Kick Off: Redknapp wants to see Titi back with Arsenal
Even those with ties to Tottenham Hotspur are ready to roll out the red carpet for Gunners legend Thierry Henry should the New York Red Bulls captain return to North London on loan.
Or so implies Jamie Redknapp, the son of Spurs boss Harry. Redknapp the younger, who spent a few years playing against Henry in the Premiership, says "it only makes sense" for Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger to move heaven and earth to get Henry to the Emirates, even if only for a month.
Redknapp also talks about Bolton defender Gary Cahill's presumed move to Chelsea as a done deal. If that's the case, then could more transfer window rumors be in store for FC Dallas man George John or Henry's RBNY teammate Tim Ream? Both defenders have been mentioned as possible Cahill replacements in the past.
The biggest loan news of the year thus far is Landon Donovan's upcoming stint with Everton, set to begin in a week. The LA Galaxy attacker sent some Christmas thanks the way of his agent on Sunday.
While loans out have been making the headlines, at least two teams have designs on bringing some new faces in. A report out of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, says that Azam FC are hoping to hear from the Seattle Sounders about Taiza Stars striker Mrisho Ngassa by the end of the year.
Also making the news in the player hunt category are the Chicago Fire, who are linked to former Barcelona defensive midfielder Abraham by Sport.es (SPANISH). While he's led a bit of a nomadic existence across the length and breadth of Spain, the 26-year-old Catalonian does bring a full trophy case with him. He featured in the first team twice for Barca's sextuple-winning side in 2009, the same side that saw Henry and fellow RBNY teammate Rafa Márquez fill their trophy cabinets. Abraham currently plies his trade with AD Alcorcón Spain's Segunda División.
And here's the obligatory Ronaldinho to the Galaxy rumor, this time courtesy of Portugal's DN Desporto. It also mentions — stop us if you've heard this before — that David Beckham could be on his way to Ligue 1 to ply his trade for Paris-St. Germain. (PORTUGUESE)
On that note, at least one blogger stateside has a big-name DP on his wish list for 2012. Also for the asking: A deep run in the CONCACAF Champions League from the Galaxy, Sounders or Toronto FC.
While Reds fans are no doubt nodding their heads, they're also probably biting their nails about their side's central defense, an area of concern throughout 2011. With TFC holding two first-round picks in next month's SuperDraft, it seems a safe bet that Aron Winter, Steve Mariner & Co. will spend at least one of them on a big man for the middle.
Whichever direction Toronto go in the draft, there are hopes throughout Canada that 2012 proves a more fruitful year for soccer in the great, white north than 2011. Things are already looking up, of course, with TFC in the quarters of the CCL and the Montreal Impact set to take their MLS bows.
One of the reasons spirits are up in Montreal is the presence of 2010's MLS Goalkeeper of the Year, Jamaican Donovan Ricketts. The big man is expected to be a calming presence in the back for the expansion franchise.
Down in Honduras, they're still watching the every move of D.C. United midfield Andy Najar, who elheraldo.hn calls the nation's "most brilliant prospect." Najar, like a host of other MLSers this offseason, had a training stint in Europe earlier this month. (SPANISH)
Another Central American who's expected to make his mark in MLS is new Philadelphia Union signee Porfirio López. The Costa Rican left back is the presumed starter for Peter Nowak's side.
With Olympic qualifying on the horizon, here's a look at one of the more mysterious members of the US player pool. Sebastian Lletget hasn't broken into West Ham's first team yet, and he's still hurting from the US U-20 side's failure to qualify for the Youth World Cup this summer, but he impressed in camp with the U-23s last week, and head coach Caleb Porter says, "He's a sweet player."
Speaking of Olympic qualifying ... tickets are already on sale for the semifinals and final at Livestrong Sporting Park. A bit presumptuous, maybe, but chances are the US will make it at least that far.
Why the broadcast deal with NBC was one of the top stories of the year in MLS.
Did Le Toux get robbed? A look at Roger Levesque's scuba dive, the 2011 Celebration of the Year.
One of the feel-good stories of the year ends in France, as Charlie Davies is set to return to Sochaux.
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