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Kick Off: Young stars put pen to paper on MLS contracts

Who's No. 1?

According to FoxSoccer.com, the top two prospects of the upcoming MLS SuperDraft have put pen to paper on contracts. Highly touted Akron forward Darren Mattocks and Duke central defender Andrew Wenger, both potential No. 1 draft picks, have joined UC Santa Barbara forward Sam Garza as the first three underclassmen to sign Generation adidas deals.

After luring local product Patrice Bernier back home from Europe, the Montreal Impact have reportedly extended invites to other former Impact players to join the club during preseason. Find out the names here.

Impact owner Joey Saputo took the opportunity to let it be known that former Italian international defender Marco Materazzi is not one of the players the club is pursuing. But he did confirm that the Impact have been in contact with Alessandro Del Piero, David Trezeguet and Nicolas Anelka, who signed in China.

Former D.C. United player Santino Quaranta is putting fans on alert about the abilities of ex-teammate Andy Najar, who he’s watched up close: “I look at guys in England like, [Aaron] Lennon and [Theo] Walcott, and I will go on record and say I think he has more potential than Walcott."

Arsenal fans will be licking their chops when they read that FC Dallas star Brek Shea says this about his recent training stint at Arsenal: “I enjoyed my stay and can see myself living there in future."

Could an American export be heading to Hammarby in the near future? The new coach of the Swedish side, former US international Gregg Berhalter, sees it happening: “We’re going to look for the best possible players that fit our situation. If that’s an American, then so be it. I can definitely see an American coming over here.”

It seems that the LA Galaxy’s acquisition of Marcelo Fazzio Sarvas fills an immediate vacancy as his compatriot, Juninho, reportedly has signed a three-year deal to stay at São Paulo.

Former MLS player and Red Bulls assistant coach Richie Williams confirms that he interviewed for the vacant position in Colorado. But the Under-18 US national team head coach doesn’t rule out the possibility of joining an MLS club as an assistant.

Speaking of former Red Bulls staff, NYRB have yet to respond to claims made by former goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul that manager Hans Backe publicly humiliated him and that the club allegedly refused him moves to other clubs.

It seems like a tug-of-war has broken out between Olimpia of Honduras and an MLS club for the services of Catrachos midfielder Danilo Turcios. (SPANISH)

Could he be Columbus Crew material? In this article about defensive stalwart Chad Marshall signing for the club through 2015, Crew technical director Brian Bliss confirms: “All the additions we’re looking to bring in from outside the league are the attacking type.”

Bliss and the Crew staff need to make moves, especially with out-of-contract winger Robbie Rogers apparently signing with Leeds United, according to reports in England.

In New England, Revs GM Mike Burns confirms that offers have been extended to the three players picked up in the Re-Entry Draft: Nate Jaqua, Clyde Simms and Danleigh Borman. “Their alternatives are to not continue playing or not play in MLS, and we’re hoping they want to re-sign with MLS and play for the Revs,” Burns says.

When it comes to recruiting and developing players, it seems like the Seattle Sounders may have a special relationship with the USL's Charleston Battery. Read the advice that Sounders manager Sigi Schmid gave to this prospective MLS player.

A yet unidentified MLS club looks set to welcome Sheffield Wednesday midfielder James O’Connor, who is “set to leave the club in the next 48 hours.” This report says he will be a coach.

Moving to FC Dallas, did you know that the parents of central defender George John are actually season-ticket holders for Seattle Sounders matches?

Here’s one positive about the move by goalkeeper Jay Nolly to the Chicago Fire: It turns out he has a brother who lives there and his wife also has family in town.

It’s a double-dose of Serie A action on the tube later today with the derby between Siena and Fiorentina (noon ET, Fox Soccer) and AC Milan traveling to Cagliari (2:30 p.m. ET, Fox Soccer). At the same time, there’s also the live Copa del Rey match featuring Real Madrid welcoming Ponferradina (3 p.m. ET, ESPN Deportes). Or you can go with the Ligue 1 fixture between Nancy and Marseille (3 p.m. ET, Fox Soccer Plus).

Outside the soccer world, D.C. United owner Will Chang is credited with coming up with the idea for a documentary about former San Francisco Giants player Andrés Torres, who battles attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

And the Minnesota Timberwolves’ new NBA star, former Barcelona player Ricky Rubio, is also a soccer fan, of course. Here he’s presented with a jersey of local side NSC Minnesota Stars. (PHOTO)

MLSsoccer.com Must-Reads:

Everton manager David Moyes talks Landon Donovan on the latest edition of ExtraTime Radio

Border war between RSL and Monterrey is MLSsoccer.com’s Game of the Year

Ex-Galaxy forward Edson Buddle on trial at West Ham United

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