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Rumor

07 December 9:40 de la tarde

There's usually ample reason to mistrust the Brazilian media when it comes to soccer  the bigger the lie, the bigger the page views. So they tend to tell some whoppers.

But this one seems to have some truth to it. According to globoesporte, and initially picked up Stateside by the New York Post's Brian Lewis, Juninho Pernambucano  the original Juninho, and no, we shouldn't have to use his last name  is set to sign with the Red Bulls. And in fact, it would take a "miracle" for the transaction to get derailed.

Like I said, this one seems to make some sense, and it's mostly because Juninho goes way back with new global Red Bull soccer honcho Gerard Houllier. Houllier was head coach at Lyon for a spell when Juninho was the man there, and the two reportedly have a tight relationship.

Juninho is out of contract with current club Vasco da Gama on Dec. 31, which means he could come on a free when the MLS window opens on Jan. 1.

On Jan. 30, for what it's worth, he turns 38 years old.

04 December 4:07 de la tarde

Il n’aura pas fallu attendre longtemps après la finale de la Coupe MLS pour voir le marché des transferts s’animer. Trois clubs ont déjà été particulièrement actifs : Salt Lake, New York et Portland.

La grande lessive était annoncée dans l’Utah après l’élimination en demi-finale de conférence contre Seattle. Les premiers bouleversements dans un noyau stable depuis plusieurs années se concrétisent avec les départs des valeurs sûres que sont Olave, Espindola et Johnson, prélude à la quête d’une nouvelle vedette offensive. Notons aussi le transfert de Justin Braun à Toronto en échange d’Aaron Maund. Ces changements n’annoncent toutefois pas un départ à zéro, puisque Salt Lake conserve d’autres joueurs clefs comme Beckerman, Saborio ou Morales.

Olave et Espindola ont pris la direction de New York qui a aussi attiré Kimura, défenseur de Portland. Selon plusieurs analystes, l’équipe sera remodelée pour la saison prochaine, avec un nouveau joueur désigné (la rumeur annonce l’ancien Lyonnais Juninho) mais probablement sans Sébastien Le Toux ni Kenny Cooper, pourtant son meilleur buteur cette saison.

Outre Johnson, Portland est allé chercher Harrington, arrière latéral barré à Kansas City, et ce n’est qu’un début selon le directeur général Gavin Wilkinson, qui annonce un nouveau visage pour son club en 2013. Le défenseur central Eric Brunner n’en sera pas : il a signé à Houston, ce qui laisse présager un départ du Québécois André Hainault.

Dans le même temps, la liste des joueurs admissibles au Processus de repêchage a été dévoilée : avec un contrat qui n’a pas été renouvelé ou dont l’option n’a pas été levée, ils peuvent toujours négocier avec leur club actuel mais pourront être recrutés par une autre formation ce vendredi. Parmi eux, quelques noms ronflants comme Segares ou De Guzman. Eh oui, encore beaucoup d’animation en vue cette semaine sur le marché !

20 November 4:47 de la tarde

If European reports are to be believed, two La Liga clubs are chasing Defender of the Year finalist Víctor "Muma" Bernárdez.

"Bernárdez could be one of the targets of Espanyol to strengthen the team's defense during the winter transfer market," according to Fichajes.net.

"[Sevilla] has Víctor Bernárdez in its crosshairs," according to a separate report, citing a second La Liga club's interest.

It was announced on Monday that Bernárdez, a Honduran national team regular, finished second to Sporting Kansas City's Matt Besler for the 2012 Defender of the Year award despite winning more votes than Besler from MLS team officials and players. His contract with the Quakes runs through 2014. 

11 October 1:33 de la tarde

When an England-based media outlet gets a chance to sit down with MLS Commissioner Don Garber, the question du rigueur these days is about Chelsea and England midfielder Frank Lampard.

After his participation in the Leaders in Football conference in London on Thursday, Garber fielded the "Lampard to MLS" question and was bullish about his one day joining the US top-flight (see the video below):

"What a great player," Garber said about Lampard. "It would be great to see him in Major League Soccer but I'm not aware of any conversations going on."

And the Commissioner also shared his thoughts about ex-New England Revolution and current Tottenham Hotspur forward Clint Dempsey, who will lead the US national team in two crucial World Cup qualifying matches.

"For me, personally, I'd love to have Clint Dempsey in Major League Soccer," he said. "I think that the top American today and playing in our league and being an idol for young kids all across the country would be good for Major League Soccer."

See the entire interview below:

05 September 4:44 de la tarde

Il souffle actuellement un vent du Nord sur la MLS. Le LA Galaxy vient d’engager l’international suédois Christian Wilhelmsson. Pour l’avoir suivi de près lorsqu’il évoluait à Anderlecht, je me souviens de sa vitesse et de ses qualités techniques. Son récent passage en Arabie Saoudite n’a pas trop altéré ses aptitudes. Il m’a laissé une très bonne impression lors du dernier Euro et je pense que si Wilhelmsson n’avait pas été cantonné à un rôle de remplaçant de luxe, la Suède aurait franchi le premier tour.

Un autre Scandinave pourrait le rejoindre bientôt dans notre compétition : Eidur Gudjohnsen, le membre le plus célèbre de cette grande famille de soccer en Islande, s’entraîne actuellement à Seattle.

Il y aura de l’action sur les terrains de MLS ce soir. L’intérêt sportif pour Colorado - Portland (21h00) est plus limité, par contre Columbus espère prolonger sa belle série à New England (20h00). De retour chez lui demain à 20h30, Houston veillera aux détails pour ne pas se faire surprendre par Salt Lake, où Justin Braun ne semble guère connaître plus de succès qu’à Montréal.

Les deux équipes seront privées de plusieurs titulaires, convoqués par leur équipe nationale. Qui sera le plus déforcé ? Nous en avons discuté dans la dernière émission Coup Franc. Je vous parlerai davantage des éliminatoires de la Coupe du monde dans les prochains jours. En attendant, les équipes se préparent à leur façon : pour les Américains, c’est avec du basket-ball et des annuaires téléphoniques.

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28 August 11:14 de la mañana

Is Roger Espinoza Wigan's next Honduran hard man?

The Mirror seems to think so, reporting that the Sporting KC midfielder has caught the eye of Latics manager Roberto Martinez. If Wigan want to secure the services of the Honduran international before January, they'll have to move quickly as the international transfer window closes on Aug. 31.

Espinoza impressed for his country in the London Olympics, scoring against Brazil in the quarterfinals before receiving a standing ovation after being sent off in the final minutes. He's been a starter for Peter Vermes in Kansas City since 2010, gradually working his way onto the list of the best box-to-box midfielders in MLS.

What do you think? Would Espinoza fit at Wigan? Can Sporting afford to lose him after Teal Bunbury was lost for the season with a torn ACL?

21 August 3:39 de la tarde

It turns out the duo that helped the US earn their first-ever victory at Estadio Azteca may yet be reunited at club level.

Maurice Edu has been looking for a destination away from fourth-division Rangers for much of the summer, and manager Ally McCoist revealed on Tuesday that a suitable club may have gotten the process started by contacting the American's representatives.

"We hear from his agent that there is a potential deal to be done with Stoke," McCoist told BBC Scotland.

Of course, that's no indication of a done deal -- or even the beginning of earnest negotiations -- but it does seem to be a good sign for a player desperately in need of a new home.

Would Stoke City be a good move for Edu? Let us know in the comments sections below.

01 August 2:54 de la tarde

Last week it was Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal that were rumored to have interest in D.C. midfielder Andy Najar, this week it's Wigan Athletic, Norwich City and West Bromwich Albion.

That list might grow even larger now that Honduras are into the quarterfinals with a date against Brazil and Neymar, a group that's sure to have a few interested eyes monitoring their progress in London.

Najar may not be having his best season in black and red in 2012 – contributing two assists in 13 games, 10 of which were starts – but he's still just 19 years old and one of the most promising prospects in Major League Soccer. And, of course, success on an international stage certainly can't hurt his stock.

Is he ready for an overseas move? If so, what would the best fit? Let us know in the comments section below.

30 July 9:53 de la mañana

New York's acquisition of Australian attacking midfielder Tim Cahill was expected to have some knock-on effects. Looks like the first victim in the game of dominoes could be Mehdi Ballouchy.

According to this report on BigAppleSoccer.com, the Red Bulls are set to ship the Moroccan midfielder -- who was acquired from Colorado in 2010 -- to the San Jose Earthquakes. Nothing is confirmed by either club, and no word yet on what the Quakes are giving in return.

Ballouchy has made 16 appearances for NY this year, scored one goal, and posted two assists. In his two and a half seasons at Red Bull Arena, he has made a total of 51 regular-season appearances and five playoff appearances. He has scored four goals and added four assists.

28 July 4:38 de la tarde

Andriy Shevchenko has been regular grist for the MLS rumor mill, including in our very own Rumor Central, ever since he first started having troubles at Chelsea a few years back. Actually, it probably goes all the way back to when he married an American.

Well, starting today, we won't have to hear -- and scoff at -- those Sheva-to-MLS rumors anymore. On Saturday, the Ukrainian icon retired from the game and will now pursue a political career, working with the Forward Ukraine! party.      

"Recently, there has been a lot of talk that I could sign a new contract with Dynamo Kyiv or play abroad," he said. "I can say, with confidence, that neither will happen. Perhaps this will shock everyone: I have decided to bring an end to my football career and to enter politics."

Shevchenko's career will go down as one of the most prolific and successful in history. At the club level, he scored 326 goals playing for Dynamo Kyiv, AC Milan, and Chelsea, winning five Ukrainian titles, an Italian title, and the 2003 Champions League. 

Internationally, he scored 48 goals in 111 appearances for his country, including his final two in a 2-1 win over Sweden at EURO 2012, which Ukraine co-hosted.  

He won the Ballon d'Or in 2004.

"I want to fulfill myself in politics, share the experience I gained in Europe, and do something for my country," he said, according to the Forward Ukraine! press service. "Forward Ukraine! is the party of the future, a party of young leaders, and it is a definite choice between the past and the future."