Here are the top 15 stories everyone's talking about this morning:
1. A NEW DEAL FOR DAX
The New York Red Bulls look to have made a hugely important move, with a report on Monday indicating the club has reached a new, four-year deal with captain Dax McCarty, keeping the midfielder away from free agency next offseason.
2. MORRIS TAKING TO BREMEN?
3. CLOSING IN ON COMBINE
The start of the MLS Combine is now only three days away and, with that in mind, here’s everything you need to know and some questions we're hoping to have answered. This is the best chance to impress MLS coaches for several young prospects, one of whom – Stanford co-captain and College Cup-winning left back Brandon Vincent – recently spoke to MLSsoccer.com.
4. GERRARD’S LAST SEASON?
Could 2016 be Steven Gerrard’s final year as a professional soccer player? The LA Galaxy Designated Player has suggested in an interview that this season will probably be his last, with the former Liverpool midfielder already eyeing a career in coaching and a possible return to Anfield.
5. BRUCE'S BITTERSWEET GOODBYES
The ExtraTime Radio crew returned to New York for a special show recapping all the holiday news around MLS. LA Galaxy coach Bruce Arena joined to give his take on recent transfers and what’s next for LA. Goal.com’s Ives Galarcep checked in to give the lowdown on the 2016 Generation adidas class, Jordan Morris and Dax McCarty.
6. FRIENDS BECOME FOES
Former LA Galaxy stars Omar Gonzalez and Juninho could both be set to make their Liga MX debuts this Friday, with the ex-teammates potentially set to face off as Club Tijuana take on Pachuca in the opening game of the season.
(CR)7. RONALDO RUMOR RESURFACES
Player rumors continue to circle David Beckham's potential Miami club, with the latest one again linking Cristiano Ronaldo with a move to the proposed MLS expansion side.
8. NYCFC TARGET
Ronald Matarrita might indeed be on his way to New York City FC – Alajuelense club director Marco Vasquez recently said, “Ronald will play outside this country, either in New York or Europe.” One player who won’t be in New York this season is former NYCFC defender Shay Facey, who has joined Rotherham on loan.
9. ATLANTA’S HUGE YEAR
This time next year, Atlanta United will be getting ready for their first season in MLS, which makes 2016 a very important year for the club as they look to establish a solid foundation, with some important hires still to be made.
10. PLAYING FOR A PLACE
There are two Copa América Centenario play-in matches set to take place on Friday: as Trinidad & Tobago take on Haiti and Panama face off against Cuba for a chance to be part of this summer’s big event. Four current MLS players, as well as a handful of former league stars, are all set to play their part.
11. TIMBERS STILL NEGOTIATING
The Portland Timbers are still locked in negotiations with two of their former players as they attempt to retain the services of Rodney Wallace and Norberto Paparatto for the 2016 season.
12. NEW COACHES, NEW THOUGHTS FOR US YOUTH
Former MLS players Brad Friedel and Omid Namazi have been named as the new head coaches of US youth national team programs, with Friedel set to take charge of the US U-19s and Namazi taking control of the US U-18s. John Hackworth, coach of the U-17 program, offered his thoughts on the current standard of youth development in the US and why the under-threat residency program in Bradenton, Florida remains useful.
13. CREW CALL-UPS
While the full roster for the US national team’s January camp is yet to be revealed, it looks like a trio of Columbus Crew SC players will be on their way to California to take part, with a source confirming that Wil Trapp, Ethan Finlay and Tony Tchani have all been invited to attend.
14. CAMERON FREE TO PLAY
Geoff Cameron could be back in action on Tuesday as Stoke City take on Liverpool in the first leg of England's League Cup semifinal. The US international looked likely to miss the game after a dubious red card at the weekend, but it has since been overturned.
15. SETBACK FOR HENRY
Although there were more promising signs for Canada with news of two more international commitments, it looks like bad news for one of their players, as Doneil Henry seems set to leave Blackburn Rovers and return to West Ham United, having failed to work his way into the team.
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