Your Tuesday Kick Off

Knockout Round, Carlos Vela, Alphonso Davies, Nashville GM …
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Major League Soccer
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Kick Off: KO Round closing | Nashville hires GM | Will Basti, Ibra return?

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

Decision Day winners and losers

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Before we move on to the MLS Playoffs, Bobby Warshaw took one last look at Decision Day presented by AT&T to pick who flew highest and who suffered most on the final day of the regular season. READ MORE

Vela rarin’ to go

Thanks to what he calls his “second preseason,” LAFC star Carlos Vela has declared himself ready for his first taste of the Audi 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs. The veteran attacker says coach Bob Bradley forced him to take some days off after the World Cup sapped his energy, and that mini-break has helped re-charge his batteries for the MLS Cup chase. READ MORE

Don’t forget the D.C. defense

Much has been said about the impact of LuchoRoo in D.C. United’s charge to the postseason, but local blog Black-And-Red United took a moment to give some love to the club’s improved performance at the back. D.C. have experienced a ton of turnover in defense throughout the season, but are now in a stretch where they’ve conceded just twice in six games. READ MORE

Gifted with the sixth seed, RSL focused on LAFC

Backing into the postseason might play on the minds of some, but Real Salt Lake insist they’re fully ready to set aside how they got in and take advantage of the opportunity. The idle Claret-and-Cobalt had their ticket punched for a Knockout Round matchup at LAFC when the LA Galaxy blew a two-goal lead to lose at home on MLS Decision Day presented by AT&T. READ MORE

Davies to join Bayern first team

If anyone had wondered where outgoing Vancouver phenom Alphonso Davies would fit in immediately upon arrival at Bayern Munich, manager Niko Kovac cleared that right up on Monday: “One thing is certain,” Kovac said, “when you spend that much money on a player, then you don’t park him at the reserves.” READ MORE

An MLS Playoff “What if… ?”

What started as a conversation around the office blossomed into an impromptu MLS Playoff fantasy draft of a different sort. The Extra Time Radio crew took turns selecting a player to hypothetically join each postseason participant from a club that fell short of the playoffs. How’d they do? READ MORE

Nashville MLS announce GM hire

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Nashville MLS owner John Ingram chats with new GM hire Mike Jacobs at training. | NashvilleSC.com

Nashville’s MLS expansion club announced Tuesday morning that current Nashville SC technical director Mike Jacobs will serve as the first general manager for Nashville MLS. In an exclusive interview with MLSsoccer.com, Ian Ayre told Sam Stejskal that it became clear Jacobs was “the best option” after six other interviews. READ MORE | HIRING NEWS

Who will stay, who will go?

Outside the playoff field, thoughts are turning toward 2019, with some league stars staring at cloudy club futures. Over in Chicago, Bastian Schweinsteiger says he and the team will take a little time to think before meeting to discuss whether he’ll return in 2019 or not. READ MORE

Over in Los Angeles, the Galaxy have several squad situations up in the air, chief among them the return status of Zlatan Ibrahimovic. However, club President Chris Klein says he’s confident the strike superstar will be back. READ MORE

It’s also beginning to look like there could be plenty of change in New England. Among those whose returns are in question: Juan Agudelo, Diego Fagundez and Kelyn Rowe. READ MORE

MLSsoccer.com Must-Watch

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Instant Replay: Andrew & Bobby review tough Decision Day calls

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