The Kick Off: Still waiting on renderings as details about Orlando City SC's new stadium trickle out
Here are the top 15 soccer stories we’re following today:
1. ORLANDO STADIUM DETAILS
While the buzz this week may have been all about David Beckham and his proposed new stadium in Miami, their neighbors in Orlando are never ones to be outdone and so, while there are still no renderings of the planned venue, some details have emerged about what exactly will be inside the club's new home.
2. BECKERMAN OR BRADLEY?
Toronto FC face another tough test this week when they travel to Utah to take on Real Salt Lake (9.30 pm ET, TSN2 in Canada/MLS Live in UA). With Alvaro Saborio avoiding suspension but Joao Plata injured, the question becomes, who will partner the Costa Rican up front? Plus, the debate rages on: Michael Bradley or Kyle Beckerman? Whom would you chose?
3. MARSHALL’S MOVED ON
The Seattle Sounders take on the Columbus Crew this Saturday (10 pm ET, Free MLS Stream of the Week), which provides Chad Marshall with an opportunity to face off against his old team. Yet the center back acknowledges that his move to Seattle may have been in the best interest of all parties involved. He discussed that and more on ExtraTime Radio. Once again, though, the Sounders will have to take the field without Clint Dempsey, with the Designated Player sitting out the second game of his two-match ban. Needless to say, the Texan doesn’t agree with his punishment.
4. MAGEE FINDING HIS FORM
The Chicago Fire travel to D.C United on Saturday (4 pm ET, NBCSN) and while Mike Magee may have missed out on the US-Mexico roster, the forward is focused now on getting back to his best with his hometown club. D.C. United, on the other hand, are hoping to avoid going eight months without a league win, and the club's new assistant coach has been sharing his philosophy on training.
5. RAPIDS SPOILED FOR CHOICE
Ahead of Saturday’s game against Sporting Kansas City (6 pm ET, MLS Live), Colorado Rapids head coach Pablo Mastroeni is facing a problem. Sure, the club may be missing key players like Chris Klute and Dillon Serna, but that’s not it. No, according to Mastroeni, the problem is that the Rapids just have so much depth in their squad that he struggles with whom to choose for each match.
6. RICKETTS WILL RETURN
While Donovan Ricketts may have picked up an extra game suspension following last week’s peculiar challenge, the good news for the Portland Timbers is that, despite reports of an injury, the club expects its goalkeeper back and ready to play as soon as his ban is complete. In the meantime, with FC Dallas and a rejuvenated Je-Vaughn Watson coming up this Saturday (8:30 pm ET MLS Live), the club will turn to backup 'keeper Andrew Weber.
7. BRUIN AIMS FOR BRAZIL
The Vancouver Whitecaps host the Houston Dynamo on Saturday (7 pm ET, TSN2 in Canada, MLS Live in US), but they’ll have to do it without Nigel Reo-Coker after it was announced the midfielder suffered a concussion following his infamous encounter with a bike rack. There are no such problems for the Dynamo, though, and in-form striker Will Bruin is hoping that a good run of games and goals can help him earn a spot on the USMNT’s World Cup roster.
8. QUAKES SOLID FOUNDATION
The New England Revolution head to Buck Shaw Stadium on Saturday to take on the San Jose Earthquakes (10:30 pm ET, MLS Live) and, following their revival under head coach Mark Watson, the Quakes are once again a tough team to break down. With their new stadium coming along nicely as well, San Jose have decided to secure another vital part of the team and extend the contract of general manager John Doyle.
9. UNION LOANS
The Philadelphia Union take on the Montreal Impact on Saturday (4 pm ET, MLS live), and we now know two more players who definitely won’t be in the squad, as Richie Marquez and Pedro Ribeiro have joined Cristhian Hernandez and Jimmy McLaughlin at USL PRO affiliate the Harrisburg City Islanders. However, Marquez and Ribeiro are designated as short-term loans, meaning they may well be called back during the season.
10. BAD NEWS FOR SOCAL DEFENDERS
Bad news for the LA Galaxy yesterday, as it seems that James Riley will be out for six months after the fullback underwent surgery to repair a torn left lateral meniscus. Heading down the hall at StubHub Center, Chivas USA are headed to NYC to take on the New York Red Bulls this Sunday (3 pm ET, UniMas), but defender Carlos Borja won't be joining them.
11. PAST AND PRESENT COMBINE FOR TITI
EPL side Arsenal FC are set to play a friendly against the New York Red Bulls this summer at Red Bull Arena. Not only will this mark Arsenal's first trip to the USA since 1989, but the game will hold special importance for Thierry Henry as his former club face his new one. This could be the closest thing Henry gets to a testimonial match here in the States, and the Frenchman offered his thoughts on the upcoming game.
12. ALL LIGA MX MEXICO SQUAD REVEALED
The day after the US national team unveiled their squad for an upcoming friendly against Mexico, their counterparts south of the border have done likewise. Much like the US side, there were no particular surprises in Mexico’s 18-man roster, but could this team selection have provided us with an indication as to Miguel Herrera’s likely World Cup selections?
13. WITH GREEN CONVERTED, WHO WILL BE NEXT?
With Michael Parkhurst not only back in America but putting in star performances so far this season for the Columbus Crew, it's little wonder the US international got a call up for the upcoming game against Mexico and the defender is understandably excited about his latest opportunity. As for the USMNT staff, with Julian Green now safely secured as a US player, is attention turning to Arsenal youngster Gedion Zelalem?
14. PROBLEMS IN PITTSBURGH
This weekend, Orlando City will play their final home opener as a USL PRO club. Their opponents in that match are the Pittsburgh Riverhounds, but it seems that the Houston Dynamo affiliate could be facing some problems after the group controlling the club filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
15. CONCACAF CONCERN
There was some bad news on Thursday as it was announced by CONCACAF that the governing body’s general secretary, Enrique Sanz, has been diagnosed with and will be treated for Leukemia. Best wishes to Mr. Sanz.
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