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greg lalas

12 April 4:43 pm

Norwich City forward Kei Kamara, on loan from Sporting Kansas City, will make his first trip to the Emirates Stadium to take on Arsenal on Saturday.

It's no easy task, obviously, to get a result in North London, especially for the Canaries, who are in 14th place, just four points above the English Premier League relegation zone.

Scoring will be no easy task for Kamara, especially if Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has his way. The French tactician is impressed with Kamara, the first Sierra Leonean to score in the EPL, and also pretty wary of him.

"It's absolutely fantastic what he is achieving," Wenger told Arsenal.com. "It's down to quality of scouting that these clubs do, and you have to give them credit for that. To keep Grant Holt out of the team, [Kamara] must have something special. We have, of course, to keep him quiet on Saturday."

The Arsenal-Norwich City match is on Fox Soccer at 10 am ET, if you want to see if the Gunners can indeed keep the chatty Kamara quiet.

21 March 2:55 pm

Last week, FC Dallas revealed a new product, the Orange Obliteration System (OOS). They hoped it would help them beat their orange-clad rivals from Houston.  

Well, it worked. FCD got a dramatic 3-2 win over the Dynamo

And now, other people want in on the action, namely, the Vancouver Whitecaps, who will face the Dynamo on Saturday at BBVA Compass Stadium, where the Dynamo have a 12-0-6 record since the stadium's opening last year.

Here's the tweet the 'Caps sent on Wednesday, requesting their own OOS.

Dallas, never shy about tweaking their in-state rivals, obliged.

And the Whitecaps were thankful.

A little later, the Dynamo jumped into the fray, referencing Kenny Cooper's controversial match-winning goal against Houston last week.

11 March 12:05 pm

Beware the vicious pine marten. This small animal, native to North Europe,  belong to the Mustelidae family -- it's related to the weasel -- generally spend their time hanging out in wooded areas and chasing squirrels along treetop branches.

But when that gets boring, it seems pine martens like to get in a little game of soccer.

On Sunday, a pine marten invaded the field in the middle of a Swiss Super League match between FC Thun and Zurich FC. Then it bit Zurich defender Loris Benito after being scooped up in an impressive diving maneuver.

The whole episode reminded us of that time the black cat invaded BMO Field in the middle of a CONCACAF Champions League match last August. An omen? Well, TFC lost the match 3-1.

 

08 March 10:31 am

As soon as we heard that D.C. United's Chris Pontius was going to do the weather report on FOX5 in Washington -- tune in at 8:15 am to find out if it's going to rain or shine on United's home opener vs. Real Salt Lake on Saturday -- we culdn't help but recall the words of the immortal Dave Spritz:

"I remember once imagining what my life would be like, what I'd be like. I pictured having all these qualities, strong positive qualities that people could pick up on from across the room. But as time passed, few ever became any qualities that I actually had. And all the possibilities I faced and the sorts of people I could be, all of them got reduced every year to fewer and fewer. Until finally they got reduced to one, to who I am. And that's who I am, the weatherman."

02 March 12:13 pm

As the sun came up on North America, the Twitterati took to their laptops, phones, tablets, soup cans, whatever they use to tweet, in order to express their thoughts about the 2013 MLS season opening up on Saturday. Here are some of my favorite ones.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And here's one of my own (shameless self-promotion!) with a priceless quote from a family member.

02 March 9:38 am

It's the morning of the opening day of the 2013 MLS season. I'm sitting at a funky cafe called Local 61 in Brooklyn (it's exactly what you imagine it would be), killing time before the Philadelphia Union and Sporting KC kick off to get things going.

Until that first kick, much of the soccer world's mindshare will be occupied with the Clasico between Real Madrid and Barcelona. Despite my MLS myopia at times, my own focus this trained on the Bernabeu this morning. If you love soccer, you better be watching.

It all got me thinking: Who from the many stars on the two squads would I most like to see in MLS?

The obvious choice is Barcelona's Lionel Messi. After all, he's the reigning World Footballer of the Year, three times over, and the most creative, devastating weapon of his generation.

But many others would say Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo, who is like a growling NASCAR car compared to Messi's Formula 1 machine. 

Still others would go for Xavi, the diminutive maestro who conducts the Barca midfield like Leonard Bernstein putting an orchestra through Copland's Appalachain Spring.

There's also Andres Iniesta, who quietly goes about the business of scoring and setting up goals for the Blaugrana, and with nary a peep; Kaka, the experienced, still-graceful artist who can turn a game for Madrid when given the opportunity; and Karim Benzema, who just gets better with each year up front at the Bernabeu. Not to mention Pedro and Mesut Ozil and... well, you get the drift: There are a lot of big stars on the field today.

For me, it's Real Madrid's Gonzalo Higuain. He's done nothing but score goals his entire career. His effectiveness is not tied to speed or overwhelming skill. He's just one of those guys, like Carlos Ruiz or Chris Wondolowski, who know how to be in the right place at the right time to stab home a goal. I'd definitely pay money every week to watch him play in MLS.

And no, I wouldn't want him playing alongside his brother in Columbus.

WHO WOULD YOU WANT TO SEE? LET US KNOW IN THE COMMENTS BELOW. 

 

01 March 12:15 pm

This unplugged musical tribute to Kei Kamara, currently on loan at EPL side Norwich City from Sporting KC, and his "heart-shaped hands" goal celebration isn't going to get a favorable review in the latest issue of NME, but you've got to applaud the guy's gumption to sing it loud and proud on BBC Radio Norfolk's McVeigh and Butler show. And the audience participation. And the jersey.

CLICK HERE to watch the video.

25 February 9:00 am

Last Friday, the US posted an efficient, if tentative, 1-0 win over Costa Rica to secure top spot in Group A of the U-20 CONCACAF Championship. Jose Villarreal headed home the winner in the 63rd minute to secure the three points.

The LA Galaxy youngster is increasingly showing that the hype is warranted -- provided he plays in the center rather than on the wing. "Center forward is kind of my spot," he told MLSsoccer.com after the win. 

The Americans now move on to face Canada in the quarterfinals on Tuesday at 6 pm ET. The match will be broadcast on Fox Soccer. The winner will earn a spot in the U-20 world cup 

06 February 10:27 am

The US national team is in Honduras for their first Hexagonal World Cup qualifier on Wednesday. It's sure to be a tough match.

But for all the talk about the difficulty of getting a result in Honduras, the last time the Yanks played a World Cup qualifier there, they got all three points.

On October 10, 2009, Bob Bradley's US squad headed to San Pedro Sula in need of a good result to secure their qualification to the 2010 World Cup. Mission accomplished, as the US held on for a 3-2 win.

The Americans fell behind early, after Julio Cesar de Leon, but then came back to take a 3-1 lead with two goals from Conor Casey and one from Landon Donovan. De Leon struck a late one to pull los Catrachos within one, and Carlos Pavon, the Honduran legend, skyed a late penalty over the bar, giving the US a vital victory.

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