It's almost the weekend which mean it is almost game day. The season still has that new car smell and no one is out of it yet. In order to help with your soccer withdrawal, here are some MLS stories that are worth a quick read.
MLS wins two in Champs League
Sporting Kansas City and the LA Galaxy will carry one-goal leads down to Mexico, as each club won 1-0 in CONCACAF Champions League action Wednesday evening.
Sporting downed LigaMX high-flyers Cruz Azul, and will feel hard done by not taking a more substantial lead south of the border. In the 17th minute, Homegrown player Kevin Ellis - starting because of an injury to Chance Myers -took an outside-in pass from Claudio Bieler, took a touch in toward the penalty spot, and steered a right-footed shot low to the near post. The Sporks' pressure dominated the first half, and the visitors were fortunate to escapt to the locker room down only the one goal. The second half was a different matter, but KC held on grimly for the win.
The Galaxy have Panamanian keeper Jaime Penedo to thank for their victory over Club Tijuana after a series of highlight-reel stops in the second half. LA got their goal when Robbie Keane's wayward chest trap fell into the path of the onrushing Samuel, who swept it home for the only goal of the game in the 11th.
Both teams return to CCL action next week - the Galaxy travel to Tijuana for the reverse fixture of this cross-border derby Tuesday, March 18 at 10 p.m. CT, while Kansas City play Cruz Azul in Mexico City at the same time the following evening.
NYCFC close to a team badge
New York newest MLS team is letting fans vote on the team's badge. Both of the two logos are fairly similar and either way they can't go wrong. It's a nice move letting the fans pick the badge as they begin the battle for fans in New York with the Red Bulls. If you're bored, feel free to vote.
Petke gets a contract extension
In a not surprising move, the Red Bulls have signed Mike Petke to a contract extension. This is a smart move for the Red Bulls as they need some stability in their organization and Petke was a success in his first year with winning the Supporters' Shield. Petke and Kreis should be a great coaching rivalry in the Big Apple.
Orlando City sign first homegrown
As Orlando City SC prepares for its final season in USL before joining MLS, they have signed Tommy Redding, 17-years-old, as their first homegrown player. They have been signing players that will carry over to MLS but this is the first player to come from their academy. It is reported that he turned down offers from Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund amongst others. It's great to see the youngster here and that Orlando has a commitment to youth.
Sporting sign Spanish midfielder
Sporting KC has signed Antonio Dovale, a 23-year-old Spanish midfielder from Celta Vigo. He was a member of the Barcelona academy for four years and could add quality depth for the team as they try to defend their title and compete in the CCL - and he's got company from the Barca academy on the KC squad in Uri Rosell. Let's see if he can break into the team.
MLS and USL benefit each other
The two leagues have been working together over the past few years to improve the players in both leagues. MLS gets a chance to give experience to its young players and USL gets quality players in their league. Jeremiah Oshan wrote about this partnership and highlights the partnership between the leagues. For me, this partnership is just getting started.