Kick Off: All-Star Fan XI to be revealed on ESPN2 during busy Wednesday slate of games
Here are the top 15 soccer stories we’re following today:
1. ALL-STARS, PART 1
The 2014 AT&T MLS All-Star Game against Bayern Munich is only three weeks away, and the All-Star Fan XI will be revealed during tonight's ESPN2 broadcast of the game between I-95 rivals Philadelphia Union and New York Red Bulls (6:55 pm ET). For the Philadelphia Union, it's one of a pair of matches some say could define their season. On the Red Bulls' side, early candidates for the summer transfer window appear to have been narrowed down to just one.
2. REGULARS RETURN
The Columbus Crew received a boost ahead of their game on Wednesday night against Sporting Kansas City (7:30 pm ET, MLS LIVE), as both of their Costa Rican World Cup players look set to return for the game. There was more good news for the Crew as well, as Bernardo Añor’s red-card suspension was rescinded. The Crew also parted ways with Alvaro Rey and manager Gregg Berhalter revealed the reasons why.
3. THE TERMINAL (MLS EDITION)
Sporting Kansas City's lead-up to the match in Columbus wasn't ideal. After setting off from Montreal on Monday, flight delays and cancellations meant most of the squad only arrived in Ohio late Tuesday.
4. GAINING GROUND
As they start to build some momentum, the LA Galaxy take on the slumping New England Revolution at StubHub Center tonight (Wednesday, 10:30 pm ET, MLS LIVE), and while the Galaxy are already starting to look to the future with their youth development, the Revolution just want to get back to winning ways and end the slide.
5. CANADIAN DERBY
Toronto FC host cross-country rivals Vancouver Whitecaps on Wednesday (8 pm ET, TSN & RDS2 in Canada, MLS LIVE in the US) and, following their comeback against the Houston Dynamo, TFC boss Ryan Nelsen believes his club is finally starting to display a winning mentality.
6. INJURIES APLENTY
Tuesday was a bad day for injury news in MLS. First up was TFC captain Steven Caldwell, who suffered a quad tear. Then came confirmation that Andy Dorman will be out for 10-12 weeks with a sprained MCL. Chivas USA also revealed that Bobby Burling will need four weeks to recover and Martin Rivero will be out for at least six months. And to top it off, the Montreal Impact’s Adrian Lopez has been ruled out for the rest of the season with an ACL tear.
7. ANOTHER SUITOR FOR YEDLIN?
While it’s probably wise not to believe all the rumors, the latest on DeAndre Yedlin suggests that Bayern Munich have joined the race for the talented Seattle Sounders right back. Meanwhile, the Philadelphia Union have two younger goalkeepers in Zac MacMath and Andre Blake, but could they be considering an experienced option in Algerian international Rais M’Bolhi?
8. FAMILIAR NAMES COME UP AGAIN
While recent signing Josh Saunders says he’s ready to go, did FIFA accidentally reveal New York City FC’s fourth-ever player? Reports out of Spain suggest that Xavi Hernandez is "almost certain" to join the club in the very near future.
9. TIMBERS TARGET TURNAROUND
The Portland Timbers have only won four MLS games this season, and Caleb Porter knows that needs to change quickly if his side wants to make the playoffs again this year. However, the Timbers head coach is still uncertain whether or not to start new Designated Player Liam Ridgewell against the Colorado Rapids on Friday.
10. DALLAS DEALINGS
With the transfer window open, there will be no shortage of MLS clubs linked with new signings, yet there does not appear to be any truth to the one linking Japanese international Keisuke Honda with a move to FC Dallas. However, could goalkeeper Richard Sanchez, recently sold to Tigres UANL, already be on his way back to his ex-club?
11. BACK WHERE IT BEGAN FOR JOE NASCO
The Colorado Rapids will be without defender Shane O’Neill for their game against the Portland Timbers, with the defender running afoul of the MLS Disciplinary Committee. They will also proceed without goalkeeper Joe Nasco, having loaned him back to his first professional team – the Atlanta Silverbacks – for the remainder of the season.
12. MEXICO AND ADIDAS STAYING TOGETHER
The Mexican national team shirt was the top-selling adidas kit during 2010, and reports indicate that, in 2014, sales rose by 30 percent compared to previous tournaments. As such, it’s no real surprise that adidas has chosen to extend its deal with El Tri all the way through the 2022 World Cup.
13. WHAT COMES NEXT?
For the four CONCACAF teams who took part in the World Cup, their trip to Brazil will still be fresh in their minds. Yet what comes next for the region's representatives? And when it comes to Canada, could Canadian clubs be set to benefit from a change to their international players' status in MLS?
14. A NEW TT FOR THE US
Having already won their first game of the National Training Center Invitational, the US Under-20 national team is getting ready for its second game, against Bermuda, on Wednesday evening, and there’s a new face joining the team in the shape of the San Jose Earthquakes promising youngster Tommy Thompson.
15. SCENE IT?
Conde Nast Entertainment has unveiled its new destination for top-shelf video content called THE SCENE, which launched on Wednesday, and the stars and stories of MLS are also front and center.