Kick Off: Ronaldinho is out of contract in Brazil, and that can only mean MLS transfer rumblings!
Here are the top 15 stories we’re following today:
1. RONALDINHO TO MLS?
There are a few players who will be linked with a move to North America until the day they retire. Some are even linked with MLS clubs after the retire (looking at you, David Beckham). Ronaldinho is one of those players, and the buck-toothed, Brazilian star could finally be coming Stateside after leaving Atlético Mineiro as a free agent Monday.
2. GALAXY LIGHT UP A DARKENED CENTURYLINK FIELD
There may well have been a power outage at CenturyLink Field, but the LA Galaxy brought all the power they needed, lighting up the Seattle Sounders with a 3-0 road win (watch the highlights). There were goals from Gyasi Zardes, Landon Donovan and Stefan Ishizaki as the Sounders got their eight-game August stretch off to the worst possible start.
3. LAMPARD TAKES TO TWITTER FOR A Q&A
New York City FC’s latest signing, Frank Lampard, took the Twitter soapbox Monday to answer a few questions from MLS fans (and a few Chelsea supporters as well). The England international has not been surprised with the hunger for soccer he has found in the Big Apple, and would apparently rather come up against one Per Mertesacker-sized Charlie Adam than five Charlie Adam sized Per Mertesackers.
4. #ASKLAMPS COVERS THE IMPORTANT MATTERS
Like any self-respecting Twitter Q&A, NYCFC’s account also faced its fair share of pressing questions from fans who perhaps misunderstood the trending hashtag. As far as it is know, Lampard does not have a problem with the "i" in Pixar. And does not feel pain when you have to change a bulb.
5. JOHNSON TO RETURN TO CANADA FOLD
The midfielder might not have enjoyed as successful a season as he did in 2013, but Will Johnson can still claim to be one of MLS’ best in his position. Yet it’s been over a year since the Timbers man featured for Canadian national team, although Johnson insists his absence from Benito Floro’s side hasn’t been deliberate. But now the 27-year-old plans to return to international fold.
6. BORRIELLO TO MLS IN JANUARY?
32-year-old AS Roma striker Marco Borriello has been linked with a move to New York City FC. The former Italy international, who spent a portion of last season on loan at West Ham, has been a speculated target for MLS before – with the Montreal Impact most notably reported admirers – but Borriello could now join up with Jason Kreis and NYCFC in January.
7. COSMOS GET LADE
Just a few weeks ago these two New York rivals came up against each other in the US Open Cup, but now the Red Bulls and the Cosmos would appear to be helping each other out. Connor Lade has been loaned out to the NASL outfit, giving the 24-year-old much needed game time, while giving the Cosmos more options at fullback.
8. BESLER NAMED TO GOAL 50
The newly DP’d Sporting Kansas City defender endured a weekend he’ll want to forget after being shown two yellows in the win over Toronto FC. But Matt Besler’s week started off on a better note, as he was named in the prestigious Goal 50, a ranking of the best 50 players in world soccer.
9. GREENER ON THE OTHER SIDE
The US national team’s World Cup hero – no, not Mark Geiger – has reported for Bayern Munich preseason training, where he can practice making full connection on volleys. The 19-year-old knows what he wants from the coming season, and it's not a loan away from the German champions.
10. THIS IS NOT A DRILL
Pablo Mastroeni’s Colorado Rapids have played their fair share of whirlwind games this season (the 3-3 draw with the Philadelphia Union springs to mind) but they haven’t come up against something like a twister. Until yesterday, that is. The tornado danced through Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on Monday with even more ferocity than Marvin Chavez did with Chivas USA.
11. DOWNTOWN SITE CRUCIAL FOR MIAMI
Commissioner Don Garber says that MLS will not expand to Miami without a downtown site for the stadium. The search for a location has come up against a number of challenges since David Beckham’s involvement with the franchise was announced some months ago, but Miami remains a “top priority,” according to Garber.
12. GRAB A GABBIDON
As a man who has seemingly played for almost every English Premier League club, it’s perhaps unsurprising that Danny Gabbidon is on the move again. But this time the Welsh defender is keen on a move to MLS, insisting that his experience at international level would help him adapt to the demands of North American soccer.
13. GEIGER AND OUT
Referee Mark Geiger will take charge of his first MLS game since the World Cup when he officiates Real Salt Lake’s home against the New York Red Bulls on Wednesday. The veteran official reffed three games at the tournament in Brazil, impressing everyone besides Nigerian coach Stephen Keshi, and will now return to league action having taken charge of just three MLS games in 2014.
14. CREW RECRUITS
The summer transfer window deadline day (August 6) is fast approaching, but Columbus Crew coach Gregg Berhalter says he won’t be pressured into signing new players just for the sake of it. “It’s not really a big concern of mine,” the former US international insisted. “We want to do things the right way.” Although the Crew boss did give an insight into how MLS clubs navigate the European market.
15. RED BULLS FIND THEIR DP
Mike Petke still has a free Designated Player spot, but the Red Bulls have signed another kind of DP, with the capture of French defender Damien Perrinelle sealed on Monday. The 30-year-old had been trial with RBNY before the announcement, doing enough to convince Petke that he deserved a permanent deal.
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