Kick Off: Guzan hints at future MLS move, has eyes on Fire

Kick Off: Brad Guzan

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US national team and Aston Villa ‘keeper Brad Guzan is heading back to MLS.

One day, anyway.

"Would I like to return to MLS one day? Yes, definitely. I was only a kid when I first went into MLS and it was still growing," he tells the English media. "To see now from watching the highlights on the internet and TV just how far it has come.

"Hopefully, I will get the opportunity, when I’m finished playing in Europe, to go back and play in it. Especially being from Chicago, I’d love to go back and play for the Chicago Fire in front of friends and family. That would be pretty neat.”

And as one current EPL star lines up a future move to MLS, a former Liverpool defender is on the brink of signing with MLS.

If you believe reports, UEFA Champions League winner Djimi Traoré could soon be suiting up in rave green, according to the Seattle Times and many others.

“I think that he's done well in the two games that he's played," Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid said of Traoré. "We'll continue to look. I know there are talks that are in the process.”

While Seattle were battling with Cascadia rivals Portland for former Manchester United defender Mikaël Silvestre, but that deal is apparently off. And up in Portland, the clubs want input from fans on what the team’s walkout song in 2013 should be. Any suggestions?

The other side in the Cascadia triangle made headlines this week too.  Some say MLS is already overtaking NHL in terms of popularity, make of that what you will. But some of the famous Vancouver Whitecaps Southsiders thought it would be nice to lend their NHL side some support and bring some MLS chants and color to a Canucks game. It wasn’t appreciated and they were kicked out. What’s up with that?

And speaking of MLS color, the league launched a new art initiative on Thursday, see all the details here.

One of the league’s most famous artists, Brek Shea, posted this photo in his “studio.” Wonder what Tony Pulis makes of Shea’s paintings?

Regardless, Shea is set to turn heads in the EPL as he regains his fitness and pushes for Stoke City’s first team. ESPN pundit and ex-EPL and Jamaican national team star Robbie Earle was hyping up Shea’s prospects in the UK press, liking him to Gareth Bale: “When I have seen Shea, I think he tends to come alive when he has the ball or his team are in possession. In fact he reminds me of what Gareth Bale was like a couple of years ago.”

One last word on art for you, as Forbes statistician Zach Slaton has put together, with the people at Howler, a graph visualizing MLS’ last 17 years.

What's the latest word on LA’s Landon Donovan? Fans are itching for the Galaxy captain’s return to action, so much so that they’ve send a petition to the White House for President Obama to get on board. Sign up here.

Another MLS superstar, Thierry Henry, has had the door left open for him at Arsenal once his playing days are over, according to talkSPORT.

New opportunities on the horizon for the Frenchman. ... Elsewhere, a new PDL franchise was announced in Oklahoma City yesterday, find out all the details here.

Some transfer rumors now around MLS and TFC have a former Norwich City midfielder on trial. Find out who.

Down in Dallas, Schellas Hyndman has welcomed Senegal international Mickael Tavarez into camp.

Whisking you around the league, D.C. United’s Daniel Woolard will resemble a Petr Cech-esque appearance this season.

It is all change at Chivas USA with four players in and two out, with James Riley swapping the Goats for D.C. El Chelís’ squad is certainly beginning to take shape.

Staying in Cali, San Jose’s Steven Beitashour has undergone surgery on a hernia and heading east to Texas, Houston signed up a hugely promising talent to a Homegrown contract. Check out this amazing video of the promising star here … what a tremendous hairdo. (VIDEO)

As you may well know the MLS media circus has been in full swing this week in NYC, so the MLS Insider took Sporting KC’s fashion guru Aurélien Collin out shopping in the Big Apple. Must see. (VIDEO)

One of the hot topics being discussed by players, fans and coaches worldwide is goal-line technology. MLS has been at the forefront of discussions with FIFA about testing the system out, but league officials confirmed to NBC Sports that “it won’t happen in 2013.”

A busy weekend is about to begin as MLS teams crank up their preseason schedules a notch. There are six friendly matches being streamed live on MLSsoccer.com on Saturday; see the full schedule here.

One man who won’t be playing any part this weekend is Marc Burch of the Seattle Sounders. The combative midfielder was involved on that midweek fracas against New England and has apparently been suspended from the game with RSL at 6 pm ET on Saturday.

From Arizona to South Carolina, and the Chicago Fire had a not-so friendly visitor at training. "Did somebody say gator?" New Fire midfielder Dilly Duka was certainly not impressed by what he saw, or just scared. Or both. (VIDEO)

There was no Valentine's Day love for the alligator in Charleston. But Argentine forward Damián Díaz more than made up for it. He scored this beauty in Copa Libertadores action on Valentines night and ran to the crowd to give his mom a big juicy kiss. Who said romance is dead? (VIDEO)

Over in Europe, it was a perfect Valentine’s evening for Clint Dempsey and Brad Friedel, as Spurs sealed a 2-1 Europa League win over Lyon. See how all the American exports got on.

There is plenty of FA Cup action on the tube this weekend, with Arsenal vs. Blackburn at 10 am ET and Oldham hosting Everton at 1 pm ET, both on Fox Soccer Channel.

And finally, if you’re ever on the tram heading to the Etihad Stadium on match days to watch Manchester City, you’ll now be hearing some familiar voices announcing the stops. “This is your captain speaking, Vincent Kompany, this is a Bury service. The next stop is Piccadilly.” Awesome.

MLSsoccer.com Musts

ExtraTime Radio: Bernier and Pontius preview 2013 and talk regrets

The Throw-In: U-20 Championship is MLS Academies' first true test

16 Days 'til MLS: What it'll take to make it out of the Hex


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