Kick Off: Schellas Hyndman likes using the underdog role as motivation.
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Kick Off: Motivating Dallas, stopping Ferreira

Crank up the hype machine. The buildup to Sunday’s MLS Cup has gone into high gear as both FC Dallas and the Colorado Rapids began preparations for the final.

First up, teleconferences with the media. There was some talk about the weather, but FCD head coach Schellas Hyndman fell back on the more familiar territory of motivational techniques. (Hint: It helps to be the underdog.)

Hyndman also mentioned that Jeff Cunningham—who had a controversial stay with Toronto in 2007 and '08—is “very likely to be in the lineup.” Will he really stray from the starting XI that blew out LA?

The Rapids are more worried about a different FCD attacker, though.

While the two finalists are getting ready for one more game, several MLS teams are getting ready for next year (and beyond). D.C. United said goodbye to one of their strikers, and the New England Revolution signed a player with the potential to be a difference maker … in 10 years or so. 

A report out of Columbus claims the Crew are parting ways with Guillermo Barros Schelotto, who is 37. “I respect the decision,” GBS said of the club’s desire to become younger. 

Elsewhere around the league, a former US international and current TV broadcaster with no head coaching experience is angling for the vacant Chivas USA job.

MLS will release the official Best XI for 2010 on Tuesday afternoon, but blogger Ives Galarcep has his favorites

David Beckham didn’t make the list, but he did talk about life in America. He likes it, by the way.

Some other foreigners are set to come to America, too. The US national team will play a friendly against fellow World Cup qualifiers Chile on Jan. 22 at the Home Depot Center.

First, though, they have Wednesday’s friendly against South Africa. New Bafana Bafana striker Davide Somma, who was with the San Jose Earthquakes in 2008 and was eligible to play for the United States, wants to “destroy” the Americans for “the way they messed me around.” 

One possible US debutant hopes this is the start of something big. But first he needs to hit the weight room, it seems.

Before Tim Ream (Saint Louis University) and Teal Bunbury (University of Akron) were called up to the US team, they shined in the NCAA tournament. This year’s bracket is out.

A former US college star looks set to become an assistant coach for EPL powerhouse Chelsea

Further north in England, Manchester United’s American owners, the Glazers, have agreed to pay off about one-third of the club’s debts. That comes out to about $353 million—or roughly the value of Olympique Lyonnais. 

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