Kick Off: BWP bags PotW prize | Ridgewell shelved | RSL aim to re-up Rusnak

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

Wright-Phillips nets PotW

New York Red Bulls striker Bradley Wright-Phillips was named Alcatel Player of the Week following his weekend brace in their victory at Atlanta. It was the second time he's taken the prize this season, and the eighth such honor of his MLS career. READ MORE

Elis a stealth MVP candidate?

Though others are stealing the early-season spotlight, nobody should be sleeping on Houston attacker Alberth Elis. The winger is quietly off to an MVP-caliber start, which is just fine with both him and the Dynamo. READ MORE

RSL working on fresh Rusnak deal

On the heels of news that Albert Rusnak is drawing transfer interest from Europe, Sam Stejskal reports that Real Salt Lake have been working since January to sign the playmaker to a contract extension. And don't fret, RSL fans: the club quickly rejected that reported overture from Sparta Prague. READ MORE

Injury report: Ridgewell, Lawrence

Portland will be forced to make do without back line marshal Liam Ridgewell for at least two games due to a quadriceps setback. The veteran had returned from a benching and a calf injury to help the Timbers post three straight shutout wins before leaving early in Saturday's victory over LAFC. READ MORE

Kemar Lawrence and the Red Bulls received some positive injury news on Wednesday. | USA Today Images

The news is much better for Kemar Lawrence, with the New York Red Bulls left back expected to return from this past weekend's scary incident when they welcome Philadelphia to town on Saturday. READ MORE

Boli up for Mabiala reunion

When he was considering his recent move to Colorado, Yannick Boli checked with childhood pal Larrys Mabiala for advice. Now, just a handful of games into his Rapids tenure, the striker is looking forward to meeting up with his old friend when they host Portland this weekend. READ MORE

Report: Stewart favorite for USMNT's GM job

According to Metro scribe Kristian Dyer and Yahoo Sports' Doug McIntyre, Philadelphia exec Earnie Stewart has the inside track on the rest of the field applying for the US national team's new general manager post. READ MORE

USMNT set for high-profile friendlies?

Not only is U.S. Soccer on the hunt for a GM and head coach for the men's national team, they're also looking for opponents. The Tennessean reports that they may have found two, claiming that the USMNT will face Brazil at MetLife Stadium on Sept. 7 followed by a date with Mexico at Nashville's Nissan Stadium on Sept. 11. READ MORE Must-Watch

This Week In MLS: Susannah and Calen pick under-the-radar All-Stars