Kick Off: Donovan and Dempsey finally face off
American soccer fans have finally have the matchup they’ve always wanted.
Landon Donovan vs. Clint Dempsey. Do-or-die. Winner-take-all on one of Europe’s biggest stages. It’s happening: in the fourth round of England’s FA Cup when Everton face Fulham on the weekend of Jan. 28.
Both clubs won their respective FA Cup ties this past weekend, with Clint Dempsey registering a hat trick. Watch all three goals here. (VIDEO)
Meanwhile, Donovan is only looking ahead to Wednesday’s match against Tottenham Hotspur and his one-on-one battle with Gareth Bale in this video interview on Everton’s website. (VIDEO)
Staying with the FA Cup in England, New York Red Bulls forward Thierry Henry makes his Arsenal return today when the Gunners battle Leeds United (2:30 pm ET, Fox Soccer and Fox Deportes).
And before Henry has even played a match during his loan, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is already campaigning to have him extend his stay: "Let's hope we have the problem. If we have a problem then it means he has done well so I hope we will have the problem.”
As far as the Robbie Keane loan deal to Aston Villa is concerned, the manager of the English side says the red tape should be cleared so that Keane can join the club on Monday. In fact, Keane has already started training with Villa.
LA Galaxy star David Beckham is also in England and he was photographed with his sons at the Etihad Stadium, where he watched his former club Manchester United defeat Manchester City in an FA Cup match on Sunday. (PHOTOS)
Are FC Dallas’ George John and New York’s Tim Ream also heading to England? We could have more news today, according to Goal.com’s deputy editor.
Meanwhile, reports from Brazil say that Flamengo in Brazil will resume efforts to try to sign New York Red Bulls Designated Player Rafa Márquez despite an unsuccessful first attempt. (PORTUGUESE)
This week the focus turns on the prospects and the MLS Player Combine and SuperDraft. The player many believe to be Montreal’s No. 1 pick, Akron forward Darren Mattocks, is mentally preparing himself to be the first player called up to the stage in Kansas City, Mo., by MLS Commissioner Don Garber: “I think I'm ready to go No. 1. So we've just got to hope and see what the draft unfolds.”
Sportsnet’s Gerry Dobson, who is in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., is convinced that the Montreal Impact will be taking Mattocks with that first selection and he also points out that Toronto FC will be holding on to their two first-round picks and turning down any trade offers.
Not many college players would be too excited about playing out of position in front of MLS coaches at the Player Combine, but Warren Creavalle from the University of Central Florida agreed to move from central midfield to right back and now qualifies as one of the revelations of the event.
The Portland Timbers say they’re looking to add some depth in central defense and are reportedly looking at North Carolina’s Matt Hedges and Louisville’s Austin Berry. But assistant coach Amos Magee is only sure of one thing: “The draft gets pretty wild and wacky.”
Are the Vancouver Whitecaps, who pick No. 2, still in need of defenders? Manager Martin Rennie gives his take on new acquisition Martin Bonjour, who he describes as “tall, powerful and aggressive as well as being good on the ball.”
Meanwhile, Oscar Pareja is already making some moves on the transfer market less than a week after being formally announced as head coach in Colorado. Reports out of Colombia say midfielder Jaime Castrillón will be a Rapids player, while defender Hányer Mosquera will also be playing with an MLS club. (SPANISH)
Speaking of international arrivals, the San Jose Earthquakes are being linked with Salvadoran Jaime Alas. (SPANISH)
Remember how USL club FC New York came out of the gate issuing challenges to the New York Red Bulls for supremacy in the Big Apple? That club is no more after one year in operation, according to a report.
In international news, Rangers’ American midfielder Maurice Edu is doing his best to ignore transfer speculation and instead, he says he’s focused on getting goals.
One of the most stunning stories from the weekend involves former Monterrey goalkeeper Omar “El Gato” Ortíz, who was arrested over the weekend in Mexico and charged with helping a kidnapping gang identify victims.
On a lighter note from this weekend, watch former Serie A soccer star Christian “Bobo” Vieri doing the Boogie Woogie on the Italian version of Dancing with the Stars.
Lastly, Fox Soccer broadcaster Kyle Martino is busy these days … eating cupcakes. He will make a guest appearance on Food Network’s Cupcake Wars, in which the former MLS player “ate five entire cupcakes. Each cupcake was like a three-course meal.”
Mexican left back Reinir Garcia says MLS is set to overtake Mexican soccer
Stock Up, Stock Down: The winners and losers after Matchday 2 at the MLS Player Combine
Rumor Central: Toronto FC reportedly eyeing Chilean central defender
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