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20 February 10:32 de la tarde

Landon Donovan has a history of insightful, personal interviews. He just hasn't given very many of them lately.

That seems to have changed on Wednesday night, as the US national team and LA Galaxy legend answered questions in public for the first time since helping lead his team to the 2012 MLS Cup. Donovan appeared at a Q&A session titled "The Competitive Edge" on the campus of the University of Southern California.

One promising young scribe proceded to live tweet the event. We can't vouch for the veracity of his transcription, during which Donovan talks about everything from his relationship with his dad to that time he almost quit soccer in 2006 (which, from memory, was right before kickoff vs. Ghana), but I guarantee you we'll all be talking about this out-of-the-blue appearance by LD for the next 48 hours:

Here's the best part, if you're a US fan:

And here's the part that's Landon being Landon to, like, the Nth degree:

20 February 8:00 de la tarde

Just out of the postgame media scrum following Houston's 2-1 turnaround victory over Vancouver at the Carolina Challenge Cup in Charleston. We caught up with Martin Rennie, Dom Kinnear and The Man Who Only Scores Spectacular Goals, Adam Moffat. 

First, Rennie, who was happy with his side's effort: 

We then got real classy and waited for Moffat in the parking lot. Turns out him and Will Bruin were talking before they came on about how they were both going to score. They backed it up:

And finally, Dom Kinnear, who touches on the improved play of Jason Johnson, Moffat's ballstriking ability and how it's just dandy that there is very little difference between the 2012 and 2013 versions of the Houston Dynamo: 

20 February 12:15 de la tarde

À dix jours du coup d’envoi de la saison, ce mercredi sera une nouvelle occasion de peaufiner les réglages lors de nombreux matchs amicaux.

Déjà qualifié pour la finale du tournoi de Tucson, Seattle, qui après Shalrie Joseph convoite d’autres renforts, se mesurera à New York plutôt décevant durant cette période de préparation. L’autre rencontre opposera Salt Lake, où Joao Plata semble avoir rapidement trouvé sa place, à New England, qui compte sur ses renforts hivernaux pour solidifier les bases construites l’an dernier.

Autre transfert récent, celui du jeune défenseur international hondurien Johnny Leverón à Vancouver, qui affrontera aujourd’hui à la Carolina Challenge Cup une équipe de Houston qui a jeté son dévolu sur l’ailier écossais Andrew Driver. Hôte du tournoi, Charleston se mesurera à Chicago qui a réussi à consolider son arrière-garde cet hiver sans aller chercher de nouveau défenseur.

Pour le deuxième match de son propre tournoi et quelques heures après l'embauche de Mikael Silvestre, Portland voudra confirmer son renouveau face à Dallas, qui a transféré deux nouveaux joueurs ce mardi. San José - AIK sera l’autre affiche de la soirée.

Notons aussi deux duels amicaux à Orlando : Toronto et son effectif maigrichon contre Kansas City, qui ne veut pas mettre la pression sur Bieler, ainsi qu’Orlando - Montréal.

19 February 9:13 de la tarde

We've seen plenty of German-Americans come into the US national team fold since Jurgen Klinsmann took the reins in 2011. But could Klinsmann and Co. could be turning their eyes south to Argentina to unearth two more dual-nationality players for the Stars and Stripes?

Affirmative, according to ESPN's Jorge Ramos:

In English, that's: "Jurgen Klinsmann has called Rogelio Funes Mori and Michael Hoyos and asked them if they would accept a call-up from the United States."

Both players spent a significant portion of their developmental years in the United States – Funes Mori (above, left), a forward, moved to Texas at the age of 10, where he attended high school and won the Sueño MLS contest, earning him a spot with FC Dallas' academy side. However, he returned to Argentina shortly thereafter and signed with River Plate, where he remains along with twin brother Ramiro.

Hoyos (above, right), a midfielder, was born and raised in Southern California, attending high school there before moving back to Argentina at age 15 and signing with Estudiantes de La Plata shortly thereafter, where he also remains. He was reportedly approached by the US U-20 side for a camp a few years ago, but opted to remain with his club team.

Both players have represented Argentina at the U-20 level and Funes Mori made a recent appearance in a friendly for the Albiceleste's senior team, but both could file a one-time nationality switch with FIFA to play for the US.

Do you think either player would make the switch? Would they be good additions to Klinsmann's US national team? Chime in with your thoughts below!

19 February 8:21 de la tarde

Eidur Gudjohnsen, Joan Verdú, Nelson Haedo Váldez, Javier Saviola ... it's hard to know which rumors are real and which are mere rumors in the Emerald City.

But the Sounders are clearly up to something, as GM Adrian Hanauer told reporters on a conference call on Tuesday that the club hopes to have news on a Designated Player soon. Earlier Tuesday, Steven Goff of The Washington Post offered up an interesting appetizer:

No indication of if that "little somethin'" has legs or not, but Martins is certainly a pedigreed forward who could help Seattle immensely. He's played in all of Europe's "Big Four" leagues and currently is taking a star turn at Levante in Spain's top flight.

What do you think? Would a mercurial Nigerian speedster with nearly 100 career goals for clubs and country be the right fit for the Sounders?

19 February 4:08 de la tarde

CHARLESTON, S.C. — What a day for Warren Creavalle.

One minute you're in the shower, getting ready to relax after a tough training session, and the next you're left sitting under the sink, locked in the bathroom, wondering if you'll make it out while teammates, coaches, hotel maintenance staff and local officials try with all their might to save you. 

In his first public interview since escaping from his bathroom at the Hampton Inn on Daniel Island, Creavalle sat down with us to talk about what went wrong, and where he plans to go from here:

19 February 1:41 de la tarde

Good times had by all last week with the whole crew MLSers who made the pilgrimage to NYC for the Media and Marketing Tour. Even better times had by Steven Lenhart, Drew Moor and Michael Farfan, who got to roll to Upper 90 Soccer in Brooklyn to film a little somethin' somethin' for The Dan Patrick Show while they they were here.

The finished product came out today, starting with a few penalties. Paul Pabst is the man: 

Things got real good from there. Moor provides one of the best Zizou impressions we've seen while Lenny, well, Lenny just does Lenny. 

19 February 9:51 de la mañana


Good morning from Chucktown, everybody. We arrived yesterday with just enough time to get the lay of the land here in The Palmetto State. Tucson and Orlando get the bulk of the attention this time of year, but from what we can gather everyone who comes through these parts wishes they could return. Here are a few tidbits from a fun first day for us at the Carolina Challenge Cup: 

The Three Lions Club is awesome. 
Our first stop was Blackbaud Stadium, where the Dynamo trained (Alligator-free) and Chicago's U-18s were taking on the Battery academy on the main stadium pitch. Thanks to Chicago-Fire.com's do-it-all editor Jeff Crandall, we were able to get a peek at the crown jewel that is the Three Lions Club. Situated on the second floor of the stadium, TLC is home to one of the most impressive collections of soccer memorabilia we've ever seen. Seriously, you know you're legit when you have an autographed 1994 U.S. National Team World Cup poster displayed prominently on the wall, framed, in all its glory. 

A familar face in a new place. 
There wasn't a huge crowd out at Houston Dynamo's training session, but there was one guy you might have recognized. After leaving MLS to join the Carolina Railhawks last year, Jason Garey appeared on the sidelines Monday. Only thing was, Garey was in street clothes, not training gear. So what's the former Columbus and Houston striker up to now? Putting that finance degree from the University of Maryland to good use as a wealth manager for a few of his former MLS colleagues. Not a bad transition if you ask us. 

The seafood here is alright. 
After training wrapped up yesterday, most everyone for all the teams here had the afternoon and evening off on their own. For many of the players, that meant getting out of the hotel and into downtown Charleston, which is where you want to be. We did so, too, meeting up with the Chi-Town quartet of Daniel Paladini, Chris Rolfe, Steven Kinney and Arne Friedrich

Of course, seafood was the play, and Pearlz Oyster Bar was the place. Epic. Shrimp, crab, mussels, the works. Friedrich even got to try clam chowder for the first time. His North American education continues.

18 February 5:36 de la tarde

How can the LA Galaxy persuade Frank Lampard to make the leap across the pond? Let him head back to Europe for an offseason loan, according to The Mirror.

The British tabloid claims the Galaxy are willing to let Lampard join a European club for up to three months next winter (sound familiar, LA fans?). The goal is for him to enter 2014 with the best chances of making England's squad for the summer trip to the World Cup in Brazil.

And that's not the only perk Lampard would get from this rumored offer, said to be for $4.5 million annually over two-and-a-half years. According to the report, Lampard would get benefits such as a free house and free flights to the UK.

The 34-year-old midfielder is rumored to want to stay at Chelsea, but his contract with the reigning European champions expires in June and the Blues have yet to make a new offer, leading to plenty of questions around his future.

A Galaxy spokesperson declined to comment on the report.

And bear in mind... it's The Mirror.

18 February 11:28 de la mañana

À deux semaines de la reprise de la compétition, les matchs amicaux se succèdent et ce week-end a été on ne peut plus rempli. Mais en marge de ces duels, il y a aussi eu des nouvelles très intéressantes concernant des vedettes de la MLS.

La plus attendue concernait l’avenir de Landon Donovan, qui reprendra finalement les entraînements avec le LA Galaxy lors de la dernière semaine de mars. Pendant ce temps, ses coéquipiers ont fait match nul 0-0 contre les Sud-Coréens de Gangwon.

À Tucson, la Desert Diamond Cup s’est poursuivie avec la victoire de Seattle 2-1 contre Salt Lake, et celle de New England 3-1 contre New York, dont la maigre consolation est l’excellente prestation de l’ex-Lyonnais Juninho, qui a marqué son premier but pour ses nouvelles couleurs.

Le tournoi de Portland s’est ouvert par un spectaculaire partage 3-3 entre le club hôte et San José, alors que Dallas et les Suédois d’AIK ont aussi fait match nul, mais sans marquer. Début également de la Carolina Challenge Cup, à Charleston, dont les deux premières rencontres ont fini sur le même score, 3-2, l’une en faveur de Vancouver face au club hôte, l’autre en faveur de Chicago contre Houston.

Enfin, la finale du tournoi Disney opposera Columbus, difficile vainqueur d’Orlando 3-2, à Montréal, qui a partagé 1-1 avec DC United sur fond de rumeurs de départ de Marco Di Vaio et d’Alessandro Nesta en fin de saison. Dans les autres rencontres, Kansas City a battu Tampa Bay 1-0 et Philadelphie s’est imposé 3-0 contre Toronto.