Now that we've started to recover from the All-Star Game experience in Portland, here are the top 15 stories we’re following today:
1. ALL-STARS SHINE AGAINST BAYERN
These games are always meaningless, right? Tell that to Landon Donovan, who scored the winning goal in the MLS All-Stars' 2-1 victory against Bayern Munich (watch highlights here), and to the fans inside Providence Park that celebrated it. Here's what it looked and sounded like on the ground in Portland.
2. DONOVAN PUTS “TOUGH SUMMER” BEHIND HIM
Over the course of his career, Landon Donovan has had a few points to prove. The forward proved another one to his former club with the game-winner on Wednesday night, putting behind him what he called a “tough summer” after his World Cup snub.
3. GUARDIOLA WANTS REVENGE
He may have a reputation as one of the most well-mannered coaches in European soccer, but Pep Guardiola was anything but following his club's friendly defeat. The Bayern boss was incensed by a couple of hard tackles by Osvaldo Alonso and Will Johnson and refused to shake hands with All-Stars coach Caleb Porter after the game. Now Guardiola has his sights set on “revenge.”
4. BWP CAN'T STOP SCORING
Ask any English soccer fan for their impression of Bradley Wright-Phillips, and they’ll probably mention his brother. But BWP has found a home for himself in the US, setting MLS alight this season with 18 goals from just 21 games. The New York Red Bulls striker added to his 2014 highlight reel with a stunning strike against Bayern. His forward partner in the second half, Chivas USA's Erick "Cubo" Torres, said the play was no coincidence.
5. BESLER PLEASED WITH ALL-STAR WIN
Matt Besler keeps some fairly illustrious company these days. For instance, he sat alongside Clint Dempsey and Thierry Henry at the AT&T MLS All-Star press conference earlier in the week, and the Sporting Kansas City center back was a standout against Bayern Munich, expressing his satisfaction at the win against the German giants.
6. WHAT'S UP WITH SACHA?
With deadline day in MLS winding down, a report claimed that USMNT midfielder Sacha Kljestan had committed to join the LA Galaxy, who do have an announcement scheduled for Thursday afternoon. However, the player himself took to Twitter on Thursday morning to deny the report and reiterate he is still an Anderlecht player. Like #DempseyWatch, but without a happy ending. At least Bruce Arena won’t have to figure out how to force another player into his packed midfield.
Contrary to some reports, I have not signed for LA Galaxy and I am still an Anderlecht player. Thanks for the continued support!— Sacha Kljestan (@SachaKljestan) August 7, 2014
7. DWYER ON THE RADAR OF ENGLISH CLUBS?
It’s been quite a season for English strikers in MLS this year. Dom Dwyer has netted 14 goals for Sporting Kansas City and has reportedly been attracting attention from his homeland, with Brentford said to be lining up a move for the 24-year-old. Dwyer is just four goals away from equalling Kansas City's record tally for a single season, but will Brentford snag him before he gets the chance to match it? Robb Heineman’s tweet won't make SKC fans comfortable.
8. ORLANDO’S MLS ROSTER CONTINUES TO TAKE SHAPE
There’s been a lot of activity in Florida over the past month as Orlando prepares to take root in MLS. First there was the signing of Kaká, then speculation linking the club with seemingly every Brazilian soccer player, and then the stadium plans were amended. Now Orlando City are set to add Benfica youngsters Rafael Ramos and Estrela to their roster, first for the conclusion of the USL PRO season and then for their MLS debut in 2015.
9. DISKERUD TO COLUMBUS DEAL HITS A SNAG
According to Grant Wahl of Sports Illustrated, a deal sending USMNT midfielder Mix Diskerud to the Columbus Crew was close to being finalized. However, the move apparently hit a snag. Diskerud is out of contract at the end of the year.
Really wanted Mix in Columbus. We gave it everything, so as disappointed as we are, we didn't leave anything on the table. #Crew96— Anthony Precourt (@APrecourt) August 7, 2014
10. US U-20 INTERNATIONAL COMING HOME
If Diskerud isn't coming to Columbus, then who is? According to this report, it is US Under-20 international Romain Gall, who played with the Academy teams of both D.C. United (2010) and Real Salt Lake (2010-11) before signing with Lorient in his native France in 2011.
11. REVOLUTION TO ANNOUNCE PLAYER ARRIVAL
Given their recent slide, the New England Revolution need some help. Club president Brian Bilello took to Twitter on Wednesday to confirm that the Revs “should be able to” make a new player announcement in the next few days.
12. NO LOAN BACK TO SEATTLE FOR YEDLIN
Many asked what the USMNT’s legacy would be from their success at the 2014 World Cup, and the immediate legacy would seem to be DeAndre Yedlin. The right back only made cameos in Brazil, but the Sounders player has been linked with moves to some of Europe’s biggest and best clubs (Spurs lead the pack, according to Taylor Twellman). But for the Sounders to sell Yedlin and still keep him through the 2014 campaign, there were some deadlines to be met.
13. CHIVAS TBD TO STAY AT STUBHUB
Next year will mark a fresh start for Los Angeles’ other MLS team. Soon a new identity for Chivas USA will rise in their place in time for the 2015 season. But no matter what the future holds, the new team will continue to play at StubHub Center for the foreseeable future.
14. MUST-SEE TV
While all eyes were, quite rightly, on Wednesday's MLS All-Star Game, a goal was scored in North America that may have put Robert Lewandowski to shame. In the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup, which started Tuesday in Canada, France's Claire Lavogez finished off a team passing move with a screamer to the upper 90 in a 5-1 win over Costa Rica (official FIFA highlights). The US return to action on Friday against Brazil.
15. AVILA vs CUBO
Watch out, Oprah. Eric Avila has his sights set on your crown as TV’s greatest interviewer. The Chivas USA midfielder stuck a microphone in the face of teammate "Cubo" Torres, asking "RoboCop" about everything from driving laws to Shakira and Disneyland. Avi's just wondering why he never gets invited!
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