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Kick Off - Miguel Sabah

Kick Off: Mexican scoring ace eyes possible MLS move

Now that his contract with Monarcas Morelia is up, one of the most prolific goal-scorers of the Mexican league is now looking at MLS as one of his next destinations. “It’s an option, just like there are others,” says former Mexican national team forward Miguel Sabah. “For now what comes first is resting, being with family and having a cool head to make the next step.”

One veteran rumored to make a possible move to the USA is German forward Michael Thurk, who is reportedly weighing offers from four Bundesliga second-division sides as well as the Philadelphia Union and Vancouver Whitecaps in MLS. (GERMAN)

The Vancouver Whitecaps have not made the announcement but FIFA.com has: Lee Young-Pyo has signed a one-year deal with the Vancouver Whitecaps with an option for a second. "I've been impressed with the professional of the club and how it is run," Lee is quoted as saying.

While Lee plays on for at least another year, Real Salt Lake’s Andy Williams will be hanging them up after a lengthy MLS career, only after he did not get taken in Monday’s Re-Entry Draft. "I thought it was going to push it one more year," said Williams, who becomes an RSL scout. "It didn't fall the way that I expected and I decided to take a different route,"

Scouting is what New England Revolution head coach Jay Heaps and technical director Mike Burns have been doing in Central and South America. Now they are ready to pull the trigger: “The last four or five days we’ve seen a bunch of games and we are going to be in discussions to try and get some of these guys signed,’’ said Burns, who also indicated that Monsef Zerka and Rajko Lekic could be back.

Speaking of player moves, Chivas USA manager Robin Fraser recognizes that Stage 1 Re-Entry Draft pick Arturo Alvarez may not even be in the league next year. There is talk that the out-of-contract player could be seeking a move to Mexico: “I think there is a possibility that Arturo has had an eye for leaving the league for a long time,” Fraser said to ESPN Los Angeles. “Perhaps he goes overseas and doesn't like to options available to him, in which case we have the opportunity to keep him.”

The New York Red Bulls may have lost veteran center back Carlos Mendes in the Re-Entry Draft but they gained a 5-foot-5 collegiate center back, who grew up in their academy: Connor Lade. “It’s pretty wild to watch someone’s dream come true right in front of you,” said Lade’s mother, who’s a NYRB season-ticket holder.

The MLS Cup champion LA Galaxy closed out their Asia Pacific tour with a 4-3 PK shootout win over the Melbourne Victory after a 2-2 tie in regulation earlier this morning (watch the highlights here). Meanwhile, David Beckham, who went 89 minutes before his hamstring gave out in the match, says he has no aspirations to be a manager in the game: “I don’t know how managers and coaches do it,” he said.

Coaches of Swedish side Malmö are planning for MLS competition during the winter months. They are planning a trip to Bradenton, Fla., for February preseason action. (SWEDISH)

Philadelphia Union star midfielder Freddy Adu is already in Bradenton, getting his offseason preparations off to an early start.

Will Adu get called up by USMNT boss Jurgen Klinsmann in January? One player who’s hoping to eventually get a call is French-born midfielder Rudy Gestede, who plies his trade in the English second division but has an American grandfather: “I also feel strong links with America and would like to explore what is possible for me.”

New England Revolution teen phenom Diego Fagundez is also eager to play for the US national team although the Uruguayan still doesn’t have US citizenship: “I want to play for the US if I get the chance. It’s a matter of who’s going to come first,” he tells the Boston Globe.

Costa Rica’s national team manager has called up four MLS players ahead of a Sunday friendly match against Cuba. Here are the names: Roy Miller (New York), Gonzalo Segares (Chicago), Michael Umaña (Chivas USA) and Rodney Wallace (Portland). (SPANISH)

In televised UEFA Champions League action later today, Chelsea host Valencia in a dramatic group-stage finale that will see only one of the two advance to the knockout rounds (2:30 p.m. ET, Fox Soccer). Two matches that don’t impact qualification and will see understrength sides take the field include Olympiakos vs. Arsenal (2:30 p.m. ET, Fox Soccer Plus) and FC Barcelona vs. BATE Borisov (2:30 p.m. ET, Fox Deportes).

Former French international and Chelsea defender Frank Leboeuf, who lives in the USA, says that win or lose against Valencia, “the season is already over for Chelsea. … I think this season will be a black season.”

The season is just starting for American goalkeeper Brad Guzan at Aston Villa. He will be taking over for injured starter Shay Given, who tore a muscle in his left hamstring and is expected to be out for a month.

Staying in England, if you haven’t seen yesterday’s goal by Clint Dempsey that downed Liverpool 1-0 and set a new record for an American scorer in the English Premier League, here it is. (VIDEO)

Even more memorable than the goal is how Dempsey got in the face of feisty Liverpool attacker Craig Bellamy during the match. Don’t mess with Deuce. (PHOTO)

You know something is wrong with soccer when a country’s prime minister wins the Player of the Year fan election. It’s happened in Bulgaria in what the prime minister himself calls “a protest vote.”

Finally, in one of the most ambitious stadium projects you’ll see in Europe, Atlético Madrid unveiled plans for a new stadium to be constructed by 2015. See the video and images of the proposal here.

MLSsoccer.com Must-Reads:

New England’s DP Shalrie Joseph tells ExtraTime Radio he came close to leaving the Revs

Colorado Rapids want to name new head coach by Jan. 1, 2012

MLS sides showing well in US Soccer Development Academy Winter Showcase matches

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