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25 July 12:32 pm

PHILADELPHIA – Frank Lampard must have known this was coming.

Since appearing in a suite at The Home Depot Center alongside David Beckham a few weeks ago, the speculation about a possible move to the LA Galaxy has only heated up. And he can’t dodge the questions now, not with Chelsea on a two-week tour of the United States and American journalists only too happy to keep seeking clues.

Lampard keeps playing diplomat, of course, repeating that he’s under contract with Chelsea and happy with the European champions. But the England international did get a laugh in Tuesday’s press conference when asked if he’d like to play alongside his former captain in LA.

“I think that he might not want me, I don’t know,” Lampard said to laughs.

Galaxy fans can take heart in that he didn’t close the door on a future move if his services were deemed surplus to Chelsea.

“I’m waiting to speak to Chelsea [about a new contract] and we’ll see what happens,” he said.

WATCH: Chelsea's Lampard, Di Matteo laud evolution of MLS

25 July 10:24 am

This is your chance to win a signed 2012 AT&T MLS All-Star Game jersey!  

All-Star jersey

During the broadcast on ESPN2 - Wed. July 25, at 8:30PM ET - we'll be testing your TV tune-in skills. Follow @MLS on Twitter and answer #MLSAllStar trivia questions during the broadcast.  Be one of the first 25 people to tweet an eligible reply and you'll be entered into a drawing to win.  

Replies must include @MLS, the hashtag #MLSAllStar, and the correct answer. You must also follow @MLS on Twitter.  One winner per question will be randomly selected and notified by direct message. He/she must respond with a valid email address within 30 minutes of being notified to win, otherwise a new winner will be selected.  

Official Social Media Giveaway Rules apply: http://www.mlssoccer.com/fans/social-media-giveaway-rules.

24 July 5:54 pm

It's the evening before the 2012 AT&T MLS All-Star Game, and the meetings, trainings, press conferences and pre-parties are in full force here in Philadelphia. Here are just a few of the highlights, courtesy of @MLS_Insider

Tuesday began like most days for the guys, with a little morning kickaround. The setting? PPL Park, which looked plenty spiffy ahead of its big night on ESPN2. 

As announced by MLS and the Union early this morning, there was a new face out and about for the All-Stars. Welcome to the show, Mr. Michael Farfan. Same stadium, just a few new teammates and some minor opposition to deal with tomorrow night.

Training concluded with some finishing, which left goalkeeper Dan Kennedy in a pretty tough spot as Jimmy Nielsen iced down off to the side. Kennedy's thoughts after being peppered for 15 straight minutes? This is the toughest session I've had all year.

From PPL, the travelling media contingent (along with Olsen, Donovan, DeRo and Henry) cruised to the Independence Visitors Center for the official pre-match press conference in conjunction with Chelsea.

Two different vibes. Di Matteo, Lampard and Mikel spoke sternly, while the mood lightened considerably once the MLS crew entered the room. Everyone was all smiles for the photo opp next to the Giant Ball, except for Landon Donovan, who looked more like he was ready to enter tomorrow's match than pose for pictures.

The players aren't the only ones busting their humps this week. The media are putting in ridiculous hours giving this match the attention it deserves. It's a massive occasion, and massive occasions typically call for podcasts featuring Alexi Lalas.

With the prematch pleasantries out of the way and the hype of tomorrow's match in full effect, it's time for everyone in attendance this week to unwind a little as the red carpet gets rolled out at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Walking around the hotel this evening, we caught a glimpse of the belle of the ball....

Jimmy's ready, and so are we. Should be a fun night out in Philly.

24 July 4:05 pm

PHILADELPHIA –– It doesn't get much more prestigious than Manchester United and Chelsea in back-to-back years, but that doesn't mean the MLS All-Stars don't have an opinion about who they'd like to take on come 2013.

Asked to provide their ideal opponent for next year's game during Tuesday's press conference ahead of Wednesday night's AT&T MLS All-Star game (8:30 pm ET, ESPN2), Landon Donovan, Dwayne De Rosario, Thierry Henry and coach Ben Olsen all went in different directions.

Olsen kicked things off with an uncoventional choice, drawing laughter from those in attendance as he chose his own side, D.C. United.

De Rosario, for his part, didn't talk specifics, saying that he'd simply be happy playing the reigning European Champions each year, an idea which happened to work out for this year's event.

Donovan, meanwhile, pulled at purist's heartstrings, putting his support behind tiki taka and Barcelona, while Henry couldn't resist the opportunity to get Arsenal's name out there as a potential opponent.

What do you think? Make your opinion known in the poll below.

24 July 3:35 pm

 Cette semaine, votre Coup Franc hebdomadaire (à écouter ici) est, à votre demande, plus long de quelques minutes afin d’approfondir certains sujets. Au menu :
- Notre invité Sébastien Le Toux parle de son transfert inattendu à New York, de son rôle dans sa nouvelle équipe et de la liberté qu’il y reçoit, de la situation de ses deux anciens clubs (Vancouver et Philadelphie, où il est parti en mauvais termes avec Peter Nowak), ainsi que de la possible suite de sa carrière en Europe.
- Débat sur l’évolution de la MLS au cours des dernières années. Quels sont les principaux progrès qu’elle a effectués ? Quels sont les avantages et les inconvénients du plafond salarial ? À quel championnat étranger peut-on la comparer (voir le classement de l’IFFHS) ? Quel est l’apport des anciens joueurs aujourd’hui entraîneurs ? Comment la MLS peut-elle conserver ses vedettes, de plus en plus convoitées à l’étranger ? Grâce à quoi fera-t-elle son prochain grand pas en avant ?
- Vancouver se sépare d’Eric Hassli (voir le geste des supporters en son honneur) mais Martin Rennie gagne pour le moment son pari suite à la victoire contre San José (revoir le penalty aussi controversé que décisif).
- Revoyez aussi le troisième but de Houston contre Montréal, image de la semaine d’Antonio Ribeiro.

Des discussions hautes en couleurs auxquelles nous vous invitons à participer en ligne, que ce soit par courriel (coup.franc@MLSsoccer.com) ou sur Twitter (@CoupFrancMLS).

L'émission Coup Franc est aussi disponible sur iTunes.

24 July 10:47 am

The champs are here.

While the bulk of the MLS All-Star squad arrived in Philly on Sunday, Monday was the day for Chelsea Football Club to begin preparations for Wednesday's match. We spent some time with the reigning Champions League winners, fun pictures below.

If Florent Malouda wasn't going to get enough attention stepping into the lobby, his socks certainly made sure he drew a crowd. Probably didn't matter either way, as there were plenty of waiting fans who were surely tipped off on where Florent and his teammates were posted up.

Following an afternoon of R&R, the time had come for Chelsea to finally get down to business in Philadelphia. The All-Stars trained Monday morning at NovaCare in serious heat and humidity, but Roberto Di Matteo's troops were afforded what was surely some much-appreciated relief from the sun for their evening training.

Cloud cover and a light drizzle persisted throughout, prompting a fair few jokes about London/Seattle from players and staff alike. Still, despite the rain, sporting director Michael Emenalo was kind enough to take a large chunk of time speaking both about Chelsea as well as his time in MLS.

Fun fact: Emenalo was on the field when this happened, all the way back in the beginning.

23 July 5:55 pm

It seems that Everton's Tim Cahill is on his way to New York.

Things may have just gotten a whole lot bleaker for the rest of the Eastern Conference in their quest to chase down the Red Bulls, as it appears that the Australian international is on a verge of a transfer to the Big Apple club.

According to a report from Everton's offical website, the 32-year-old will be heading to the United States to join RBNY within the next couple of days. The Red Bulls declined to comment at this time, and would not confirm the report.

Cahill found the back of the net 68 times in his 278 appearances on Merseyside, and 24 times in his 55 caps with the Australian national team.

UPDATE: The Red Bulls have put out a statement regarding the move:

HARRISON, NJ (July 23, 2012) – The New York Red Bulls released the following statement today regarding midfielder Tim Cahill:

"We are aware of Everton’s statement regarding midfielder Tim Cahill and our club. However, we have no comment at this time regarding him or any other non-New York player."

23 July 11:27 am

En danger à Vancouver, San José y a concédé sa cinquième défaite de la saison. Le leader a chuté suite à un penalty très controversé, converti par Robson qui a brûlé la politesse à Camilo.

Ses poursuivants n’en ont pas tous profité. Le résultat le plus décevant est celui de Kansas City, qui n’a plus marqué à domicile depuis le 16 juin, et a été tenu en échec par New England. Battu à Columbus, DC United a commencé à jouer trop tard et s’en mord encore les doigts.

New York est le grand bénéficiaire de la journée : non seulement il a battu Philadelphie (en bas de classement mais en grande forme), mais il se réjouit en outre de voir Kenny Cooper retrouver le chemin des filets. Malgré son petit nombre d’occasions, Salt Lake a retrouvé le moyen de presser son adversaire, ce qui lui a permis de battre Colorado.

Notons encore la forme étincelante de Keane, qui a permis au LA Galaxy de battre Chivas USA dans le derby angelino, et de Houston, facile vainqueur de Montréal, ainsi que le seul mot trouvé par Gavin Wilkinson pour qualifier la prestation de Portland à Dallas : humilié.

LES RÉSULTATS
New York - Philadelphie
Columbus - DC United
Kansas City - New England
Houston - Montréal
Dallas - Portland

Salt Lake - Colorado
LA Galaxy - Chivas USA
Vancouver - San José

2-0
1-0
0-0
3-0
5-0
2-0
3-1
2-1
Cliquez sur un résultat pour voir le résumé vidéo

 

22 July 11:15 pm

Things just got real.

That was the vibe today in Center City Philadelphia as the trickle of League staff, sponsor guests and media descending into the area turned into more of a river. 

There were a few players showing up, too. While their midweek adversaries Chelsea kicked off at Yankee Stadium against PSG, the first group of MLS All-Stars began checking in at the team hotel, highlighted by one of the brightest of them all. 

While Henry may have been first, his boss for the week wasn't far behind. Bursting through the lobby doors was Ben Olsen who, despite having just returned to his old stomping grounds, was really only interested in one thing: Watching Wednesday's opponent. 

Other All-Stars to check-in included the D.C. duo of DeRo and Pontius, Sporting KC's Graham Zusi, Aurelien Collin and Jimmy Nielsen and Dan Kennedy of Chivas USA. Sounders forward Eddie Johnson also flew into town, and we got were lucky enough to kick it with Eddie so he could answer a few fan questions on the MLS Facebook page. 

EJ responded to as many questions as he could within the 30-minute timeframe, but also shared some good nuggets that didn't make it in the chat. One example? At halftime of the Red Bulls-Sounders match last weekend, Johnson asked Henry if they might trade jerseys after the final whistle. Henry, after all, was Johnson's idol growing up. 

Titi's response?

Only if you stop running so damn much. 

21 July 5:43 pm

Say what you'd like about the current AT&T MLS All-Star Game format, one thing is for sure: It certainly lends itself well to a little trash talk. 

We don't mind a little banter now and again here at MLS Digital, so with the 2012 AT&T MLS All-Star Game coming up on Wednesday, we thought we'd give you a chance to do just that with a new Facebook app that allows you to write your own special message to the Chelsea crowd. Just try and keep it clean. 

MLS All-Star jersey

Best thing about all this is MLS Gear has joined in on the fun. They're going to be giving AT&T MLS All-Star jerseys to the masterminds of the five most popular posters, so make sure you tell all your friends about what you've just told Chelsea. 

What if you're not one of the winners? Well, there's still a whole heap of fresh All-Star swag that you can pick up to remember Wednesday's match. 

And for all the Chelsea supporters reading this, you can get in on the fun, too. We guess. 

Here are a couple of our favorites so far. But the voting isn't up to us so click on the ones you like and give them a thumbs up.

MLS All-Star Poster MLS All-Star MLS All-StarMLS All-StarMLS All-Star MLS All-Stars