Chivas USA and New York Red Bulls left back is set to train with the Montreal Impact and could feature in the club's preseason games in Orlando. Pearce has been without a club since being released by the Red Bulls at the end of a season in which his playing time was seriously curtailed by surgery.
5. MORENO MOVING TO MEXICO
Yet another young MLS player is heading to Mexico as former New York Red Bulls Homegrown Amando Moreno joined Club Tijuana. Moreno joins the Xolos on a free transfer, with the Red Bulls' sporting director revealing that, “Amando was out of contract and decided recently to decline our offer to stay with the club.” Speaking of MLS players south of the border, it’s not just Jose Villarreal being sent to Cruz Azul Hidalgo.
6. HENRY FOCUSED ON THE PRESENT
As things stand, 2014 is Thierry Henry’s last contract year with the New York Red Bulls. He's not worried about the future, though, choosing instead to focus on the present: “I’m not even going to think about if this is the last season or not. I will not have that in mind right now.”
7. STADIUM RENDERINGS: PRETTY AS A PICTURE
D.C. United recently showed off the latest renderings for their proposed new stadium, Orlando City are due to show us their plans any time now and while we may not see any pictures of New York City FC’s ground for awhile, fans of their parent club enjoyed images of an expanded Etihad Stadium just the other week. What is it about stadium renderings that we all find so fascinating? On the subject of stadiums, it looks like MLS affiliate Sacramento Republic FC will begin work on their very own venue soon enough.
8. GALAXY GETTING STRONGER
James Riley is currently on trial with the LA Galaxy and the 31-year-old right back is doing everything in his power to help extend his nine-year MLS career. The Galaxy, meanwhile, are certainly getting stronger in other areas as players return to fitness. Robbie Keane is back and scored for the Galaxy on Wednesday, while Bruce Arena expects both Todd Dunivant and Robbie Rogers to return next week.
9. CURLING QUAKES
After impressing during preseason, the San Jose Earthquakes signed first-round SuperDraft pick J.J. Koval to a permanent deal, with head coach Mark Watson saying, “We have really high hopes for him.” The Earthquakes are also getting into the Olympic spirit and will take on the San Jose Sharks in a curling match on Thursday.
10. ALL ABOUT TRUST
A big part of Maurice Edu’s recent decision to return to MLS came down to the his desire to play, especially in a World Cup year, it seems heading to Philly also came down to his previous relationship with head coach John Hackworth and assistant coach Rob Vartughian: “I know them both well. They are guys that I trust. It helped to make the situation a lot more comfortable."
11. WORLD OF HURTADO
Jhon Kennedy Hurtado made the move from the Seattle Sounders to the Chicago Fire last month. While the defender may not have found somewhere to live yet, he is certainly excited about the future at his new club: “It’s a new team with athletic professional players and a new coaching style.”
12. SPLASH THE CASH
One of the most common themes at the recent MLS media days was the amount of money being spent to lure big-name players to the league this offseason. Surprised? Don't be. The Seattle Sounders Brad Evans perhaps put it best when he said, “money talks.”
13. PRESEASON PERFORMANCES
Wednesday marked a busy preseason day, with both the Desert Diamond Cup and the Disney Pro Soccer Classic getting underway. The results aren’t as important as the performances, but don’t forget you can keep up with all the action right here with our Preseason Tracker.
14. DOING THE RIGHT THING
Benny Feilhaber put in another solid performance in Wednesday's preseason action. If that translates to the regular season, could the Sporting Kansas City midfielder earn a spot on the US World Cup roster? According to Feilhaber, he still has work to do to "make Jurgen’s decision a little harder.” One player who definitely won’t be going to the World Cup, though, is Mexico’s Carlos Vela, who has been explaining his decision not to play for his country, claiming, “In this moment, I believe I did the right thing.”
15. A GAP IN THE MARKET
With Jurgen Klinsmann always challenging his players to push themselves further, it seems that message has rubbed off on some of the other US national team staff as well, as long-time equipment manager Jesse Bignami has started a new trade embroidering boots.
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