Kick Off: Cameron's EPL move reportedly closer than ever

Kick Off: Geoff Cameron

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Is Geoff Cameron finally on his way to Stoke City?

Not quite yet, but it appears there has been some progress in talks concerning the Houston Dynamo star and his potential suitors in Europe.

The Houston Chronicle is reporting that Cameron has been allowed to begin negotiating a deal with Stoke, potentially opening the door for the rising MLS star to make the change.

“Both sides have worked very, very hard over the last few days to come much closer to a transfer agreement,” says Dynamo president Chris Canetti. “There is apparent light at the end of the tunnel for a deal to be done. However, there is still work to be done, but nothing is 100 percent complete at this stage.”

NBC Sports’ Steve Davis, meanwhile, takes a look at both the potential Cameron deal and the recent signing of Michael Bradley in this report.

The Dynamo are one of 14 teams suiting up in a league game on a wild Wednesday in MLS, and they’re part of perhaps the best game on the schedule. They take on red-hot Sporting Kansas City in a rematch of the Eastern Conference championship at BBVA Compass Stadium (8:30 pm ET, MLS Live).

The big story out of Kansas City broke Tuesday: SKC are talking with 20-year-old Spaniard Oriol Rosell, an FC Barcelona product who could join the team later this year.

Temperatures are expected to be downright Houston-like at Red Bull Arena on Wednesday, where the Red Bulls and Chicago Fire kick off the day’s action with a rare afternoon start (1 pm ET, MLS Live). The Red Bulls will once again be without Rafa Márquez for this one, and goalkeeper Ryan Meara is also a no-go.

With temps expected in the mid-90s at kick off on the field at Red Bull Arena, here’s a quick look at an article posted last week about KICKTV’s Jimmy Conrad, who suffered heat exhaustion during a similar afternoon game at the old Giants Stadium in 2003.

There’s another matinee game on the docket, in Los Angeles, where Chivas USA play host to the road-weary Portland Timbers (4 pm ET, MLS Live) at the Home Depot Center. With John Spencer no longer in charge of the Timbers, how will the notoriously poor road team do under interim head coach Gavin Wilkinson? “We need to start winning [on the road],” says striker Kris Boyd, “it comes back to that.”

Toronto FC are back in action tonight against the Colorado Rapids (7 pm, MLS Live) and for the first time since they learned Designated Player Danny Koevermans is out until next spring with a torn ACL. A week after the Reds swore they were going to start spending on defense, the plans may have changed: They need a striker.

Times are equally as tough for the visiting Rapids, who stumble into Toronto coming off what goalkeeper Matt Pickens called an “embarrassing” loss to FC Dallas over the weekend. Here’s Pickens again, shedding some light on a troubling trend for his club: “The way we’re losing is concerning.”

Montreal Impact fans have yet to see any goals from superstar Marco Di Vaio, who enters tonight’s game against the New England Revolution (8 pm ET, MLS Live) with nothing to show for his efforts so far. Whether he finally cracks the code is one storyline to watch against the Revs, but keep an eye out for recent Swiss signing Dennis Iapchino, who will start at left back.

The buzz in Vancouver in recent days has been whether LA Galaxy star David Beckham would make the trip to face the Whitecaps tonight (10 pm, TSN 2 in Canada/MLS Live in the US) on the turf at BC Place. He is, indeed, ready to roll for the first time in Vancouver since a 2007 friendly between LA and the then-USL Whitecaps, but that could be a bad omen for the ‘Caps, who have been trounced by LA since joining MLS.

The news on the Galaxy’s side, meanwhile, revolves around striker Chad Barrett, who will miss both tonight’s game and the SuperClásico against Chivas USA this weekend while he auditions for a club in Norway.

The San Jose Earthquakes host FC Dallas in the late game tonight (11 pm, NBC Sports Network), and they’ll once again trot out the hottest player in the league, striker Chris Wondolowski. After winning the MLS Player of the Week on Monday, it came as no surprise that he is also on top of the Castrol Index rankings for Week 19.

After last week’s trade for Julian de Guzman, FC Dallas suddenly have a glut of holding midfielders. Here’s what stalwart Daniel Herndanez has to say about his playing time, and what it means to come off the bench.

There are two international friendlies in the works for tonight, starting with one of the biggest matchups of the summer in Seattle. The Sounders take on reigning European champs Chelsea to kick off the Herballife World Football Challenge (9:30 pm, ESPN2) in front of what’s expected to be a booming crowd at CenturyLink Field.

But is it possible that Roger Levesque could somehow overshadow the boys in blue? Anything’s possible on Levesque’s last night as a Sounder, including some tears.

It appears there’s no truth to the rumors of Sounders midfielder Álvaro Fernández heading to Colombia, meanwhile, according to head coach Sigi Schmid.

In Philadelphia, the Union host US goalkeeper Brad Guzan and Aston Villa at PPL Park (7:30 pm ET). With the game falling during a taxing part of the schedule for the host Union, don’t expect to see the starters in this one.

Bouncing around the league, the Columbus Crew got a double whammy on Tuesday when they learned that Bernardo Añor is out for the season with a torn ACL and striker Emilio Rentería will miss the next game after drawing a suspension from the MLS Disciplinary Committee.

Real Salt Lake will also be without young forward Paulo Jr., after they loaned him out to the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers.

And D.C. United head coach Ben Olsen found out Tuesday that he’ll join the likes of club legends John Harkes, Marco Etcheverry and Jeff Agoos in the Hall of Tradition, with the induction ceremony set for Sept. 15 before the home match against the New England Revolution.

In international news that broke on Wednesday morning, US forward Clint Dempsey is headed to Liverpool.

Wait, what?

A video posted on NESN’s web site declared Dempsey had signed with Liverpool (who will play against AS Roma at Fenway Park next week) was promptly pulled down when it became clear that this was not, in fact, anywhere near the truth. A Fulham rep shot down the credibility of the video to the Liverpool Echo.

And last but not least, if you haven’t seen the video of US striker Terrence Boyd getting inverted for his goal during a Vienna Rapids exhibition against AS Roma, you’ve missed out. Yes, this was the Roma debut of Michael Bradley, but Boyd clearly steals the show. Take a look.

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