Kaka Injury: Updates on Orlando City Star’s Status and Return

Orlando City captain Kaka will not be able to participate in Copa America Centenario for the Brazil national team due to a muscle injury. Continue for updates. Ganso to Replace Kaka in Copa America Centenario Wednesday, June 1 Brazilian journalist Paulo Freitas reported the news on Kaka, citing former goalkeeper and general national team coordinator Gilmar Rinaldi as the source of information. Orlando City SC confirmed Kaka's status, and Freitas added the 34-year-old would need 15-20 days without training. Jack Lang of ESPN FC highlighted how Brazil have had to do considerable roster reshuffling even before Kaka's injury: Brazil begins their Copa America tournament on Saturday with a match against Ecuador. The Canarinho have won the continental football competition title eight times, which ranks third to Uruguay's 15 and Argentina's 14. This year marks the first time the tournament won't be hosted on South American soil, going to the USA instead. Although they haven't won the past two titles, Brazil has come out on top in the tournament in four of their past seven outings. They will need to figure out a way to bolster the attack without Kaka roaming the midfield, though. And Kaka is far from the only marquee Brazilian player not suiting up for Copa America. As Freitas reported, Rafinha, ...
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MLS Cup Playoffs 2015: Wednesday Scores, Reaction and Updated Schedule

The 2015 Major League Soccer Cup playoffs kicked off Wednesday with two fixtures of the win-or-go-home variety. Wednesday's winners advanced to play two legs against a higher-seeded club, but they only had one match to prove themselves at the dawn of the postseason. The D.C. United played host to the New England Revolution in the opening match followed by the Seattle Sounders squaring off with the visiting LA Galaxy. Check out how both those matches unfolded in the recaps below preceded by an updated MLS playoffs schedule:     D.C. United 2, New England 1 After hitting the post in the 75th minute on a penalty kick, D.C. United's Chris Rolfe benefited from a beautiful setup by Fabian Espindola and scored the winner from middle of the box to secure a 2-1 victory. Revolution goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth couldn't even attempt to dive at the ball once D.C.'s exceptional display of teamwork culminated in Rolfe's simple left-footed strike.     ESPN's Taylor Twellman commended Espindola for setting up both of D.C. United's goals, believing he was the best player on the pitch at RFK Stadium: Demoralizing as the defeat was for New England in the end, Revolution fans and soccer purists couldn't have asked for a much better goal to ...
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MLS All Star Game 2014: Win over Bayern Munich Gives League Valuable Momentum

The MLS All-Star Game pitted the league's best against Bundesliga powerhouse Bayern Munich in Wednesday's exhibition match at Providence Park in Portland, Oregon. Bayern were favorites, but a winning goal by retiring MLS star Landon Donovan gave his band of All-Stars a 2-1 victory. Although this fixture offered no tangible significance aside from pure entertainment, it was a big step for Major League Soccer to enhance its stateside popularity and international respectability. North American major sports have so many alternatives that the other continents simply don't have at their disposal. Another type of football is about to dominate the American sports landscape, but there's no denying that MLS' fanfare is growing. As part of Donovan's retirement announcement, he emphasized how important the fans are in keeping the trend of soccer's ascent in the USA, per CBS Sports: What will be vital is that American soccer can carry on the momentum generated by the MLS' landmark win over Bayern Munich, especially with its biggest star in Donovan walking away from the game at the end of the season. ESPN Stats & Info highlighted the impact Donovan has had in the MLS—not just when he scored Wednesday's winning goal, but also overall: Julie Stewart-Binks of Fox Sports 1 hinted ...
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MLS Expansion 2013: Proposed New Clubs Risk Spreading U.S. Soccer Too Thin

Major League Soccer's proposed expansion by four teams in 2020 puts a lot of faith in the brand of the sport in the USA, but it's a substantial risk that could spread the league too thin. The best, most entertaining football America has to offer is battled out on the NFL gridiron, while the MLS takes a backseat in terms of major sports popularity. Regardless, commissioner Don Garber decided to announce at halftime of the recent All-Star Game that the league would expand by four teams in the coming years, per The Washington Post's Steven Goff: That game showcased the gap between U.S. soccer and others, as many of the MLS' best players were beaten comfortably 3-1 in a match against AS Roma, who finished sixth in Italy's Serie A. In order for the MLS to eventually approach the interest soccer has in the rest of the world as the planet's most beloved sport, the quality of the game needs to be the primary focus, rather than the number of teams. While bringing soccer to new U.S. markets could be a catalyst for enhancing its profile across the country, it's important that the game is being played at a high level in those instances. Given ...
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MLS Predictions 2013: Projecting Top Cup Contenders

The 2013 Major League Soccer season will get underway this weekend, which makes it an ideal time to lay out who will contend for the championship cup this year.It will be an unprecedentedly long season for America's biggest league with 34 games on the schedule. There is certainly growing respect for the MLS, which is in its 18th year and is attempting to establish itself amongst the world's best (h/t Yahoo!).The sport's exposure in the U.S. was enhanced by the presence of British star David Beckham, who recently returned to Europe. Beckham's former MLS squad, the Los Angeles Galaxy, is the two-time reigning MLS Cup champions.While LA should be considered a favorite to three-peat despite the departure of Beckham, there are several other clubs that stand out as contenders and are worth analyzing. San Jose EarthquakesAs reported by Elliott Almond of the San Jose Mercury News, superstar striker Chris Wondolowski just inked a four-year contract extension. The three-time reigning scoring champion and 2012's MLS Most Valuable Player has committed to the long haul with the Quakes, who are also in the process of building a new stadium for 2014.Wondolowski intimated that he loved the direction the San Jose organization was going ...
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