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06 March 2:26 pm

Bonjour à tous et bienvenue sur Coup Franc, la première section en français du site MLSsoccer.com.

Avec l’arrivée de l’Impact de Montréal, la MLS effectue son entrée en terres francophones et il est tout à fait logique de pouvoir suivre ses activités en français. C’est ce que nous nous efforcerons de faire ici.

Si vous voulez tout savoir sur l’Impact de Montréal, nous vous suggérons le portail officiel du club (impactmontreal.com) ainsi que tous les autres sites qui parlent du club, et ils sont nombreux, que ce soient des sites spécialisés, de supporters, de médias,…

L’objectif ici est vraiment de pouvoir vous informer sur tout ce qu’il se passe en Major League Soccer, de vous donner un avant-goût des sommets à venir, des comptes-rendus de chaque journée de championnat, de vous faire partager des moments insolites, de vous familiariser avec les équipes et les joueurs, etc.

Cet espace est fait pour vous, et comme sur MLSsoccer.com, nous attachons une grande importance à l’interactivité, n’hésitez jamais à réagir aux nouvelles et à nous faire part de vos suggestions.

En attendant, nous nous réjouissons d'inviter les 220 millions de francophones venus de tous les continents à venir parler le langage le plus universel entre tous : celui du ballon rond !

06 March 11:30 am

With 45K expected to be in the house for tomorrow night's massive CONCACAF Champions League match between Toronto FC and the LA Galaxy, they're rolling out the red carpet at the Rogers Centre.

Or should I say the green carpet?

Despite an expected temperature of 59 degrees on Wednesday tomorrow night's match will be played indoors, a rare soccer match in the home of MLB's Toronto Blue Jays. If you can't make it to downtown T. Dot for the game FOX Soccer has got you covered (kickoff is at 8pm ET). And if you're not up on the current storylines surrounding the game just know these two things: Bruce Arena is feeling confident and Aron Winter is prepared.

05 March 8:35 pm

Where is the only place on the planet that unfussy, workman-like players like Jay DeMerit can become ankle-breaking, opponent-shaming playground superstars? And don't say "in their dreams."

It's FIFA Street, the grimy, showboating cousin of EA Sports' venerable FIFA franchise. Check out the clip above for an exclusive look at what a few of the MLS clubs look like in one of the game's 35 arenas. 

Interestingly, the game features 23 national teams but only 6 leagues. Don't worry though: MLS is in there --boasting a hefty 234 players-- alongside Serie A, the Barclays Premier League, the Bundesliga, La Liga and France's Ligue 1.

Personally I can't wait for this to drop on 3.13.12. Download the demo now for XBOX 360 or PS3 if you've got the itch as well.

05 March 3:06 pm

Watching a couple of pros like TFC players Eric Avila, Oscar Cordon & Keith Makubuya juggle a ball can be fun. Standing in the middle of their circle would be better. And being able to stand in the middle of the circle without getting nailed by the ball is best.

Check out this cool, interactive clip shot last week during some downtime at the Disney tournament. Use your mouse to turn the camera 360 degrees and follow the boucing ball. Fun stuff.

05 March 2:01 pm

Former MLS & USMNT defender Jimmy Conrad: "What percentage of your players play for the money and how many play for the love of the game?"

American soccer uber-agent Richard Motzkin: "What did you do, Jimmy?"

Jimmy Conrad: "Of course it's for the love of the game."

 

Jimmy Conrad is a liar. A talented, tall, funny liar.

05 March 1:19 pm

Last Friday I went to a NBA game with Sporting KC. Aurelien Collin was among the players that went and was by far the biggest tip-off to the non-soccer fans seated around us that they were among pro athletes (Frenchman wearing metal-studded sneakers, a sleeveless shirt and a leather biker vest tend to stick out at an Orlando Magic game).

I love his eccentricity and a personality this big needs its own show. So won't you return to Collin's Corner with me?

05 March 1:03 pm

Take heart, MLS fan: You are not the only one getting ready for the regular season.

With First Kick five days away, FIFA is getting in the spirit of the season by naming their four stars set to shine in the 2012 season: Juan Agudelo, C.J. Sapong, Brek Shea and Steve Zakuani.

I think those are pretty solid picks. You might not. The best part about First Kick is that for every team and every player, the sky is the limit on Day One; anything can happen.

So channel your inner FIFA and let us know: Who do you think is going to shine in 2012?

05 March 12:09 pm

Creativity is definitely a collaborative process. In this case, the idea was to have Jay DeMerit try to fit the names of all seven dwarfs into his recent interview with Temryss Lane (watch the interview HERE if you're not sure what I'm talking about), and the collaboration came between Jay and I after a sunny Whitecaps training session in Orlando last week. We had pitched the 1-on-1 interview to Vancouver's PR Director and I was following up with Jay to discuss the specifics and the timing of meeting him at the team hotel, and we both thought that adding some kind of gimmick to the proceedings would make things a bit more fun.

As the team captain and a veteran of the professional game, Jay has become more than accustomed to these standard sit-down interviews, so some variety here would be a good thing for all parties involved. My first thoughts were about the various goofy games the characters in "Super Troopers" played, primarily when the one guy (pretty sure it was Foster) had to fit "meow" multiple times into his interaction with a motorist (played quite ably by Jim Gaffigan), but there wasn't a real logical connection there. Being at Disney World, however, we quickly came up with the idea of the seven dwarfs, though I don't think either of us could name all of them off the top of our heads. Going through the ones we did know, we figured "Doc" and "Happy" were going to be pretty easy, then came up with possible uses for "Dopey" and "Grumpy" as well. The team left shortly thereafter, and the rest was going to be up to Jay.

Our next task (besides researching the whole list) was trying to keep the secret from Temryss, who was conducting the interview. I told her we were going to try doing something a little different, and for her to just to keep the interview going as she normally would, but it quickly became apparent what was going on when Jay lost it after dropping "Bashful" the first time (the first clip in the video). By the time the second clip happened, she was onto it, and when Jay threw "Grumpy" in there, she couldn't hold it together. As Temryss was wrapping up the interview, Jay had fit six of the seven in, and I was off camera pointing to the word "Sneezy" on a piece of paper. He thought quickly, and came up with the sneeze at the end, but hadn't really thought out what else to say to conclude, so that funny exchange (clip three in the video) resulted. All in all, it was a blast to collaborate with such a funny guy, and made for a great time throughout the entire production process. "Work" can indeed be fun.

03 March 8:56 pm

Middlesbrough midfielder Barry Robson won't join the Vancouver Whitecaps until this summer, but his future coach, teammates, and fans must be salivating.

For the second match in a row, the Scot -- who recently returned from a longterm injury -- put in a dominating performance in a 3-1 win away to Portsmouth. He opened the scoring from the penalty spot, and his freekick set up Boro's second.

Boro are now level on points with Blackpool for 4th place in the English Championship, with a game in hand. That means they're definitely in the hunt for promotion to the EPL.

If Robson is on similar form when he joins the Whitecaps, who already boast some impressive firepower -- have you seen them in the Disney Pro Soccer Classic? -- he could be the integral midfield piece to drive them into the playoffs.

Hell, at this rate, he might be the driving force to help them finish atop the Western Conference, as my colleague Simon Borg thinks they will. I laughed him off when he first said it. I'm only semi-chuckling now.

03 March 5:38 pm

UPDATE: Saturday's games between D.C. United and the Columbus Crew and Chicago Fire and Charleston Battery have been canceled due to inclement weather. D.C. win their third straight Carolina Challenge Cup with six points from two games. Chicago finished second with three points.

The original version of the following stories claimed that D.C. United had won the Carolina Challenge Cup based on a head-to-head tiebreaker with the Fire. This was incorrect, and each story has been corrected to reflect that. Tiebreakers, in order of importance, are total points, goal differential and goals scored.

D.C. United will clinch their third stright tournament title on Saturday night if they draw or win against the Columbus Crew. In the case of a D.C. loss, the Fire will win the tournament if they defeat the Charleston Battery and are also able to make up their current defiicit in goal differential — D.C. are plus-three while Chicago are even after two matches. If the teams finish tied on goal differential and points, the title will be awarded to the side which scored the most goals over the tournament's three matches.

Recap: DC close on Carolina Challenge Cup title with 3-1 win

DC focused on form, not third straight CCC title