So why did Tim Cahill, a well-respected longtime EPL veteran with many years still ahead of him, decide to join the New York Red Bulls?
Because he gets a chance to play in "one of the most glamourous cities in the world," for one of football's "most iconic brands" and with the likes of Thierry Henry and Rafa Márquez. "It was easy," he says.
The Eastern Conference-leading Red Bulls are thrilled to officially bring longtime Everton star Cahill into the side. He could make his debut against Tottenham Hotspur in a friendly next Tuesday.
At least one of his new teammates, Jan Gunnar Solli, is simply glad Cahill is on his team rather than another MLS side, considering what Cahill and Everton once did to Solli’s old club, Brann.
Chelsea star Frank Lampard, who has faced Cahill quite a few times over the years, expects Cahill to be “very successful in MLS.” He even suggests where Cahill should line up for his new club.
The Red Bulls travel to Montreal on Saturday for a sold-out match against the Impact (7:30 pm ET, watch on MLS LIVE).
Now that the Cahill deal is done, who’s next for the Red Bulls? Well, in a few years, it could be Real Madrid’s Brazilian star Kaká, a long-rumored potential MLSer DP. “He wants to play in Red Bull New York,” a source tells the New York Post.
One EPL player comes to MLS. One MLSer goes to the EPL. US international Geoff Cameron joined his new club, Stoke City, in Orlando for preseason training. He immediately learned that his new roommate, Ryan Shotton, has not seen a modern classic American comedy.
Is Cameron's move a good one? Veteran Soccer America writer Ridge Mahoney has his say.
Real Salt Lake are getting read to split their focus between the CONCACAF Champions League, which kicks off on Tuesday with a visit to Costa Rica, and MLS. That doesn’t mean they are looking past Vancouver (9 pm ET, watch LIVE online), though.
Against a team further down the table, head coach Jason Kreis said he would consider starting a team sprinkled with reserves. That almost certainly won’t be the case against the dangerous Whitecaps.
And if you thought Vancouver had attacking options now, wait a few weeks to see if the moves rumored north of the border come to fruition. Head coach Martin Rennie has some flexibility now that Eric Hassli is in Toronto, and it seems he plans to use it.
Vancouver captain Jay DeMerit played the full 90 minutes during Wednesday night’s AT&T MLS All-Star Game, but don’t expect to find him on the bench Friday night in Salt Lake City.
He did, however, have some travel adventures on Thursday after being forced to fly through New York, something fellow All-Star Kyle Beckerman avoided by being an early riser. “I’m on delays and cancellations and Kyle took the early bird at 7 am,” DeMerit said. “I chose sleep and now it’s biting me, so he’s one up for today.”
Two players that will be fully rested for tonight's match are Barry Robson and Dane Richards.
Another player likely to play against RSL is long-injured Atiba Harris, who has been out with a knee injury and is overjoyed to be back in the fold in Vancouver.
"It means everything," he said. "Soccer is my life. It's what brings a smile to my face so I always want to play. Words can't explain [the joy of returning]. It was hard for me being on and off for so long. It's been very frustrating at times. Just to be back in this lineup trying to play, I'm really thankful."
Speaking of Canada, national team manager Stephen Hart says MLS' roster rules likely prevented a few of his players from making a move to teams in the States.
In the race for the 2012 Supporters' Shield, RSL and Vancouver are chasing San Jose. But they are, in turn, being chased by the LA Galaxy, who on the rise after overcoming their early struggles. One of the reasons, says midfielder Mike Magee, is that "everyone started holding everyone accountable."
The Galaxy next take on FC Dallas (Saturday, 8 pm ET, NBC Sports Network), where they will be without the suspended Landon Donovan, but they could have David Beckham in the lineup, after the Englishman performs his duties at the London Olympics opening ceremony.
The Philadelphia Union's embattled, recently doghoused young attacker, Freddy Adu, says there is "no problem here at all" and that he is not going to be traded. After seemingly overcoming the "team matter" that held him out of last weekend's loss to New York, Adu should return for Sunday's match at home to the New England Revolution (7 pm ET, NBC Sports Network).
San Jose's Chris Wondolowski will renew his chase for the single-season goal record on Saturday when the Earthquakes host the Chicago Fire (10:30 pm ET, watch on MLS LIVE). What does he have to do to catch — and pass — Roy Lassiter's record of 27 goals in a season?
In Kansas City, Sporting will welcome the Columbus Crew on Saturday (8:30 pm ET, watch on MLS LIVE), and will have to find a replacement for centerback Aurélien Collin, who will miss up to two weeks after being injured in the All-Star Game.
The injury news for Seattle is more positive. They could have No. 1 goalkeeper Michael Gspurning back for Saturday's match at the Colorado Rapids (9 pm ET, watch on MLS LIVE). Meanwhile, the Rapids will look to solidify the center of their midfield.
Not all MLS sides will be facing fellow MLS clubs. D.C. United will play in the Herbalife World Football Challenge with a friendly on Saturday against Paris Saint-Germain at RFK Stadium (7:30 pm ET, FOX Soccer). PSG's newest star, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, could make his debut against United.
Off the field, new United investor Jason Levien has quickly made in-roads in the hunt for a new stadium for the club. He met with Washington Mayor Vincent Gray last week, and although there are "many many hurdles," he says, "You can tell they're behind us. You can tell they want to collaborate on getting somewhere."
Finally, in what is probably the most high-profile match of the weekend, Chelsea take on AC Milan in the Herbalife World Football Challenge in Miami (6 pm ET, ESPN2). The Blues, of course, are coming off the All-Star Game loss to the MLSers, but that's irrelevent to beleaguered defender John Terry, who is just "delighted to get back to football."
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