Kick Off: Paris-St. Germain still yearn for LA's Beckham
Rejection is rough. And Paris-Saint Germain, the jilted lover, aren't taking it very well. Seems like the club is still pining after David Beckham, who signed a two-year extension with the LA Galaxy this winter. “We tried everything we could. But the door is still open,” Leonardo said.
One of the reasons Beckham stayed in Southern California was for family stability. Now that his near-future is settled, the father of four is looking to add to the clan. “I am great at changing nappies,” Beckham bragged.
He's also decent at whipping in a cross. In a 2-0 win over Real Salt Lake this weekend, the Englishman provided the service for a Mike Magee volley to clinch the win. “That’s their bread and butter,” Nick Rimando said. Catch the highlight-reel finish here. (VIDEO)
The game, part of the Desert Diamond Cup, brings preseason back to Tuscon, Ariz. The city will become an annual fixture for MLS clubs, if Chris Keeney has anything to do with it. He's trying to fill the void that professional baseball left. He said: “MLS likes that idea — of being the focal point, being the destination."
Arizona was also the starting point of the West Coast leg of MLSsoccer.com's Road Trip to First Kick, presented by adidas and Dick's Sporting Goods. Brian Dunseth and Drea Avent's next stop? Los Angeles. And on the East Coast leg, MLSsoccer.com's Temryss Lane grabbed some breakfast with a certain rehabbing US international.
Rimando is headed in the other direction: east. After the friendly he jetted off to Genoa, Italy, along with Edson Buddle to hook up with the US national team. Boy, was Jurgen Klinsmann happy to see them, judging by this picture.
Brek Shea and Sacha Kljestan can also look forward to some warm welcome hugs, after the pair was called in to replace a few injured dropouts, including bronchitis-plagued Landon Donovan.
Without Shea, who had been training with the US U-23 team, FC Dallas tied BK Häcken 1-1. Check out the highlights. (VIDEO)
That match was part of the Disney Pro Soccer Classic, which featured three other games this weekend. On Saturday, John Rooney scored in a 2-2 draw between Orlando City and Toronto FC. Highlights. (VIDEO)
Sunday, Long Tan won two penalties for Vancouver, so he took the second with a 1-0 lead already established against Houston. He chipped it tamely straight down the middle. “At the end of the day, if you're going to miss a penalty, don't miss it like that,” 'Caps coach Martin Rennie said. “He knows that now.” (VIDEO)
Later that day, Mike Fucito scored his first goal for Montreal in a 1-1 tie with Sporting Kansas City. “I’m really glad we were able to play this game with this group of guys because it was pretty evident that they were rough around the edges with the system and style of play,” Peter Vermes said. (VIDEO)
Fucito's replacement in Seattle, Eddie Johnson, says his settling process is going smoothly as well: “From my first day when I arrived with the team, I felt like I had been here for many years.”
Because of a hamstring injury, Johnson won't train until Wednesday. Neither will half a dozen teammates, who picked up a contagious illness at the team hotel during a recent jaunt to Mexico.
That means Sounders fans will have to wait to see projected starters Johnson and Fredy Montero together. Further down I-5, the Timbers striking situation is less established. Three players – Darlington Nagbe, Jorge Perlaza and Bright Dike – are duking it out over the remaining slot next to Designated Player Kris Boyd. Find out which one Portland coach John Spencer thinks “has the god-given talent.”
Whoever emerges as the frontrunner will get trademark support from the Timbers Army. The fan group has made such a name for itself, sketch-comedy show Portlandia took a parodical shot at it in a recent episode. (VIDEO)
Portland wasn't the only MLS figure in pop culture this weekend. The Beckhams graced the Vanity Fair Oscar party in West Hollywood. The couple was snapped with Tome Cruise and Katie Holmes, as well as Sean "Diddy" combs and Steven Tyler. (PICTURES)
Robbie Keane will join Beckham and his teammates in California after his Aston Villa loan drew to an end. In all competitions he scored three goals and provided one assist in six starts (seven appearances) for the Villans.
Chris Birchall's time back in Britain is going less well. Currently, he can't play for the first team because of a transfer embargo: Port Vale failed to pay a tax bill. (Friendly reminder: Don't forget to file your taxes in the coming month!)
Samir Badr's reason for not playing is far more tragic. He joined Haras El-Hodood in Egypt just nine days before the Port Said stadium disaster, and now the Egyptian league is postponed indefinitely. “We watched it, we saw it all,” Badr, who held workouts with several MLS clubs, said. “We couldn’t believe our eyes. It was politics, and it came out through soccer.”
Though Badr didn't stick stateside, Andy Gruenebaum did. The goalkeeper has played backup for six seasons at Columbus. Now he's channeling his inner Lebowski, except instead of being "the dude," he wants to be "the guy" for the Crew.
Real Salt Lake's Sebastien Velasquez, meanwhile, can just savor making the roster as a professional. Read his tale of how he was moments away from missing out on his life goal of playing professionally before a chance tryout with RSL.
For Velasquez, it must feel like his birthday. For Taylor Twellman and Bob Bradley it will literally feel like their birthdays. Both celebrate circumnavigating the sun this week.
Back to preseason action, New England beat New York 2-0. The game featured the return of Wilman Conde for the first time since April. Hans Backe's take? “Very solid.” Check out the highlights for Kelyn Rowe's stunning curler for the Revs' second. (VIDEO)
Preseason action continues today with the Portland Timbers Tournament. Chivas USA take on AIK at 8 pm ET before Portland host San Jose. Catch the latter on a free stream at PortlandTimbers.com at 10:30 pm ET.
If we're lucky, we'll see a free kick as good as this: Juan Román Riquelme slotting home from 30 yards as nonchalantly as if he were taking a penalty. (VIDEO)
Lastly, Milan and Juventus played this weekend, so club icons — and two of the greatest living managers — Arrigo Sacchi and Marcello Lippi squared off in a game of Subbuteo. (VIDEO)
Road Trip to First Kick: Breakfast guest Stuart Holden
Countdown to First Kick: 13 Can DeRo do it again?
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