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18 May 4:15 de la tarde

You may have heard that the New York Red Bulls traded Juan Agudelo to Chivas USA for Heath Pearce on Thursday.

It's a move that raises lots of interesting questions. Are young players getting enough match experience? Is experience more valuable than potential? Which player has the better set of abs?

I can almost guarantee that, prior to reading it, that was the very last question you had about that transaction. But now that I've read the latest analysis from the Kickette blog, it's the one that's going to be in my head for the rest of the day.

Drink him in, ladies and gentlemen. The Red Bulls may have just traded a promising striker, but in return they got one of Major League Soccer's sex symbols.

Photo Courtesy of Victor Decolongon/Getty Images

18 May 2:18 de la tarde

LA Galaxy midfielder David Beckham was in Athens this week for the handover of the Olympic flame and helped fly it back to the UK as the build-up to the London Olympics cranks up a notch.

But he still doesn't know if he will be at the Olympics as a spectator or competitor, trying to bring home a gold medal for the host nation.

After much speculation and debate over his presence at the London 2012 Olympics, Beckham reiterated his strong hope that he will be wearing the Union Jack in his hometown this summer.

Beckham spoke openly in an exclusive interview with the BBC about his chances of making the final 18-man roster for Team GB’s Olympic soccer team. The man in charge of the Olympics in London, Lord Sebastian Coe, recently stated there is no pressure from his staff for Beckham to be selected for the games.

Beckham also agrees there should be no room for sentiment, stating he has never relied on sentiment in the past to make a squad or team:

"You don't play for a Manchester United team managed by Sir Alex Ferguson or an England or Real Madrid team managed by Fabio Capello and get picked on sentiment."

"I've been picked to play in many games over my career because of what I've achieved on the field and that doesn't change. I'm in good form, I've scored a couple of goals lately and I'm feeling fit and working hard. So yes, if I'm called upon of course I'm ready. I've always said I wanted to represent my country in any way, shape or form."

"I've done that for many years with England, and I hope to do that with the Great Britain team."

Team GB manager Stuart Pearce will be announcing his squad at the end of May, so Beckham has a few anxious days ahead of him.

18 May 2:10 de la tarde

Salt Lake au repos, ses poursuivants tenteront de le rattraper à l’occasion d’une journée de compétition qui offrira aussi le seul derby de la Major League Soccer.

Chivas USA et le LA Galaxy s’affronteront samedi dans leur stade commun en direct sur ESPN2, TSN2 et ESPN Deportes. Un seul point sépare les deux équipes, et les rojibblancos ont réalisé cette semaine des transferts qui leur permettent de revoir leurs ambitions à la hausse. Pas de quoi émouvoir Bruce Arena, l’entraîneur des champions en titre, qui a assez de soucis avec son effectif.

Contre Columbus, San José aura une double motivation : se hisser en tête du classement et aider Chris Wondolowski dans sa quête de sélection en équipe nationale américaine. De quoi aussi réaliser une bonne opération alors que Salt Lake ne joue pas et que les autres ténors sont en déplacement.

À Colorado, Kansas City voudra éviter une quatrième défaite consécutive, et Aurélien Collin tâchera de ne pas concéder de penalty. Seattle alignera son quatuor offensif magique pour son déplacement à Vancouver (direct TSN et RDS2). Probablement privé de Thierry Henry, New York misera sur Kenny Cooper, capable de marquer dans toutes les situations, pour infliger à Montréal sa première défaite au Stade olympique.

Dimanche, Portland comptera encore sur la Timbers Army pour l’aider à faire la différence contre Chicago devant les caméras de Galavision.

LE PROGRAMME COMPLET
Samedi 19 mai
17h00 : Vancouver - Seattle
19h30 : Montréal - New York
19h30 : New England - Houston
19h30 : DC United - Toronto
20h30 : Dallas - Philadelphie
21h00 : Colorado - Kansas City
22h30 : Chivas USA - LA Galaxy
22h30 : San José - Columbus
Dimanche 20 mai
19h00 : Portland - Chicago

Toutes les heures HE (heure de New York et Montréal)
Rendez-vous ici pour la disponibilité des matchs sur MLS Live et les diffuseurs locaux
Hors États-Unis et Canada, vous pouvez voir des matchs de MLS via ces diffuseurs ou LiveSport.tv

17 May 5:33 de la tarde

This week, Red Bulls defender on the turntables, Fox Soccer anchors working far too hard, and LA's trip to the White House see's some familiar faces pop up.

Don't forget to follow our two official Twitter handles to find out the latest from inside MLS   

Red Bulls defender Solli has kept his love for music no secret in the past. Listen to his new mix, it's very, very good. Can we get #SolliFistPump trending?!

After helping D.C. to a shutout win over Colorado, Hamid was pumped to see some NHL stars waiting for him in the locker room. Scratch that, Bill was super pumped!

So Heath Pearce obviously knew a trade to the New York Red Bulls was on the cards. But he suffered from something we can only describe as premature tweeting, as he announced his official move from Chivas USA.... more than 3 hours before it actually became official.

The guys at Fox Soccer have been working hard lately, what with the climax to the EPL season and the Champions League Final just around the corner. Anchor Rob Stone claims they've been in overdrive....the pic suggests otherwise!

Galaxy striker Chad Barrett enjoyed his trip to the White House to meet President Obama. He also enjoyed meeting this guy, well, sort of.

If you see a soccer tweet that should be included in our top five, be sure to send it to the @MLS_Insider!

17 May 12:46 de la tarde

"At first, most people were like, 'We don't want no damn American,'" Abdel says. "They thought Bob was all about fitness. His teams won because they were in the best shape. But now they've gotten to see the man and know the man. And they love him. Now, he's a rock star. He's bigger than Obama."

 

When Bob Bradley accepted the job at the helm of the Egyptian national team last September, he ended up signing on for much more than the position of head coach.

In the eight months since his signing – a period during which Egypt have lost only once in 10 matches – the former United States boss has come to realize that in a country so heavily impacted by political turmoil and soccer tragedy, his role transcends the sport.

In an ESPN "Outside the Lines" special, senior writer Wayne Drehs takes a first-hand look at coaching an Egyptian side desperate for success in the world of soccer, and what it will take for Bradley to lead the national team to the 2014 World Cup – for just the third time in 80 years.

Read the full interview here and check out this video of Bradley discussing his time in the Middle East.

 

17 May 11:44 de la mañana

En réalisant le partage 1-1 à Vancouver, Toronto s’est mis en bonne position une semaine avant le match retour de la finale du Championnat canadien Amway en Ontario.

Rapidement, Vancouver a pourtant appliqué son plan : tout à l’attaque ! Mais en raison d’un manque de support de l’entrejeu, d’une créativité déficiente et d’un Barbara peu inspiré, les occasions ont été rares malgré une domination en possession de balle. Rarement dans le camp adverse, Toronto a quand même été menaçant à quelques reprises.

Après la pause, mis en confiance, les visiteurs ont été les plus dangereux et quand Johnson a ouvert la marque, on ne pouvait pas dire que l’avance était volée. Martin Rennie a dès lors fait entrer ses atouts offensifs et il fallut une sublime volée d’Hassli dans les derniers instants pour sauver le partage. Heureux de son but, le Français l’était toutefois moins du résultat, tout comme ses coéquipiers.

Un partage qui arrange les Torontois, dont les jeunes joueurs – Henry (19 ans), Morgan (21), Lambe (21), Plata (20) – continuent de prendre du galon alors que les blessés réintègrent peu à peu l’effectif.

En MLS, DC United a confirmé sa bonne forme en s’imposant facilement 2-0 face à Colorado.

16 May 1:06 de la tarde

So MSNBC host Chuck Todd may not be the biggest fan of MLS, or soccer in general. But is that really a reason to make snide comments about the LA Galaxy’s trip to see President Obama at the White House to be congratulated for their 2011 MLS Cup triumph on Tuesday?

As Todd read out the President’s daily schedule during The Daily Rundown, he quipped in a slightly bemused tone:

“As you can see, he… welcomes the Major League Soccer champions? All you LA Galaxy fans out there– does this mean Beckham shows up? I’m not sure. Is he really a member of the Galaxy or not?” 

Todd went on to say, “No more soccer references. I promise.”

Fernando Fiore, host of the most popular sports show on Univisión (República Deportiva), took Todd’s comments to heart and reached out to Twitter to air his distain at the comments.

Fiore also tweeted in Spanish, “I am watching MSNBC and the commentary from a Mr. Chuck Todd over the LA Galaxy White House visit is deprecating. Why? Ignorance.”

You be the judge regarding Todd’s comments. For now it seems the beef is brewing between Mr. Todd and Señor Fiore.

Stay tuned, this could get meaty.

(Video courtesy of Mediaite.com)

16 May 11:57 de la mañana

Qui représentera le Canada lors de la prochaine Ligue des champions ? Nous aurons un premier élément de réponse ce soir, suite à la finale aller du Championnat canadien Amway entre Vancouver et Toronto (22h00 HE).

Tenants du titre, les Torontois savent qu’une compétition n’est pas l’autre : leur début d’année raté en MLS a été partiellement occulté par une demi-finale sur la scène continentale et serait mieux digéré en cas de succès en coupe nationale. Aron Winter sera privé de Torsten Frings (blessé) et de Richard Eckersley (suspendu) mais peut à nouveau compter sur Danny Koevermans, de retour de blessure. Le Néerlandais espère être enfin lâché par la poisse cette saison.

Chez lui, Vancouver veut absolument faire la différence avant de se rendre en Ontario la semaine prochaine. La consigne est claire : tout à l’attaque ! Forts quand ils passent par les flancs, Camilo et ses partenaires pourraient profiter d’une défense torontoise particulièrement friable sur son côté gauche. Vancouver cherche la clef qui lui ouvrira la porte de la Ligue des champions pour la première fois de son histoire.

Au sud de la frontière, au lendemain d’un nul blanc entre Houston et Portland et de la visite du LA Galaxy à la Maison-Blanche, DC United accueillera Colorado à 19h30.

15 May 4:57 de la tarde

Dan Gargan usually paints to find an escape from his day job, but the Chicago Fire defender mixed his two passions in a piece he painted for Wednesday’s “Art of Futbol” Gallery showing in Chicago, which takes place on Wednesday and benefits the Chicago Fire Foundation.

Gargan’s piece is called “The Beautiful Game,” and is an abstract vision of what Gargan believes soccer embodies.

“It’s pretty simple,” Gargan told MLSsoccer.com. “It’s got a bunch of flowers in it. When I think of the game, there’s just a bunch of different ways you can express yourself through the game.

"I feel like no one person’s expression or interpretation of the game is the same, and that’s reminiscent of how flowers are. They’re all unique, and they’re all beautiful in their own way.”

Gargan has loved painting since he was a kid, and he minored in studio art at Georgetown University.

Most of his painting nowadays comes in the offseason. His paintings usually end up somewhere in his apartment or in a family member’s home, but a few players around MLS have asked him to paint for them.

This offseason, Colorado forward Conor Casey, Gargan’s former teammate, gave him a wall in his home to use as his canvas.

“He’s always been a big fan of my art,” Gargan said. “He gave me a wall and said, ‘Go for it.’”

Gargan is working on a web site to promote his art work, which he said should be up in the next few weeks.

The Fire defender is hoping people will be interested in his work, and is excited about Wednesday’s showing, which takes place from 7 to 9 pm CT at Society Art Gallery in Chicago’s West Town neighborhood.

But he’s perfectly fine if painting remains just a hobby.

“What I’m getting out of it right now is exactly what I’m looking for,” Gargan said. “That’s the ability to step away from soccer and just have fun with it. It gives me a lot of joy and a lot of happiness to me and my friends and my family. If it was to get bigger, or people were interested in it, that’s great. But it’s more of just an outlet for me.”

15 May 3:42 de la tarde

Lately, Osvaldo Alonso has been the most-talked-about defensive midfielder in MLS, praised for his outstanding development on both the defensive and offensive side of the ball. This past weekend however, Alonso struggled to get anything going offensively.

When looking at his passes – successful and unsuccessful (image below) – you can see that nearly every attempt to contribute offensively was immediately shutdown by the RSL defense.

Alonso is great at starting the attack, but isn’t the ideal player you want on the ball in the final third. Out of 51 completed passes, he connected with Mauro Rosales the most – 12 times. This is something opposing teams should look to limit going forward.

Because Alonso plays so deep he rarely gets involved in the attack. This is the main reason why he hasn’t scored more than 6 points in Fantasy Soccer: Manager this season. He’s very consistent, but he probably won’t get you that 8-10 point game anytime soon.

One thing we have to credit Alonso for is his ability to keep the game moving. He doesn’t slow down play with meaningless “back passes” – something several other holding midfielders are known for. His defending skills and counter-attacking ability make him exceptionally unique when comparing players at this position. If he can add some offensive qualities to his game, he’ll add even more value to an already potent attacking core.