Kick Off: Back with a bang, USMNT stars help MLS clubs on busy weekend as transfer rumors abound

Here are the top 15 soccer stories we’re following today

1. DAVIS HELPS DYNAMO TO DRAW

The Houston Dynamo welcomed Brad Davis (and some others) back just in time, with the midfielder playing a big part in his side's 2-2 draw with the New York Red Bulls (watch highlights here). Yet the Red Bulls feel they should have taken all three points and would have if not for what they deemed a questionable penalty.

2. DIAZ RETURNS, DALLAS WIN

FC Dallas overcame a resurgent Philadelphia Union to secure a 2-1 victory (watch highlights here) and hand Jim Curtin his first loss as Union interim coach. The result was highlighted by the return of Mauro Diaz, but the Union feel the game's decisive goal should have been ruled offside.

3. SCORE DRAW FOR RAPIDS AND CREW

Gregg Berhalter was happy with his side's performance after the Columbus Crew managed  a 1-1 tie against the Colorado Rapids (watch highlights here), their fourth draw in a row. Rapids boss Pablo Mastroeni, on the other hand, was less than happy with his own team but refused to pass the blame.

4. RSL STARS RETURN JUST IN TIME

Despite returning from the World Cup just one day prior to the match, Kyle Beckerman and Nick Rimando jumped straight in to play their part in Real Salt Lake’s 2-1 win over the New England Revolution (watch highlights here), consigning the Massachusetts team to their fourth straight defeat thanks to a pair of penalty kicks.

5. TIMBERS TAKE A POINT

The Portland Timbers came from behind to lead the match, then gave up that lead in a 2-2 draw with the LA Galaxy (watch highlights here). While Galaxy coach Bruce Arena criticized his own team's overall effort, the Timbers see the point on the road as a positive result.

6. DeLEON FINDING HIS FORM

Nick DeLeon hopes he can rekindle his form from 2012 after his goal on Saturday helped D.C. United to a 2-1 win over Michael Bradley and Toronto FC (watch highlights here). The result also ended TFC’s six-game unbeaten run and, to add insult to injury, they saw defender Nick Hagglund sent off in the dying minutes on a play that was initially ruled only a yellow card.

7. SHORT-HANDED SOUNDERS FALL TO THE CAPS

The Seattle Sounders may have been missing half of their lineup during their 1-0 loss to Cascadia rivals Vancouver Whitecaps (watch highlights here), but head coach Sigi Schmid refused to use that as an excuse, instead stating, “We had enough quality on the field to get a result and to play.” Whitecaps coach Carl Robinson, on the other hand, was pleased by his own side's determined effort.

8. VISIONARY CUBO

For the second time in four days, Erick Torres proved the difference in a 1-0 Chivas USA win, this time against the Montreal Impact (watch highlights here). After a spectacular goal in second-half stoppage time, Torres claimed he had been inspired by visualizing celebrating with the home fans, but Montreal head coach Frank Klopas certainly wasn’t a fan of the Torres goal.

9. FIRE RISING

Sporting Kansas City, with Graham Zusi coming on as a substitute, had to settle for a point in a 1-1 draw against the Chicago Fire (watch highlights here) on Sunday afternoon despite running the show for much of the match. Regardless, the Fire dug in, and Frank Yallop believes the result shows his side is making progress.

10. COSTA RICA NARROWLY MISS OUT

Costa Rica’s World Cup came to a valiant end on Saturday when, after taking the Netherlands all the way through extra time with the score at 0-0, they were knocked out in a penalty shootout. Costa Rica were, of course, the final CONCACAF team in the tournament, but the general consensus is that they should be extremely proud of their accomplishments in Brazil.

11. DEPARTURE GATE

A number of MLS players in the US World Cup squad made a name for themselves in Brazil, and we are  now seeing the fall-out from that, with reports suggesting that DeAndre Yedlin is on his way to AS Roma and Matt Besler is set to make a decision on his own future in the next few days, although his current head coach Peter Vermes believes he can keep hold of his stars.

12. ONE FOR THE FUTURE

It looks like the US could add another name to the list of potential future stars, as Arsenal youngster Gedion Zelalem is reportedly getting his US citizenship. Meanwhile, former next big thing Freddy Adu may finally be closing in on a new club after going on trial with AZ Alkmaar.

13. WONDO’S BIG MISS

While the majority of MLS’ US stars returned to action over the weekend, there was no game for the San Jose Earthquakes, meaning Chris Wondolowski has to wait an extra week before he can move on from his pivotal miss against Belgium. However, the Quakes forward isn’t hiding from it, instead suggesting, “That miss is going to help me.”

14. UP THE TEMPO

There was plenty of celebrating over how well the US did at this World Cup, but there were also a fair number of detractors questioning whether, for all Jurgen Klinsmann’s promises, the German coach actually delivered. Either way, he certainly has plenty of ideas on how to improve the side going forward.

15. BECKHAM LOOKING ELSEWHERE?

With David Beckham’s search for a stadium site in Miami seemingly having hit a brick wall, the former Galaxy star is said to be considering a different location all together. Could this really be the case or is it just clever political maneuvering?

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