Kick Off: Beckham and Giggs set to be reunited?
They’re on the short list. Or the long list, depending on how you look at it.
Reports from England indicate that former Manchester United teammates David Beckham and Ryan Giggs could be reunited for the 2012 London Olympics after their names were confirmed as part of a list of 191 players contacted by the Football Association to gauge their interest in participation. Their response: a resounding “yes.”
In these parts, the US Olympic team made some strides from their 4-0 loss to the senior side in a scrimmage last Friday. Yesterday, the two sides played to a 1-1 tie with goals by Graham Zusi and Jack McInerney. Check out the photo gallery from the match here.
Here are the kind of heady subjects pondered at US national team camp after that scrimmage. US and Seattle Sounders midfielder Brad Evans wonders: “Does Benny [Feilhaber]’s hair look more like a dead possum or dead raccoon?”
The Seattle Sounders may have picked up five players, including one via trade, in Tuesday’s Supplemental Draft, but they’re no sure thing to make the squad. "All of these players are going to have to fight to make the roster," said technical director Chris Henderson. "We have a deep team."
It’s no different at the LA Galaxy, where manager Bruce Arena said this about his five selections: “I think the challenge for these players is to make our roster. … I can't even look that far ahead to see if [any of them] are going to step on the field with our first team. The initial challenge is to make the roster.”
Former Penn playmaker Christian Barreiro is in a peculiar situation: He’s a member of the Philadelphia Union’s River End but was drafted by the New York Red Bulls. You would not have imagined these words to come out of Barreiro on his first day as a member of a rival team: “I love the New York Red Bulls organization.”
The Red Bulls are yet to open preseason camp but they still have injury news to process involving two of their biggest stars. Thierry Henry, who is on loan at Arsenal, is hoping a scan of a calf injury reveals good news with Manchester United looming this weekend. Also, according to the last graph of this article, Juan Agudelo’s ankle issue in US camp has him in a boot.
In addition to the fact that the brothers of D.C. United Chris Pontius and ex-D.C. United forward Charlie Davies were drafted yesterday, here’s another curious note from the Supplemental Draft: 14 of the 75 players – that’s roughly 18 percent – hailed from the Los Angeles area or LA-based schools.
Chivas USA say they are “advocates for Southern California players” but still went after a tall German center back who is the Division II Player of the Year. His name is Fabian Kling. “[Kling is] a guy, we got an e-mail, a recommendation from someone,” Chivas general manager Jose Domene said. “He's a big dude. A big fella.”
Big is the jersey sponsorship deal that the Chicago Fire and Quaker Foods and Snacks announced yesterday (check out the new Fire jerseys here). Turns out the courtship started at last summer’s Fire match against Manchester United, which was attended by Quaker president Jose Luis Prado, who also lived in Argentina.
The Portland Timbers announced a fourth Colombian player acquisition yesterday. In case you were wondering why Colombians are so popular for MLS clubs, Philadelphia Union head of scouting and player development, Diego Gutiérrez, gives the answer: “With some of the leagues in Colombia, it isn't very organized, a lot of players aren't happy with their situations, a lot of them are getting out of contracts … they are looking for better opportunities.”
In nearby Panama, they’re waiting for FC Dallas to pull the trigger on one or both of Tauro defenders Luis Moreno and Carlos Rodríguez. This report says that Rodríguez, a fullback, is the most likely arrival.
Something you may not have known about midfielder Michael Thomas, whose rights were acquired by Sporting Kansas City from San Jose yesterday. He’s from KC, he played a match for Sporting’s reserve team last year and he’s a former college roommate of SKC’s All-Star defender Matt Besler. Looks like a match made in heaven.
Sporting fans will learn a lot more about last week’s SuperDraft selection Cyprian Hedrick in this Q&A, including the fact that he is from Cameroon, moved to the USA at age nine and he was baptized just yesterday.
Another feature for Sporting fans: the Washington Times goes back in time with US national team forward C.J. Sapong and traces his roots.
The Whitecaps were also especially busy on Tuesday, as head coach Martin Rennie acquired two of his former players at the Carolina Railhawks: goalkeeper Brad Knighton and Maltese forward Etienne Barbara. They’re calling it the RailHawk Revolution in Vancouver. They also had three more selections that will join camp from the Supplemental Draft.
Seattle Sounders fans can finally watch video of one of their new Supplemental picks, Abdul Aman. But you’ll have to search for them under the other name he allegedly goes by: Zigla Dinho. What will they call him when he joins Sounders camp this week? (VIDEO)
D.C. United conduct their first training session today and Maicon Santos will be there. We’ll find out soon enough whether the Brazilian has another MLS team in his future. The Washington Post reports he “might sign with the club soon.”
The Houston Dynamo have been really aggressive in the Scottish forward market. In addition to the rumors around Kris Boyd, 24-year-old ex-Hearts striker Calum Elliott reportedly turned down a trial offer by the Houston Dynamo to sign on with a Lithuanian club.
He’s not in Montreal camp just yet, but US Olympic defender Zarek Valentin makes it clear in this interview that his preference is to play center back over right back. He also talks about what he’s heard it will be like to play for head coach Jesse Marsch: “You'll be tested in ways that you probably didn't think were possible,” his brother told him.
The mettle of the US women’s national team is being tested ahead of CONCACAF Olympic qualifying in Vancouver with news of a fatal shooting in their hotel restaurant. Goalkeeper Hope Solo tweeted: “Saved by our instant yoga session. Was about to walk to Starbucks when all hell broke loose … Life is precious.”
Nice to see that soon-to-be NFL No. 1 draft pick Andrew Luck has turned to soccer for the person to lead him in his pro career. Will Wilson, a four-year executive at MLS and its commercial arm Soccer United Marketing, will represent Luck, who is also his nephew. Something tells us there will be an MLS game or two in Luck’s future.
Fox Soccer.com’s Jamie Trecker analyzes how close the US is to producing the next Lionel Messi in this article.
Fox will have the FA Cup third round replay between Wolverhampton and Jonathan Spector’s Birmingham City. But the only game anyone cares about today is the Copa del Rey match between Real Madrid and Barcelona (4 pm ET, GolTV and ESPN Deportes).
US World Cup forward Robbie Findley wished this highlight didn’t make air. It’s more like a lowlight and it’s considered the miss of the year, although we’re still in January. (VIDEO)
Lastly, did you see the news about Colombia’s top prosecutor questioning organizers about the $2,000 spent on a shaman at the Under-20 World Cup closing ceremonies? Here’s the response from the person responsible for the hire: “It didn’t rain on the ceremony, it was successful and I would use him again if I needed to.”
Eric Wynalda clears up NSCAA comments on the latest edition of ExtraTime Radio
Supplemental Draft winners and losers: LA clubs take high grades
Chivas USA Ryan Smith sets record straight on KC departure
Get the The Kick-Off delivered to you!
Enter your email address below to sign up for The Kick-Off mailing list and get it delivered to your inbox every morning.