Kick Off: Big day for expansion finalists | Watch MLS Cup Central at 7pm ET

Here is everything you need to know about MLS and North American soccer this morning:

Big day for expansion finalists

Today is an important day for soccer fans in Cincinnati, Detroit, Nashville and Sacramento who are hoping to see their city win one of two MLS expansion slots scheduled to be awarded by the end of the year. All four prospective ownership groups will be presenting on Wednesday to MLS Commissioner Don Garber and the league's Expansion Committee at MLS HQ in New York City. Check back for updates and reaction throughout the day. READ MORE

Sizing up MLS Cup battle

We're now just four days away from the MLS Cup heavyweight title bout rematch between Toronto FC and Seattle Sounders, so our own Ben Baer has broken down both teams using the tale of the tape, showing which team has the advantage in each sector of the field. READ MORE

With the big game drawing near, the MLS Cup Central crew begins breaking it down with a series of daily live preview shows beginning on Wednesday at 7 pm ET (watch embed above), when MLS award winners Julian Gressel (AT&T Rookie of the Year) and Tim Melia (Allstate Goalkeeper of the Year) will be special guests. READ MORE

Sounders back and better than ever

In a warning to local fans, Toronto FC blog Waking The Red insists this Seattle side is better than last year's MLS Cup winners. The outlet notes that the Sounders are more dangerous in attack and much deeper across the field. READ MORE

NYCFC lock up hot prospect

New York City FC have moved to secure their left back slot for the future by signing Costa Rica international Ronald Matarrita to a contract extension, warding off rumored suitors in Europe and ensuring he's back for a third season in NYCFC blue. READ MORE

MLSers in Germany

Out-of-contract Columbus Crew SC attacker Kekuta Manneh has traveled overseas for an audition with Bundesliga promotion hopefuls Union Berlin. READ MORE

He's not the only unsigned MLS man visiting Germany this week, as Philadelphia Union attacker Fabian Herbers is training with his hometown club, 3.Liga promotion chasers Hansa Rostock. READ MORE

Transfer talk: Marcinkowski, Warda

According to the Washington Post's Steven Goff, US Under-20 netminder J.T. Marcinkowski will leave Georgetown to ink a Homegrown deal with the San Jose Earthquakes. READ MORE

Over in Greece, a pair of reports claim that a club from Los Angeles (shall we presume Bob Bradley's LAFC?) is in the running to sign young Egypt winger Amr Warda. Currently on loan from PAOK to Atromitos, he has six goals in 13 games across all competition on the term. READ MORE

Sporting looking to splash cash

Local scribe Sam McDowell reports that Sporting Kansas City are ready to spend much more than usual for offseason improvements. READ MORE

US Soccer Player of the Year finalists 

No less than four players set to take part in MLS Cup are up for the USMNT's Player of the Year prize. Jozy Altidore (Toronto), Michael Bradley (Toronto), Clint Dempsey (Seattle) and Jordan Morris (Seattle) are joined by Borussia Dortmund ace Christian Pulisic on the award shortlist. READ MORE

Meanwhile, the race for US Soccer president gained another contender on Tuesday, with long-time soccer executive Kathy Carter throwing her hat in the ring for February's election. READ MORE Must-Watch:

A Day With: RSL's Jordan Allen has used an injury layoff to move toward his degree