Kick Off: Chicago Fire looking to go Dutch? | Martins pens message to Sounders fans

Here are the top soccer stories everyone’s talking about this morning:

Martins' Goodbye

Fresh from making a move to China, Obafemi Martins penned a heartfelt goodbye to Seattle. But the Sounders didn't miss him much in Wednesday's 4-0 preseason thumping of the LA Galaxy at StubHub Center.

Foes To Friends

Former Vancouver villain Blas Perez is ready to put that rivalry in the past as he joins the Whitecaps.

Champions League Talk

With the CONCACAF Champions League set to begin again a Liga MX vs. MLS quarterfinal showdown  our Benjamin Baer explores the difficulty in gaining positive results in Mexico. You can get set for all the forthcoming CCL action with a slew of team previews ahead of next week.

Solving The Puzzle

With the new MLS season fast approaching, the Armchair Analyst Matt Doyle returns to examine how NYCFC coach Patrick Vieira can fit the pieces together. And here, Vieira breaks down NYCFC's preseason victory over the Montreal Impact from yesterday.

Hole In The Fire

With Harry Shipp off to Montreal, the Chicago Fire have an opening in attack. Local blog Fire Confidential reports that the club is checking into Groningen ace Michael de Leeuw, while leading Dutch publication Voetbal International reveals the Fire are auditioning another Eredivisie veteran in former NEC and Feyenoord man John Goossens.

Molto Mario

An Italian soccer scribe has opined that out-of-favor Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli, who is currently on loan to AC Milan, should look to revive his career in MLS.

L.A. Stories

Americaphile Nigel de Jong says he's living a long-held dream by playing for the Galaxy. Meanwhile, new midfield mate Steven Gerrard says he is enjoying life in Los Angeles.

Preseason Results

There were no less than nine friendlies involving MLS clubs on Wednesday night, and you can catch up on all the scores with our Preseason Matchday Tracker.

I Did It My Way

Despite competing interest from Jurgen Klinsmann's US national team, FC Dallas netminder Jesse Gonzalez remains committed to Mexico's national team.

Dress Shirts

The Seattle Sounders unveiled two new uniform shirts on Wednesday, while the Houston Dynamo released a new black secondary jersey. Keep up with all the new kits in our jersey department.

It's In The Details

American Soccer Now has gone wading through all the "legal-ese" to break down aspects of the Collective Bargaining Agreement reached last year.

Married Name

Sports Illustrated reports that expansion side Minnesota United will likely have a new nickname when they begin MLS play.

St. Louis Unity

It's not always easy for civic forces to unite in St. Louis, but they've done exactly that in pursuit of an MLS expansion team. Musts:

Relive Real Salt Lake's historic 2010/11 CCL final run

Canada's Montagliani to run for CONCACAF presidency

Watch: Giovinco & BWP provide the best preseason highlights