Here are the top 15 soccer stories we’re following today.
1. KANSAS CITY DROP POINTS
Despite fielding a relatively strong team, Sporting Kansas City missed out on the chance to place a stranglehold on their CCL group Tuesday night following a 1-1 draw at home against Real Estelí (watch highlights here). “We didn’t play with enough urgency … and that’s on ourselves,” defender Matt Besler said. Sporting know their fate is still very much in their own hands, however, needing only a draw in their final game against CD Olimpia.
2. SAN JOSE GRAB LIFELINE
The San Jose Earthquakes kept their Champions League hopes alive Tuesday night following a 3-0 win over a surprisingly sleepy Montreal Impact side (watch highlights here). While not happy, Impact coach Marco Schällibaum was seemingly understanding about the manner of the defeat, saying “we conceded silly goals, but it is what it is.” For San Jose, with faint chances still alive in both the CCL and MLS, Chris Wondolowski summed it up best: “We’ve backed ourselves into a corner and one things for sure – we’re going to come out swinging.” That might not be enough, though, as just one point will be enough for Heredia to win the group.
3. GALAXY LOOKING TO TAKE CONTROL
One last Champions League game for MLS teams this week, and Wednesday it’s the LA Galaxy's turn, as they face Isidro Metapán at the Stubhub Center. A win will put the Galaxy firmly in control of their group but they’ll have to get it without either Landon Donovan or A.J. DeLaGarza, both nursing injuries from the weekend.
4. 24 UNDER 24 CONTINUES
Tuesday saw the reveal of Nos. 20-16 on the list (Portland's Andrew Jean-Baptiste came in at No. 16, video above) and stay tuned Wednesday to see who makes it onto the list at Nos. 15-11. While we’re focusing on young, developing players in MLS, what role are leagues such as the USL PRO and the NASL playing in that department?
5. CHIVAS USA UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT
Chivas USA announced a change of management on Tuesday, with Arturo Gálvez replacing José David as the team’s president and chief business operator. Gálvez arrives following spells with a number of Mexican sides, including the Chivas mother ship in Guadalajara. He also helped current Chivas USA co-owner Jorge Vergara acquire full control of the club in 2012.
6. THE WHITECAPS' OTHER DEFENDER
The Vancouver Whitecaps defense has been torn by injury this season. Case in point: No sooner had they gotten Jay DeMerit back than Brad Rusin limped off injured. All of which has allowed Carlyle Mitchell an opportunity to state his case and move from fifth-choice defender to a starting option. It's all part of a great story for the Trinidad and Tobago international. Staying with Vancouver, it seems that Kenny Miller may have a new fan.
7. D.C. UNITED FINALLY FIT
Saturday's 2-2 draw with the LA Galaxy was incredibly positive for D.C. United fans, and not just for the spirited performance. As Chris Pontius stole the ball from Omar Gonzalez before rounding Jaime Penedo and sliding it into the net, it proved a welcome sight for D.C. fans and one they have been waiting for all season. Ben Olsen believes he may, for the first time in 2013, have his full team available and, with the US Open Cup final in two weeks, it’s just in time as well.
8. HARD CHOICES FOR SEATTLE
Seattle are another team finally seeing the majority of players return to fitness. The difference between the Sounders and United, though, is that the players who have stepped in have also been performing well, leaving head coach Sigi Schmid with a nice problem to solve. Schmid also has a rather good philosophy when it comes to Clint Dempsey’s lack of goals so far.
9. COMPARE AND CONTRAST: NEW YORK
What do the two biggest soccer teams in New York (for now) have in common? A surprising amount, it would seem.
10. TV UPS AND DOWNS
For proof that soccer in America is a big deal, look no further than NBC’s ratings for the EPL. But could the numbers be set for a bigger boost from next summer’s World Cup? Maybe not. As noted by the Bleacher Report, it’s a tournament that has often provided a lift for the domestic game in the US.
11. EXPANSION ON THE SCHEDULE
Forget which teams might actually join MLS in the future. How would extra teams affect the league's schedule? What would they do to the conferences? The folks at Stumptown Footy provides a fairly in depth breakdown for a large number of possibilities.
12. SOUNDERS ON FILM
Tuesday night saw the debut of the Seattle Sounders on HBO’s Real Sports in a piece which, from the sounds of things, might upset anyone who isn’t a Seattle fan. If you saw it, what did you think? Meanwhile, it seems the Sounders have gone a bit Bob Bradley on folks here with multiple documentaries in the pipeline at once.
13. KAMARA GETS OFF THE MARK
Kei Kamara is up and running over in England. The former SKC man forward scored the opening goal for Middlesbrough in a 2-2 with Nottingham Forest, beating American defender Eric Lichaj in the process. Here's the latest news on Americans Exports in Europe from Tuesday's action.
14. MEXICO RECONCILIATION
There’s no question about it, the Mexican national side has not had a good year. Now, with a new manager in charge, is it time for Mexico and Carlos Vela to kiss and make up? It certainly could provide the side with a much needed boost.
15. BLOOD, SWEAT AND STITCHING
For those who are not part of giant, well organized supporters groups, have you ever wondered what goes into actually making a Tifo? It can be any number of things it seems, including car-powered sewing machines.