Kick Off: Nery moves on, Cosmos crown Cantona

Reports from Greece and Mexico are confirming this morning that Greek club Aris have signed Chicago Fire Designated Player Nery Castillo on a six-month loan from Shakhtar Donetsk and the player is expected in Thessaloniki later today.

The move would seem to bring an end to his time in Chicago, and Fire coach Carlos de los Cobos indicates as much in this interview in which he says that Castillo “could never adjust to the soccer here.” (SPANISH)

Will it be Marek Mintal? Faryd Mondragón? Carlos Valdez? Or Jorge Perlaza? Several names have been linked to the Philadelphia Union in recent weeks and one or all may be unveiled at a press conference to be held on Thursday.

Sporting Kansas City are reportedly in the running for a Colombian of their own – forward Dayro Moreno, the top scorer in Colombia with champions Once Caldas. (SPANISH)

The New York Cosmos continue to make waves. After Cobi Jones, another soccer legend joins the club in advance of an MLS expansion bid: ex-Manchester United great Éric Cantona is the new Cosmos director of soccer. Check out the accompanying photos on the club site.

Meanwhile, there is another team trying to make headway in the New York market: FC New York of the USL.

The New York Red Bulls are reportedly one of two MLS teams pursuing Spanish central defender Aitor Ocio of Athletic Bilbao, whose contract expires in June but whose salary is among the highest at the La Liga club. (SPANISH)

Rafa Márquez, one of the Red Bulls’ Designated Players, is reportedly in Guadalajara to train with his former club Atlas. (SPANISH) Other reports, however, indicate that he was not given permission to train by RBNY.

Meanwhile, Leicester City have confirmed that they have not inquired about taking RBNY star Thierry Henry on loan. But manager Sven-Göran Eriksson did acknowledge asking his former Sweden assistant, Hans Backe, for any Red Bulls players that may be available.

The Portland Timbers’ selections in the Supplemental Draft on Tuesday may not necessarily have people talking back in Portland. But those giant billboards still are. One columnist who may not know much about soccer, feels the Timbers are taking it to the NBA's Portland Trail Blazers.

One player from Portland, who had no aspirations of being taken in the SuperDraft, tells his story of a special inside tip he received the day before getting picked by Real Salt Lake.

For players from the University of Akron taken in the SuperDraft, they will probably miss their college days. Here is video from the Zips’ NCAA victory celebration on Tuesday, where they were presented with a key to the city. (VIDEO)

The Columbus Crew’s two Supplemental picks have interesting backgrounds – one is the son of a former Nottingham Forest player while the other has a fishing blog.

In the US second division, a former England national team player has taken over the reins at FC Tampa Bay.

While one D-2 team makes a new start, another is seemingly lost for good. It is being confirmed that AC St. Louis have ceased operations.

One person seeking a revival is former Galaxy coach Ruud Gullit, who has really made waves with his promises of “sexy football.” Today the Dutchman is trying to sell the concept to Terek Grozny, a club he has taken over in Russia.

A report from England claims that Gullit’s former player at the LA Galaxy, David Beckham, was hoping to play for Tottenham in a reserve match but didn’t get his wish.

Also in England, Leeds United’s American striker Mike Grella could be preparing for a loan move to Scotland.

Another American player who plays overseas is Alejandro Bedoya. He says he is not renewing with Sweden’s Örebro and is looking for a new club in Europe.

Bedoya's close friend, Charlie Davies, is the subject of an article in Marca where the forward shares images of the scars from the October 2009 car accident. (SPANISH)

The list of players who hold American passports and play abroad is now at 425. They are all eligible for the US national team.

Montenegrin-American Sacir Hot may be trialing with Borussia Mönchengladbach in Germany but the US Under-20 defender says he would be more than happy to play for the New York Red Bulls, the team which formed him in their academy.

Here’s the story of one current US national team right back who failed to break through in MLS but still finds himself in the running for a spot against Chile on Saturday.

It might be a bit longer before ex-RSL man Robbie Findley will see playing time with Nottingham Forest. He admits there is another trip to the USA to make and some paperwork to finalize.

In TV action today, Inter Milan look to dial up the pressure on Serie A leaders AC Milan with a league victory against Cesena (2:30 p.m. ET, Fox Soccer Plus). Also in Italy, another berth to the Coppa Italia quarterfinals will be determined in the Rome derby between Roma and Lazio (2:30 p.m. ET, GolTV).

There are two other knockout matches on TV today. Barcelona will look to clinch its spot in the Copa del Rey semis against Real Betis (4 p.m. ET, ESPN Deportes), while it’s Leeds vs. Arsenal in a third-round FA Cup replay today (3 p.m. ET, Fox Soccer Channel). Will Arsène Wenger’s player rotation cost his team a spot in the next round?

Arsenal’s Brazilian midfielder Denílson has added some drama around the FA Cup clash, claiming that the London club have no leaders – not even captain Cesc Fàbregas.

In Holland, American defender Oguchi Onyewu and Twente will be in action against Heracles.

It’s taken a year, but Mexican police have finally caught up with the fugitive suspect in the shooting of Paraguay star striker Salvador Cabañas, who was gunned in the head. Here’s a photo and video.

Lastly, one writer claims that Aston Villa's American owner, Randy Lerner, has hit the panic button by agreeing a $30 million transfer for journeyman forward Darren Bent.

MLSsoccer.com Must-Reads:

Vancouver Whitecaps explain why they made New Zealander top Supplemental pick

Altidore, Hahnemann, Edu and Simek see action in Europe on Tuesday

Zac MacMath wants to learn from the Chris Seitz experiment in Philly


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