Your Thursday Kick Off

A lethal 2018 from Zlatan …
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Kick Off: Zlatan, the producer | Badji wants bye | Davies eyes big send-off

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

A lethal 2018 from Zlatan

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Though he doesn’t have the raw goal totals of Josef Martinez, Zlatan has done his damage in fewer games. | USA Today Images

It’s no secret that LA Galaxy hit man Zlatan Ibrahimovic has lived up to star billing with 22 goals and 10 assists, but did you know he’s on course one of the most offensively efficient season in MLS history? Tom Bogert breaks down the numbers. READ MORE

A rough 2018 for Kljestan

Poised with an opportunity to play Supporters’ Shield spoilers against old side New York Red Bulls, Orlando City playmaker Sacha Kljestan has admitted that this has been the most frustrating year of his career. “This is the first losing season I’ve had, so it’s been very difficult to deal with,” he admitted. READ MORE

Badji: I just want the win

While Dominique Badji admits it will be nice to see old teammates and friends when they visit Colorado for Decision Day, the FC Dallas forward has declared Sunday’s game a case of no friends on the field. Still stinging from a big missed chance in last weekend’s home loss to Sporting KC, the former Rapids man is focused on grabbing the win his new side needs to avoid the knockout round of the playoffs. READ MORE

Stejskal: How Kinnear turned Galaxy around

The LA Galaxy look on the verge of crashing the playoff party after a late-season coaching change put Dom Kinnear in charge. Our Sam Stejskal takes a look at what buttons the interim boss has pushed in reviving postseason hopes that were nearly left for dead six weeks ago. READ MORE

Davies aims for big send-off

Fresh off being named as the Vancouver Whitecaps Player of the Season, Alphonso Davies says he wants to make a special occasion of his last match for the club. After Sunday’s season-capper against visiting Portland, the Canada phenom will be off to join new employers Bayern Munich. READ MORE

How many Fire farewells?

With much of the squad and head coach Veljko Paunovic on expiring contracts, Sunday’s home tilt against D.C. United could serve as a goodbye to a fair portion of the roster. Bastian Schweinsteiger is another player with a future up in the air, but says he’d like to return. READ MORE

Celeb-spotting around the grounds

Major League Soccer venues have become increasingly star-studded in recent years, and the trend continued this past weekend. Meghan Trainor became the latest celeb to serve as falconer for an LAFC match, while over in Atlanta, Lil Wayne held his son’s 10th birthday party at the Atlanta United match. READ MORE

MLSsoccer.com Must-Watch

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