Here are the Top 15 soccer stories we’re following today.
1. RED BULLS RUN RAMPANT: The New York Red Bulls sent a message to the rest of the league on Saturday night: Remember us? After demolishing Eastern conference leaders Montreal 4-0, the Red Bulls are back in the swing of things. Captain Thierry Henry scored and added two assists, while Tim Cahill was delighted: “When you get the goals and you get the defensive performance and the fluidity of the play, for me, I’m very happy.”
2. JEAN-BAPTISTE THE HERO, AS TIMBERS STUN LA: Central defender Andrew Jean-Baptiste doesn’t score many, so he made sure he enjoyed his late game-winner against LA on Saturday night. The towering defender headed home in stoppage-time to send JELD-WEN Field crazy, and Jean-Baptiste celebrated by tearing off his shirt. “This was the time to do it. Game winner, nice body, why not?”
3. 'CAPS, CAMILO KEEP ROLLING: Camilo Sanvezzo keeps scoring … and the Vancouver Whitecaps keep winning. They’ve now won five of their last six and sit third in the West, after beating Chicago 3-1. Camilo leads MLS in scoring with 12 goals: “I hope to continue like that,” he said afterward.
4. SPORTING AND RSL WIN BIG: Sporting KC hit three past struggling Toronto FC, who announced just before the game that captain Darren O’Dea was on his way out of the club. SKC took advantage of that with some superb team goals. Out west, Real Salt Lake kept crusing along, despite a few international absence. This time, it was a first-ever victory at FC Dallas as Jason Kreis’ men are 11 games unbeaten in all competitions. But it looks like FCD have a new signing on the way.
5. MOFFAT NETS GOAL OF THE YEAR CONTENDER: Boom. Smash. Wallop. However you describe Adam Moffat’s howitzer in the 2-1 win over New England on Saturday, you just have to watch it. See what I mean? The Scotsman has hit similar shots in the past, but is this one a Goal of the Year candidate?
6. AGENT: DEMPSEY NOT FOR SALE: All this talk of Clint Dempsey leaving Tottenham Hotspur may have to stop, because according to his agent, Lyle Yorks, Deuce is going nowhere. “There have been no meetings and no discussions. Not with Tottenham or with any other teams about Clint,” Yorks said on Twitter over the weekend: “Things could change obviously if a team came in with a big offer, but they are not actively trying to move Dempsey.” That’s the end of that then. Right?
7. WONDO AT IT AGAIN AS USMNT MAKE GOLD CUP QUARTERS: On Saturday night in Utah, the USMNT had us going for a little while, but they beat Cuba 4-1 in the end. Chris Wondolowski came off the bench and struck twice, after goals from Landon Donovan and Joe Corona helped the US come back against a speedy Cuban side that took a shock first-half lead. The Armchair Analyst discusses what we learned.
8. KLINSMANN: “COSTA RICA IS FIRST REAL BENCHMARK”: With the USA already securing their passage into the quarters of the Gold Cup, Jurgen Klinsmann may be mistaken for taking the game against Costa Rica lightly. No chance. “We need now where we’re eye-to-eye with the opponents, where we know it’s going to go down to the wire and therefore we’re really looking forward to that match.” Los Ticos will need to win to snatch the top spot in Group C.
9. CANADA LEAVE GOLD CUP WITHOUT A WIN: The Canadian national team finished their Gold Cup campaign by grabbing a point against Panama in a 0-0 tie. A late PK call didn't come, and despite being knocked out at the group stages, interim coach Colin Miller has enjoyed his time in charge: “I’ve loved every second of it." Incoming head coach Benito Floro has a huge job on his hands.
10. NO WORRIES FOR EL TRI ANYMORE? Mexican national team manager José "Chepo" de la Torre has been under fire this year, but on Sunday, his side got its second straight win and booked a place in the Gold Cup quarterfinals. But the pressure is still there, he says. “That’s the way it is with the Mexican national team. You have to understand that and know that.”
11. WIGAN BEAT CREW, AS ESPINOZA RETURNS: FA Cup holders Wigan Athletic kicked off their US tour with a win against Columbus on Sunday. Ex-Sporting KC midfielder and Ohio State grad Roger Espinoza returned to Columbus, and he played a big part in the opening goal. Three other Ohio State grads featured for the Crew, and this piece from the Boston Globe highlights how the MLS academies continue to prosper.
12. WAMBACH SAYS “MIA IS STILL MY IDOL”: After breaking the goalscoring record of women’s soccer legend Mia Hamm, current USWNT striker Abby Wambach spoke exclusively to FIFA.com about the role Hamm has played in her life. “She’s still my idol, the greatest player and the greatest teammate. She was happy for me, and now I can’t wait for someone to break my record.”
13. PREKI NAMED SACRAMENTO HEAD COACH: A release this morning states that MLS and US international legend Preki is the new manager of Sacramento’s USL PRO franchise. They will compete in the third-tier of US soccer from spring 2014, so will plenty of MLS veterans help Sacramento hit the ground running in USL play?
14. FRANCE WIN U-20 WORLD CUP ON PENALTIES: Tab Ramos’ US U-20 side have been out of the World Cup for quite some time now, but perhaps that can take solace that from drawing 1-1 in the group stage against the eventual champions. France beat Uruguay on penalties, with Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba voted the man of the match. Oh yeah, Ghana finished third too. So the US really were in the Group of Death.
15. EPL GETS SIXTH AMERICAN OWNER, AS KHAN BUYS FULHAM: As you may have heard over the weekend, English Premier League side Fulham were bought by American Shahid Khan. He also owns the Jacksonville Jaguars. Will he bring “Fulhamerica” back to Craven Cottage?
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