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Kick Off: Could Ching be the big winner in SuperDraft?

Brian Ching

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Could MLS veteran forward Brian Ching turn out to be the big winner from today’s MLS SuperDraft (noon ET, ESPN2)?

Montreal Impact manager Jesse Marsch, who made it clear that his club could still trade the No. 1 overall pick, has told the Houston Chronicle that "we've put it on Houston's plate to see what they'd be willing to do to get him back."

Here’s the deal that the Houston Chronicle’s Jesus Ortiz believes could get done: It is a trade involving Andre Hainault going to Montreal, Ching returning to Houston and the No. 1 pick changing hands.

If they do keep the No. 1 pick, Marsch says they've already settled on a player and he even shed some light on the club’s thinking: “In our situation, we want to use this great opportunity to help the team for the next 10 years.” (FRENCH)

Duke’s Andrew Wenger, who won the Hermann Trophy as the best player in college, has a feeling he’s going high in the SuperDraft. And so with Montreal and Vancouver picking No. 1 and No. 2, he’s been doing some extra research: “I've been watching a lot of Travel Channel lately. I've become a fan of Anthony Bourdain, just watching his shows about Vancouver and Montreal.”

D.C. United have just one selection but it’s a high one at No. 7. According to the club’s GM Dave Kasper, who also gave an update on the Dwayne De Rosario talks, they will go for the “best available candidate,” a common refrain for clubs with high picks.

Revealing comments by Portland Timbers GM Gavin Wilkinson ahead of the SuperDraft: He says that UConn’s Andrew Jean-Baptiste is not a player they’ll be pursuing aggressively and Timbers trainee Austin Berry won’t be taken with their No. 8 pick. “If the players that we've targeted are already gone before our pick, we will look at possibly trading the pick,” he says.

The SuperDraft may have just taken on extra importance for FC Dallas who, amid rumors of George John’s signing by West Ham United, may have just lost out on versatile Brazilian Jackson. Reports in Brazil say that São Paulo have loaned him out to Cruzeiro, effective immediately. (PORTUGUESE)

In fact, FC Dallas manager Schellas Hyndman confirms that defenders and flank midfielders are his club’s priority on Thursday.

Just in time for the SuperDraft, USA Today takes a walk down memory lane and looks at past No. 1 SuperDraft picks and how they’ve fared.

Reports in England indicate that Michael Farfan is really impressing during his training stint at Sunderland. But a work permit would be an issue for him.

The Seattle Sounders have one less need going into Thursday’s SuperDraft with the signing of Danish midfielder Christian Sivebaek, who can play at wide midfield. The scouting report on Sivebaek: speed, size, dribbling and good service.

At No. 19 and No. 38, the MLS Cup champion LA Galaxy say they want to boost their depth and expect to find quality players at both picks. Bruce Arena says the Galaxy were “a little thin at the end of our roster last year, and this year we want to strengthen that.”

The Robbie Keane loan deal to Aston Villa is finally complete, according to reports in England and the LA Galaxy striker could be facing his MLS teammate Landon Donovan when Villa face Everton on Saturday. "It's a top signing, a really clever move,” says Aston Villa forward Darren Bent. “In training, Robbie has looked razor-sharp and up for the challenge.”

Donovan could not save Everton from a 2-0 defeat at Tottenham last night as American goalkeeper Brad Friedel and Spurs move up to 2nd place in the EPL table. Here’s a New York Times report on the match and the euphoria surrounding Tottenham’s surprising title push.

In Houston, Eddie Robinson’s retirement yesteday means that Brad Davis is the last remaining member from the Dynamo squad that debuted in Texas in 2006. As for Robinson, who joins the Dynamo Academy, he says: “I don't want a lot of attention, to be honest, just want to get on with things.”

Steve Nicol is very much in favor of Dominic Kinnear and the Houston Dynamo landing forward Kris Boyd. He’s a player that Nicol tried to acquire for the New England Revolution: “There isn’t a finisher in the league [MLS] like him, with the exception of Robbie Keane.”

Meanwhile, Venezuelan international goalkeeper Renny Vega has confirmed that negotiations are underway to bring him to the New York Red Bulls but that a deal has not been reached. (SPANISH)

Bolton manager Owen Coyle was reserved in his comments regarding reports from the United States that a Tim Ream transfer was imminent: “He is an outstanding young player. A US international, 24, and no doubt destined for a very bright future. Whether anything transpires with Bolton time will tell.”

One team that is not shy about its interest in an American is French club Sochaux. They are apparently making a third bid for Maurice Edu and the club’s president says a deal is close. Check out what the assistant coach says about Edu: “We think he is a quality player. We need him and we need him quickly.”

In TV news, the president of NBC Sports and NBC Sports Network Jon Miller indicated that the peacock network is hatching plans for innovations to its MLS broadcasts, along the lines of segments that have been used in their NHL coverage.

Speaking of soccer on TV, for your post-draft soccer fix, there’s Coppa Italia action involving Napoli vs. Cesena (3 pm ET, GolTV) and Copa del Rey doubleheader on ESPN Deportes featuring Athletic Bilbao vs. Albacete (2 pm ET) and Osasuna vs. Barcelona (4 pm ET).

Lastly, remember the dispute involving magicJack owner Dan Borislow and the WPS? Well, the courts have ruled in Borislow’s favor.

MLSsoccer.com Must-Reads:

Climbing the Ladder: Which team has the toughest schedule in 2012?

Postcard from Europe: American goalkeepers by the numbers

Final version of MLSsoccer.com’s Mock SuperDraft ahead of Thursday’s real thing


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