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07 January 5:44 pm

You had a feeling that tonight was going to be special.

35 MLS players, league personnel (including the Commissioner, who cancelled his original plans to attend the Ballon d'Or ceremony) and most importantly hundreds of families from the Newtown, Ct. community came together for an unforgettable event. 

This was Soccer Night in Newtown. 

While the fun was going down inside the Newtown Youth Academy, participants and observers alike were capturing their favorite moments from the event to share on social media. Below are some of the tweets that we'll remember from what was incredible evening. Enjoy. 

07 January 3:32 pm

Les États-Unis sont toujours sous le choc de la fusillade qui a eu lieu à Newtown le 14 décembre dernier. Parmi les personnes particulièrement émues par l’évènement, le président du Houston Dynamo, Chris Canetti, qui est né et a grandi à 65 km de là.

Dès lors, il a voulu organiser quelque chose pour la ville. Rapidement, il a appris que le soccer y était très populaire. L’idée était toute trouvée ! Canetti a demandé à certains joueurs de son club d’aller à Newtown et de dispenser une séance d’entraînement ouverte à tous. La nouvelle s’est répandue rapidement et chacun a voulu apporter sa pierre à l’édifice, du commissaire Don Garber à d’anciens joueurs renommés comme Cobi Jones ou Mia Hamm.

Du coup, une cinquantaine de joueurs ont confirmé leur présence. Parmi eux, beaucoup de vedettes de la MLS, comme Landon Donovan, Brad Davis, Matt Reis ou Kenny Cooper. L’évènement a pris le nom de « Soccer Night in Newtown » et son programme s'est enrichi de nombreuses activités. Il a lieu ce lundi 7 janvier. Si des fonds sont récoltés, tant mieux, mais l’objectif est avant tout d’offrir une soirée de bonheur aux 1200 personnes attendues dans le complexe intérieur local et qui feront partie des privilégiés à assister à une des rares manifestations réunissant des joueurs de toute la MLS.

07 January 11:20 am

With rumors flying over who will step in as the next head coach of the Red Bulls, one name seems to be a step closer to taking the reins in New York.

Previous speculation centered around former Aston Villa caretaker manager and Scottish international, Gary McAllister, but those rumblings seems to have stalled in recent days, leaving the door wide open for Portuguese manager Paulo Sousa. 

Making things even more interesting, Sousa just stepped down from his post at Hungarian club Videoton FC for "family reasons" – perhaps they prefer to be based in New York City? – which means his schedule is wide open for the 2013 MLS season. And, in the words of Alexi Lalas, Sousa is "a good bet to be the next coach of the New York Red Bulls."

Only time will tell who will take Hans Backe’s place at Red Bull Arena, but the clock is definitely ticking as the MLS Player Combine and the SuperDraft are quickly approaching.

Do you think Sousa is the right choice? Can he help the Red Bulls break the Curse of Caricola?

06 January 9:32 pm

Herculez Gomez was back to his goalscoring ways on the opening weekend of the new Liga MX season in Mexico.

The US international forward headed in a 26th-minute opener for Santos Laguna in their 1-1 tie against San Luis on Saturday night.

It sure helped that the San Luis goalkeeper was none other than Óscar "El Conejo" Pérez, who turns 40 next month.

Nonetheless, it can only bode well for the US national team, who open World Cup qualifying on February 6 at Honduras. Gomez started the match and played 73 minutes before being subbed out.

MLS side Houston Dynamo, who face Santos in the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals, will also have taken note.

06 January 9:24 pm

It was one of the lowlights of the American soccer weekend: US youth international and Birmingham City defender Will Packwood suffered a leg fracture vs. Leeds United, which will rule him out for the foreseeable future. The video of the incident follows at the end of this post (warning: video is graphic).

The player himself gave an update on the surgery and his current condition via Twitter:

06 January 8:04 pm

Did you watch Sunday's 60 Minutes segment on the phenomenon that is FC Barcelona?

It's not everyday that a soccer team is profiled on one of the most revered news shows in America. What did you think of the piece by CBS News' Bob Simon? Were you expecting an interview with Barcelona's American youth player Ben Lederman or his parents?

What aspect of the piece struck you most? The names of past players on each locker? The chapel in the bowels of the stadium? The Catalunya secession angle?

Watch it again below and share your feedback in the comments section.

05 January 5:01 pm

A few weeks ago we told you how Houston Dynamo star Oscar Boniek Garcia was talking up MLS to his Honduran compatriot Alexander López. But it wasn't necessarily clear that he was trying to recruit him to BBVA Compass Stadium.

We have our confirmation, from the player himself.

López spilled the beans to the Saturday edition of Honduran outlet La Tribuna.

“Yes, it's true that I have an offer from the Houston Dynamo," he said. "I think it would be a nice experience to play in that league [MLS]. I'm not going to deny that in a way it excites me, but I'm not desperate to leave; I'm young with my future ahead of me. I've been calm about everything."

Boniek Garcia was a former Olimpia player and is very familiar with López's abilities. It helps that the Dynamo and Olimpia faced off in the group stage of the current edition of the CONCACAF Champions League.

“As a player you always look at things in the short-term and I'd like to consolidate my place on the team [Olimpia] this year, although the offer from the United States is tempting," López said. "The Houston Dynamo manager saw me when we played them in the United States. I think it would be a nice experience that other Honduran players are already living."

05 January 11:52 am

So what do we make of this one?

There's a report that claims that Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is mulling over a move for Sporting Kansas City forward C.J. Sapong. The Football Magazine goes as far as saying that a fee of nearly $5 million has been agreed upon with SKC with only personal terms left to be worked out.

When contacted by MLSsoccer.com, Sporting Kansas City had no comment on the report.

The news is so out-of-the-blue that many have already laughed it off. But work permit issues notwithstanding, why would it be considered so far-fetched? After all, the 24-year-old Sapong is one of the elite young players in MLS and captured the 2011 Rookie of the Year award. And Arsenal have made it a club policy to recruit young players.

Despite battling injury and losing his starting spot in 2012, Sapong still wound up with nine goals in 2012 MLS league action and now Sporting KC have what seemingly looks like a glut of forwards with new signing Claudio Bieler and the return of Teal Bunbury from a knee injury.

What do you make of the news? Comment below.

04 January 6:13 pm

You've probably read the rumors, and so have we: The New York Red Bulls are reportedly trading Joel Lindpere to the Chicago Fire in exchange for an international slot.

Steven Goff at The Washington Post had it first, and Soccer By Ives followed it up with further details.

But as of Friday evening, neither club was saying anything, as both RBNY and Chicago declined to comment to MLSsoccer.com.

But given the amount of salary the Red Bulls are likely taking on for Juninho Pernambucano — further crowding up an already crowded midfield — and their suddenly open Designated Player slot thanks to the sale of Rafa Márquez, this move isn't much of a surprise. (Lindpere signed a hefty contract extension a year ago.)

Even less of a shock considering the clear-out of Hans Backe products that began as soon as the 2012 season ended and will likely continue as new sporting director Andy Roxburgh puts his stamp on the club. All that cap space is going to go somewhere, and if you factor in the extra international slot into the equation, well, you can take a guess as to what kind of math the Red Bulls are banking on.

Still, it'd be a bit sad to see the Estonian midfielder make his exit from Red Bull Arena. After all, he bagged the first goal ever scored there and was a fan favorite. If he's gone, by the way, that would leave a single player left on the roster from that March 2010 friendly against Santos, the debut match at RBNY's new home:

Roy Miller.

The times have changed in Harrison, indeed.