1. PERFECT PLACE TO MEET
The US national team host Mexico in San Antonio on Wednesday, possibly the perfect city to host a meeting between the two CONCACAF powers. The US will be looking to keep an unbeaten streak alive against their rivals, but while Mexico manager Miguel Herrera may want to beat the US, he would probably rather do it in July.
2. KITCHEN IN, OROZCO OUT
The number of MLS players in the USMNT squad for Wednesday’s friendly has risen to 14 after in-form D.C. United midfielder Perry Kitchen was called up to take the place of Michael Orozco. Meanwhile, for any players who haven’t made a US squad in a while, Jurgen Klinsmann insists the door isn’t closed.
3. WHO HAS THE EDGE?
Unlike some previous US camps, the short turnaround between the squad announcement and Wednesday’s game leaves the US roster in a rush to prepare. But which of the two sides, the US or El Tri, is in better shape heading into this encounter?
4. OPARA OUT AGAIN
Given his history of nasty injuries, many feared the worst when Ike Opara went down late in the game against Real Salt Lake. Those fears were confirmed on Monday, as Sporting Kansas City announced the 24-year-old has a ruptured Achilles tendon.
5. TRADING PLACES
The Houston Dynamo and the Chicago Fire completed a trade on Monday which saw the Fire send Brazilian midfielder Alex down to Texas in exchange for Jamaican international Jason Johnson.
6. LOTS TO COME FROM LARIN
Cyle Larin’s impressive chested goal set Orlando City on their way to a 2-0 victory over the Portland Timbers on Sunday, and head coach Adrian Heath is confident it will be just the first of many. That game also marked Donovan Ricketts’ return to Providence Park. The former Timbers goalkeeper was humbled by the reception he received.
7. SAEID STUCK IT OUT
Mohammed Saeid has impressed during his short time with Columbus Crew SC so far. But did you know there was a time when, having been cut by West Bromich Albion as a teenager, the Swedish midfielder almost gave up on becoming a soccer player altogether?
8. THE MAN AND THE PLAN
When he first took over as New York Red Bulls Sporting Director, Ali Curtis spoke of his master plan to revamp the club. Now, five games in, it looks like he may have been onto something. Who is Ali Curtis, and what does this plan really involve?
9. NYCFC STOKE THE FIRE
New York Red Bulls II suffered a big defeat at the weekend, losing 3-0 to the Wilmington Hammerheads. The twist? The Hammerheads are the USL affiliates of New York City FC and it seems the Red Bulls’ new rivals played a direct part in the result through a number of surprise loans.
10. HISTORY REPEATING ITSELF?
As the Montreal Impact continue their preparations for the CONCACAF Champions League final, team owner Joey Saputo offered his thoughts on the team’s fantastic CCL run and, conversely, the team’s early-season MLS struggles.
11. FILLING PLATA’S PLACE
Real Salt Lake have yet to lose a game this season, suggesting that they’re doing something right as they continue their transition to their new 4-3-3 formation. But having only won two of their five games amid some rather pragmatic displays, how much is the team missing Joao Plata?
12. BREAKING DOWN THE VOTES
U.S. Soccer recently announced the latest entrants to the National Soccer Hall of Fame, with Sigi Schmid, Kasey Keller and Glenn “Mooch” Myernick all receiving the honor this time around. Want to see who narrowly missed out though?
13. WATCH PARTY
The US national team supporters’ group, the American Outlaws, is taking a positive step toward rebuilding its image by announcing “AO Watch”.
14. SQUAD IS SET
While the Women’s World Cup in Canada is still the better part of two months away, it seems that US women’s national team coach Jill Ellis has already decided who will be in her squad for the tournament. She is set to reveal her final roster today at 4:55 pm ET on Fox Sports 1.
15. TRACING IT BACK
As we gear up for the latest installment of US vs. Mexico, did you know the rivalry dates back all the way to 1934 (at least as far as soccer is concerned), when a future NFL coach put four goals past El Tri in a 4-2 victory for the US?
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