Here are the Top 15 soccer stories we’re following today...
1. ALTIDORE INSPIRES US TO VICTORY
According to head coach Jurgen Klinsmann it was a game that the US “deserved to win”, and win it they did. Despite falling behind 2-0 in the first half to Bosnia-Herzegovina, the US recorded their 12 victory in a row thanks to a hat trick and an assist from Jozy Altidore in an entertaining friendly that finished 4-3 (watch the highlights here). So what were three things we learnt last night? MLSsoccer.com's Jeff Bradley has you covered.
2. ALTIDORE ARRIVES
While Edin Dzeko scored twice to drive the home crowd wild, the night belonged to Jozy Altidore. He’s now the first-ever US player to score in five consecutive games and believes “it’s coming together” for a US squad buying into Klinsmann’s vision. Hard to believe he’s still only 23 but, with a new challenge in the EPL just ahead, the young forward is in fine form.
3. YOUNG GUNS SEIZE CHANCE
John Brooks made a competent debut, he was caught out a few times but definitely showed promise. For Brooks, choosing to play for the US was “not a hard decision.” Aron Jóhannsson also made his debut and feels “I have to show I’m good enough” if he want to make future squads. The 22-year-old looked good up top, linking well with Altidore, almost as if they’d played together before…
4. PLAYER RATINGS
So how did the critics rate the teams performance? ESPN FC’S Jeff Carlisle gave out the following ratings. MLSsoccer.com's Greg Seltzer was largely of the same opinion and while The New York Times opinion varies the most, everyone seems to be in general agreement about the team performance with Altidore and Michael Bradley unsurprisingly the highest-rated players.
5. OTHER MLS PLAYERS IN ACTION
Elsewhere other MLS players were also involved in international fixtures. Kenny Miller scored a nice solo effort as a spirited Scotland side lost 3-2 to England while Raúl Fernández played the full 90 in Peru’s 0-0 draw with South Korea.
6. LA HAVE BIG ANNOUNCEMENT
Shortly after the US match finished the LA Galaxy revealed that they will be announcing their new Designated Player today. So who will it be? Smart money points to Omar Gonzalez, but is that a good decision?
7. THE LONG ENGAGEMENT
Speaking of Designated Players, MLSsoccer.com's Chris Bianchi looks at just how the Colorado Rapids secured Gabriel Torres. It almost didn’t happen.
8. MACDONALD LEAVES CHICAGO
Even more DP news! The Chicago Fire officially announced the signing of Arévalo Ríos yesterday, along with the news that Sherjill MacDonald was leaving the club by mutual consent. Call it a necessary sacrifice to open up an international roster space for their new DP.
9. MESSI AND FRIENDS STAR EARNS TRIAL
Remember Matt Eliason? He was the guy who scored that bicycle kick in the "Messi and Friends" charity match. After the match the Capital Financial analyst became something of an overnight sensation and spoke about how, if possible, he still wanted to pursue a career in soccer. Well it looks like he’s got that chance, as he’s earned a trial with the New York Red Bulls.
10. STORAGE UNIT OF FAME
Whatever happened to the U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame? I’m sure that was the question a lot of people were wondering yesterday with the announcement of the latest inductees. Specifically, where is it? Indyweek.com picks up the story.
11. SHORT ON PLAYERS?
If MLS does expand to 24 teams by 2020, will there be enough high level players to fill every team or will the overall quality take a step backwards? It a legitimate question and one posed by MLS’ own director of player programs Alfonso Mondelo.
12. MICKEY MOUSE SCIENCE
So why do teams perform better at home? Is it because they’re on their own field? How about because they have the crowd on their side? Maybe it’s because they haven’t had to travel a huge distance to get to the game? No, apparently it’s because the away team doesn’t try as hard to win the game. This is the finding of a scientific study performed by Disney Researchers in Pittsburgh: “Visiting coaches are setting their teams up for failure from the get go.”
13. FLORIDA FRIENDLIES
With all the talk of MLS expansion it seems like everyone is trying to grab a slice of the action but, rather than trying to buy a franchise, IMG has seen another way to get involved in soccer. They want to bring more preseason friendlies to their academy in Bradenton, Fla. Of course to do that they’ll face competition from those places that already host preseason tournaments, namely Disneyworld and Tuscon, Ariz.,, the latter of which also has a plan to attract more teams.
14. MLS LOANEES WIN SILVERWEAR
Congratulations to D.C. United affiliate the Richmond Kickers on winning the USL PRO regular-season title. The Kickers team not only included D.C. players Andrew Dykstra, Conor Shanosky and Michael Seaton, but also Brian Ownby from the Houston Dynamo. Dykstra and Ownby were particularly important as Richmond beat Orlando city 2-0 to secure the title.
15. ODE TO PORTLAND
Have you seen this renewal video from the Portland Timbers? As far as Tributes to teams and their fans go, this is definitely right up there.