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Recap
Leg 1
11/23 FINAL
1LA
0SEA
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Leg 2
11/30 9:00pm
SEA
LA
ESPN
Western Conference Championship
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Leg 1
11/23 FINAL
1NY
2NE
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Leg 2
11/29 3:00pm
NE
NY
NBCSN
Eastern Conference Championship

Kick Off: Lindpere claims interest, but Red Bulls not selling

While rumors swirl around Tim Ream, Rafa Márquez and Thierry Henry, Joel Lindpere’s name has been absent from any hint of transfer buzz this offseason. It turns out there is good reason for that.

The Estonian midfielder may have just one year left on his contract, but New York is keen to keep hold of the player.

Lindpere, speaking to Norweigen outlet itromso.no, said he would like to return to Europe, where there is interest in his services from Premier League and Championship clubs, but the Red Bulls were not interested in selling.

His onetime teammate – Dwayne De Rosario – also had some interesting things to say to journalists across the pond. The MLS MVP spoke to The Guardian in a wide-ranging Q&A that touched on his departure from New York and the edge his vegan diet provides on the field.

Jurgen Klinsmann announced the 20-man roster for his January training camp on Thursday, and it was almost an entirely MLS-based group. Among the notable call ups were Houston's Geoff Cameron, LA's Omar Gonzalez, FC Dallas' George John and Benny Feilhaber, who said he wants to prove he belongs. The group will conclude the camp with games against Venezuela and Panama.

A former US national team prospect found a new home on Wednesday, as striker Eddie Johnson signed with Puebla in Mexico. The former Kansas City and Fulham player joins DaMarcus Beasley as the Primera Division side. The 27-year-old will sign on Monday.

In Germany, Jermaine Jones is under significant media pressure after an incident that left some calling him the “nastiest player in German soccer.” Jones saw red in Schalke 04's 3-1 defeat against Borussia Mönchengladbach Wednesday in the German Cup, but that wasn’t the source of the wide disapproval. In what many are calling an intentional blow, cameras showed Jones stepping on Marco Reus’ left foot. Reus has a broken toe, yet still managed to score twice.

A fellow German-American showed well in the US U-23’s final action in Florida at Caleb Porter’s first camp with the team. Borussia Dortmund striker Terrence Boyd captained the White Team and a scored from distance, and Sebastian Lletget tacked on the second in a 2-0 intrasquad victory.

Bill Hamid left the camp early, but 29 players were still on hand to fight for a place as qualifying for the 2011 Summer Olympics in London ramps up. Porter said he and his staff have "already started to make inroads with the clubs" to secure their services of those they will need to compete in the games.

Still no word on David Beckham's decision about whether to stay with the LA Galaxy or join Paris-St. Germain. But if he chooses the latter, looks like the French club's owners are getting the band back together. PSG director of football Leonardo – who was AC Milan's manager when Beckham was there in 2010 – has been in touch with Carlo Ancelotti, who managed Milan when Becks was there in 2009, about taking the reins in Paris.

In the wake of the Fulham-Man. United match this week, there were whispers about the threat of Clint Dempsey's elbows. They've done some damage over the years (Jimmy Conrad, John Terry), and when one of them collided seemingly unintentionally with United midfielder Phil Jones in the first half, some scratched their heads. On a good note, looks like Jones is going to be fine.

We learned yesterday that Juninho was headed back to his home club, São Paulo, in Brazil. Today, word comes from his agent explaining the decision. Basically, after two years seasoning with the Galaxy, São Paulo are promising first-team futebol to the 22-year-old midfielder.

These days, it's rare to see common sense prevailing in the wake of actions forced by bureaucratic policies. But the Dutch have always gone their own way. A few days after AZ goalkeeper Esteban Alvarado was ejected after being attacked by an Ajax fan during a cup match – leading AZ technical director Earnie Stewart and the coaching staff to pull the players off the field – the Dutch federation has rescinded the card. Bravo. (DUTCH)


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