Kick Off: NY Red Bulls star calls match vs. Colorado "must-win"

Kick Off - Thierry Henry2

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It’s still May and MLS Cup is six months away. But New York Red Bulls star Thierry Henry is still calling tonight’s regular-season match against the Colorado Rapids a “must-win.”

The Frenchman, who will play tonight against the defending MLS Cup champs at Red Bull Arena (8 pm ET, MatchDay Live), feels the sense of urgency because of the Gold Cup call-ups that will decimate the Red Bulls roster: "We're going to have to make sure we win no matter how."

With one goal in their last three matches, the Rapids may need to resort to extraordinary means to ratchet up the goal-scoring. Manager Gary Smith says he needs to “bring in a witch doctor.”

One team that has no choice but to score is the Vancouver Whitecaps, who need to put at least one goal on the board in tonight’s Nutrilite Canadian Championship decider against Toronto FC at BMO Field (8 pm ET, Sportsnet.ca and FAN590). While TFC’s Aron Winter protests against the extra days of rest that Vancouver enjoyed in the lead-up, his counterpart Teitur Thordarson believes his team can pull it off because they’ve won an NCC match in Toronto before.

After the Chicago Fire ousted the San Jose Earthquakes on PKs Tuesday night to earn one of two US Open Cup play-in berths, Sporting Kansas City will host the New England Revolution tonight for the other spot in the Round of 16 of the tournament (8:30 pm ET, live webstream on SportingKC.com). SKC central defender Matt Besler is very familiar with the high school stadium that will be used for tonight’s matchup, although his memories include scoring goals.

San Jose goalkeeper Andrew Weber is taking last night's loss to the Fire especially hard after giving up Chicago’s equalizer on a play he feels he should have made.

In one of two late league matches tonight, the Seattle Sounders host FC Dallas in an intriguing Western Conference showdown (10 pm ET, MatchDay Live). Sounders manager Sigi Schmid is wary of FCD’s numerous attacking weapons even though it’s their team defense that’s been making the headlines with a 399-minute shutout streak.

If you wanted to know why it is that Sounders rookie midfielder Servando Carrasco seems to fit right in to life in the pros, here’s the definitive story that explains it.

Another big game tonight features the LA Galaxy hosting the Houston Dynamo. Although LA have the highest point total in the league, the Dynamo feel they have always played well against the best clubs in the league and even deserved to win some of those matches. (10:30 pm ET, MatchDay Live)

David Beckham won’t be there for the match after participating in yesterday’s Gary Neville testimonial at Old Trafford. He played 90 minutes in a 2-1 loss to Italian club Juventus but his appearance will likely be most remembered for the help he offered stadium security to nab a young pitch invader. (VIDEO)

Aside from a potential future in the security business, another thing you may not know about Beckham: Snoop Dogg sends his new music to the Galaxy star to listen to before the label gets it.

The Portland Timbers host Ajax Amsterdam in an international friendly tonight (10 pm ET, live webcast on portlandtimbers.com) which Timbers manager John Spencer hopes is played the way the game was meant to be played: “Not too much tackling, not too much kicking.”

Real Salt Lake’s scoring problems are well-documented, but the bad news keeps coming. Striker Paulo Jr. will be out another month, prompting manager Jason Kreis to entertain a potential return to the playing fields or even using midfielders as forwards.

It’s still really early in the regular season, but one writer takes a stab at 10 candidates for the MVP award in MLS.

MLS fans hoping to see Clarence Seedorf in the United States won’t get that chance in 2011. He just signed another one-year deal with AC Milan. One of the Rossoneri midfielders has signed on with another club, as Andrea Pirlo moves to Juventus.

Spanish club Atlético Madrid are going for the big payday … again. First striker Sergio Agüero puts in a transfer request, goalkeeper David de Gea is heading to Manchester United per Sir Alex Ferguson and Diego Forlán is expected to be out the door.

Manchester United’s manager is also in the news for seeking to ban a media member who asked a question that Ferguson did not particularly enjoy. Watch the video here. (VIDEO)

Ferguson and his Red Devils will be heading to the USA this summer although they first have one last trophy to battle for this Saturday: the UEFA Champions League against FC Barcelona. Another team that is reported to be playing matches in the United States is the Colombian national team. Apparently they’re set to face Venezuela in Las Vegas on June 11 and then meet Chivas USA in a friendly in Tijuana four days later. (SPANISH)

In Atlanta there’s speculation that the NHL’s Thrashers moving to Winnipeg could mean something for the potential of pro soccer in the city, based on comments by the mayor.

There are reports that an MLS club has made an offer to a “Pelican” who is a midfielder in the Colombian first division. (SPANISH)

The passing of wrestling star Randy “Macho Man” Savage in an accident did not go unnoticed in Major League Soccer. San Jose Earthquakes right back Chris Leitch is a huge fan and the Quakes wore red armbands last weekend in Savage’s honor.

In another “Did You Know” factoid, did you know that former Fire player Lubos Kubik has a son playing soccer here in the USA who they speak highly of? His name: Lubos Kubik.

MLSsoccer.com Must-Reads:

MLSsoccer.com’s starting XI for the proposed all-SoCal Chivas USA team

LA Galaxy are OK with David Beckham’s absence for match vs. Houston

MLSsoccer.com’s Team of the Week for the most recent weekend of action


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