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andrew wiebe

19 February 1:16 pm

Landon Donovan's second loan stint at Everton may not have ended in storybook fashion – he missed his final game because of the flu – but that doesn't mean the LA Galaxy and US national team stalwart didn't cherish every moment he spent this winter in Toffee blue.

Donovan sat down with EvertonFC.com to talk about his month-and-a-half at Goodison Park and what the club means to him after two wildly successful loan spells at the Liverpool-based club.

And in regards to whether this is his last go-round at Everton? Donovan had this to say:

"I would approach it the same way I approach it each year when I get a call from the manager here. One, am I physically able to do it? Two, does the manager want me? Three, do I feel like I can contribute and benefit the club? I would not come back if it was just for me to have the experience, but where I couldn't benefit the team. That would do nobody any good. I have too much respect for the club, the manager and the players to do that. The expectation is very clear if I come back. If I feel I can deliver on that expectation and the club wants me I would absolutely do it. I know I will be back in the future. I just don't know if it will be as a player – I hope it is.”

18 February 9:16 pm

While everyone else in the New York area is still dealing with the last remnants of winter, the Red Bulls skipped out of town for preseason preparations in Mexico. To document the proceedings in Cancun, someone came up with the idea to give Stephen Keel a camera and let him go wild.

The result was some absolutely vintage stuff from Keel packed into four episodes of priceless footage.

Highlights in no particular order:

  • Red moustaches
  • bocce ball
  • Remember the Titans
  • Alcohol-free Piña Coladas
  • Scandinavians
  • Oblivious tourists
  • Zip lines
  • Fake English accents
  • Ball washing stations
  • Scandinavians
  • Baby fat
  • Designer sunglasses

Keel Cam Part 1 of 3

Team Bonding at Xplor - Agudelo interview

16 February 8:11 pm

Last week, I asked Greg Seltzer and Travis Clark to come up with the 18-man rosters they would take to London if the Olympics started today. It seemed like an easy enough task at the time; both guys would cobble together their teams and the rest of us could hem and haw about which players should have made the squad or who didn't deserve the spot they were handed.

Both slaved over their choices for a couple days, emailing throughout to moan about how difficult it was to pare a stacked player pool down to 22 players, groups which included four alternates. And although they didn't always agree on who Caleb Porter should take to the Olympics, both came up with solid sides capable of competing for a medal.

You can find Seltzer and Clark's squads here: Olympic Roster Mock: Who should Porter bring to London?

On Thursday, Porter announced the 23-man squad that will train for 10 days at the end of February before taking on Mexico – a group that is likely to include many of the players who take part in Olympic qualifying. Because of that, I thought it would be interesting to see how Seltzer and Clark's squads matched up with group Porter called in, a comparison you can see below.

Clearly, this is not an exact science. Greg and Travis put together squads that assumed availability from all U-23 players. That was not the case for this camp and Porter's choices, which changes things. So take it with a grain of salt. It's all for fun either way.

Names that match up with Porter's 23-man group were left as is. Players who either guy included but didn't get the call are struck through. Anyone left out by both but called up by Porter is bold in the official roster. Obviously, overage players don't count in this exercise, so they weren't included in the rosters below.

Feel free to give your take in the comments section below.

Porter's Squad

GOALKEEPERS (2): Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire)

DEFENDERS (7):  Greg Garza (Club Tijuana) , Perry Kitchen (D.C. United), Alfredo Morales (Hertha Berlin), Ike Opara (San Jose Earthquakes), Kofi Sarkodie (Houston Dynamo), Zarek Valentin (Montreal Impact), Jorge Villafaña (Chivas USA)

MIDFIELDERS (6): Joe Corona (Club Tijuana), Mikkel Diskerud (Gent), Dilly Duka (Columbus Crew), Jared Jeffrey (Mainz), Amobi Okugo (Philadelphia Union), Michael Stephens (LA Galaxy)

FORWARDS (8): Freddy Adu (Philadelphia Union), Juan Agudelo (New York Red Bulls), Terrence Boyd (Borussia Dortmund), Teal Bunbury (Sporting Kansas City), Joe Gyau (Hoffenheim), Jack McInerney (Philadelphia Union), Brek Shea (FC Dallas), Tony Taylor (Estoril Praia)

 

Seltzer's Squad

GOALKEEPERS: Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire)

DEFENDERS: Perry Kitchen (D.C. United), Alfredo Morales (Hertha Berlin), Danny Potts (West Ham), Zarek Valentin (Montreal Impact)

MIDFIELDERS: Freddy Adu (Philadelphia Union), Mikkel Diskerud (Gent), Dilly Duka (Columbus Crew), Amobi Okugo (Philadelphia Union), Daniel Williams (Hoffenheim)

ATTACKERS: Joe Corona (Club Tijuana), Josh Gatt (Molde), Joseph Gyau (Hoffenheim), Brek Shea (FC Dallas), Andrew Wooten (FC Kaiserslautern)

ALTERNATES: Terrence Boyd (Borussia Dortmund), Sebastian Lletget (West Ham), Ike Opara (San Jose Earthquakes)

 

Clark's Squad

GOALKEEPERS: Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire)

DEFENDERS: Zarek Valentin (Montreal Impact), Timothy Chandler (FC Nürnberg), Sheanon Williams (Philadelphia Union), Gale Agbossoumonde (Carolina RailHawks), Ethan White (D.C. United)

MIDFIELDERS: Perry Kitchen (D.C. United), Mikkel Diskerud (Gent), Dilly Duka (Columbus Crew), Amobi Okugo (Philadelphia Union)

ATTACKERS: Josh Gatt (Molde), Joe Gyau (Hoffenheim), Brek Shea (FC Dallas), Juan Agudelo (New York Red Bulls), Terrence Boyd (Borussia Dortmund)

ALTERNATES: Freddy Adu (Philadelphia Union), Teal Bunbury (Sporting KC), Andrew Wenger (Montreal Impact), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana)

15 February 6:16 pm

Add the Colorado Rapids to the list of MLS teams Eddie Johnson has been linked with since his career in Europe went cold.

Back in August, it appeared Johnson was signing with MLS, only for that to sputter before gaining any real momentum. Then it looked like he was preparing to join DaMarcus Beasley at Puebla in Mexico, but that never materialized either.

Today, the Washington Post's Steven Goff tweeted that he was hearing the Rapids were in discussions to bring the former Dallas and Kansas City striker back to MLS. Based on all the false alarms, only time will tell whether Johnson find his way back to the United States, but this is certainly one worth watching.

14 February 5:36 pm

SF clued you into some pretty clever Valentine's Day wishes from the Vancouver Whitecaps to their Cascadia rivals and a few other select sides earlier today.

Not to be outdone, FC Dallas took their own crack at Valentine's Day, talking to the squad about their big plans and who the most romantic among them might be. Consensus pick: Andrew Wiedeman

Seems manager Schellas Hyndman is a bit of a romantic himself, mentioning that he limited the team's training today to make sure everyone has time to make sure their loved ones feel appreciated.

Good on him. Here's hoping there is a new leather jacket waiting for Hyndman courtesy of his special someone.

09 February 7:25 pm

If you've read the Sideline today, you picked up on the fact that MLSsoccer.com's own Joe Prince-Wright is down in Florida at the NASL Combine this weekend.

Check out the Joe's first report above or follow him on Twitter, and check back for more updates throughout the weekend. Here's a sample. Mmmmmm...pancakes.

09 February 2:21 pm

Unless you are a college soccer junkie or University of Pittsburgh diehard, the name Joe Prince-Wright probably doesn't mean a whole lot to you. Not yet, at least.

That's certainly not a knock against Joe. It's just the way the soccer landscape works here in the US. Hopefully, though, that will change for JPW – as he is known here at MLSsoccer.com – in the next few days.

Early this morning, Joe boarded a flight for Florida, where he will spend the weekend showcasing his abilities for NASL coaches and technical directors with the goal of earning a contract and continuing his soccer career here in the US. After completing a four-year career at Pitt last year, where he played against a laundry list of current MLS players and 2012 SuperDraft picks, he started as a freelance editor here at MLSsoccer.com. Between editing, providing insight on Big East prospects and generally entertaining us at the office, Joe has been busy training in preparation for this opportunity.

For the next few days, Joe has graciously agreed to provide brief video updates from Ft. Lauderdale as he attempts to latch on with an NASL franchise and prolong his playing career. You can also follow him on Twitter for tidbits and insight into the NASL Combine.

Check out the video for a quick introduction to the man, the myth and legend that is JPW and his thoughts on the combine. He may not look it in this video – the result of multiple takes as we switched between a cell phone camera and the real deal – but the guy is hilarious and should bring the heat in Florida.

Note: We take particular enjoyment from Joe's British euphemisms here at MLS Digital HQ. Perhaps the favorite, or at least the one most fit for print, is "diamond geezer," which is apparently a quintessentially English way of saying someone is a good guy. I was used to "geezer" from my time in Kansas City with Birmingham-born, play-by-play extraordinaire Callum Williams, but hadn't heard the diamond addition until I got to New York. Now if I could only imitate a British accent without sounding like a pirate, I'd be in business.

07 February 2:19 pm

Update: Juninho has returned to LA on loan.

Just as Galaxy fans had come to terms to life without Juninho, reports in Brazil suggest the former LA defensive midfielder could already be on his way back.

Juninho signed a three-year deal with Sao Paulo after his loan stint with LA ended following the 2012 season. He even bid farewell to Galaxy fans via Twitter.

Now, though, a report in Gazeta Esportiva suggests that Juninho is not going to factor into Sao Paulo's plans after all, leaving him open to a return to MLS as long as the details can be worked out between the two clubs.

01 February 5:17 pm

It's been a frustrating few days for Union fans.

As has been well documented here at MLSsoccer.com, Philadelphia parted ways with 2011 stalwarts Faryd Mondragon and Sébastien Le Toux this week. From the very start, neither move went over particularly well – a massive understatement – within the club's core fanbase, which has been making plenty of noise online and elsewhere in the wake of losing their offensive and defensive MVPs from last season.

Particularly frustrating for MLS fans in the city of Brotherly Love was the way Le Toux characterized his treatment by the club. The Union's reponse was simple: They are building for the future and Le Toux was in the final year of his contract. The trade was simply a calculated business move with Danny Mwanga and Jack McInerney waiting for their time to shine.

The following tidbit from manager Peter Nowak didn't exactly endear him to fans attached to Le Toux, though – “feelings are not included in my job description.”

Feelings are certainly a large part of Union fans' job description, however, and they've apparently been giving Nowak an earful (monitor full?) on Twitter today.

So much so that Nowak felt compelled to clear the air a little bit. The following tweets are Nowak's response Wednesday afternoon. Clearly, some people are having a hard time keeping their emotions in check.

31 January 7:04 pm

Apparently, when D.C. United's Dwayne De Rosario isn't banging in golazos or writing fake checks, he's busy developing websites to tickle the fancy of his fans.

If you haven't already, go ahead and spend the next 10 or 15 minutes perusing DeRo's recently released personal website. Simply put, this is the stuff MLS dreams are made of. You know, other than MLS Cups and all that other relatively unimportant nonsense.

So far the page getting the most love here at MLSsoccer.com HQ is the recipe for daily success that is dubbed "The Dero Rise and Shine Breakfast," which sounds pretty delicious even if it boils down to oatmeal and fruit.

Seriously, though, DeRo clearly didn't spare any time or expense on derounited.com. I'm going to go so far as to unofficially rank it No. 1 in the MLS player website sphere. Of course, David Beckham might have something to say about that, but I am just not willing to give out my personal information for the right to see pictures of Becks in H&M skivvies. I am, however, going to steal DeRo's core workout.