Kick Off: A playoff rematch, Champions League final & Canadian Championship kicks off
Here are the top 15 soccer stories we’re following today:
1. RED BULLS AND DYNAMO SET FOR PLAYOFF REMATCH
The New York Red Bulls face the Houston Dynamo on Wednesday evening (7:30 pm ET, MLS LIVE) for the first time since their second-leg collapse during last season playoffs. However, RBNY coach Mike Petke isn't using that game as inspiration. He also won't have the use of Tim Cahill. The Dynamo have their own injury issue, as Brad Davis is once again questionable. But they have recalled Brian Ownby from his loan with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds.
2. NEW YORK CO-EXISTENCE
How will the New York Yankees and New York City FC co-exist in the same stadium in 2015? That's what NYCFC chief business officer Tim Pernetti detailed for the Sports Business Journal. And head coach Jason Kreis provided some details on his squad-building, revealing that it's "not a foregone conclusion" that he'll take any Manchester City players on loan.
3. CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINALE
After nearly nine months of action, the 2013-14 CONCACAF Champions League is set for its conclusion tonight when Toluca host Cruz Azul (8 pm ET, FOX Sports 2) in the second leg of their final series. The aggregate score is 0-0, and both sides -- who are currently first and second in Liga MX -- feel the match could go either way.
While one CONCACAF Champions League ends, the next one begins, as the Amway Canadian Championship gets underway on Wednesday night with the first leg of the play-in series between NASL clubs Ottawa Fury and FC Edmonton. The winner of this series will join the three Canadian MLS sides in the tournament semifinals.
5. REVS LEGEND RETURNS
Shalrie Joseph has finally found another club, one he's very familiar with. The 35-year-old, who spent the last year and a half with Chivas USA and the Seattle Sounders, has signed again with the New England Revolution, which will help the Revs midfield and presumably allow Joseph to retire with the club he featured with for a decade.
6. DALLAS D A QUESTION MARK
FC Dallas currently sit atop the Western Conference and, with 17 goals scored this season already, the club’s offense is beyond question. However, they’ve conceded 10 goals and have yet to post a shutout. Any cause for concern?
7. TIMBERS IN TURMOIL?
Will Johnson, captain of the surprisingly still-winless Portland Timbers, expressed his frustration over the weekend and on Tuesday elaborated on what he feels his team needs to do in order to get some Ws. Unfortunately, they’ll have to do so without striker Frederic Piquionne, who has returned to Martinique due to a family emergency. Still, while the Timbers' present may be troubled right now, the club still have one eye on the future and have announced the latest players to be heading out on loan.
8. DUNIVANT OR NO?
The LA Galaxy once again have a bye week coming up, and while head coach Bruce Arena won’t put a definitive timeline on Todd Dunivant’s return, he’s hopeful the defender may be fit by the time the Galaxy next take the field. In other Galaxy news, Jose Villarreal's younger brother, Jaime, is earning praise for his performance at the Dallas Cup.
9. RIMANDO CLOSING IN ON SHUTOUT MARK
With two Save of the Week nominations, Real Salt Lake's Nick Rimando garnered a ton of praise for his performance over the weekend. Now fully fit again, this Saturday’s home game against the Vancouver Whitecaps offers Rimando the opportunity to equal an impressive MLS record.
10. GET BENT
Is another English international looking to follow Jermain Defoe to America? That's the rumor. This report claims that Darren Bent is in talks with MLS. And a different report claims that a 28-year-old Scottish winger currently with St. Johnstone could be headed to MLS, too.
11. MOYES FOR MLS?
At this stage it would be almost impossible for a soccer fan not to know that Manchester United fired manager David Moyes on Tuesday. LA Galaxy star Landon Donovan, who twice played for Moyes on loan with Everton, feels the Scotsman was put in a difficult situation. And if Moyes is looking for his next challenge, Donovan has a suggestion: MLS.
12. GO PRO
It’s not just the players anymore. The Professional Referees Organization is weighing in on the performance of its own staff, saying that referee Juan Guzman got it wrong in the Columbus Crew vs D.C. United match and Giancarlo Gonzalez should have been sent off for the Denial of an Obvious Goal Scoring Opportunity (DOGSO). What's the difference between a yellow-card and a red-card offense? Allow Landon Donovan to demonstrate.
13. NO REST FOR RAMOS
Tab Ramos is possibly the busiest man in soccer right now. Not only was he recently appointed as assistant coach to the full national team, he is also US Soccer's youth technical director and oversees the US Under-20 nayional team and the recently formed US U-21s. Yet you won’t hear Ramos complaining: “Just to be contributing to US Soccer in all different ways, for me, I couldn’t ask for anything more, really. I love what I do."
14. YOU GOT A PERMIT FOR THAT?
Juan Agudelo has seemingly found his form during his loan stint with FC Utrecht. But he may not be there for long, as it looks like his parent club, Stoke City, will once again attempt to secure a UK work permit for the forward.
15. GAME OF MLS THRONES
You knew someone would do it. Well, here it is: your MLS-to-Game-of-Thrones comparison.
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