Here are the Top 15 soccer stories we’re following today.
1. GARBER ADDRESSES EXPANSION IN WIDE-RANGING TWITTER Q&A
You never know what you'll get when MLS Commissioner Don Garber starts answering questions from the fans. What we do know is that the league isn't likely to stop at 20 teams. Check out the highlights from Monday's Twitter Q&A here.
2. ALL-STAR WEEK KICKS OFF WITH MACKLEMORE SHOW AS PLAYERS ARRIVE IN KC
Bring him, and they will come. That was the theme at Kansas City's Power & LIght district last night as Macklemore and Ryan Lewis played to a packed house to get AT&T MLS All-Star week off on the right foot. Make sure you check out the highlights. The full schedule of events can be found here, and you can get all the news you need at MLSsoccer.com.
3. TOTTI'S KC ADMIRER MIGHT NOT WHO YOU THINK
Francesco Totti's genius is unquestioned. It's no surprise then that Sporting Club CEO Robb Heineman is a big fan. The story behind it is what's really interesting, though. The Kansas City Star has the details.
4. SPORTING KC JUST THE LATEST IN PRO SOCCER FRANCHISES IN KC
They're also the most successful — by far. But it had to start somewhere, right? The year was 1968, and the first game story in the local paper started out like this: “That funny game that foreigners play finally arrived here yesterday..."
5. FASHION OR FOOTBALL? COLLIN DOESN'T HAVE TO CHOOSE
Tonight the world gets a glimpse into the mind of Aurélien Collin via the runway. The Sporting KC defender and AT&T MLS All-Star is set to debut his fashion line on Tuesday night. Très bien. If that's not your thing, there's plenty of other things to do in Kansas City to keep you busy until Wednesday night.
6. WAS MLS SACRIFICE FOR GOLD CUP ALL WORTH IT IN THE END?
The coaches might disagree, but it certainly says something that a USMNT side loaded with MLS products coasted to the title. And even though Brek Shea isn't in the league anymore, it's nice to know he learned his trade stateside. Now he's just got to make it count with Stoke City.
7. STUART HOLDEN: THE UNLUCKIEST MAN IN SOCCER
Not again. That was the sentiment in soccer circles in both the US and England yesterday when U.S. Soccer announced the recently returned star had suffered a torn right ACL. Good luck in your recovery, Stu. We'll see you again soon.
8. ALTIDORE'S AZ UNDERSTUDY COMMITS TO USMNT
We got another one. Alabama-born striker Aron Jóhannsson, who is expected to pick up where Jozy Altidore left off at AZ Alkmaar this season, announced on his Facebook page on Monday that he has chosen to represent the USMNT over Iceland, the country where he grew up.
9. HANDICAPPING THE CREW'S "MAJOR" ANNOUNCEMENT
Ah, the press release revealing an imminent "major" announcement. It could be anything. The Crew sent out such a release yesterday with the news set to drop at noon ET, and The Columbus Dispatch runs the rule over just what that announcement might be.
10. ROUGH ROAD AHEAD FOR TORONTO, BUT THERE IS REASON TO CELEBRATE
It's celebration time for TFC, at least briefly. They may have gone more than a year without a league win at BMO Field, but TSN's Luke Wileman says that's no reason not to celebrate last weekend's pressure-relieving victory against the Crew. In fact, he insists, they deserve it. Striker Jeremy Brockie probably deserves a few more goals himself, but he's learning from the MLS experience even if his production is not where he wants it.
11. DEMERIT AND 'CAPS SET TO RESUME CONTRACT TALKS
Injury has kept Jay DeMerit from playing a part this season in Vancouver, but that doesn't mean his place on the team in tenuous with his contract running down. The 2010 World Cup veteran is in the final season of his deal with the 'Caps had been discussing a new deal with the club before rupturing his Achilles in the first game of the season, and club president said Bob Lenarduzzi said they'll return to the table once their captain is fit again, which could be soon.
12. SEATTLE STILL SEARCHING FOR IDEAL MIDFIELD PAIRING
Osvaldo Alonso's been injured. Brad Evans has been played all over the field at times. Servando Carrasco often hasn't played at all. But it appears the Alonso-Evans pairing might be here to stay after Sunday's victory against Chivas USA. It's all about balance and complementary parts, says Sigi Schmid.
13. NEW EDITION OF OVERLAP MAGAZINE HITS ONLINE NEWSSTANDS
Issue No. 2 of MLSsoccer.com and Howler's collaborative online publication is ready for consumption, and there is plenty for you to stomach. Get some insight into Mike Magee's trade to Chicago, the future of talent development in Canada and the "growing phenomenon" that is MLS.
14. WHY ONE MAN BELIEVES PRO SOCCER IN INDIANAPOLIS IS READY TO THRIVE
If you don't know the name Peter Wilt, you haven't been paying attention. These days, Wilt, the former president of the Chicago Fire, is at the helm of the Indy Eleven, a NASL expansion side set to begin play in 2014. In this wide-ranging interview, he talks about why he expects the club to succeed, whether beer will be served at their temporary home and the first meeting he had with the club's owner, Ersal Ozdemir, which very nearly didn't happen.
15. TRAGEDY STRIKES AS ECUADORIAN STAR PASSES FOLLOWING MATCH
The soccer world was shocked on Monday morning as striker Christian "Chucho" Benítez passed away after making his debut for Qatari side El Jaish. The cause of death has yet to be confirmed, but a report on the Ecuadorian Football Federation's website claims Benítez suffered "cardio respiratory arrest" after experiencing severe stomach pains. Hear what FC Dallas and Peru goalkeeper Raul Fernandez had to say about the man he played against just two months ago in World Cup qualifying as well.
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