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Kick Off - Schellas Hyndman
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Kick Off: Seattle's USOC home streak irks Dallas manager

“We’re going to win the US Open Cup.”

That’s what the home fans were chanting after the 1-0 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup semifinal win by the Seattle Sounders over FC Dallas at Starfire in Tukwila, Wash., last night (watch the highlights here). FC Dallas admit that Seattle’s home field was “intimidating,” which may explain the Sounders’ 10-0-0 USOC record there.

But FC Dallas manager Schellas Hyndman isn’t necessarily in agreement with how that home unbeaten run has been facilitated: via a US Soccer bid process in which the higher bidder has the opportunity to host matches.

“For me, this is one of the best events — the Lamar Hunt Open Cup — but I'd really like to see it into a structure where it's not a bid system,” Hyndman said after the match. “It could go to the higher seeds, instead of a bid system where you're spending money, or it could be pre-determined. I think that brings out all the fairness to the event.”

The Sounders also won the bid to host the final on Oct. 4, when they will welcome the Chicago Fire at their regular MLS home ground, CenturyLink Field. The Fire had to get a “scrappy” 2-1 win against the third division Richmond Kickers and it could have been a costly one after playmaker Sebastián Grazzini suffered an injury which forced him out of the match.

Did you know that in the early days after becoming a pro, Philadelphia Union midfielder Freddy Adu spent a lot of time with Steve Urkel from Family Matters? Find out why in this in-depth feature on the player.

It took Adu some time to adjust to the rigors of professional life and it took some Portland Timbers players some time to learn the traditions of the Timbers Army. Take this story told by the club’s owner, who had to chase players in the locker room to have them come back out and salute the Army after a home loss.

Portland fandom knows no bounds. How about a Portland Timbers logo carved into a corn field: of course, the place could only be called Portland MAiZE. (PHOTO)

The New York Red Bulls, who are tied with the Timbers on points, are getting ready for a “reboot,” according to their GM and sporting director Erik Solér. He believes that both goalkeeper Frank Rost and forward Luke Rodgers will return to full health for the stretch run. He also unveils his plans for the starting goalkeeper position next year.

Former Red Bulls player Dwayne De Rosario explains the reasons for his departure from New York, indicating that he saw the writing on the wall. And he admits that all the bouncing around and criticisms in 2011 have “lit a fire under me.”

De Rosario is currently with Canada as they prepare for the double FIFA fixture date. RSL midfielder Kyle Beckerman will miss out on that first match for the USA after his club manager, Jason Kreis, asked USMNT boss Jurgen Klinsmann to allow the midfielder to stay back. “I don't think you're ever going to play two games on two different continents within four days and play the same team anyways,” Kreis said.

If there is any question that Klinsmann’s appointment as manager of the US team has made waves in these parts of the world, take what the Honduran national team coach had to say: “I had great respect for Bob Bradley, now with Klinsmann we’ll respect them even more.”

Staying with the national team, No. 1 ‘keeper Tim Howard indulges fans curiosities in a Twitter Q&A, including his role models, his desire to participate in Dancing with the Stars and the frequency with which he goes through goalkeeper gloves.

In other MLS news, there was a bit of a season milestone reached over the past weekend when it comes to attendance numbers, which broke 4 million after the final matches of August.

The Houston Dynamo will capitalize on the Labor Day weekend break to get two of their younger players back for the stretch run. Dynamo 21-year-olds Will Bruin and Danny Cruz are both back in training and “have never been happier to be more miserable.”

It may have been a 7-0 loss to Fulham FC in a reserve league match, but US national team midfielder and ex-Dynamo star Stuart Holden was just glad to be back on the field for Bolton Wanderers in his first action since fracturing a bone in his knee last season: “For a first game back, I'd give myself a 6 or 6.5 out of 10.”

It doesn’t impact Holden this time around but transfer deadline day in Europe could yet see a surprise move for Fulham’s Clint Dempsey to Arsenal. Fulham have snatched up Twente’s Costa Rican forward Bryan Ruiz and are also being linked with Everton striker Jermaine Beckford and French international target man Andre Gignac, which points to a potential switch for the American.

Meanwhile, reports have hit the web that Dempsey will be named the US national team’s new captain when he joins the USA for the Belgium match.

US midfielder Michael Bradley will be officially presented as a Chievo Verona player today and Italian reports indicate he already has a jersey number: No. 6. (ITALIAN)

The lone televised international soccer today comes from South America with the all-Argentine Copa Sudamericana encounter between Lanús and Godoy Cruz (8 p.m. ET, Fox Deportes) as well as the Colombian league match as América de Cali and their American goalkeeper Diego Restrepo, take on Perreira (9 p.m. ET, GolTV).

Italian bad boy Paolo Di Canio is at it again, even now as manager of English side Swindon Town. He showed little patience with his forward after a match and moments later got into a bust-up caught on video in the tunnel. (VIDEO)

Lastly, who said you need the magic spray to get players as good as new following an injury? All you need to do is show them a cameraman and you’ll witness a miracle. (VIDEO)

MLSsoccer.com Must-Reads:

Talking Tactics: RSL show how you can go down a man and win

Deal that would have taken American Maurice Edu to French club Auxerre is dead

Columbus Crew coaching staff has a United Nations feel to it

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