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Kick Off: West Brom have designs on keeping Ream

If it were for West Bromwich Albion manager Roy Hodgson, New York Red Bulls defender Tim Ream would not head back home.

Hodgson, who coached Clint Dempsey at Fulham, has made it clear that he’s interested in keeping Ream at the club: “We would consider a loan, absolutely,” were his words to the Express and Star.

West Brom are bullish about the prospects of Ream in England’s top flight: “Could he play in the Premier League? Yes, I think he could,” Hodgson said. “He has done very well. He has made a good impression on everybody and we think he’s going to be a good player.”

In other hot stove talk this morning, the blue may look like a shade from the Montreal Impact’s new jerseys, but that shirt French striker Nicolas Anelka is holding belongs to Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua. A second Chinese club is now reportedly pursuing MLS target Didier Drogba, too.

If Landon Donovan won’t come over to join Everton, Toffees manager David Moyes is not afraid to go after another MLS Designated Player. He apparently had a talk with Red Bulls forward Thierry Henry in the Emirates Stadium tunnel on Saturday: "I asked him to let me know if he wants a game. I already asked him, he'll tell you."

While a move by Henry to Everton is highly unexpected, a departure by Sean Franklin from the LA Galaxy would seem more likely after a report emerges of a link with Trinidadian right back Carlos Edwards of English side Ipswich Town.

What’s the Red Bulls' other DP up to this offseason? Launching a new fragrance in his Rafa Márquez cosmetics line. “It’s meant for the man that wants to be a leader, that is successful and wants to feel good,” says the Mexican veteran. (PHOTO)

The ubiquitous “club insiders” are the source for this Daily Mail story that says Paris-St. Germain’s deal to sign LA Galaxy midfielder David Beckham is “95 percent complete.”

Beckham shouldn’t be too busy around the Christmas holidays to wheel and deal. After all, according to this report from England, his family has paid nearly $55,000 to hire a company to decorate their home for the holidays.

The player movements will be real later today when Stage 2 of the Re-Entry Draft takes place. To look ahead at what we can expect from this year’s draft, MLSsoccer.com’s own Kyle McCarthy takes last year’s results and analyzes how well those Re-Entry selections paid off.

There’s no question among Real Salt Lake fans: The club should retire Andy Williams’ No. 77 jersey. This according to a poll on Real Salt Lake’s website.

The Vancouver Whitecaps are coping with a departure of their own. They’ve assigned the business-related aspects of the club to 37-year-old Rachel Lewis after CEO Paul Barber announced he was leaving last week.

In addition to being a part-owner in the Vancouver Whitecaps, NBA star Steve Nash is doing even more for the sport of soccer. Find out about his new role in Canadian soccer’s new “Pass It On” campaign.

More evidence of how soccer has become socially relevant in the USA: Parents are naming their kids after MLS stars. Read the end of this piece to find out why the mother of 8-year-old Landon Armand went with that famous first name.

Did Montreal’s Jeb Brovsky find a way to create controversy while doing charity work and conducting camps with kids in India? Here’s what he said about the kids he’s interacted with: “It's very hard to find similar level of passion, commitment and enthusiasm with children in North America.”

Two Americans were playing with lots of enthusiasm in Europe this weekend. Watch Oguchi Onyewu’s game-winning goal for Sporting Lisbon and Fabian Johnson’s two assists for Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga. (VIDEO)

In this postgame interview, Onyewu proclaims that “this is a different Sporting from previous years,” praising how competitive the team has been on all four competitive fronts this season.

American players are an increasing commodity in the soccer world. Take the case of Herculez Gomez, who has been reportedly transferred by Estudiantes Tecos to Mexican league runners-up Santos Laguna in order to finance the acquisition of more players. The only problem for “Herc” is that landing a starting striker role will be tougher than ever with the explosive Guerreros.

Although they took a shock lead in the second leg, Santos Laguna received another two red cards and failed to overturn the aggregate score against new champions Tigres UANL, who win a Mexican title after nearly 29 years. Ex-MLS player Jonathan Bornstein was spotted in the postgame celebrations. (VIDEO)

In other international soccer action today, there’s a massive clash in the English Premier League with leaders Manchester City facing contenders Chelsea FC (3 p.m. ET, ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes). Not to be outdone, Italy’s Serie A offers the heavyweight battle between AS Roma and Juventus (2:30 p.m. ET, Fox Soccer).

In that EPL match, pay special attention if and when Chelsea score a goal. Will their players celebrate with manager André Villas-Boas and the rest of the coaching staff? Apparently that’s what they’ve been requested to do by AVB.

In case you missed it from this weekend, here are the highlights from another chapter in the Real Madrid vs. FC Barcelona saga. The defending European champs won despite José Mourinho’s men going up after just 20 seconds. (VIDEO)

Add another feather to Thomas Rongen’s cap with news that the American Samoa side that he helped lead to their first win in 17 years is now up for FIFA’s Fair Play Award.

Few would have expected Ben Speas to be the name on everyone’s tongue following another star performance for North Carolina, as the Tar Heels clinched the 2011 College Cup title against rivals Charlotte. (VIDEO)

But the 49ers are not about to forget the PK that they believe should have been called in the second half: “There's a good chance when we watch it on the DVD that a cup of tea might go flying across the room," said Charlotte’s head coach.

Lastly, check out how FC Barcelona star Andrés Iniesta can ride the subway without anyone noticing him in Tokyo, where Barcelona is competing in the FIFA Club World Cup.(PHOTO)

MLSsoccer.com Must-Reads:

Tottenham’s Brad Friedel clears the air on Landon Donovan controversy

Stefan Frei set for a week-long training stint with English giants Liverpool

Generation adidas star Gil credits Jason Kreis with shaping him “into the style of RSL soccer”

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