Kick Off: As US Open Cup semifinals take spotlight, will DeAndre Yedlin stay with Seattle Sounders?

1. ATTENTION TURNS TO US OPEN CUP

After a busy weekend of league play, Tuesday's spotlight focuses on the first of two US Open Cup semifinals as FC Dallas host the Philadelphia Union (9 pm ET) with the Seattle Sounders welcoming the Chicago Fire on Wednesday (10:30 pm ET, Live stream at SoundersFC.com) to determine who will battle in the championship final of the nation's oldest tournament. There's plenty of pregame reading on both MLSsoccer.comPhiladelphiaUnion.com and FCDallas.com. The winner of that duel at Toyota Stadium will host the final.

2. SPURS (FINALLY) CLOSING IN ON YEDLIN?

It’s the transfer saga that's dragged on almost since the US national team was knocked out of the World Cup in Brazil. But if the latest news reports are accurate, Seattle defender DeAndre Yedlin finally seems to be on his way to the English Premier League with Tottenham Hotspur.

After the Homegrown fullback watched his current club's 2-0 win over Houston in street clothes on Sunday, Sounders coach Sigi Schmid that a deal is “very close” to being completed, which would cap a momentous summer for the 21-year-old.

3. GORDON DEALT BACK TO THE GALAXY

After four years away, Alan Gordon has returned to the LA Galaxy. The San Jose Earthquakes dealt the forward back to StubHub Center in exchange for allocation money on Monday, suggesting that the previous signings of target men Rob Friend and Samuel have both failed to do the job for the Galaxy. Meanwhile, the end of the “Bash Brothers” era underlines the Quakes' decision to turn towards a dramatically different style of play. But at least they will always have that goal.    

4. NYCFC ADD WATSON-SIRIBOE FOR 2015

The big kickoff for Jason Kreis and New York City FC might still be months away, but they’ve added another player to their 2015 roster. Real Salt Lake defender Kwame Watson-Siriboe has been traded to NYCFC in exchange for a fourth-round pick in the 2016 SuperDraft, putting another piece into place in the puzzle that is Kreis’ team ... and opening up roster space for RSL's latest acquisition.

5. YOU WANT REVENGE, PEP? THIS IS YOUR CHANCE

When ESPN commentator Taylor Twellman challenged Caleb Porter to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, their was no way the Portland Timbers coach was going to back down. Indeed, Porter fulfilled his obligation and in turn challenged Alex Morgan, John Canzano and Jurgen Klinsmann. Oh, and one other person: Pep Guardiola, the FC Bayern coach who was left so frustrated by his club's loss to the MLS All-Stars. Will Porter get the better of his Spanish rival again?

6. QUIDDITCH IN SEATTLE

Anyone who tuned into the national TV broadcast of the Seattle Sounders’ win over the Houston Dynamo on Sunday probably pondered, at some point, what was going on with the CenturyLink Field playing surface. The synthetic-turf field looked blackened by infill, though its effect on the game was minimal. It turns out there was a Quidditch game the day before. Yup, Quidditch. America’s next major-league sport?

7. IRELAND TO HOST USMNT IN DUBLIN

That World Cup thing got in the way of the USMNT's recurring European tour, didn’t it? But fear not. Jurgen Klinsmann’s team will visit Dublin to face the Republic of Ireland on Nov. 18, the Irish FA announced on Monday. That game will follow the Yanks' trip to Prague to face the Czech Republic on Sept. 3. Not even U2 tour Europe this much.

8. RODRIGUEZ OUTLINES REQUIREMENTS FOR NEW CHIVAS USA OWNERS

Chivas USA president Nelson Rodriguez has outlined some of the requirements any prospective new owner of the club must meet going into the 2015 season. Speaking in a video posted by Univision’s Republica Deportiva, he says that the franchise must stay in Los Angeles, must commit to building a new stadium in LA and the managing director of the club must live and work in LA. So basically the new owner must love LA. Is Randy Newman interested?

9. MORGAN UNHAPPY WITH FIFA USING WOMEN’S SOCCER AS "GUINEA PIGS"

For the first time in the tournament’s history, the FIFA Women’s World Cup will be played entirely on turf fields when it visits Canada next year, and USWNT star Alex Morgan isn’t happy about it. “They are treating us as second-class to men,” the Portland Thorns forward said. “Using the women as guinea pigs in their experiment is just not right.”

10. "YOU GIVE ME POPCORN, I GIVE YOU MY JERSEY"

We all know the routine by now. Player swaps shirt with opposition player, or gifts it to a fan in the crowd. Clint Dempsey opted to do the latter following Seattle’s 2-0 win over the Houston Dynamo on Sunday. But he wanted something in return: How about a couple handfuls of popcorn? Yeah, OK. Deal!

11. VALERI PUTS FORM DOWN TO LUCK

Argentine playmaker Diego Valeri has returned to his silky best for the Portland Timbers in recent weeks, scoring five in his last six league games to push his side up the standings. So what has Diego Valeri changed about his game? Ask the man himself and he’ll tell that his recent fortunes are down to, well, fortune. “I was lucky,” he said about his goal against Chivas USA. We're pretty sure that's not the only reason, Diego.

12. JONES PRAISES SACRAMENTO EXPANSION EFFORT

There can no longer be any doubt about the seriousness with which Sacramento is taking its attempt to secure MLS expansion for the city. The owners of the NBA's Sacramento Kings are interested in investing in USL PRO newcomers Sacramento Republic FC, and city mayor (and former NBA star) Kevin Johnson jumping on board to boot.

LA Galaxy icon Cobi Jones was at their game against Oklahoma City at the weekend, and had some positive things to say about the club and the city as a possible MLS destination during the club's streamed broadcast.

13. EJ APOLOGIZES AFTER TWITTER OUTBURST AT FANS

Eddie Johnson has gotten himself in hot water again. The striker’s debut season at D.C. United has already included criticism of – and subsequent apologies to – his teammates, a suspension for a rash tackle and now an apology to the club’s fans, following a Twitter battle with several critical supporters after Saturday's 3-0 loss at Real Salt Lake. EJ took to his Twitter soapbox again, but this time with a bit more diplomacy.

14. JOSEPH ON HIS WAY OUT OF SPORTING KC

Peterson Joseph and Sporting Kansas City have mutually agreed on a contract termination. The Haitian international's departure comes after a long sting on the disabled list.

15. MEULENSTEEN TOP OF UNION’S COACHING SHORTLIST?
 
Manager Jim Curtin has steadied the Philadelphia Union ship as interim boss since the dismissal of John Hackworth earlier this year, and has admitted that he would like the permanent job for himself. But there are rumblings that former Manchester United assistant and Fulham manager Rene Meulensteen could be the Union’s next coach in waiting.

MLSSOCCER.COM MUST READS
 
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