Here are the top 15 soccer stories we’re following today
1. CHIVAS CHANGING AGAIN
Both Chivas teams are in line for another change of direction after it was revealed on Monday that Dennis te Kloese, sporting president for both Chivas USA and CD Guadalajara, will leave his post. Te Kloese was hired on Christmas Eve 2012, meaning he completed exactly one year in the job. No word yet on any possible replacement.
2. CRUZING TO SUCCESS
While Cruz Azul had already unveiled their three new players from MLS over the weekend, on Monday we got official word from the MLS clubs involved, along with some details on the moves in question. Rafael Baca and Michael Farfan have joined the team on permanent deals, while Jose Villarreal is on a year-long loan from the LA Galaxy with an option to buy.
3. HENRY TO PLAY ON?
Thierry Henry may be entering the final year of his contract with the New York Red Bulls, but could the 36-year-old carry on playing? “This is my last year, actually, the one coming,” said Henry in an interview with Britain’s Sky Sports News, before adding “I am not saying I’m retiring. I’m saying that’s my last year on paper, to make it clear.”
4. CHING IN CHARGE
Brian Ching had it planned out. He was going to take a short break from soccer and just enjoy being retired for a while. Then an offer came in that was too good to refuse. Ching has been named as the managing director of the Houston Dynamo’s sister club, the Houston Dash of the NWSL.
5. QUAKES SHUFFLE SCHEDULE
Having seemed dead and buried in their Champions League group at one point, the San Jose Earthquakes certainly earned their place in the competitions quarter finals and it seems the California club is doing everything it can to help prepare themselves for those next matches, switching some MLS fixtures around so as to better accommodate their extended schedule.
6. MAGEE TRAINING FOR CAMP
After being voted the 2013 MLS MVP, Mike Magee has turned his attention towards his next challenge. “I hope I get called into [USMNT] camp because that’s what I’m now training for,” said the striker, who credits some of the great players he worked with in LA for helping him become the player he is today. What if he doesn’t get that call up though? “I’ll lie and say I’m getting ready for our preseason.”
7. SOMETHING FAMILIAR
The Montreal impact hired Frank Klopas, the Whitecaps went with Carl Robinson after pursuing Bob Bradley, Real Salt Lake promoted Jeff Cassar and New York City FC chose Jason Kreis as their first head coach. Is it fair to say there now seems to be, quite rightly, a trend developing towards choosing coaches with a good knowledge of MLS and it’s many intricacies over looking for some big name European coach?
8. KNOWING EDDIE
Eddie Johnson can be a hard man to read at times. But now with a new club secured and a Designated Player contract in the works, what’s next for the player? According to a man who knows the player well, perhaps a return to Europe at some point. Trevor Moawad, who has known Johnson for 15 years, also offered an insight into Freddy Adu’s current situation.
9. FOR REAL, FRANCK?
Franck Ribery isn't making any friends in the States ahead of next summer's visit by Bayern Munich to face off against the MLS All-Stars. The Ballon D'Or nominee was asked about his future and suggested a permanent move to North America someday. “I could be tempted to go to a country like the USA…but I would not count that as part of my real career.” Um, OK. In the meantime, here are the five biggest names whose careers could continue in MLS in 2014.
The 2014 MLS season will be here before you know it, which means that preseason training is even closer than that. The LA Galaxy revealed on Monday that their preseason will include a friendly against Armenian champions FC Shirak and Real Salt Lake's preseason schedule includes three different training camps.
11. SAFE AND SOUND AT THE BACK
Following his trade to the Seattle Sounders, Chad Marshall is looking to bring some stability to the Sounders back line. “I kind of pride myself on my consistency in my play… so I’m hoping to bring that to Seattle.” Given the popularity of the Sounders, it would be a pretty bold move to try and compete in the same market, yet it seems Seattle could soon be welcoming a new team.
12. FROM THE OTHER SIDE
The Columbus Crew recently announced an affiliation with the Dayton Dutch Lions. It’s a partnership that could pay dividends for both sides, and it’s a partnership that could soon become a requirement for all MLS clubs. But what does such a link mean for the USL PRO team?
13. 'CAPS LOCK
When the Vancouver Whitecaps unveiled Carl Robinson as their new head coach he became the 15th coach in the club's 40-year history. So, who are Robinson's 14 predecessors? Also, with two out of the three Canadian MLS clubs hiring new coaches this winter, TSN's Luke Wileman wonders if the clubs now need to aim for some stability.
14. REAL PEOPLE
Real Salt Lake have hired Andy Williams as a new assistant coach, but the club is still in need of more and Garth Lagerway revealed that the club is closing in on some of its candidates, hoping to unveil them early in the new year.
15. 'TIS THE SEASON
Juninho says it best: Bom natal everyone.
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