Kick Off: Houston oust the Loons from USOC | MLS bid in for Jhon Murillo?

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

Houston reaches USOC quarterfinals

An early second-half corner kick header from Mauro Manotas was all the offense Houston needed to post a 1-0 triumph over Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Round of 16 visitors Minnesota United FC on Monday night. Dynamo netminder Chris Seitz made five saves to help the lone goal stand up. RECAP

Panama MLSers make emotional World Cup debut

Four MLS players started in Panama's first World Cup game, an eventual 3-0 loss to Belgium. The underdogs kept the game scoreless in the first half, but a wonder volley from Dries Mertens two minutes after intermission opened the floodgates for a late Romelu Lukaku brace. READ MORE

Elsewhere, Seattle Sounders handyman Gustav Svensson came off the bench late to help Sweden open their World Cup 2018 journey with a 1-0 victory over South Korea. Svensson worked the final nine minutes in defensive midfield. READ MORE

Berhalter discusses USMNT job with Stejskal

Last year, Columbus Crew SC head coach Gregg Berhalter stated that he wasn't ready to manage the US national team. On Monday, he stopped short of saying that, saying that it wil be up to the selection committee to decide if he has the experience needed to run an international side. READ MORE

Big Phil & Kaka to lead Lions?


Could former Brazil and Portugal manager Luiz Felipe Scolari take the reins at Orlando City and mentor former Lions skipper Kaka as his eventual successor? That's the word according to various reports. READ MORE | EXTRATIME RADIO

Meanwhile, the much-maligned Orlando City back line got closer to full fitness with the training return of Scott Sutter. The Lions have had a revolving door at right back since their starter went to the shelf with a leg injury more than two months ago. READ MORE

Lewis eyes fresh NYCFC start

While young New York City FC winger Jonathan Lewis is grateful for the tutelage received under Patrick Vieira, he also hopes to find more playing time under new boss Domenec Torrent. The 21-year-old only managed 370 minutes of league playing time in 1 1/2 seasons working for Vieira, who left to take over Ligue 1 outfit Nice last week. READ MORE

Report: Murillo has MLS offer

According to Portuguese daily A Bola, Benfica's Venezuela left winger Jhon Murillo is weighing an offer from a mystery MLS club. The 23-year-old, who scored four goals in 24 games with loan employers Kasimpasa last season, was linked with interest from Columbus last summer. READ MORE Must-Watch

MLS referees are leading the way at World Cup