Here are the Top 15 soccer stories we’re following today.
1. WILL USMNT SUFFER WITHOUT ZUSI, JONES?
The US men's national team is in Seattle for Tuesday’s World Cup qualifier with Panama, but not quite all in one piece. The big question coming out of camp is how can head coach Jurgen Klinsmann will cope without the suspended Graham Zusi and injured Jermaine Jones? Jones revealed late Sunday night via Twitter that he'll be out for the game on Tuesday, likely from a blow to the head suffered during the team's win over Jamaica on Friday night.
2. KLINSMANN: “WE’RE COVERED EVERYWHERE”
But despite injury worries, Klinsmann isn’t panicking and has faith in the strength of his squad: “There’s no need to bring in more players as of today. Even if we don’t dress 23, we’re covered everywhere.” Danny Williams has left camp, citing a lack of fitness. While Tim Howard is feeling confident after beating Jamaica: “We definitely looked at this trip as a nine-point trip,” he said. “We got the three in Jamaica. It’ll be important for us to get all three here." Panama, meanwhille, have injury worries too. FC Dallas’ Blas Pérez, Los Canaleros top scorer in qualifying with 10 goals, is out with gastroenteritis.
3. EVANS THE HERO AS JAMAICA WIN SINKS IN
Brad Evans was the US national team hero on Friday night in Kingston, as the Sounders' man swiveled and smashed home the winner in the 91st minute. Evans topped Soccer America’s player ratings, while SI.com had a crack at it as well. Here are MLSsoccer.com’s. Do you agree?
4. SEATTLE STREAKING AFTER CLASSIC CASCADIA COMEBACK
Down 2-1 with just over 20 minutes to go in front of 53,679 expectant fans in Seattle, the Sounders were staring Cascadia Cup defeat in the face against the Vancouver Whitecaps. Then Lamar Neagle stole the show. The striker first won the game-tying penalty in the minute before scoring the winner in the 80th minute to seal a 3-2 victory. Sigi Schmid reveled in the huge crowd. “You can sense the energy. It gives you a different feeling, when you walk out on the field, and I think the guys realize that, and they respond to that.” The Sounders now have six wins in their last eight MLS games.
5. VANCOUVER POINT TO O’BRIEN INJURY, POOR SURFACE AFTER LOSS
After a demoralizing second half meltdown to Cascadia rivals Seattle, the Whitecaps had a couple of excuses on hand. “Andy unfortunately goes down with a hamstring issue,” 'keeper Brad Knighton said. “That kind of took the wind out of our sails a bit and the game seemed to turn very quickly.” The ‘Caps goalkeeper continued: "Not to make excuses, but the field was ridiculously terrible.”
6. GARCIA STEALS THE SHOW, DONOVAN: “STATUS QUO ISN’T CUTTING IT”
Two second half goals from substitute Olmes García gave Real Salt Lake all three points against bitter rivals LA Galaxy on Saturday night. Jason Kreis believes the 20-year-old Colombian striker “has all the tools. He's got it all.” Meanwhile, Landon Donovan called out his team following LA’s sixth defeat in their last eight: “We've got to make plays when they count. I keep saying that, but it's the reality. The status quo isn't cutting it. ... We're putting ourselves into a little bit of a hole right now.”
7. PORTLAND BLOW LEAD, MAGEE SPARKS FIRE RALLY
Despite letting a 2-0 lead slip in the second half in Chicago, Caleb Porter is still proud of his Portland Timbers side. “The fact that we can learn a lesson without losing a game, I think it’s a very positive thing,” Porter said. “It’ll make us a better team. Feels like a loss but it isn’t, which is great.” Portland are now 12 games unbeaten, a club record. Mike Magee scored for the third-straight game since joining the Fire from LA, and Daniel Paladini will now officially have first pick on free kicks over Magee, after his beauty snagged a point for Chicago.
8. SOCCER COMMUNITY REACTS AS YALLOP DEPARTS SAN JOSE
“No one saw it coming,” Earthquakes captain Chris Wondolowski said. “That was literally the last thing we [expected].” Frank Yallop’s departure from the San Jose Earthquakes on Friday certainly stirred plenty of emotion for the media, players and members of the North American soccer community. What did you think about Yallop leaving the Quakes? Should he now take over the Canadian national team again?
9. WATSON TAKES OVER AT QUAKES
Yallop recommended that his assistant Mark Watson should take the reigns for the rest of the season, and he’s in. Watson admitted his surprise and shock at Yallop’s departure in an interview with Center Line Soccer, but also revealed his plans for 2013. “What I do want to bring to the team is more work on our defensive organization. We have struggled since the start of this year.” Watson is the interim head coach until the end of the current campaign.
10. REVS, D.C. SHARE STALEMATE, 13 GOALS IN OTHER MLS GAMES
There were no goals as New England and D.C. United battled out a 0-0 tie at Gillette Stadium on Saturday. Despite that, the three other MLS games produced a bucket load of goals. Which was your favorite? Daniel Paladini’s wonderful free kick? Diego Valeri’s chipped finish? Or Landon Donovan’s volley? Watch all the goals here.
11. BRADLEY AND EGYPT WIN, PHARAOHS EDGE CLOSER TO BRAZIL
Good news for former USMNT head coach Bob Bradley, as his Egypt side rallied to a crucial win in World Cup qualifying. The Pharaohs downed Zimbabwe 4-2, and are in pole position to qualify for the last stage of qualifying for Brazil 2014. Good on you, Bob.
12. KEANE HITS HAT TRICK ON RECORD-BREAKING DAY
It was all about LA Galaxy captain Robbie Keane in Dublin on Friday, and he stole the show in typical fashion. Making his record-breaking 126th appearance for Ireland against the Faroe Islands in a World Cup qualifier, Keane scored all three goals in a 3-0 win. He now has a record 59 goals for Ireland.
13. MLSERS STAR IN INTERNATIONAL ACTION
Besides Keane, plenty of other MLS players were in World Cup qualifying action over the weekend. Roy Miller scored the winner for Costa Rica over Honduras, while Kei Kamara scored for Sierra Leone in a 2-2 tie with Tunisia. FC Dallas goalkeeper Raúl Fernández got the shutout in Peru’s crucial 1-0 win over Ecuador.
14. TIM REAM ON THE MOVE TO MIDDLESBROUGH?
This morning The Mirror in the UK is reporting that former New York Red Bulls defender Tim Ream is on the move to Championship side Middlesbrough. The USMNT defender has seen his career stall this season at Bolton, after the 25-year-old made just 17 appearances all season. ‘Boro boss Tony Mowbray is a big fan of Ream, but would it be a good move?
15. SPECIAL ONE RETURNS
This morning José Mourinho officially returns as manager of Chelsea Football Club. Hundreds of the world’s media have been congregating in West London. What incredible one-liners will the self-confessed "Special One" have this time? Take this quiz to see how well you know Jose. Meanwhile, Barça midfielder Andrés Iniesta is pleased to see the back of Mourinho: "Yes, he damaged Spanish football, in general more harm than good. But I don't like talking about that person at all. So if you don't mind, we'll leave it at that."
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