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Kick Off, December 22, 2011

Kick Off: Could Ronaldinho replace Beckham in LA?

There’s only one David Beckham, as the song goes. But if Becks decides to join Paris-St. Germain — and, yes, it’s still an “if” — the Galaxy, it’s assumed, will try to replace him on their DP roster with a name big enough to have at least some Beckham-esque cache.

Well, they don’t get much bigger than Ronaldinho. The former Barcelona and AC Milan superstar, whose recent performances for Flamengo have earned him a return to the Seleção, has reportedly not been paid in a while, and this report suggests Southern California could be his next destination.

Kasey Keller has tons of soccer cache. So when he says of USMNT manager Jurgen Klinsmann, “There’s a difference between wanting to play a particular way and having the players capable of playing that way,” people take note.

The recently retired Keller won’t be with Seattle in 2012, but a few others could be, according to Sounders technical director Chris Henderson, who hinted that the reported deal for Trinidadian Cordell Cato is only the start of an upcoming signing blitz.

D.C. United might also have some news about some incoming talent, if this report about Guatemalan international defender Jonathan López is to be believed.

Believe this: The deals are done for several new players in MLS. Montreal bolstered their midfield with a young Brazilian. Chivas USA finally announced the long-rumored pickup of Ecuadorian Oswaldo Minda. And Philadelphia acquired a Panamanian who starred in last summer’s Gold Cup and a defender with two consecutive Costa Rican championships to his name.

Former US youth international Bryan Arguez is hoping to star for Montreal this year, but he’s going to have to get over his dislike of cold weather for that to happen.

On the flip side, a deal came to an end down in Frisco, Texas. A week after Houston announced their stadium-name partner, FC Dallas lost their stadium sponsor, Pizza Hut. Starting January 7, the venue will be known as FC Dallas Stadium.

Crew striker Emilio Rentería, who will represent his native Venezuela in a friendly against Costa Rica on Thursday, isn't going anywhere next year, but he says he's been training with Caracas FC. (SPANISH)

In Portland, however, assistant coach Trevor James is going somewhere after a year on the job.

Omar Bravo, too, left after only a year in Kansas City and is now with Mexico City giants Cruz Azul. His first action for his new club made the headlines for the wrong reasons: a missed penalty. (SPANISH)

US midfielder Jermaine Jones didn’t miss his target in Schalke’s recent German Cup match with Borussia Mönchengladbach, but now he’s in hot water with the German federation for what he hit.

Staying in Europe, an incredible incident during the Ajax-AZ Alkmaar cup match in Amsterdam forced the abandonment of the match. Former US international Earnie Stewart, now AZ’s technical director, was unapologetic for the decision to pull their players midway through the first half. Check out what happened.

Hopefully, no similarly ugly scene will take place when Brad Friedel and Tottenham Hotspur welcome Chelsea to White Hart Lane this afternoon for a massive EPL showdown (3 pm ET, ESPN2).

Nothing ugly about Montreal Canadiens goaltender Peter Budaj's mask, which features a certain mercurial Barcelona star.

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