Kick Off: All-Star Fan XI revealed as Philadelphia Union and LA Galaxy produce statement wins
Here are the top 15 soccer stories we’re following today:
1. FAN FAVORITES
During halftime of Wednesday's Philadelphia Union-New York Red Bulls game, the All-Star Fan XI for the 2014 AT&T MLS All-Star game was revealed and, unsurprisingly, it was a list that heavily featured a number of the US’ World Cup stars. Unlike the World Cup squad, though, there was a place for Landon Donovan in this selection.
2. UNION MAKE A STATEMENT
After terming Wednesday night a "swing game," Philadelphia Union interim coach Jim Curtin was pleased to watch his side make a statement with their 3-1 win over rivals New York Red Bulls (watch highlights here). New York conceded early yet again and, as Tim Cahill points out, “It can’t keep happening every week.”
3. CANADIAN DUO SPLIT THE POINTS
In the cross-country Canadian clash, Toronto FC and the Vancouver Whitecaps played out a 1-1 draw (watch highlights here) which left both coaches relatively pleased, although Carl Robinson feels his side could have stolen all three points. Ryan Nelsen, on the other hand, was very impressed with his new midfield pairing.
4. THE RIGHT TEAM WON
Gregg Berhalter admitted after the game that he didn’t think his Columbus Crew side deserved to win their game against Sporting Kansas City, even though it took a Benny Feilhaber goal deep into stoppage time to help SKC win 2-1 (watch highlights here) in a game that saw both teams finish with 10 men. SKC coach Peter Vermes was happy with the result but vowed that he would be appealing Aurelien Collin’s red card.
5. GALAXY STRIKE FIVE
As if in response to claims that the LA Galaxy were not scoring many goals recently (six in their previous four league games), striker Robbie Keane opened up on the New England Revolution, helping his side come away with a 5-1 win (watch highlights here) in a game in which both teams were reduced to 10 men in the opening 40 minutes. It certainly was not the result the Revs needed, as their losing streak now extends to six MLS games.
6. BESLER CONFIRMS INTEREST
While Matt Besler confirmed two of the English clubs that are interested in him on Wednesday, his current club was busy unveiling two new signings, with midfielders Jorge Claros and Martin Steuble joining Sporting KC.
7. TIMBERS FOCUS ON FRIDAY
While the Seattle Sounders-Portland Timbers game on Sunday may have drawn strong viewing figures, the game did not end the way the Timbers would have liked. Donovan Ricketts has already moved on to complete focus on the Colorado Rapids game on Friday, especially as the visiting team looks likely to field a weakened side.
8. SILVA COMES BACK STRONG
After losing his starting place through injury, it’s taken Luis Silva a while to break back into D.C. United’s lineup. Yet now that he has, both parties are reaping the rewards
9. ON THE ROAD AGAIN
Real Salt Lake have been on a tough run recently, only winning one of their last seven games. While injuries and absences have certainly played a part, could another factor be that only two of those games have been played at home?
10. SEASON TICKET SALES
While Orlando City have already proven they have a strong fan base during their time in USL PRO, it seems the club has also capitalized on the recent World Cup to increase their sales of season tickets for their debut MLS season. Atlanta, meanwhile, also seem to have a strong interest in their future ticket packages.
11. BAYERN IN THE USA
There may not be particularly much substance to the DeAndre Yedlin-to-Bayern Munich rumors, but the German super club does already have one US international on its books, and it looks like Julian Green is set to get a look with the first team.
12. OPTIONS FOR ADU
With Freddy Adu still searching in Europe for a new club, could there be options for the once-promising youngster back home in the US? AZ Alkmaar director and former US international Earnie Stewart explained why Adu didn’t make the cut with the Dutch club and confirmed that Aron Johannsson was actually injured before the World Cup even began.
13. US U20S WIN AGAIN
Tab Ramos has been talking about the path for US youth development following the World Cup, and it certainly seems to be going well at the moment, with the US Under-20 side making it two wins out of two at the National Training Center Invitational, easing past Bermuda with a 4-0 victory.
14. MEXICAN REFEREE
Mexican World Cup referee Marco Antonio "Chiquidracula" Rodriguez has called time on his career as an official. Rodriguez was a referee at three World Cups; including 2014 when he oversaw the Uruguay game featuring Luis Suarez’s infamous biting incident. He also pioneered the underused (and frowned upon) double yellow-card technique.