Kick Off: Arsenal campaigning for longer Henry stay

Two more weeks.

That’s how long Arsenal FC manager Arsene Wenger is hoping to extend Thierry Henry’s loan with the Gunners to include a date against London rivals Tottenham Hotspur. "There is the possibility," Wenger says.

Although there is no definitive date for Henry’s return to the US, today marks Edson Buddle’s first training session with the LA Galaxy after his European stint and MLSsoccer.com will have all the coverage from his introductory press conference later today (3:15 pm ET from The Home Depot Center).

Judging by this welcome he received upon arriving at the airport on Friday night, you have to figure Buddle is a happy man.

Even with the US World Cup forward expected to waltz into the starting lineup in LA alongside Robbie Keane, fellow Galaxy forward Adam Cristman is still convinced that he will get his fair share of playing time.

A forward trying his best to stick around in LA is the Galaxy’s 21-year-old Supplemental Draft pick Stephen Posa: “I’m still on cloud nine. I’m loving every minute of this experience.” But Posa may not want to let his current teammates know the name of his idol growing up: New York Red Bulls forward Thierry Henry.

Preseason action resumes today with a Cascadia rivalry match featuring the Vancouver Whitecaps meeting the Seattle Sounders in Arizona (6 pm ET). Here’s a preview of the game which is set to feature 120 minutes of action.

Also scheduled for 6 pm ET is a preview of the opening match of the MLS regular season as FC Dallas take on the New York Red Bulls in Mexico. NY manager Hans Backe is not taking it lightly: “We want to win every friendly game.”

FC Dallas played a rain-shortened 0-0 match against an Atlante reserve side in Cancún on Saturday. Manager Schellas Hyndman sounds really pleased with center back Hernán Pertúz: “He is a solid center back. He marks tight. He wins balls. He is very composed under pressure. He is going to have a very good career in MLS.”

In other weekend preseason action, the Chicago Fire are looking strong after another win, 3-1, against Honduran side Real España in New Orleans (watch the highlights here). In an all-MLS match, Sporting Kansas City downed the San Jose Earthquakes 2-1 in Tucson, Ariz., on a late goal by Konrad Warzycha (watch the highlights here).

University of Virginia standout Brian Ownby made his case for a Houston Dynamo contract with two goals in his team’s 4-0 win over Houston Baptist University this weekend.

Watch the four goals scored by four different Real Salt Lake players in their intra-squad scrimmage. Manager Jason Kreis says, “You’d like to walk out of here with no goals being scored,” pointing to the team defense stressed in practice this past week.

The Colorado Rapids couldn’t find the back of the net against the Ventura County Fusion in a 0-0 draw on Sunday. It didn’t help that Colombian trialist Jefferson Angulo got himself sent off in less than a half of action.

In the meantime, the Rapids are launching a new fan initiative today in an unveiling that will be carried live on a local news network.

The Portland Timbers have joined the Rapids in Los Angeles as they ramp up preseason. They’re expecting new Designated Player signing Kris Boyd to join them there.

D.C. United can expect a visit from Honduran national team manager Luis Fernando Suárez later today. He wants to meet up with D.C. manager Ben Olsen about releasing Andy Najar for CONCACAF Olympic qualifying, which the club is under no obligation to do. (SPANISH)

Media in Montreal are keen to learn the fate of the three Impact veterans who are the lone holdovers remaining from the USL side. The Montreal Gazette checks in with Eduardo Sebrango, Simon Gatti and Nevio Pizzolitto in this article as they wait for word from manager Jesse Marsch.

An old teammate of Marsch’s, Sacha Kljestan, had one of the highlights of the weekend among the crop of Americans playing abroad. This blog post has video of his free kick goal that some have compared to Cristiano Ronaldo. (VIDEO)

The lowlights feature this gaffe from Everton’s American ‘keeper Tim Howard after he couldn’t react to a tough bounce on the turf (watch the play here). And then there was the sending off of Sporting CP’s Oguchi Onyewu, who felt compelled to apologize on Twitter for costing his team in a league cup loss.

We’ll see if American goalkeeper Brad Friedel and Tottenham Hotspur can keep pace with the two Manchester sides leading the way in England. Spurs face Liverpool later this afternoon (3 pm ET, ESPN2).

Staying in Europe, if you know little about why third-party ownership of player contracts is proving such a contentious subject, check out this article by Gabriele Marcotti, who points out how Porto “owns 100 percent of the economic rights of just five players on its 27-man roster.” UEFA say this is a “threat.”

LA Galaxy midfielder David Beckham needs your help if his H&M Super Bowl spot is going to make a run for best ad, according to these USA Today rankings. The commercial did succeed in getting CNN political commentator Roland Martin into hot water with GLAAD, for a tweet which the organization says should lead to his ouster from the network.

Lastly, he may have a big Super Bowl commercial spot but Beckham does not get preferential treatment from … youth soccer referees. Here he tells the story of how he got sent off as he waited for his son’s match to kick off: “He told me to get out of the park. For real.”

MLSsoccer.com Must-Reads:

The Armchair Analyst: The great MLS foreign invasion of 2012

SKC’s Bobby Convey calls it “strange” to face his ex-teammates in San Jose

Chris Wondolowski benefits from Earthquakes’ new offensive firepower


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