Kick Off: Seattle must win, Ochocinco to play soccer

A schedule change in Russia is set to raise similar debate in MLS

It all comes down to tonight for the Seattle Sounders.

In one of the most dramatic matches this early in the CONCACAF Champions League group stage, the Sounders know that a loss at Saprissa tonight could mark the end of their Champions League dreams (10 p.m. ET, Fox Soccer Channel). Seattle Designated Player Blaise Nkufo did not travel.

The Crew are in a much better position going into their third match of the six-game group stage. They have three points and a home match against group minnows Joe Public at Crew Stadium tonight (8 p.m. ET, Fox Soccer Channel).

Peruvian Andres Mendoza is set to get his first start for the club.

Joe Public traveled with only 16 players after suspensions and visa issues have wreaked havoc with their squad.

Telefutura’s tripleheader of action includes two other CONCACAF Champions League matches: Monterrey vs. Marathon at 8 p.m. ET and Municipal vs. Santos at 10 p.m. ET.

The nightcap of the tripleheader will see the Battle of the Goats in the ChivaClasico as Chivas USA take on Chivas Guadalajara from San Diego (12 midnight ET, Telefutura). Manager Martin Vasquez and Jesus Padilla explain why the match is important to them.

The Sounders are busy on three fronts. While they have a mountain to climb in the Champions League, they have already set a record in the US Open Cup before they even play the final at home.

The San Jose Earthquakes return to action on Wednesday as they host the Philadelphia Union in a critical match for San Jose’s playoff hopes. Their fortunes rest squarely on the shoulders of their Brazilian players.

The American dream still exists. Here’s the unlikely story of how Kosuke Kimura became an MLS player, the only one in league history to be born in Japan.

Sueño MLS winner Gabriel Funes Mori has lofty dreams of his own. Italian clubs are said to be lining up to sign the young River Plate striker, who is on fire in the Argentine league. [SPANISH]

Former Chicago Fire and NY Red Bulls boss Juan Carlos Osorio is out of a job again. This time Colombian side Once Caldas gave him the boot. [SPANISH]

The Boston Globe catches up with another former MLS player who is making headway in the English Championship (Second Division).

So whatever happened with John Rooney, Wayne Rooney’s brother, you ask? Well he’s staying ready in England for the move to MLS in the winter, according to Tranmere Rovers manager who calls him “half-decent.”

On Monday night’s Soccer Talk Live NFL’s Chad Ochocinco says 2011 may be his year in soccer. He also says he warms up playing soccer and would be the fastest player in the sport. [VIDEO]

With the MLS roster freeze deadline a little more than 24 hours away, DC United has a lot to ponder with injury concerns surrounding Chris Pontius, Bill Hamid and Clyde Simms.

Not many 15-year-olds are offered three-year contracts by MLS teams. One player based in Michigan reportedly turned away an approach by DC United.

Then again you have to be ready for the pressure in MLS. Toronto FC knows a little bit about that as the media in the club’s city is beginning to point fingers.

The UEFA Champions League kicks off in earnest on Tuesday with FC Twente vs. Inter Milan (2:30 p.m. ET, Fox Soccer Channel), Werder Bremen vs. Tottenham Hotspur (2:30 p.m. ET, Fox Soccer Plus), Manchester United vs. Rangers Glasgow (2:30 p.m. ET, Fox Sports Net) and FC Barcelona vs. Panathinaikos (2:30 p.m. ET, Fox Sports en Espanol).

In other international soccer, a decision in Russia could have repercussions in the American debate on the MLS league schedule.

The only other commissioner that MLS has known was sacked from his job in another sport.

Finally, US women’s soccer goalkeeper Hope Solo is in the news for another rant, this time directed at the officiating in a recent WPS match.

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