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Kick Off: Windfall for FCD, RSL close on Saborío

The first-ever run to an MLS Cup final for FC Dallas could result in a major windfall win or lose on Sunday against the Colorado Rapids.

It is reported that the club is nearing a deal for a big time jersey sponsor which would be the first in team history. previews the match between FC Dallas and the Colorado Rapids and predicts that it will be a cracking game.

There to greet the MLS Cup trophy, which arrived in Toronto on Wednesday, was a Canadian who hoisted it four times in his career: Toronto FC’s Dwayne De Rosario. He talks about brushing his teeth and seeing the cup in the mirror.

And what better occasion than the first MLS Cup in Canada to find out who the first Canadian was to win an MLS title.

FCD manager Schellas Hyndman speaks of the difficulties he experienced early on when he moved from the SMU Mustangs college program to MLS. The transition would have been a lot tougher had it not been for his assistant coach with the unique résumé.

In the Colorado camp, you almost get the sense that the Rapids are praying for Colorado-like weather on Sunday in Toronto. The Rapids manager has no doubts that his team would be favored by colder weather.

With Colorado and Dallas meeting for MLS Cup, the debate rages on whether a Designated Player is necessary to win trophies. The Toronto media is taking the opportunity to remind TFC of this.

You know it’s a big time event when the International Herald Tribune’s Rob Hughes is chiming in on the debate.

One team that took the dive into DP territory is the club formerly known as the Kansas City Wizards. They unveiled Mexican Omar Bravo while also revealing a new name and brand: Sporting Kansas City. Team owner Robb Heineman says there is more to the new identity than meets the eye.

Meanwhile the technical staff of Sporting KC will be in Trinidad and Tobago as manager Peter Vermes begins reshaping his squad for 2011.

The Columbus Crew’s player moves over the last days have been well documented. The Columbus Dispatch gets the fan reaction to the dropping of team legends Guillermo Barros Schelotto and Frankie Hejduk.

One MLS team heads for the Caribbean while the LA Galaxy will soon be heading to Australia, where they face the Newcastle Jets in a match set to be televised in the USA. Bruce Arena needs Chris Birchall for the trip and is not releasing him for Trinidadian national team duty.

Galaxy captain Landon Donovan asks the English media to give him time before he makes a decision as to whether he will head back to Everton on loan.

Real Salt Lake general manager Garth Lagerwey finds himself in the middle of a contract negotiation in Florida with the agent of Álvaro Saborío. He gives a specific timeline for a resolution and more details on the Robbie Findley situation.

Next year is looking more like it could be the year of soon-to-be 18-year-old forward Juan Agudelo after his dream debut with the game-winning goal for the USA against South Africa. USMNT manager Bob Bradley is preaching calm although he does admit “there’s something there.”

Along with Agudelo, defender Gale Agbossoumonde made his international debut. Here is his story.

Here’s hoping Seattle Sounders winger Steve Zakuani enjoys what it’s like to play for Congo. His first game with his new national team was a loss, but Zakuani also watched his side endure a late venue change, a time switch and the failure to call up his brother in a timely fashion.

Zakuani’s life in MLS will get a lot tougher with reports indicating that the Vancouver Whitecaps have signed the “Rocky Balboa of English football” and will unveil him on Thursday.

Like Zakuani, another MLS player with his mind on Africa this offseason is Columbus Crew forward Steven Lenhart, who is heading to Zambia to join the Zambikes.

Closer to home, there were two international exhibitions played on US soil on Wednesday. There was a friendly in Kennesaw, Ga., between Guatemala and Guyana. Guess how that one finished.

Ricardo LaVolpe made his Costa Rican national team debut in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., against Jamaica.

It has been confirmed that Jamaica will be calling on Colorado’s Omar Cummings and San Jose’s Ryan Johnson for the Digicel Cup, which kicks off later this month.

Spain’s Cesc Fàbregas apologized to fans after the world champions suffered a 4-0 humiliation at the hands of Portugal on Wednesday. What’s tougher to believe – that the champs lost by 4-0 or that the last time they lost by four goals was against Scotland?

American-born Giuseppe Rossi captained Italy in a 1-1 draw against Romania but the headlines revolved around the racist behavior of the fans on hand toward the Italians.

Finally, while the MLS Cup Playoffs reach their climax, the Mexican “liguilla” kicked off on Wednesday. Americans José Francisco Torres and Herculez Gomez will hope to help Pachuca get out to a first-leg lead when they host Monterrey tonight (7 p.m. ET, Telefutura). Must-Reads:

Sporting Kansas City manager Peter Vermes details his vision for club on the field in 2011

The Colorado Rapids have plans for how to stop FC Dallas playmaker David Ferreira

After three MLS Cup losses, FC Dallas captain Daniel Hernandez ready to win a ring