Kick Off: Is the newest "Train" about to arrive in Portland?
Remember ex-MLS forward Adolfo “El Tren” Valencia?
Well, his son José Adolfo Valencia looks to be the latest Colombian to join the Portland Timbers, according to reports from that country. (SPANISH)
Valencia is 19 years old, which fits the bill of the player spoken about in a tweet from Timbers owner Merritt Paulson: a “young DP player signed soon … turning 20 soon.”
As he continues to work on bringing back Joao Plata and Richard Eckersley to Toronto FC in 2012, TFC director of player development Paul Mariner also reveals his preference that the club play its CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal against the LA Galaxy at BMO Field: “Personally, I'm a BMO Field guy. I think you use every single advantage you have.”
A more important question for Mariner: Does this report have any truth to it? It claims that TFC plan to offload Stefan Frei and replace him with a Gambian international goalkeeper.
As for Toronto’s CCL opponent, the MLS Cup champion LA Galaxy, earlier today they touched down in Manila ahead of Saturday’s second Asia Pacific exhibition match against the Philippine Azkals. (VIDEO)
Watch what David Beckham and Landon Donovan had to say at the press conference in the Philippines. Meanwhile, it’s pretty clear that the Galaxy’s opponents are really, really excited to face them. (VIDEO)
North of the border, TFC’s Canadian rivals Vancouver Whitecaps revealed they will be closing out their 2012 preseason in Carolina, where new Whitecaps manager Martin Rennie served as head coach of the Railhawks. The match will be held on March 4.
The Montreal Impact will unveil their first ever MLS jersey later tonight at the Montreal Science Center. Check out the details here.
In MLS expansion news, Orlando City’s owners claim they have signed a non-disclosure agreement with MLS and analyzing business models to bring MLS soccer to Central Florida. As far as a potential MLS stadium is concerned, owner Phil Rawlins says: "The city and the county has $185 million set aside for the refurbishment of the Citrus Bowl and we're in talks with them about that. As long as that money is used wisely and well, then I can see us playing in a refurbished Citrus Bowl."
Liverpool is a long ways from Orlando but that’s where New York Red Bulls forward Juan Agudelo is heading for a training stint. Apparently, since the announcement was made, the striker’s Twitter following has grown by nearly 10,000.
It was via Twitter that we learned news about the Seattle Sounders scouting three young players in Honduras who are mentioned by name here.
The Seattle Sounders are now a thing of the past for NBC’s new voice of soccer Arlo White. Watch this tribute by SoundersFC.com to their former play-by-play man who made an immediate impression on soccer broadcasting in America. (VIDEO)
Another person with ties to the UK, ex-Real Salt Lake player Ian Joy, details his personal experience battling depression as a pro soccer player in the hope that the soccer world takes notice to make it “possible for some of our young talents to have someone they can turn to in their time of need.”
The Galaxy’s Beckham is not the only player that could have the option of picking between Paris-St. Germain and MLS. Former French international William Gallas, who is seeing little playing time for Tottenham Hotspur in England, says he could move to PSG or MLS. (FRENCH)
Could Blanco play for the New York Red Bulls? No, not that Blanco. His name is Kepa Blanco and he’s a forward for Recreativo Huelva in Spain who’s negotiating his release from the club with little playing time in sight. New York, LA and Philadelphia are said to have tabled offers from MLS with a Ligue 1 club entering the fray as well. (SPANISH)
Very unlike Galaxy manager Bruce Arena to offer a trial to two Indonesian players via the media, right? Well, according to this report, he did.
Could Stern John make a return to MLS? He says he will be flying to the United States to speak with MLS and lower-division clubs that have shown interest in his services.
The interest is sure to be greater in Crystal Palace’s Darren Ambrose after he experienced the moment of a lifetime by scoring a stunning 65th-minute goal from long distance in a 2-1 Carling Cup win over Manchester United at the Theatre of Dreams. Watch the strike here. (VIDEO)
Speaking of highlights, you’ll want to check out the video of the 2-2 tie between the US Under-17s and their counterparts from France. DeAndre Robinson’s goal that finished in the top corner is one to watch. (VIDEO)
In the world of Yanks abroad, American goalkeeper Diego Restrepo is set to move into the limelight at América de Cali in Colombia after the starting goalkeeper, Julián Viáfara, was suspended for six months for doping.
In more Europa League action set for Thursday on GolTV, USMNT midfielder Jermaine Jones and Schalke 04 host Steaua Bucharest (1 p.m. ET), while Athletic Bilbao welcome Slovan Bratislava (3 p.m. ET). The second semifinal in the Mexican league playoffs will play its first leg later tonight with Querétaro facing Tigres UANL (8 p.m. ET, TeleFutura). The first semifinal saw Morelia beat Santos 2-0 in the first leg last night.
Any questions about Omar Bravo's future in Kansas City have been shot down by his agent, who tells ESPNDeportes.com that "he has a contract, he's been very well received by everyone — Americans and latinos — so he's a very happy person in the United States." (SPANISH)
According to Telemundo’s Andrés Cantor, Mexican side Monterrey will be stopping in Los Angeles before heading to the FIFA Club World Cup in Japan.
Lastly, Deadspin.com is reveling in the one-of-a-kind story that is magicJack owner Dan Borislow and his relationship with WPS. They retrace the history of emails from Borislow that have to be read to be believed.
Quakes boss excited to bring two key pieces back to San Jose
US Under-17 national team ties France with late rally in Florida
Two stalwarts inch closer to deals with Revolution
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