Kick Off: Dynamo apologize for handling of Ching saga

Anticlimactic.

That's what MLSsoccer.com’s own Matt Doyle, who is on site in LA, called Brian Ching’s first match against his former club yesterday, with emotions simmering down considerably between the two sides since Montreal manager Jesse Marsch selected the Dynamo standard-bearer in the Expansion Draft.

There was even an apology, from Houston manager Dominic Kinnear: “I think in the beginning, we were a little bit liberal with what we were saying. I think it was a little bit rude, and I apologize for that, back when Brian first got selected by Montreal in the Expansion Draft. … I think now just to be very professional, we have to keep it as quiet as possible.”

The Houston Chronicle’s Dynamo beat writer confirmed that there have been “trade discussion on and off since the start of preseason” and he goes as far as stating: “I’m willing to bet Ching will be a member of the Dynamo by March 11.”

Before and during yesterday’s match, Ching got into it with former roommate and Houston defender Bobby Boswell, who recounts: “One person yelled back at me, and it was Ching, so we got into a little verbal thing. That's just our nature. I think that's why he's such a good buddy of mine.”

By the way, the match itself finished 2-0 in favor of Houston – watch the highlights here – and MLSsoccer.com spoke to both coaches and Ching himself after the match. (VIDEO)

As far as the play on the field, Montreal struggled to create chances against Houston in their first test against MLS opposition: “It’s a tough day for us,” said manager Jesse Marsch.

Is projected No. 1 NFL draft pick Andrew Luck also the No. 1 MLS fan out there? He was at another preseason match in LA, where he’s working out in preparation for the draft, and met with another coach acquaintance of his. (PHOTO)

The Dynamo were active not only on the field but off as well on Wednesday, acquiring Mac Kandji in a trade with the Colorado Rapids. Oscar Pareja’s squad thus opens up space on the roster for “our new 22-year-old Argentine playmaker to arrive by Hawaii,” according to club president Tim Hinchey.

The Philadelphia Union arguably registered the most important signing of the day yesterday with the official announcement unveiling the addition of Lionard Pajoy, who apparently was a player in demand. “He can change the game with everything he does,” says Peter Nowak, who also revealed that the Union’s backup goalkeeper could be a former Red Bull netminder.

Pajoy’s name invited a handful of cheesy headlines we’re seeing this morning, which totally disregard the proper pronunciation of his name (pa-HOY): “Nowak jumping for Pajoy over latest acquisition” and “There’s Pajoy in Unionville.”

There has been plenty of talk about Aston Villa’s Stephen Ireland potentially joining the New York Red Bulls. But instead, sources tell the New York Post that the “possibility is real” that NYRB acquire Spanish legend Raúl.

One big name that could become available is Ronaldinho, who may have a harder time getting paid after Flamengo severed ties with Traffic Sports, the entity that has reportedly paid the majority of his salary to date.

Catch up on the behind-the-scenes at Red Bulls camp in Cancún, Mexico with “Keel Cam” – in other words, a camera managed by defender Stephen Keel. (VIDEO)

New Seattle Sounders midfielder Christian Sivebaek already thinks very highly of the squad that Sigi Schmid has assembled and he imagines how well they would do back where he’s from: "I think we could do great in Denmark – I would say top six, maybe, in the Danish League."

Denmark – the same country where former Columbus Crew midfielder Kevin Burns is leaving a positive impression at Blokhus FC while on trial. (DANISH)

Reports in England claim that Aston Villa petitioned the LA Galaxy to extend Robbie Keane’s loan deal by a few days but the MLS club denied the request.

For those who question how the LA Galaxy have managed to sign and keep so many quality players this year, FoxSports.com’s Ives Galarcep goes through the numbers, concluding that it comes down to intelligent moves.

Do the Galaxy still have room to sign Panamanian defender Román Torres? The player refuses to talk to media about his future and is staying fit by training with the Panamanian Under-23 national team. We also find out from this report that his nickname is “Mazinger” and clearly some follow-up research will be necessary. (SPANISH)

It’s nice to see that Sébastien Le Toux is philosophical about being handed the No. 7 jersey in Vancouver as opposed to the No. 9 that he is used to wearing: "It's just a number. I like single-digit numbers, so I will wear it with pride. My girlfriend used to wear No. 7 when she played field hockey."

Now something you didn’t know about LA Galaxy forward Edson Buddle: He calls Jurgen Klinsmann one of his role models growing up and he “used to have a poster of the Germany team which won the 1990 World Cup on my wall.”

Sporting Kansas City fans have something to look forward to in 2012: Chance Myers’ first MLS goal. “It’s going to be a bomb," says manager Peter Vermes. "He’s got a very good shot and the way he comes in and hits balls, he can crush it.”

So much for “Bakuani” in Seattle. English winger Jason Banton has apparently indicated he’s been cut from Sounders camp.

Finally. US youth prospect Joe Gyau finally made his senior team debut for German Bundesliga side Hoffenheim in a DFB Pokal cup quarterfinal, playing the final 10 minutes. But the story in Europe as far as Americans are concerned was Jozy Altidore’s brace in garbage time as AZ Alkmaar catch PSV in league play. Here’s video of the goals. (VIDEO)

Over in England, American winger Robbie Rogers is learning to deal with a managerial change at Leeds United just days after arriving: “It’s really strange when you come to a new place and everything changes only a week after you sign. But that’s how life is and that’s how football is. I’ve got to get used to it.”

So it’s true. The report regarding a 2016 Copa América played in the United States and featuring South American and CONCACAF countries is real, according to current CONCACAF president Alfredo Hawit, who confirmed that he’s knocking down any barriers between the two confederations: “It’s very important that to achieve this an we’re going to fight to do it,” Hawit says about the Copa América plan. (SPANISH)

How would the US fare in a Copa América? The US vs. Brazil exhibition that is reportedly set for FedEx Field could be one indicator.

Canada national team manager Stephen Hart spoke to media yesterday and one big question emerged: Why is it that the US will play three World Cup tune-up matches and the Canadians just one? Is it budget related? Hart provided this explanation: “If you look at when the seasons are finishing for a lot of players and then the MLS in full swing, you can only operate as per FIFA regulations. … It’s the best we can do.”

Portland ‘keeper Jake Gleeson and LA Galaxy reserve midfielder Dan Keat are the lone MLS call-ups for the New Zealand national team ahead of a matchup against Jamaica at the end of this month.

In televised action from around the world, there is the Coppa Italia semifinal between Siena and Napoli (2:45 pm ET, GolTV), a Copa Libertadores tripleheader starting at 5 pm ET (Fox Deportes) and a Brazilian match between São Paulo and Comercial (6:45 pm ET, GolTV).

Did you know that New England Revolution owner Robert Kraft once considered buying an English Premier League club? Here’s what convinced him not to invest: “You don't have salary caps and you have certain team owners that can spend year in and year out. I'd rather give the money to charity to be honest."

Lastly, stay tuned later today for the latest edition of ExtraTime Radio, which will feature a special interview with former D.C. United forward Charlie Davies, who spoke to the crew from Sochaux and explains what led to his departure from the league. Subscribe to the ExtraTime Radio podcast here.

MLSsoccer.com Must-Reads:

The Sideline: Dwayne De Rosario diversifies and adds milkshakes to list of things he makes

Climbing the Ladder: Which MLS duo has started the most games together?

Columbus Crew’s Warzycha finds positives in loss to Malmö FF


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