Your Thursday Kick Off

USMNT set to tackle Colombia …
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Kick Off: US hosts Colombia | Eales bins Miggy talk | MLS-Liga MX marriage?

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

USMNT set to tackle Colombia

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The US national team returns to action on Thursday night with a friendly against Colombia in Tampa (7:30 pm ET | FS1, Univision, UDN). With the presumptive starting midfield trio of Tyler Adams, Weston McKennie and Christian Pulisic unavailable due to injuries, Tom Bogert has identified four USMNT players with the most to gain from this midweek encounter with FIFA’s 14th-ranked side. READ MORE

Meanwhile, as we pass the one-year anniversary of the national team’s galling failure to qualify for this past summer’s World Cup, Sports Illustrated writer Grant Wahl examines U.S. Soccer’s process in dealing with the fallout, with a focus on the ongoing coaching search. READ MORE

Eales shoots down Almiron rumor

When asked about reports that Miguel Almiron was all set to join Arsenal in an $11 million winter transfer, Atlanta United president Darren Eales replied with a terse but humorous denial. “It would take triple that to even get out of bed to look at offers for Almiron.” he told a local radio station. READ MORE

Report: Ibarra a popular trade target

According to Jeff Reuter of The Athletic, Minnesota United flank man Miguel Ibarra is sure to draw trade interest from multiple MLS clubs this offseason. Among other potential suitors, the locally-based scribe says Portland and San Jose could make approaches for the US international. READ MORE

Union GM aims to keep Dockal

New Philadelphia general manager Ernst Tanner has made it a high priority to hang on to loan ace Borek Dockal, who leads the league with 17 assists. READ MORE

In other Union news, David Accam has been shelved for two months after undergoing hernia surgery. READ MORE

Wiebe: Give Piatti his due!

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Piatti’s credentials as an MLS great are beyond dispute, argues Andrew Wiebe. | USA Today Images

Add our own Andrew Wiebe to the list of MLS pundits insisting that Montreal’s Nacho Piatti is woefully underrated when MVP discussions come up each fall. READ MORE

Can Almeyda make this list?

San Jose’s hiring of Matias Almeyda to run their show compelled us to put together a list of the most transformative coaching changes in league history. READ MORE

Liga MX chief hints at MLS union

Fire up your hot takes oven, boys and girls. In a statement sure to divide the crowd on both sides of the border, Liga MX president Enrique Bonilla told a leader’s summit in England that a North American league that combines the Mexican top flight with MLS was “a possibility” in the future. READ MORE

MLS players got (golf) game

Golf Digest has published a list of the top 100 pro athlete linksmen, and it features no fewer than 11 current MLS players and former USWNT star Abby Wambach. Who’s the best of the bunch? That would be scratch golfers Daniel Salloi and Bastian Schweinsteiger. READ MORE

MLSsoccer.com Must-Watch

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Join Susannah and Calen on the couch for This Week In MLS

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