Kick Off: Terry hails Lampard as Chelsea open new talks
At least one person embedded in the power structure at Chelsea wants Frank Lampard to stick around. That's John Terry, who came out in full support of his England teammate's bid to land a new contract in West London.
"Frank has so much more to give and he has been an inspiration to everyone at the club," he added. "He has got years ahead of him and we all hope they will be spent here at Chelsea."
The LA Galaxy, on the other hand, hope a sweetened deal – which reportedly, it is The Mirror after all, includes an opportunity to go back to Europe on loan to prepare for Brazil 2014 – can tempt the midfielder to move stateside. But with Lampard continuing to play at a high level and bang in his customary double-digit goal mark, the club is apparently willing to sit down next week to discuss a new contract.
Does that mean MLS is out? We'll just have to wait and see.
Meanwhile, the Galaxy now know they'll have to make due without Landon Donovan until late April after announcing he would return to the team in late March. At this point, Bruce Arena knows he can't control the timing of Donovan's return, but he was forthcoming about the club's ability to replace their star player in the interim.
Donovan won't be available for the US national team's next two qualifiers, and it's no guarantee he'll return to the side at all. If he does make it back in time for Brazil 2014, Donovan will have goal-line technology to verify or reject any claim that a shot crossed the line. So says FIFA in a massive announcement for the sport.
While we were busy debating LD's future, the next generation took care of business on Monday night, as the US U-20s defeated Haiti, 2-1, in the opening game of the CONCACAF U-20 Championship.
And although a win's a win, it wasn't all positive for the Americans. Daniel Cuevas was an absolute beast, drawing a penalty and scoring a cracker of a goal, but the US were far from dominant against a plucky Haitian side that threated to spoil their debut.
“I think we have to play better,” head coach Tab Ramos said. “There were some good moments for us, but we have to maintain that for a longer period of time if we are going to be successful in this tournament.”
You read about Orlando City SC's new investor in yesterday's Kick Off, now see why he's so confident the club will land an MLS team in the near future.
Reports in Scotland are also confident that Hearts' winger Andy Driver is on his way to the Houston Dynamo. The former England U-21 international is apparently in Texas to complete the final paperwork and undergo a medical.
Franck Songo'o, however, won't be sticking around in Houston after the completion of a trial.
Hundreds of miles away in the Pacific Northwest, it seems Songo'o's former team has pulled into poll position to sign Mikaël Silvestre. It helps that Timbers owner Merritt Paulson is hinting rather strongly at imminent signings.
Could D.C. United sign current Danish trialist Jan Frederiksen? According to reports in Poland – Frederiksen was last with Wisla Krakow – contractual issues are currently the stumbling block. (POLISH)
Former D.C. United prodigy, Freddy Adu, has been in talks with teams in Mexico and South Korea, according to The Washington Post.
No matter who is on the field come March 2, the referee assignments are set. See who will take charge of your team's game on opening weekend here.
FC Dallas are still figuring out what will work best with their new attacking firepower. Check out this superb tactical breakdown after their opening game at the Portland tournament.
This story about Tony Tchani's quest to become a US citizen is also a winner. Meanwhile, former Crew goalkeeper Will Hesmer has announced his retirement.
MLSsoccer.com's season preview series started yesterday. Both teams featured likely face bumpy roads this season, as Toronto FC attempts to dig itself out of the Eastern Conference basement yet again with a thin roster and Chivas USA undertakes a new mission without most of the players who've featured in recent seasons.
New York are in a much better position than both, and much of that has to do with the culture of winning inspired by Thierry Henry. Former manager Hans Backe recalled a time when Henry "went totally bananas" over a training match.
Over in Henry's former stomping grounds in the EPL, Brad Guzan has backed Simon Dawkins to help keep Aston Villa in the top flight.
In more exotic climes, former San Jose Earthquake Anthony Ampaipitakwong is having the adventure of a lifetime. Read this fascinating account of his time in Thailand.
Last and certainly least, the Harlem Shake craze just won't go away. The Sounders aren't the only MLS team to not dance the Harlem Shake on camera anymore.
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