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Kick Off - Clint Dempsey
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Kick Off: Dempsey says Spain loss left US humbled

US national team star Clint Dempsey is still smarting from the USA’s 4-0 loss at the hands of World Cup champions Spain: “We got kicked up the backside and it humbled us.”

Landon Donovan spoke to media after practice on Sunday in Detroit and provided a health update. He had to watch the USA vs. Spain match from his hotel room outside the stadium because of illness.

Donovan will want to make sure he doesn’t catch any bugs ahead of the USA’s third Group C match against Guadeloupe. That’s because it will be held at the new crown jewel of American soccer: LIVESTRONG Sporting Park. The countdown to its official opening this Thursday continues. In case you didn’t know, the players will take a very special route from their locker to the field.

In other MLS news, find out what leads one Crew beat writer to believe that manager Robert Warzycha wouldn’t crack a smile during a Dave Chappelle set. After the 1-1 tie in New York on Saturday, there was also some explaining to do for Designated Player Andrés Mendoza, who missed two golden opportunities.

Read about what that stoppage-time equalizer did to the New York Red Bulls, who were more than just upset with a loss. Thierry Henry may not have spoken to the press but Luke Rodgers did and he confessed, “Everyone’s fuming in there, there’s a lot of arguing.”

Reports said that RBNY manager Hans Backe was “lacing” into his squad after the match. The Vancouver Whitecaps’ new head coach, Tom Soehn, reserved some pointed words for his squad after their 2-0 loss to Real Salt Lake: “We had four or five guys competing. That’s not enough.”

RSL seem to have one of their ultimate competitors back. Fabián Espíndola’s teammates feel that the goal he scored on Saturday may have taken the monkey off his back and now they “expect them to come a lot more frequently now.”

Another player happy to get a goal again this weekend is Chivas USA’s Tristan Bowen, who played in a new position behind the forwards in a 3-3 tie Reserve League tie against the Portland Timbers. There’s a plan behind the move.

The No. 8 overall pick in the MLS SuperDraft, Michael Nanchoff, may be switching positions as well. He played out on the left in college but his long-term role could be behind the forwards in Vancouver.

The Houston Dynamo are making moves for new players of their own. This Derek Riordan guy must be good because the courtship with the Dynamo continues. Reports from Scotland say he will likely lower his wage demands.

He also comes from Europe — specifically Mucsi, Hungary. One of the US Soccer Hall of Fame inductees over the weekend — Bob Gansler — believes there was a strong chance that he could have been coach of the 1994 World Cup team over Bora Milutinovic if a certain person ran the US Soccer Federation.

Mexico and Costa Rica both kicked off the 2011 edition of the Gold Cup in style, winning 5-0 over lesser opposition on Sunday night at a sold-out Cowboys Stadium.

Here’s the video of Costa Rica’s win over Cuba which was followed by a second-half explosion by El Tri with a hat trick by Chicharito against El Salvador.

While in Dallas, CONCACAF general secretary Chuck Blazer also addressed the scandal that has engulfed CONCACAF in recent weeks. He says everything’s under control. Meanwhile, here’s an in-depth profile of Blazer and his role at the highest levels of the sport.

Staying in the CONCACAF region, the owner of the newest team to earn promotion to the Mexican first division, the Xolos of Tijuana, was arrested by a division of law enforcement specializing in organized crime.

Former German national team coach Berti Vogts has his own trouble he’s dealing with. You would think he’s accomplished enough in the world of soccer not to have toilet paper thrown at him by media members, right?

Lastly, we wrap up with Wayne Rooney’s new hair transplant. He broke the news and also sent out the photo. (PHOTO)

MLSsoccer.com Must-Reads:

Monday Postgame: Streakers dominate MLS headlines

Blazer vows CONCACAF controversy will be solved

New forward Jean Alexandre is the unexpected hero for Real Salt Lake

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