Here are the top 15 soccer stories we’re following today:
1. NYCFC SET THEIR SIGHTS ON A MANAGER
If this report from SI.com is true, then Real Salt Lake fans won’t be happy. It seems Major League Soccer’s newest club have their sights set on a manger to take over the team when they enter the league in 2015, and that man is Jason Kreis. Naturally, New York City FC will want the very best for the role, and Kreis has emerged as an easy Coach of the Year contender this season based on the work he’s done with an RSL team that many had down for a rebuilding year but is still competing for three trophies.
2. 24 UNDER 24, THE FINAL COUNTDOWN
This is it folks. Yesterday, we revealed Nos. 10-6 and now all that’s left to go is the Top 5. Who’s going to win? Be sure to check back later today to find out. While we celebrate MLS’ best young talent, let’s not forget the league's seasoned players as well. In that vein, here’s Jonah Freedman’s XI over 34. What about the top five U-24 Americans playing in Europe? Plus, find out why so many clubs are taking chances on young talent and what MLS technical director Jeff Agoos has to say about it.
3. FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS
In tonight’s nationally televised game, the Portland Timbers take on the Colorado Rapids (10 pm ET, NBCSN) in a battle for third place and the final automatic playoff spot in the Western Conference. While Colorado are benefitting from both their rookies and their more experienced players putting in shifts, Portland’s squad is the healthiest it has looked in a long time and, as Timbers defender Michael Harrington points out, the team know how important these final games are: “It’s kind of down to do or die.”
4. GALAXY RE-SIGN CHRIS KLEIN
Following on from new deals for Omar Gonzalez and Landon Donovan, the LA Galaxy announced on Thursday that they have secured the long-term services of another one of their important players. This time that player is a member of the front office, with club president Chris Klein set for a multi-year deal. Klein only took the position in January this year but, as AEG president Dan Beckerman explains, “In a short space of time, he has developed into one of the most respected executives in Major League Soccer.”
5. TORONTO FC SET FOR “MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT”
6. EARTHQUAKES AGAINST ALL ODDS
The San Jose Earthquakes may indeed come out swinging, as Chris Wondolowski said on Tuesday night, but will that be enough to secure a playoff space? Here’s a fairly detailed rundown of what would need to happen.
7. ORLANDO CITY EYE JOBS AND TAX BREAK
According to this report from The Orlando Sentinel, under a job-creation incentive in Florida, Orlando City FC could receive $3,000 for every new job they create. For a team that's said it would add 35 new jobs if it reaches MLS, that total could reach six figures.
8. GOODSON CAUTIOUS ABOUT WORLD CUP ROLE
Clarence Goodson isn’t taking anything for granted when it comes to a spot on the World Cup roster. The 31-year-old, who rejoined Major League Soccer in June, believes that “it comes down to who you can rely on.” Goodson showed US head coach Jurgen Klinsmann that he can do just that with a solid display against Mexico, despite only being called in after Matt Besler was suspended. Will Goodson be on the plane to Brazil?
9. ARRIOLA ENJOYING LIFE SOUTH OF THE BORDER
Paul Arriola only began his professional career in July, but the 18-year-old has already become an incredibly important player for Club Tijuana down in Liga MX. The young forward had been in the Galaxy Academy before opportunity arose in Mexico, and while Arriola – who has represented the US at every level so far – could play for Mexico via a Mexican grandparent, he says “my mind has always been with the US, I don’t think that will change.”
10. PETKE GETTING SOCIAL
With his team sitting first in the Eastern Conference, Mike Petke has come a long way in just his first year in charge of the New York Red Bulls. It’s been a learning process, though, and one of the things he’s had to come to grips with is the role of social media.
11. MEXICO MAKING CHANGES
New Mexico manager Victor Manuel Vucetich has wasted no time getting to work, selecting 25 Liga MX players for a workshop/training camp early next week. From an MLS point of view, most notable among the names is former New York Red Bulls villain Rafa Márquez.
12. D.C. UNITED’S ITALIAN JOB
Looks like D.C. United could soon have a new sister club. Reports from Italy suggest that D.C. owner Erick Thorir has almost completed his takeover of Italian giants Inter Milan. The deal is not signed yet, but it seems to be a case of when rather than if at this point. What does that mean for United? Probably nothing at all, but time will tell. D.C. United had no comment on the story when contacted.
13. MLS TACKLING BAD LANGUAGE
With racism rife in Italian grounds and an anti-Semitic problem currently swamping the Premier League, MLS’ biggest crowd problem is thankfully a lot less unpleasant. Yet the league has still been proactive in dealing with it. Here’s how they have taken successful steps to try and eradicate certain chants.
14. MORE MANCHESTER
With Manchester City owning the majority of a MLS team, it seems the other team in Manchester can no longer sit by and watch. Manchester United have decided to invest in America. The club is owned by an American family and has big ties to the country through sponsors, but they're taking a different approach than their nearby neighbors.
15. THE NEW CRAZE