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Kick Off: Agudelo steals the show, Japanese import

Kick Off: Agudelo

Photo Credit: 
Getty Images

The New York Red Bulls may have settled on a Thierry Henry-Luke Rodgers strike partnership, which has resulted in a breakout for the French designated player. But even when American teen sensation Juan Agudelo has to come off the bench in a rout, he’s stealing the show.

His goal, a stoppage-time strike in a 4-0 thrashing of D.C. United on ESPN2 last night, is just another stop on his rise to stardom. The goal may have registered at No. 4 on SportsCenter’s Top 10 plays this morning but it’s No. 1 as far as soccer highlights are concerned. Watch Agudelo’s goal here. You’ll be watching it over and over. (VIDEO)

Now compare it to one of Henry’s famous goals, scored in similar fashion against Manchester United. (VIDEO)

Although his team won by a 4-0 score line, NYRB manager Hans Backe says that D.C. United are the best team that New York has faced all season and he explains why.

But how does D.C. United feel about things? “Outworked, outplayed and embarrassed.”

D.C. United designated player Branko Boskovic came on in the second half of the match and was one of the best players on the field. Surely, that’s because of his personalized shin guards on display at the end of this blog post. (PHOTO)

Today the MLS action continues with the Fox Soccer Game of the Week and it’s a dandy between MLS Cup champs Colorado Rapids and MLS Cup contenders Seattle Sounders (9:30 p.m. ET, Fox Soccer).

Sounders manager Sigi Schmid told his team he wanted four points from consecutive road matches in Philadelphia and Colorado. After the 1-1 tie in Philly, that means a win in Colorado tonight. Seattle midfielder Brad Evans has not forgotten about it.

Real Salt Lake are back in their home state of Utah following the stunning CONCACAF Champions League tie in Monterrey. There was a large group of fans waiting for RSL on their arrival and one of them says “Monterrey doesn’t know what they’re in for” in the second leg next Wednesday.

LA Galaxy star David Beckham is in for a hectic 48 hours next week as he goes from Westminster Abbey to Pizza Hut Park. He’s gotten clearance from the club to attend the royal wedding but manager Bruce Arena is not talking about it.

The good thing for the Galaxy is that Landon Donovan is back from the injury that kept him out of the three-match road trip last week. Arena says to expect Donovan to play against Portland on Saturday night.

So what’s Donovan been up to aside from recovery and training? Signing an endorsement deal with Upper Deck in which he “looks forward to providing authentic, genuine signatures to my fans.”

The Vancouver Whitecaps host 2010 MLS Cup finalists FC Dallas this weekend and likely captain Terry Dunfield says he wants to give a “Vancouver welcome” to MLS MVP David Ferreira. Ex-FCD winger Atiba Harris, now with Vancouver, says if Ferreira “is not involved, they’ll struggle.”

That’s a piece of analysis that the Cantonese-speaking audience hopes will make it through on the broadcast. The Whitecaps are broadcasting three games this year in Cantonese, Punjabi and Mandarin, according to the last graph of this article.

The Asian influence in MLS is about to grow with the addition of Japanese defender Takahito Soma who is set to join an unnamed MLS club this summer, according to reports.

A current MLS defender is defending himself this morning. The Crew's Andy Iro says he had the right to make the comments on Twitter comparing his relationship with the club to that of an old girlfriend. And Iro explains in detail the rationale behind what he wrote. Meanwhile his manager complains that it isn't right to complain.

When the Houston Dynamo take on the Chicago Fire on Saturday night, will Carlos de los Cobos follow the New England Revolution’s lead and target Corey Ashe, the new left back for the Dynamo?

There is another MLS side involved in a big match tonight. The FC Dallas Under-18 side that made news in the Dallas Cup by defeating FC Barcelona today faces UANL Tigres at Pizza Hut Park for a berth in the final against Eintracht Frankfurt or England’s Arsenal.

MLS supporters clubs are gaining as much publicity as MLS players in some markets and San Jose is not different this morning. The San Jose Mercury News profiles the 1906 Ultras and describes how the supporters culture does not necessarily go down well with those looking for a different environment at matches.

In international news, there’s a chance that ex-RSL striker Robbie Findley could see playing time today as he returns from injury for Nottingham Forest in their bid to secure a promotion playoff spot (12 p.m. ET, Fox Soccer Plus).

Players in England dream of lifting the EPL trophy. But when it comes to silverware, one site puts the MLS Cup trophy on par with the EPL silverware as the seven most beautiful soccer trophies in the world.

Finally, in soccer we talk a lot about international transfer value. But it’s time we broaden our horizons and learn about what players are worth on the dating scene. One article does just that in a very personal look into Dynamo goalkeeper Tyler Deric and puts a dollar value on the player who says he wishes he could be a “mischievous monkey.”

MLSsoccer.com Must-Reads:

Nick Rimando on CCL and Steve Nicol on Benny Feilhaber during Thursday’s edition of Extra Time

The Throw-In: why coming home is the best option for U.S. internationals

The latest edition of the behind-the-scenes look at RSL in Champions League 360


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