Kick Off: Sounders roll into USOC final, expansion stadium updates, new MLS-USL PRO teams
Here are the top 15 stories we're following today:
1. YEDLIN COMPLETES DEAL WITH SPURS
DeAndre Yedlin’s transfer from the Seattle Sounders to the Premier League’s Tottenham Hotspur dragged on for a while, but it finally got done on Wednesday. The US international will remain with the Sounders for the remainder of the 2014 season -- and maybe even longer? -- before moving to White Hart Lane. According to Sounders general manager Adrian Hanauer, the deal provides resources that are "paramount to maintaining a competitive squad going forward."
2. SOUNDERS LIGHT UP THE FIRE
With the Yedlin saga cleared up, the Seattle Sounders got down to business in the US Open Cup semifinal on Tuesday night, thrashing the Chicago Fire 6-0 (watch highlights here) to reach their fifth USOC final in six years. The result showcased the Sounders' depth, as Chad Barrett, Kenny Cooper and Andy Rose played starring roles. On the other side, the Fire were left "shocked and stunned," and forward Mike Magee simply urged everyone to "go to sleep."
3. FIRE PURSUIT OF JONES NEARING AN END?
In addition to the USOC loss, the Chicago Fire's Frank Yallop admitted on Wednesday that the club’s hunt for USMNT midfielder Jermaine Jones might not have a happy ending. “We’re kind of getting to that point,” Yallop said when asked whether it might be time for the Fire to focus on other targets.
4. EJ SUSPENDED FOR TWO GAMES
Eddie Johnson was in the headlines on Tuesday for his off-the-field antics. On Wednesday, the MLS Disciplinary Committee put his actions on the field in the spotlight, handing down a two-game suspension and an undisclosed fine for this altercation with RSL’s Carlos Salcedo. Montreal’s Calum Mallace was also suspended for one game for entering the field of play as an unused substitute.
5. FAGUNDEZ STILL OPEN TO USMNT
Nineteen-year-old New England Revolution attacker Diego Fagundez recently joined up with the Uruguay U-20 national team, making his second trip to the country of his birth to turn out for the youth national side. But Fagundez insists that "my doors are open" to representing the United States. US U-20 head coach Tab Ramos would love to have him in his squad but admits, "it's a long process."
6. SACRAMENTO STADIUM NEWS
The expansion process for Sacramento has taken some major leaps forward in recent months, with potential stadium sites already under consideration. On Wednesday, Mayor Kevin Johnson said the city looks forward to being "good partners ... [but] I do not have an appetite to provide tax dollars to build a soccer stadium." Sacramento Republic president Warren Smith says there "is a strong possibility" the club can privately finance the stadium.
7. LAS VEGAS MLS BID UPDATE
The stadium planning in Las Vegas also hit a snag on Wednesday, as city leaders canceled a discussion over the financial plans for the proposal for the fourth time. But a spokesman said the city is continuing to work on the plan.
8. MLS CLUBS TO FIELD USL PRO TEAMS IN 2015
Having a stand-alone USL PRO side has worked well for the LA Galaxy, and we can probably expect more and more MLS clubs to follow suit. First up could be Real Salt Lake and FC Dallas, both of whom look set to have USL PRO sides by 2016 at the latest.
9. CREW TO HONOR LANDON
Landon Donovan's farewell tour will get under way this weekend when his LA Galaxy visit the Columbus Crew. The Crew will honor the retiring MLS and US national team legend in what will be his final competitive appearance at Crew Stadium, site of many memorable moments for Donovan.
10. MLS PLAYERS HEAD OUT ON LOAN
San Jose Earthquakes goalkeeper David Bingham, who has been with the NASL's San Antonio Scorpions, is going farther afield next, headed to Norwegian club Strommen. Meanwhile, closer to home, the Philadelphia Union sent midfielder Corben Bone on loan to the Wilmington Hammerheads of USL PRO.
11. SPORTING KC DIPS INTO THE GOALKEEPER POOL
With their top two goalkeepers injured and recent debutant Jon Kempin the only option, Sporting KC have picked up pool goalkeeper Tim Melia as cover. Not a bad option, given his five years in MLS.
12. DUNIVANT NEARING GALAXY RETURN
In other injury news, LA Galaxy defender Todd Dunivant, out since April, is nearing his return after a rehab stint with LA Galaxy II. He could feature in the Galaxy’s game against Columbus this weekend. D.C. United center back Jeff Parke has undergone surgery on his inner ear to address a peri lymphatic fistula; he is out indefinitely.
13. EDWINI-BONSU AIMING FOR BORUSSIA DORTMUND
Canadian forward Randy Edwini-Bonsu’s Stuttgart Kickers take on Bundesliga heavies Borussia Dortmund on Saturday, and the 24-year-old, who was picked up by the Kickers earlier this year, is desperate to impress.
14. WOMEN’S WORLD CUP TURF WAR CONTINUES
Alex Morgan and others recently voiced their anger over FIFA’s decision to play the 2015 Women’s World Cup exclusively on turf. Now the lawyers are getting involved, with representatives of a group of players considering action against the Canadian FA.
15. @THESOCCERDON ACCEPTS THE ALS ICE BUCKET CHALLENGE
The New England Revolution were first in MLS to do it (with a mascot, no less). Then Portland Timbers head coach Caleb Porter did it and called out Bayern Munich's Pep Guardiola. Now the MLS Commissioner himself, Don Garber, has taken the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, further challenging Timbers owner Merritt Paulson and Sporting KC co-owner Robb Heineman. Heineman responded like a champ. Literally.