15 January 2:04 de la tarde

In an interview with, French defender Pascal Chimbonda admits to following MLS and says he’d like to play in the US.

“I would like to play in the USA, this is a dream,” Chimbonda said. “I feel close to this culture and I appreciate it.”

Chimbonda is currently without a club since he left Doncaster the end of last season and hopes to give his career a jump start during this transfer window – and from the sound of it, the US seems to be his top choice.

When asked about the possibility of joining his former teammate Thierry Henry in New York, Chimbonda’s answer only emphasized his desire to join any team in MLS.

“There are other clubs in MLS,” Chimbonda said. “I know some clubs are looking for good defenders. I’m 33 and a right side, you are far from being cooked at this age.”

What team do you think would the best fit for Chimbonda? Would you welcome him to MLS?

15 January 1:57 de la tarde

Could MLS be the next move for Cardiff City striker Robert Earnshaw? Well, that depends on who you believe.

Earnshaw's days as a Bluebird seem be over after returning to the Championship side on loan from Maccabi Tel Aviv, but the local papers aren't wasting any time linking him with Vancouver, where former Cardiff City man Kenny Miller plies his trade.

How much weight there is to this one is debatable, though. The only line suggesting Earnshaw has suitors in British Columbia isn't exactly full of specifics: "There is thought to be interest in his services from MLS side Vancouver Whitecaps."

He's got to go somewhere, however, because after returning from a brief stint with former Israeli Champions League side last month, where he dealt with rocket attacks and a way of life he simply wasn't comfortable with, Earnshaw found himself on the wrong side of Cardiff City’s manager Malky Mackay’s plans.

“I imagine Robert will be looking to play matches, which is not something he is going to get here,” Mackay told the Cardiff City News.

Whether that means in Vancouver still remains to be seen. What do you think? Would Earnshaw be a good fit for the Whitecaps? 

15 January 11:46 de la mañana

It was a Dog Day Afternoon in Istanbul, when two sporty labs decided they wanted off the bench during a friendly between Galatasaray and the 2. Bundesliga's VfR Aelen.

The adorable pups made their way onto the field and, in true friendly match style, showed equal affection to both clubs. 

After security awkwardly carried the dogs off, the game resumed without any further animal interruptions.

Imagine that happening during MLS rivalry week...

14 January 9:34 de la tarde

From awards, to songs, to books, the achievements of soccer players have been commemorated in many ways. But how many players can say they have a beer named after them?

Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando, for starters.

According to this piece from The Salt Lake Tribune, new Utah-based brewery Unsacred is releasing a line of beers, one of which will be named "Rimando's Wit."

Unlike Rimando, though, it won't pack a whole lot of punch, with Utah's strict alcohol laws stipulating that only beers with 4 percent alcohol by volume or less can be sold in grocery stores or on draft in restaurants and bars, a fact which the owners of the brewery cheekily acknowledged.

Still, it's a pretty fun and unique way to honor a player that has been integral to RSL's success for the vast majority of franchise history. The next step? As RSL's Twitter feed suggests, get it in the stadium, and before you know it the Real Nation could be swilling suds honoring their star 'keeper and watch him weave his magic at the same time.

Have you found any other drinks named after your favorite soccer player? Got any good suggestions? Chime in below in the comments section!

14 January 7:24 de la tarde

Make no mistake, everyone at the Combine is happy to be here, but that doesn't mean getting out of the hotel for a while is the worst thing in the world. 

This afternoon we rolled with Yannick Smith, Chris Thomas, Jonathan Mendoza and Luis Soffner to the Miami Seaquarium so the guys could "kick it" with a couple of the sea lions they had on hand. 

The trip didn't disappoint, especially since it gave us a chance to get to know a few of these guys away from the field. 

Key learning: Yannick Smith is one funny dude. Here he is just before we got started today:

After some introductions to the other humans in attendance, it was time for Yannick and Co. to meet Sarah, one of the sea lions we had the pleasure of spending time with on Monday. We know Yannick is a pretty smooth guy, but when it came time for a kiss, well...

Once the fun had finished up (and we determined that it was unlikely Salty was going to be drafted) Smith gave us his thoughts on the day, and some of the hard lessons he had to learn about the human-sea lion relationship. Just part of being a young professional, you know?

14 January 4:15 de la tarde

As befitting a centenary year, the US Soccer Federation has released a special crest commemorating the landmark occasion for American soccer.

The crest is now prominent on the US Soccer website, with the centenary home page featuring an informative section on the history of the sport in the USA.

It's not a radical departure from the norm – a sash reading "1913 ~ CENTENNIAL ~ 2013" has been placed under the normal crest – but it catches the eye without much change to a recognizable logo.

Of course, a commemorative crest isn't the only thing the USSF has planned to honor the federation's centenary. Though the USSF has yet to confirm them, there are strong rumors floating around that the US men's national team will face off against Germany in May, a match that would pit US manager Jurgen Klinsmann against his former team and former assistant Joachim Löw.

And while that is all well and good, there is still one overarching present that would make the USSF's centenary a truly celebratory occasion: qualification for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, which would be the USMNT's seventh consecutive appearance.

What do you think of the crest? Too much? Not flashy enough? Feel free to share your thoughts and any others about US Soccer's centenary in the comments section below.

14 January 3:51 de la tarde

Le marché des transferts entre la MLS et l’étranger a été très actif depuis le retour de vacances, que cela concerne des arrivées définitives, des prêts, des départs, des rumeurs ou des joueurs désignés.

Ainsi, deux nouveaux joueurs désignés sont arrivés sous forme de prêt. Portland pense avoir trouvé son maître à jouer en Diego Valeri, en photo ci-dessus sous le maillot de son ancien club, Lanús (Argentine). De son côté, DC United a été chercher à Bahia (Brésil) l’attaquant Rafael, deuxième plus jeune joueur désigné de l’histoire de la MLS. Autre prêt, celui à Montréal du milieu italien Andrea Pisanu par Bologne.

Alors qu’il a laissé partir Kevin Hartman, Dallas lui a trouvé un remplaçant en la personne de Raúl Fernández, gardien de l’équipe nationale du Pérou acquis à titre définitif aux Français de Nice. Autre international qui fera ses débuts en MLS, le défenseur équatorien Diego Calderón quitte le LDU Quito pour Colorado. De son côté, Vancouver a ramené sur le continent le géant américain Brad Rusin, qui avait tenté sa chance au Danemark. Le principal transfert interne du début d’année est le passage de l’Estonien Joel Lindpere de New York à Chicago. Notons aussi que Tyson Wahl, laissé libre par Colorado, a signé à Columbus.

Le départ qui a surpris bien du monde est celui d’André Hainault, qui quitte Houston pour rejoindre Ross County, mal classé en D1 écossaise. Le fait que Roger Espinoza rejoigne aussi les îles britanniques, et plus précisément Wigan, était en revanche attendu depuis longtemps. Son coéquipier Graham Zusi s’entraîne pour sa part à West Ham. Andy Najar (DC United) a réussi son entrée en matière à Anderlecht (Belgique), où il est prêté pour un mois. Fredy Montero a déjà dit au revoir à ses coéquipiers, même si son départ de Seattle n’est pas encore officiel. On l’annonce à Millonarios, en Colombie, pays où pourrait aussi aboutir Carlos Valdés (Philadelphie).

14 January 1:55 de la tarde

Stuart Holden is back.

The hard-luck US national teamer is expected to be on the gameday roster when Bolton take on Sunderland on Tuesday, giving the former Houston Dynamo midfielder his first chance to suit up in an official first-team game since he appeared in an FA Cup match in September 2011.

He underwent what was expected to be a routine follow-up procedure on his right knee following that match, but the examination revealed more serious cartilage damage than was expected. He's been rehabilitating ever since, and earlier this month began appearing in games with the Bolton reserves.

14 January 1:56 de la mañana

Two matchdays down, just one to go. Sunday's action was a bit more mellow, as you might expect, both on the field and on the sidelines. The players looked more comfortable, and so did the coaches. Frank Klopas was spending some quality time with Chelís again, nothing new. Here's what else happened on Matchday 2. 

The game after the games
It was only a matter of time.

Following the conclusion of the second match of the day, two entirely new rosters took the pitch. No, not more college kids, we're talking about 20 or so League and club staff that were in attendance. This is what happens when you get a bunch of soccer people together and make them watch other people play in beautiful weather for four hours a day. They get antsy.

Who was on hand? Our own Greg Lalas and Jason Saghini, player personnel director Ali Curtis and Colorado head coach Oscar Pareja to name a few. In case you were wondering, the 44-year-old Pareja's still got it.

Goal of the day

Unlucky, Drew Beckie.

Beckie was one of the day's top defenders, but he also had the misfortune of being around when Jason Johnson decided to wake up. A couple silky stepovers later, and the ball was in the back of the net. Beckie joked afterward saying that he thought his jockstrap might still be on the field after Johnson's moves. Still, expect his name to be called on Thursday. 

Seattle United
Right as the halftime whistle went during the first match on Sunday, Sounders FC assistant Brian Schmetzer had a question. 

"Excuse me," Schmetzer asked. "Do you know the score of the Seahawks game?" 

"They're down 20." 

"What?! Hey! Ezra! The Seahawks are down 20. That's too bad, man."

Later on, as the seconds were winding down and Seattle getting ready to complete their comeback, we caught a glimpse of Adrian Hanauer passing by a TV that was showing the game. 

Is he going to stop and watch? Is he? 

Yep, he stopped. And as his team took the lead with seconds left to go in the game, Hanauer uttered just one word: "Incredible."

We all know what happened next, the Seahawks lost in heartbreaking fashion and the disappointment among the Sounders staff was very much visible. If nothing else, it was interesting to see these guys pulling for another team in their city. It doesn't work like that in all MLS markets.

That was Day 4 in a nutshell. Now we're off to see some sea lions. This should be good. 

13 January 11:50 de la mañana

While the Combine kids were checking in, we had the chance to give them their first camera time of the trip.

The task at hand: Make us (and ultimately, you) laugh. Above you'll find some of the best, as well as worst, of their jokes. Enjoy. 

***DISCLAIMER**** We may or may not have supplied Kofi Opare with his material. You know you love Mice Krispies.