Kick Off: LA host cup rally as MLS trade season kicks off

Kick Off - MLS Cup 2012 celebrations

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They’re still celebrating in LA.

The championship festivities following the LA Galaxy’s 3-1 MLS Cup 2012 triumph over the Houston Dynamo on Saturday will reach their climax later today when the back-to-back title holders hold a rally at The Home Depot Center (7 pm PT).

In case you missed the final, here are the full match highlights, the trophy celebration and the winners’ press conference. The Dynamo, for their part, felt they outplayed the Galaxy and had a few referee calls go against them.

But now Bruce Arena and the LA Galaxy have work ahead of them to rebuild the team with the departure of David Beckham and the potential exit of Landon Donovan. In fact, the Los Angeles Times reports that LA were in talks with Ronaldinho last month and there’s a reason they are now pouring their focus into Kaká.

"Look, if Wayne Rooney wants to come, we'll make an exception," AEG chief Tim Leiweke said. "But the reality for us right now, our thinking, is … iconic players that have a special relationship with the Hispanic community."

Another Brazilian star could be on his way to MLS, according to reports in South America. Vasco da Gama’s Juninho Pernambucano, who will turn 38 in January, is reportedly traveling to New York to check out the Red Bulls’ set-up ahead of a potential move. (PORTUGUESE)

With the conclusion of MLS Cup, the trade season can begin in earnest and there are several deals already teed up with the biggest ones involving Real Salt Lake and the dismantling of their core. The trading of three of RSL’s most familiar faces is designed to make room in the salary budget and add to their cash reserves.

Real Salt Lake are reportedly not done there. The hero of the recently crowned NASL champions Tampa Bay Rowdies, goalkeeper Jeff Attinella, will reportedly be signed by the club on Monday or Tuesday.

Could RSL be using the cash infusion to line up a deal for current West Ham loaner and Chelsea player Yossi Benayoun? Sounder at Heart claims he’s being shopped around MLS.

The Oregonian is reporting that the three deals involving the Portland Timbers are already done. New head coach Caleb Porter isn’t wasting any time on remaking this team.

The Kansas City Star contacted Sporting KC fullback Michael Harrington about the reported trade to Portland. But despite a farewell tweet from SKC striker Teal Bunbury, Harrington says he knows nothing.

While the LA Galaxy are celebrating a championship, their derby rivals Chivas USA are still trying to figure out who their new coach will be. That process may have taken a snag after soccer legend Johan Cruyff, the man who was supposed to be responsible for identifying the new manager, was let go by Jorge Vergara’s Chivas Guadalajara yesterday from his role as sporting director.

The Columbus Crew are on the verge of announcing a new signing at defender and technical director Brian Bliss reveals that talented midfielder Dilly Duka could be on the trading block.

Yesterday, many thought that the Crew made a move for New York's Rafa Márquez after a Twitter storm erupted. But it was all for naught. Find out what happened here.

Meanwhile, The Brotherly Game reports that the Philadelphia Union are in talks to bring current Seattle Sounders defender and Pennsylvania native Jeff Parke to the club after his contract expires. There would need to be a trade for his rights.

Fans in Vancouver can breathe easy: Designated Player Kenny Miller will not be joining Scottish club Hibernian on loan, according to the Hibs manager.

In other news over the weekend, the New York Cosmos announced they will be joining the NASL in the fall season, which kicks off in August and skip the spring season in order to get their team ready.

In other news from the lower divisions, the city of Pittsburgh is opening a new downtown soccer stadium and the USL’s Riverhounds make their ambitions clear: “Our goal is MLS in Pittsburgh,” says the club’s chief executive.

It’s not all that common: the US and Mexican champions crowned on the same weekend. It happened when the Xolos of Tijuana claimed their first-ever Mexican title with a 2-0 win over Toluca on Sunday. And San Diego is claiming this team as their own. Could a rivalry with the LA Galaxy be a natural byproduct in the coming years?

We’re one week away from the NCAA champion being crowned. Check out which teams made the Final Four.

And lastly, it’s the first Kick Off of December. So why not ring in the holiday cheer with a stunning rendition (or read) of Jingle Bells by a Manchester City defender. (VIDEO)

MLSsoccer.com Musts

Beckham’s MLSsoccer.com exclusive: “I love this club”

LA’s Landon Donovan planning to get away for a while

WATCH: Omar Gonzalez’s MLS Cup goal from all angles

 


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