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Kick Off - Tim Leiweke

Kick Off: Toronto FC's Tim Leiweke discusses search for club's next Designated Player

Here are the Top 15 soccer stories we’re following today.

1) LEIWEKE ON THE DP PROWL: MLSE president and CEO Tim Leiweke is still searching for big-name players to join Toronto FC, as he aims to aid Ryan Nelsen’s rebuilding process at BMO Field. Find out what the man in charge has to say. While TFC also announced a link-up with FC London of the USL PDL league.

2) HOLA, ANANGONÓ? On Saturday we heard from the Chicago Fire’s Javier Leon on a possible Ecuadorian international heading to Chicago, and the Sun Times is reporting that Juan Luis Anangonó has signed a deal.The 24-year-old striker has scored 39 goals in 129 games in Ecuador and Argentina. Can he add more goals to Chicago’s attack?

3) ADIOS, FREDY… AGAIN: Fredy Montero is off to Europe, as Portuguese side Sporting CP have agreed a loan deal with the Seattle Sounders. Montero could join Sporting permanently if it goes well. But would the Sounders ever want Montero back following two loan spells away from MLS? Who knows…

4) USA’S BEST MOMENTS IN GOLD CUP SEMIS: With everyone looking forward to tomorrow’s semifinal doubleheader in Texas, Soccer America takes a trip down memory lane to remember some of the USA’s best moments in Gold Cup history. And most have come in incredible semifinals. More of the same tomorrow please, lads.

5) TV RATINGS FOR US vs. EL SALVADOR: A big TV audience tuned in to watch the US hammer El Salvador, with more people watching the Gold Cup quarterfinal than watched the UEFA Champions League final. What kind of numbers will the semis and final get?

6) ZARDES JOINS EXTRATIME RADIO: LA Galaxy starlet Gyasi Zardes joined the guys on ET Radio, after his game-winner against Vancouver at the weekend. SI.com’s Brian Straus also joins the gang to discuss the incredible Gold Cup run the US are on.

7) HOW GOOD IS “WONDOW” NOW? Over at Pro Soccer Talk, they discuss Chris Wondolowski’s lackluster display against El Salvador and ponder if Klinsmann was right all along about the San Jose forward. Can “Wondow” do it against the best teams in CONCACAF and beyond?

8) COPA AMÉRICA IN THE USA? According to Soccer By Ives the decision on whether to host the 2016 Copa América in the United States has to be made soon. Find out if it’s a viable option. Should the USA enter?

9) PODCASTS GALORE: Over at MLS Reserves, Sporting KC’s red-hot attacker Soony Saad caught up to chat about the big win over RSL, while SI.com’s Grant Wahl also made an appearance. And when founder of Howler Magazine, George Quraishi, appeared on Will Leitch’s podcast, things got weird.

10) BATT TO VANCOUVER? MILLER GETS SCOTLAND NOD: Former Oxford United defender Damian Batt is on trial with Vancouver, and the 28-year-old right back could provide decent cover for Martin Rennie’s side. Meanwhile the Whitecaps look to be losing Kenny Miller in a few weeks, as the striker has been called up for Scotland as they play England in a friendly at Wembley on August 14.

11) GERMANY, USA SET FOR TUG OF WAR: Another German-American is being lined up by the US, as Mainz attacker Shawn Parker (not the guy who founded Napster) is interesting Matthias Hamann, a European scout for the US: “Shawn is an interesting player. We have set our sights on him for the last two years and must now decide whether he can help us.” The 20-year-old has played for Germany’s youth side from U-15s to the U-20s. Will he opt for the US or Germany?

12) MLS STARS OF THE FUTURE: Following the U-16 and U-18 national titles won by Real Salt Lake and the New York Red Bulls, here are the top five prospects in the MLS academy system. The Red Bulls are looking set to bring through plenty of young stars pretty soon.

13) MILK CUP ROSTER ANNOUNCED: The US national team U-18 squad competing at the Milk Cup was announced yesterday, and five New York Red Bulls were included. Javier Pérez’s men are heading to the prestigious tournament in Northern Ireland which runs from July 29 to August 2. They face Mexico, Northern Ireland and Denmark in the ultra-competitive youth event.

14) MARTINO NAMED NEW BARÇA COACH: Gerardo “Tata” Martino has been named as Barcelona’s new manager on a two-year deal. Martino formerly managed Newell’s Old Boys in Argentina and the Paraguayan national team amongst many other sides. Find out who he really is.

15) ENGLISH SOCCER CELEBRATES ROYAL BABY: ICYMI, I doubt you did, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had a baby son yesterday afternoon. The birth has created huge interest around the world, as the one-day-old baby is now third in line to the British throne. Aston Villa are banking on a new fan, while the FA congratulated their president.

MLSsoccer.com Musts

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