Here are the Top 15 soccer stories we’re following today.
1. FORLAN HEADING TO MLS?
It's been awhile since we've heard this one, but this twist is new. According to reports in South America this morning, former Manchester United, Atlético Madrid and Villarreal striker Diego Forlán could be heading to Major League Soccer. The 33-year-old Uruguayan forward is apparently seeking a switch to MLS, with Independiente in Argentina also interested in signing the player of the tournament from the 2010 World Cup. “I like the MLS a lot,” Forlan said. “I have gone there on holiday a lot. I would love to go.”
2. USMNT ROSTER ANNOUNCED
So guys, what do you think? Jurgen Klinsmann announced his roster for the upcoming friendlies with Belgium and Germany, as well as three crucial World Cup qualifiers in June. There are a few surprises, as always, but by and large we got what we expected. Klinsmann talks us through his key choices: “Graham [Zusi] has played consistently at a high level, he is on the verge of maybe going to Europe, who knows that. He’s in there. He is the starter on the right flank.”
3. NO DONOVAN, WHAT ABOUT THE GOLD CUP?
As we all expected, there was no Landon Donovan, but Klinsmann did leave the door wide open for Landon to be called up to the next squad: “Obviously we are all excited that he continued to play. We decide when we are going to bring him back into our picture. It won’t be for these upcoming games. But later on we definitely expect him back in the team.” So should Donovan accept a call up to the Gold Cup squad?
4. AND SO IT BEGINS…
It is back. The Vancouver Whitecaps host the Portland Timbers (Saturday, 7 pm ET | MLS Live) in the second Cascadia Cup matchup of the 2013 season. The Timbers midfield duo of Will Johnson and Diego Chará are setting the tone, and they hope that continues against the ‘Caps. “They’re in a position where they don’t always show up on the score sheet because they do a lot of the dirty work,” Caleb Porter said. “But they’re in the heart of our team and they’re our engine room.”
5. OLD FOES CLASH AT RED BULL ARENA
Sunday will see the LA Galaxy take on New York (1 pm ET, ESPN2, Live chat on MLSsoccer.com), and these two go way back. New York are resurgent but LA stopped the rot with that impressive second-half display against Philadelphia. Robbie Keane’s return is the catalyst. “When he is on the field, they have to worry about him, and that opens up a lot of space for the rest of us,” Donovan said.
6. HIGH-FLIERS DALLAS FACE BIG TEST IN SEATTLE
This FC Dallas side is pretty darn good. That much is clear. Now they have to prove it in one of the toughest venues in the league. On Saturday, Seattle host Dallas in the MLS Stream of the Week brought to you by Samsung Galaxy S4, (10:30 pm ET, Watch for FREE on MLS Live) as the Sounders aim to stop FCD’s charge at the top of the Western conference. But the Texans have perhaps the signing of the season in Michel. “He’s extremely important to the success we’ve been having,” Schellas Hyndman said.
7. EXTRATIME RADIO ON DONOVAN, TFC AND REFEREES
The gang at ET Radio discussed Donovan’s options at length, asking whether or not he should he accept a place on the USMNT Gold Cup roster. If selected, that is. Former MLS Referee of the Year Paul Tamberino also joined the guys to chat about refereeing in MLS and the United States, while Kurt Larson from the Toronto Sun talks about the "band-aid" epidemic in Ontario.
8. WATCH THE REF CAM
OK, so this is pretty neat. In a groundbreaking new trial, Major League Soccer set up a camera on a referee for a whole game to see the game from his point of view and the challenges he or she faces. In this case, it was during a Columbus Crew vs. New York Red Bulls Reserve League game. It is just incredible to see things from a referee’s perspective. Must see.
9. SCHMID, ARENA NOT HAPPY WITH US OPEN CUP DRAW
These two have been around the block before and they certainly know how to let everyone know when they don’t agree with something. Bruce Arena and Sigi Schmid both sounded off about their team's cross-country trips in US Open Cup action. Do you agree? First up, Arena on LA’s trip to Carolina: “It's really ridiculous, but it's life. What are you going to do?” Now Schmid: “I know Bruce Arena mentioned their problem, but our problem is worse."
10. CONVEY TO TORONTO
TFC made yet another addition yesterday, as Bobby Convey landed on his third team in just 18 months. The former Reading playmaker has found it hard in recent months at Sporting KC, but Ryan Nelsen believes he can flourish at BMO Field: “We need to bring in guys who have been around the league and who know how to win in the league. Bobby is a winner.”
11. THIRD TIME'S A CHARM FOR CANADA
The Canadian national team named Colin Miller as interim head coach … for the third time. The FC Edmonton head coach is still looking for his first win in charge of the Canucks. “I’m the proudest man in Canada, once again,” he said. Tony Fonseca took the squad to Qatar for two friendlies in March, but Canada are without a win in four friendlies since Stephen Hart resigned last year.
12. TELL US YOUR STORY…
With Jimmy Nielsen announcing the release of his second autobiography this week, we ask you which other past or present MLS characters would you like to see an autobiography from? There are certainly plenty of great stories out there. Let’s hear your suggestions.
13. MLS FANTASY CHANGES
This season has seen plenty of changes in the way MLS Fantasy: Soccer Manager looks. But what else can we do to improve it in the future? Let us know. And here is the Starting Lineup for all your fantasy info ahead of the weekends action.
14. EXPORTS WRAPPING THINGS UP
The American exports in the EPL are in action for one last game this weekend, with Clint Dempsey hoping a victory over Sunderland can seal Spurs’ passage into the Champions League. Of course, they need Arsenal to slip up against Newcastle. Meanwhile Sacha Kljestan scored the opener as Anderlecht made it through to the Belgian league final and Jozy Altidore reflects on “the best season” he’s had.
15. BECKHAM RETIRES
Finally, just about every website, social media outlet and message board was on the verge of meltdown yesterday. Why? David Beckham announced his retirement from soccer. The 38-year-old Englishman will stop playing at the end of the French league season after PSG play Lorient on May 26. Here we look at Beckham through the years, while his LA Galaxy teammates salute his impact on MLS.
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