Kick Off: Henry's deal with Arsenal done, will debut Monday
Get ready to watch Thierry Henry mix it up back in England.
Arsenal have announced that the Henry loan deal has been completed and that he’ll play on Monday against Leeds, while the Red Bulls followed suit with their own announcement.
Meanwhile, Aston Villa manager Alex McLeish has gone on the record about the loan pursuit of LA Galaxy forward Robbie Keane, saying: “[The deal] is not far away but I don't like to commit myself until it actually is done.”
Fans were thrilled to see the MLS schedule released on Thursday. You know who else? The Vancouver Whitecaps, who saw their travel reduced by half compared to last year.
In addition to the league schedule, there was even bigger news if you’re a Rapids fan: The hiring of Oscar Pareja as head coach a move designed to “change the identity of this club and change it forever,” according to the Rapids’ technical director.
Pareja’s first order of business will be the MLS SuperDraft and MLS Combine which get underway later today with the first of three doubleheaders streamed live on MLSsoccer.com (2:35 pm ET).
There are a bunch of anxious players in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., including one defender who has denied himself daily Twix and Snickers bars for the last month in order to be in the best shape for the Combine.
Jonathan Borrajo did not need the SuperDraft to land a spot on an MLS team after returning from Norway to join the New York Red Bulls, a club he watched growing up as a kid in New Jersey. What’s he like as a player? “If I could compare myself to two players, maybe like a Stevie Cherundolo type, or a Philip Lahm,” he says.
So we heard from Houston legend Brian Ching yesterday and he says he will report to Montreal Impact training camp on Jan. 15. But if you were looking for details, they weren’t coming: “I don't want to elaborate on it now. I'll do that before I head up there. I'll call a press conference and elaborate on my feelings.”
USMNT midfielder Maurice Edu may also need to learn some French. In case you missed it, Ligue 1 side Sochaux has apparently made him their No. 1 midfield target.
Speaking of Ligue 1, there are reportedly two strikers in the crosshairs of Real Salt Lake, Chivas USA and the Vancouver Whitecaps: Brazilian Ilan and Ligue 1 lifer Péguy Luyindula. Apparently they are both as interested in moving to the USA. (FRENCH)
If George John’s transfer to Europe materializes, it looks like FC Dallas will try to make up for it by signing two defenders from Panama. This report cites club officials from Tauro as saying that negotiations are ongoing for Luis Moreno and Carlos Rodríguez, who battled FC Dallas in the CONCACAF Champions League. (SPANISH)
Although Chicago’s Frank Klopas may be downplaying the reports, everyone in Colombia seems to be speaking of Rafael Robayo’s move to the Fire as a done deal. Look at this letter from club executives saluting Robayo’s services to Millonarios and wishing him luck in “the US league.” (SPANISH)
In England, they say that former MLS defender Ryan Nelsen is on the outs at Blackburn Rovers. In fact, he’s currently in New Zealand, fueling speculation that he could make a return to MLS, although he is reportedly carrying a knee injury.
The new Mexican league season gets underway tonight. For a look at what lies ahead and the chances of Tigres UANL to repeat, check out this season preview.
The lone top-flight action on TV today is that Mexican league game between Monarcas Morelia and Club Tijuana later tonight (9 pm ET, Fox Deportes).
The 10 must-see matches of the 2012 MLS league season
Chicago Fire’s Klopas admits scouting Colombian midfielder
Get to know the New York Red Bulls’ new signing Jonathan Borrajo
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