Here are the top 15 stories we’re following today:
1. DC'S COMEBACK STORY CONTINUES
The two worst teams in last season's Eastern Conference started 2014 by writing their own comeback tales. But Toronto FC have suffered a fairly dramatic twist, as they slipped to their second successive defeat to D.C. United, this one by a 3-0 scoreline (watch highlights here). Ben Olsen is on track to lead DC to a record turnaround, while Ryan Nelsen lambasted his side for what he saw as a lack of effort.
2. RED BULLS PROVE A ROAD POINT
A draw was not a a big help for either team. So naturally that’s what Real Salt Lake and the New York Red Bulls produced, playing to an entertaining 1-1 tie at Rio Tinto Stadium (watch highlights here). Yet Mike Petke’s side still proved a point, following their last road game – a 3-1 loss to the Philadelphia Union. The highlight of the game was Thierry Henry’s passed finish into the net from 20 yards, while its lowlight – well, we all know what that was.
3. RELIEF FOR REVOLUTION
When one finally went in, the floodgates opened. The New England Revolution avoided a club record-tying losing streak of nine straight games, and they did so with aplomb. Their 3-0 win over Colorado on Wednesday night (watch highlights here) means the streak stops at eight, and Jay Heaps can sleep a bit easier. Rapids head coach Pablo Mastroeni, on the other hand, may be tossing and turning.
4. DRAW KINGS DRAW, AGAIN
We shouldn’t have expected any other result. The league’s most prolific drawers – the Chicago Fire and the Vancouver Whitecaps – met on Wednesday night, and guess what happened? Yup, they tied (watch highlights here). The Fire, who used Jeff Larentowicz at center back, have now drawn 12 of their 20 games in 2014, with the 'Caps at 11 from 21. Carl Robinson is getting tired of it all.
5. KLJESTAN TO BECOME A STAR IN THE GALAXY?
Four years after leaving the league, Sacha Kljestan could be set for a return to his homeland. California, to be precise. The LA Galaxy, who are reportedly keen to take the 28-year-old on a loan until the end of the season, have been linked with the midfielder with the mustache so famous even Zlatan Ibrahimovic commented on it.
6. YALLOP CONFIRMS FIRE'S INTEREST IN JONES
Speculation linking World Cup barnstormer Jermaine Jones with the Chicago Fire is gathering steam, as ESPN's Alexi Lalas reported on Wednesday's telecast that the deal is likely to happen, and Fire head coach Frank Yallop admitted his team's interest. A few goals like the one Jones scored against Portugal would be welcome at Toyota Park.
7. DE SANTIS OUT AS SPORTING DIRECTOR
Montreal Impact owner Joey Saputo announced that Nick De Santis had been relieved of his sporting-director duties on Wednesday because "the results are not at the levels of our expectations." Frank Klopas will stay on as coach and will also assume the role of director of player personnel.
8. MBOLHI FOR YOU
The cat, or rather the goalkeeper, is out the bag. Algerian World Cup star Rais Mbolhi’s signing was confirmed by the Philadelphia Union at a press conference on Wednesday. But Jim Curtin knows that he can only play one 'keeper at a time, right?
9. US, COLOMBIA TO MEET IN SAN ANTONIO?
After returning to action with a friendly in the Czech Republic on Sept. 3, the US national team will reportedly host Colombia in San Antonio six days later. The Alamodome, artificial turf and all, will reportedly be the venue.
10. NO FULL BRAZILIAN IN ORLANDO?
With the signing of Kaká already sealed, it had been suggested that Orlando City could become an outpost for Brazilian national teamers by the time MLS play starts in Central Florida next March. But talks with former AC Milan and Real Madrid star Robinho have apparently broken down, and rumors of jogo bonito icon Ronaldinho being considered have had cold water poured on them by reports from Orlando.
11. FRANKIE'S DAY OFF
Frankie Hejduk is turning 40, so what’s the natural way to celebrate the milestone for the Columbus Crew legend? With a beach party, of course! Frankie made more than 150 appearances for the Crew, and you can party with Hey Dude himself this Saturday, providing you’re 21 and like Bob Marley.
12. HAMILTON HEADS TO PORTUGAL
From the Wilmington Hammerheads to Toronto FC to Clube Desportivo Trofense in Portugal, all in one week. That’s the story for teenager Jordan Hamilton, who was recalled by TFC from their USL PRO affiliate before being sent to the Portuguese Segunda Liga on loan. Hamilton has impressed at Wilmington and most recently scored for TFC in the friendly defeat to Tottenham Hotspur.
13. GREEN STAYING PUT WITH BAYERN FOR NOW
Despite interest from English Premier League clubs in taking Bayern Munich and US national team starlet Julian Green on loan, Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge told SI.com that Green is "something special" and that Bayern turned down loan offers from big clubs to keep Green with the team in 2014-15.
14. DESTINATION: PORTLAND
Headed to the Rose City for next week's 2014 AT&T MLS All-Star Game? There are just a few things going on in addition to the showcase game itself. Youth soccer, live music, a grilled-cheese throwdown, and even a tour of the temporary MLS Digital gigs … it'll all be happening.
15. BOOM OR BUST?
The World Cup affected just about everybody this summer in some way or another. On the financial side of things, aside from FIFA, who were the winners and losers? The Wall Street Journal takes a look at the financial impact of the world's largest sporting event.
Get the Kick-Off delivered to you!
Enter your email address and favorite team below to sign up for The Kick-Off mailing list and get it delivered to your inbox every morning.