Kick Off: Internet reacts as Jurgen Klinsmann names 23-man World Cup roster without Landon Donovan
Here are the top 15 soccer stories we’re following today:
1. KLINSMANN NAMES ROSTER
Jurgen Klinsmann has revealed his final 23-man squad for the World Cup and it features 10 MLS players, including Homegrown Seattle defender DeAndre Yedlin. Sadly, there was no place for Michael Parkhurst, Clarence Goodson, Maurice Edu or Brad Evans, although the versatile Sounders player bowed out in style.
2. NO PLACE FOR DONOVAN
Perhaps most controversially of all, though, was the absence of Landon Donovan from the squad. And while Klinsmann described the decision to leave the USA’s all-time leading goalscorer out of the team as “the toughest decision of my coaching career,” let’s just say the internet didn’t react well to the news.
3. COMMENTARY GALORE
Need some reaction, some opinion when it comes to the US roster? MLSsoccer.com's own Greg Lalas weighs in on LD's absence, as does SI.com's Grant Wahl and Goal.com's Ives Galarcep. Brian Straus also weighs in on the other surprises, and Andrew Wiebe takes a crack at Klinsmann's starting XI against Ghana on June 16 in Natal.
4. GROUP G GIANTS FACING PROBLEMS OF THEIR OWN
While many US fans may be feeling less confident in their team’s chances today, it seems Group G favorites Germany have problems of their own. Plus, despite continued success on the pitch, could Bayern Munich actually be hurting the national team’s chances?
5. USMNT’S LOSS IS LA’S GAIN
With Donovan failing to make the US World Cup squad, the LA Galaxy stand to benefit more than anyone as their star can now focus on finally becoming MLS’ all-time top scorer, a record he could break when his side face an out-of-sorts Philadelphia Union this Sunday (8 pm ET, UDN).
6. PARKHURST TO PLAY?
With Michael Parkhurst no longer part of the US national team’s World Cup squad, could that mean the Columbus Crew get one of their main defenders back in time for Saturday's game against the Chicago Fire (7:30 pm ET, MLS LIVE)? According to Crew head coach Gregg Berhalter, that decision is up to Parkhurst himself. Meanwhile, the Fire are hoping hot prospect Grant Ward might finally be ready to make his debut.
7. US ROSTER HITS QUAKES VS DYNAMO
Much like the Columbus Crew with Parkhurst and the LA Galaxy with Donovan, the San Jose Earthquakes stand to benefit from the early return of Clarence Goodson, who will help shore up the defensive line this Sunday against the Houston Dynamo (10:30 pm ET, MLS LIVE). The Dynamo, on the other hand, will once again have to find a way to make do without Brad Davis.
8. SPORTING KANSAS CITY’S NEW LOOK
Toronto FC, fresh off a 2-0 win and complete with Joe Bendik back in goal, will look to make it two in a row as they travel to Sporting Kansas City on Friday night (8:30 pm ET, MLS LIVE). SKC themselves are coming off back-to-back defeats and if they want to turn this ship around they’ll have to do so without any recognizable defenders.
9. THE RETURN OF CHARA?
The New York Red Bulls host the Portland Timbers this Saturday (7 pm ET, MLS LIVE), and last time the two sides met it led to an 3-3 classic on opening weekend. The Red Bulls will, of course, be without Tim Cahill, who has just been named Australia’s vice-captain, while the Timbers hope to welcome back Diego Chara.
10. CASCADIA CUP RETURNS
The Vancouver Whitecaps and Seattle Sounders resume their Cascadia rivalry this weekend (Saturday, 7 pm ET, MLS LIVE), and although the Whitecaps hold the Cascadia Cup, the Canadian side have their eyes on a much bigger target. The Sounders, meanwhile, are focused on regaining regional dominance, but could they also have their eyes on a new centerback?
11. DC CHASING A PLAYMAKER?
After last season's dumpster fire, it’s still slightly surprising that the battle between the New England Revolution and D.C. United on Saturday (7.30pm ET, MLS LIVE) will be one between the top two teams in the Eastern Conference. With much the Revolution’s new-found form seeming to stem from Lee Nguyen, might D.C. United be looking to add a new midfield playmaker of their own?
12. SANCHEZ ON THE MEND
The Colorado Rapids have certainly missed Vicente Sanchez during his absence, but there’s some good news for the team from Denver: It looks like their playmaker is healing quickly. Not quickly enough to face the Montreal Impact this Saturday unfortunately (9 pm ET, MLS Live). But the Canadian side could welcome back Marco Di Vaio this weekend while it's apparently closing in on a new Argentine midfielder.
13. A REAL RECORD
Real Salt Lake are just one unbeaten game away from tying an 18-year-old record in MLS but, according to Chris Wingert: “We’re just so early in the season, I don’t even think it matters.” Regardless of what the players say, it would still be a big accomplishment, but standing in RSL’s way is FC Dallas (Saturday 9:30 pm ET, MLS LIVE) whose mounting injury problems look set to further derail their season.
14. BECKHAM UNVEILS NEW PLANS
Having decided to pursue an alternative venue for his soccer-specific stadium, set to be located next to the American Airlines Arena, David Beckham and his group of investors wasted no time putting together and unveiling plans for the new site.
15. VEGAS STEPPING CLOSER
Has Las Vegas taken another step forward in its new pursuit of an MLS franchise? Possibly so, as the Las Vegas City Council asked the investors hoping to land said franchise to submit a financial plan for their proposed stadium no later than September 1.
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