Here are the top 15 stories everyone's talking about this morning:
1. PARTY IN DENVER
The Colorado Rapids were officially announced as the hosts of the 2015 AT&T MLS All-Star Game. Set to take place on July 29 (9 pm ET, FOX Sports 1, UniMás in US, TSN, RDS2 in Canada), this will be the second time in its history that Dick’s Sporting Goods Park has hosted the event. The opposition has not yet been confirmed, but Rapids boss Pablo Mastroeni will be in charge of the All-Stars. His mustache has not yet been confirmed for the event.
2. USL PRO EXPANDS
There was more big news on the player-development front on Wednesday. Toronto FC officially announced the name and home of their new development side to play in USL PRO, known as Toronto FC II and the New York Red Bulls confirmed that they will also operate a USL PRO team this year with the competition now set to take on a much-changed format in 2015.
3. ONE STEP CLOSER TO THE WORLD CUP
Following a 1-0 win over Trinidad & Tobago in their final group game of the CONCACAF Under-20 Championship, the US have successfully secured a playoff berth for a place in the FIFA U-20 World Cup. Having finished second in their group, Tab Ramos’ side must now wait to learn whether they will play Honduras, Cuba or El Salvador in Saturday's make-or-break match.
4. A BRAND NEW KAH
The Vancouver Whitecaps have found a new veteran center back to help replace the now departed Andy O’Brien, signing 34-year-old Gambian defender Pa Modou Kah, who most recently played for Cascadia rivals Portland Timbers. One reason Kah proved a good fit for the Whitecaps could be his willingness to be more of a rotation player than a starter, especially with CONCACAF Champions League action looming late in the season.
5. NOT UNTIL JULY
Despite rumors from Italy of an earlier move, Toronto FC general manager Tim Bezbatchenko insists there have been absolutely no discussions about star signing Sebastian Giovinco arriving ahead of July.
6. DISKERUD LOOKING TO LEAD
As Mix Diskerud gets ready to begin a new chapter of his career with New York City FC, the US international said it will be an excellent chance to take his game to the next level. Yet while Diskerud hopes to learn from some of NYCFC’s other players, the US international is also looking to be a leader on the field.
7. WANTED: NEW HOME
Speaking of US internationals looking to take on larger roles, former New York Red Bulls Homegrown Player Juan Agudelo is just looking to get back on the field after eight months without a club, and Goal.com reports that he is considering an offer from Bundesliga 2 club 1860 Munich. After playing for the Red Bulls, Chivas USA and the New England Revolution in MLS, Agudelo has twice failed to secure a UK work permit that would allow him to sign with Stoke City, and he last played in the spring of 2014 for Dutch club Utrecht.
8. DALLAS LOADING UP
On Wednesday, FC Dallas completed a trade to acquire Kyle Bekker from Toronto FC and a new contract for Re-Entry Draft selection Atiba Harris. Also making news on Wednesday were reports of a link to Ghanaian star midfielder Michael Essien.
9. LIONS HIRE A CEO
As well as announcing a new CEO, Orlando City also revealed that they have surpassed 10,000 season tickets sold for the upcoming MLS season. So with the club spending 2015 in the newly renovated Citrus Bowl, here's a look at the rich history of the venue.
10. HAMID AIMING HIGH
Following another outstanding individual year for DC United’s Bill Hamid, this time one in which the team’s performance matched their goalkeeper's, the 24-year-old is determined to watch and learn as much as he can in the hopes of forcing his way into the US national team.
11. NO RUSH ON DUAL NATIONALS
While Jurgen Klinsmann may be keen on securing the services of two more dual nationals, the US national team coach is not planning to rush either Tesho Akindele or Julio Morales into a decision, announcing that neither will be available for the upcoming US friendlies.
12. LEARNING FROM THE BEST
Canada’s much hyped U-20s fell short in the CONCACAF U-20 Championship, but the future still looks bright for Canada, especially with former players like Ante Jazic working to help shape the next generation of Canadian talent.
13. BACK ON THE PATH
Although Conor Shanonsky’s time with DC United has come to an end, the 23-year-old former Homegrown Player has found another club, and potentially a route back to the top flight, after signing with 2015 expansion club Louisville City, the USL PRO affiliate of Orlando City.
14. DI VAIO’S NEW JOB
It was only last season that Marco Di Vaio announced his retirement from soccer, yet the former Montreal Impact Designated Player has already begun his next challenge in the game after being named team manager of Italian side Bologna, a club also part-owned by the Impact’s Joey Saputo.
15. THE EVER-GROWING TIMBERS ARMY
If you mention the Timbers Army to an MLS fan, the first things that come to mind are probably the loud, tightly-packed end of Providence Park and some amazing tifos. Yet did you know the TA now has chapters all across North America? Your move, Emerald City Supporters.
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