Kick Off: Donovan offers his take on USMNT snub, sets all-time MLS goalscoring record
Here are the top 15 soccer stories we’re following today:
1. LANDON DONOVAN – RECORD BREAKER
It was always going to happen. Just days after being left off the US World Cup roster, Landon Donovan went on to score his record-setting 135th goal as part of the LA Galaxy’s 4-1 win over the Philadelphia Union (watch highlights here). Once again, the Internet went crazy – this time in a positive way – and Donovan hopes to “get back to enjoying football.” As will the Union, no doubt, who had no answer for Donovan on the night as he went on to grab a second as well.
2. “I ABSOLUTELY DESERVED TO BE GOING”
For his own part, Landon Donovan has been the ultimate professional since his World Cup roster snub. However, when questioned about Klinsmann’s decision on Saturday, Donovan made his own view perfectly clear, stating: “I think if I'm being judged based solely on what happened in camp, then I absolutely deserved to be going to Brazil.”
3. DETAILS OF USMNT CAMP BECOMING CLEARER
So no Landon, and no Brad Evans, Michael Parkhurst or Clarence Goodson either, all of whom comprise four of Jurgen Klinsmann's seven cuts. What was the reasoning? Parkhurst had some interesting comments on Saturday about his snub, though they weren't as pointed as Goodson's on Sunday. What do we know about the top-secret USMNT set-up? It looks like Fabian Johnson may be Klinsmann's first choice at right back.
4. REVS ON TOP
The New England Revolution extended their lead at the top of the Eastern Conference following a comfortable 2-1 win over D.C. United on Saturday (watch highlights here). Patrick Mullins again played his part, with the increasingly confident rookie now having scored four in four, while United were hurt by Eddie Johnson, only just back from a previous suspension, receiving a straight red card.
5. CLASSIC CASCADIA CLASH
The Vancouver Whitecaps and Seattle Sounders, complete with recently returned Brad Evans, played out an entertaining 2-2 draw on Saturday (watch highlights here), scoring some impressive goals along the way. However, 'Caps captain Jay DeMerit was not impressed by the penalty call that allowed the Sounders to come away with a point.
6. QUAKES TAKE ADVANTAGE OF MISTAKES
With Chris Wondolowski watching from the stands, the San Jose Earthquakes switched up their style and beat the Houston Dynamo 3-0 on Sunday evening (watch highlights here). The Dynamo didn’t help themselves, though, as the visiting team played a big role in each of the Quakes goals.
7. TIMBERS TURNING IT AROUND
The Portland Timbers once again had to come from behind, except this time they came away with all three points thanks to a 2-1 win at Red Bull Arena on Saturday (watch highlights here). It’s a result that Caleb Porter hopes will galvenise his team going forward but also left the Red Bulls struggling to explain.
8. RAPIDS STORM TO VICTORY
The Colorado Rapids collected their first win in four games thanks to a 4-1 victory over the Montreal Impact (watch highlights here). The Rapids went in with a 1-0 lead at halftime but credit their strong second-half performance to head coach Pablo Mastroeni’s halftime rant. Impact coach Frank Klopas, on the other hand, was left dismayed as a series of decisions seemingly went against his side.
9. TOO LIVE CREW
Despite missing many of their first-choice defenders, the Columbus Crew were able to secure their first win in nine games, beating the Chicago Fire 2-0 (watch highlights here). Ethan Finlay scored the first goal for the Crew and drew plenty of praise from head coach Gregg Berhalter. The Fire, meanwhile, have vowed to improve again, with Frank Yallop admitting, “We seemed flat from the first whistle.”
10. TFC & SKC BOTH UNHAPPY FOLLOWING DRAW
It's perhaps a sign of how good Sporting Kansas City are these days that three games without a win almost constitutes a crisis, yet SKC players know they have no one to blame but themselves following a 2-2 draw with Toronto FC on Friday (watch highlights here). Not TFC boss Ryan Nelsen though – he’s laying the blame at the feet of the ref.
11. RSL MATCH A RECORD
Following a 0-0 draw with FC Dallas (watch highlights here), Real Salt Lake extended their unbeaten start to the season to 12 games, tying an MLS record in the process. Yet while FC Dallas are happy with a morale boosting point on the road, for RSL, a draw is no reason to celebrate.
12. INJURY UPDATES
There was more bad news for the Houston Dynamo on Friday as rookie Mark Sherrod has been ruled out for the rest of the season after a scan revealed that the young forward had suffered a left ACL tear. Good news for Real Salt Lake, though, as Jordan Allen’s surgery was a success.
13. ON THE MARKET
Reports are once again linking Xavi to MLS, with the latest suggesting that the Barcelona maestro could join New York City FC next summer if he fails to agree a new contract with the Spanish club. NYCFC aren’t the only incoming MLS club linked with a new signing though, as rumors suggest Orlando City are looking at Englishman Joe Cole.
14. DONE DEAL IN DC
On Friday, Washington Mayor Vincent Gray confirmed that a deal for D.C United’s new soccer stadium has been completed and sent to the D.C. Council for approval. While that’s a huge step in the right direction, winning the council’s vote could be another matter altogether.
15. CANADA ENDS ONE UNWANTED RUN
Following a 1-1 draw with Bulgaria, the Canadian national team is still looking for its first win since November 2012. However, the draw marks their first positive result in that spell and they scored their first goal since March 2013, all of which points to steps in the right direction.
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