Here are the top 15 soccer stories we’re following today...
1. BRADLEY FOR VANCOUVER
Could Bob Bradley be in line for the Vancouver Whitecaps' vacant head coaching gig? According to The Province, the former US and Egypt national team boss has been interviewed by the Canadian side and is now one of their top targets. The same article suggests that the club's interest in Bradley is the main reason the 'Caps didn’t grab Frank Yallop when they had the chance last month.
2. 'CAPS MAKING MOVES REGARDLESS
The deadline on player options is almost here, and while the Whitecaps may not have a head coach in place, they’ve still been making moves. On Thursday, Vancouver announced they had exercised the options on 11 of their players, including Camilo and Nigel Reo-Coker, but declined eight others. Among the eight to be let go were Tommy Heinemann, Daigo Kobayashi, Joe Cannon, Brad Knighton and Brad Rusin. Yet, if there’s no coach in place, who was making the decisions on these players?
3. CHAVEZ DONE WITH SAN JOSE?
Has Marvin Chávez’s time with the San Jose Earthquakes come to an end? The midfielder barely featured for the Earthquakes toward the end of 2013 and now, in an interview with Honduran website Diéz, Chávez says he “will change teams in MLS,” citing a poor relationship with new boss Mark Watson and the need for more playing time ahead of next summer’s World Cup. The Honduran also alleges that there are three other MLS teams interested in his services.
4. MORE THAN JUST DPs
While the latest rumors suggest that Alberto Gilardino is on the verge of completing his move to Toronto FC, defender Steven Caldwell said his team is “not just about those one or two guys.” “If we add the quality, two or three league players who have done very well at other MLS clubs … we’ll be extremely strong from the get-go next season,” he said. Caldwell also spoke of his surprise at TFC’s interest in him, especially after turning down a similar offer four years ago.
5. MONTREAL EYE THEIR OWN SIGNING
It seems Toronto FC may not be the only Canadian club looking to bring in a new Designated Player, as the Montreal Impact are apparently pursuing Brazilian-Italian striker Amauri. One position the Impact may not need to strengthen is goalkeeper. As, while Homegrown shot stopper Max Crépeau admits his first year with the senior side was a difficult one, he is still maturing and hopes to see more action in 2014.
6. IT’S A FIX
There was big news out of England this week as six arrests were made in regards to match-fixing in the English lower divisions. It’s further evidence of how rife this problem still is, with the latest news in Canada that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police have alledgedly destroyed files on the subject.
7. KEEPING IT
With just over a week to go until MLS Cup, the question of the day is which of the two sides has a better goalkeeper. Even FIFA.com is getting in the spirt, as the site picks four of its favorite MLS Cup finals. One of their picks is Kansas City’s victory in 2000, and The Kansas City Star has a slightly more in-depth look back at that final.
8. ALMIGHTY ZEUS
If Sporting Kansas City want to repeat their previous MLS Cup success, then they’ll likely need another big game from one of their most important players: Graham Zusi. The SKC midfielder has had a great year so far, having brought his team to the MLS Cup final and helped guide the US to the World Cup, while also becoming something of a hero in Mexico. It also seems Zusi is not particularly interested in a move to Europe, saying, “It’s not really about the offer. It’s where I feel my game can grow the most at this point. And right now, that’s in MLS.”
9. OPTIONS FOR CHIVAS
Chivas USA are once again searching for a head coach after José Luis Real was plucked by their sister club. However, that move, much like the one that brought Real to Chivas USA in the first place, may have been made out of necessity. Either way, who are the main candidates for the new job?
10. US DROP A PLACE
Following the most recent round of international matches, the USA has dropped one place in the new FIFA rankings to 14th, Mexico have moved back up four places to 20th following their successful qualification for the World Cup, while Canada have dropped even further, falling three places to 114th.
11. WYNALDA REMEMBERS
For players of any ilk, playing in a World Cup is something you’ll never forget. This is especially true if your country happens to be hosting the tournament, and Eric Wynalda recalls the experience of playing in front of an excited home crowd. In an interview with FIFA.com, Wynalda also talks about his current time with the Atlanta Silverbacks and the time he met a tearful Diego Maradona.
12. EXPORTS EXCEL IN EUROPA LEAGUE
It was a Thanksgiving to remember for the three Americans involved in Europa League action on Thursday. Terrence Boyd scored the opening goal in a vital win for Rapid Vienna, Brad Friedel kept a clean sheet for Tottenham Hotspur and Aron Johannsson’s AZ Alkmaar side advanced to the final 32. While in Mexico, 52,000 people turned out to watch Texan forward Sonny Guadarrama’s Necaxa side lose 1-0 in the first leg of the Ascenso MX final.
13. AIMING HIGH
Sacramento Republic FC haven’t even kicked off their first season yet, but that hasn’t stopped the team from aiming for the top. The goal is to one day reach MLS, according to club president Warren Smith: “If you don’t get up and say you’re going to do it, you’re not.” Smith lists the examples of recent USL PRO teams making the jump and suggests that strong attendance and a new stadium will help get them where they want to be.
14. RISE OF SOCCER
Soccer is here to stay, you already knew that, and interest in the game continues to grow on these shores, you knew that too, but how much of that is due to England and the Premier League? An article from Bleacher Report argues that NBC’s exclusive EPL coverage is also helping drive up MLS ratings and involvement from the likes of Manchester City and David Beckham is helping garner national media attention.
15. PLAY ON
Jeff Cunningham, Major League Soccer’s current co-leader for the all-time scoring record, is 37 years old. Yet the Jamaican-born former US international isn’t ready to call time on his career just yet and is instead currently trying to earn a contract with Vietnamese side Hai Phong FC. Meanwhile, according to a report from England, former English international Joe Cole, who has played for both Chelsea and Liverpool, is considering a move to MLS. The same story says three MLS clubs (FC Dallas, D.C. United and the Chicago Fire) are all interested in signing Cole.
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