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Kick Off, November 25, 2011: Thierry Henry

Kick Off: Rumormongers' latest loan target: Thierry Henry

When gunning for more offensive punch, teams tend to look nostalgically toward the past. Is that what Arsenal are doing?

The English giants may have the hottest striker in the world in Robin van Persie, but fans are still fretting the Dutchman's supporting cast. So former Arsenal defender Martin Keown has a solution: Thierry Henry. “Henry is now training with the team and it’d be nice if he came in on a loan period, but that would only be a short term solution.”

Henry's Red Bulls teammate Tim Ream, reportedly a onetime Arsenal target, looks headed elsewhere if reports from the British press are accurate. Apparently, the US defender will link up with West Brom and then Bolton for some winter training sessions.

On the other side of London, more MLS-linked rumors reside. Nicolas Anelka, mentioned as a possible January acquisition by New York, Philly or Montreal, denied quotes attributed to him about leaving Chelsea before his current contract is up. "I'm under contract with Chelsea until the end of the season, with many playing commitments."

Anelka has plenty of offers for his next move. So does David Beckham. The latest hubbub surrounding the LA Galaxy star is that Paris Saint-Germain's Qatari owners have offered an eye-watering deal worth over $15 million over a year and a half.

Becks is still going strong at 36. League MVP Dwayne De Rosario sees a similarly golden twilight to his career as well. “I feel like I have four or five solid years left,” the 34-year-old said in a wide-ranging interview about the MVP award, a new bumper deal and his two 2011 trades.

DeRo also mentioned earning appreciation late in his career, which is something former youth international Jamar Beasley is also searching for. In 1998, the brother of DaMarcus became the youngest player to join MLS at 18. Since then he's jumped around indoor teams and even represented the US in two Futsal World Cups. "I had the confidence to go in and try to make indoor my professional career, but I had no idea that I would be successful and compete in World Cups and that kind of thing. It was a big surprise." 

American Samoa, with a population of about 55,000, is chasing an outdoor World Cup appearance. Under the guidance of American Thomas Rongen, the team reversed a trend of 30 straight losses over 17 years. “This is going to be part of soccer history, like the 31-0 [loss] against Australia was part of history,” Rongen said. Check out highlights and a preview of a documentary about the team.

When Rongen coached at D.C. United, a teenager named Bobby Convey came through. On Thursday, the San Jose Earthquakes confirmed that they would not pick up Convey's option for 2012, citing differences with head coach Frank Yallop. “Frank's made it clear, and Bobby's made it clear — they can't work together,” GM John Doyle said.

That's what Brian Ching is trying to convey about Jesse Marsch. The Montreal Impact selected the Dynamo captain in the Expansion Draft despite Ching's claims he would retire rather than move. To add more spice to the situation, one Houston blog unearthed an article Marsch wrote back in 2007 indicating he saw Ching and Carlos Ruiz as the worst diving offenders in the league.

Ching was the only forward selected in the draft. In fact, he was only one of two players who fills a central role. The remaining eight fit along the flanks, either in fullback or wing positions, as Goal.com's Kyle McCarthy pointed out in his breakdown of Montreal's acquisitions.

Yet another wide player could join the Impact shortly. Miguel Montano, who spent half of 2011 on loan with the NASL Impact, posted on his Facebook account that he would be in Montreal for the 2012 season.

If true, then one of Montano's teammates will be Sanna Nyassi, formeraly with the Colorado Rapids. "When you can only protect 11 players, there is always the risk of losing a valuable player like Sanna," Colorado Rapids technical director Paul Bravo said.

Also left exposed was US youth international Zarek Valentin. However, Chivas USA boss Robin Fraser didn't feel he should have had to protect the young defender, who graduated from the Generation adidas program despite spending only a year in the league. “It was baffling, to be quite honest,” Fraser said of the fact that he was forced to expose such a young player.

Like Valentin, former Goats winger Sal Zizzo also moved north from SoCal. By the looks of it, he's enjoying his new home in Portland, even opening a food cart, called Zizzo FC. The menu? Good ol' Zizzo family Italian grub.

As Zizzo sets on his new business venture, the parent company of the Philadelphia Union added new minority owners. Brothers Richard, Steve and Eric Graham have joined Keystone Sports and Entertainment, LLC, but will not have an operating role in the team.

On TV today, flick on Roma at Udinese, 2:30 p.m. ET, Fox Soccer Channel, or else catch Borussia Monchengladbach at FC Cologne on ESPN3.com at the same time.

MLSsoccer.com Must-Reads:

Postcard from Mexico: Hoyos working way back from crash

PSG, European suitors begin circling around Beckham

Ching's career in limbo as dust settles on Expansion Draft


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