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Kick Off - Peter Nowak
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Kick Off: Philly's Nowak takes high road in Le Toux dispute

Philadelphia Union manager Peter Nowak is taking the high road.

Nowak was asked to react to Sébastien Le Toux’s comments following his bitter departure from the club. His response was simple: “He decided to go this route. From one spectrum you have players leaving with Veljko [Paunovic] and Faryd [Mondragón], who did play with better players and bigger teams, and on the other spectrum you have Sébastien. … You have two different approaches how to leave the club.” (VIDEO)

The comments by Le Toux also elicited a response from the fans, who were irked enough to give Nowak a piece of their mind via Twitter. The manager objected to some of the language directed at him: “I do ask that you please stop sending curses to my Twitter account. My daughters and family read them and it is crossing a line.”

Union captain Danny Califf didn’t appreciate that Le Toux opted to go out the way he did: “I wasn't shocked that he made those comments ... but that's one avenue you can take and he decided to do it that way. I don't think any less of Sébastien for doing that, but I don't think it's great for our team or our organization.”

It’s a different-looking Union team this year with only two players over the age of 28. Listen to Jack McInerney speak about how young the roster feels: “I’m only 19 and I’m one of the veterans on the team.”

If there was any question whether second-year player Zac MacMath was the guy to take over for the departed Mondragón in goal, manager Peter Nowak eliminated any doubts with this comment: "The burden is big, but I think he can handle it without any problems. There isn't going to be speculation who is No. 1."

There’s no speculation, especially after yesterday, as to who is the undisputed No. 1 team going into the 2012 MLS season. The defending MLS Cup champions LA Galaxy announced yesterday that their 2010 leading scorer Edson Buddle will be rejoining the side and the prospect of a partnership with Robbie Keane has his Galaxy teammates salivating: “[Buddle and Keane together] is scary. We have a lot of attacking power. We have a lot of options. … Edson and Robbie will punish teams.”

Seattle manager Sigi Schmid is looking intently at what Buddle’s arrival might mean for the other forwards on the Galaxy and whether they might be available for trades: “It raises questions: 'What is the Galaxy going to do with a Chad Barrett? Is he going to play a lot? What's going to go on?' Vancouver now has a boat-full of forwards, so what are they going to do with all their guys? ... So some of those guys might become available,” Schmid said.

The New England Revolution apparently are not waiting around for trades to get their big forward. The media claim that new manager Jay Heaps is reportedly set to bring in his third Colombian player: forward José Moreno, who recently played for Once Caldas and also plied his trade in Ukraine, Romania, Argentina and Peru.

D.C. United are reportedly looking to nab Albanian striker Hamdi Salihi from Austrian side Rapid Vienna and beat out Rangers and Celtic in the process.

Could forward Caleb Folan be on his way out of Colorado? This report out of Greece details negotiations with Greek side Panionios regarding a move for the Republic of Ireland international.

US Olympic team hopeful Gale Agbossoumonde is on the move again. This article indicates he’s headed to the NASL, and specifically the Carolina RailHawks, on loan from Portuguese second-division side Estoril.

One of Agbossoumonde’s defensive teammates on the US Under-23s, No. 1 SuperDraft pick Andrew Wenger, is still not in camp with the Montreal Impact while he takes classes at Duke. He only arrives Friday.

Montreal may have played the most preseason games of any MLS team to this point but the Chicago Fire are catching up. While manager Frank Klopas made world news with his comments that the Fire are interested in Didier Drogba over Michael Ballack, his squad beat Florida Gulf Coast University 3-0 yesterday behind goals from Marco Pappa, Dominic Oduro and Orr Barouch.

D.C. United take on Swedish club Malmö FF today at IMG Soccer Academy (10:30 am ET).

Here’s a warning of how dangerous these preseason matches are. Up-and-coming midfielder Marvin Iraheta, who was one of the shining prospects for Chivas USA thus far in camp, apparently tore knee ligaments which will keep him out long-term. “No, it's not good news,” said manager Robin Fraser. “It's very disappointing news. He's had a great couple of weeks for us. … He came in in great shape, and he's the recipient of a bad, clumsy tackle.”

FC Dallas have taken their preseason to Mexico but there are other matters they’re tending to there. This report cites a vice president of Mexican club Atlante, who claims that the Cancún-based club and FC Dallas are in talks to develop a sporting relationship. (SPANISH)

Turning to international soccer, even Lionel Messi fails on penalty kicks. See it to believe it in this highlight package from yesterday’s Copa del Rey semifinal between Valencia and Barcelona which finished 1-1. (VIDEO)

Messi’s ex-teammate Ronaldinho scored a last minute goal on a sublime play inside the box, as Flamengo took care of Real Potosi to advance to the group stage of the Copa Libertadores. (VIDEO)

In another match from yesterday, American Clint Dempsey hit the mark again for Fulham with another goal but his club failed to make it stand up as the winner. (VIDEO)

Keep an eye out for the yanks abroad in today’s TV action. Michael Bradley and Chievo Verona travel to Novara today (2:30 pm ET, Fox Soccer) and we’ll see if Jonathan Bornstein sees the field again for Mexican champs Tigres UANL as they look to overturn a first-leg loss against Chilean side Unión Española (9 pm ET, Fox Deportes). And there’s also Brazilian soccer on GolTV with São Paulo vs. Guaraní (4:30 pm ET).

Many are still trying to get their heads around the cause for the violence that erupted in Egypt after a league match on Wednesday night and resulted in 74 deaths. While many speculate that it was a political conspiracy, the league has been suspended indefinitely, the stadium’s head of security has been demoted and Al-Masry’s coach resigned. Al-Ahly’s Mohammed Aboutrika told the story of one fan dying in his arms: "Is life this cheap?" he said.

On the lighter side, there are photos from Portugal of the official presentation of ex-MLSer Arturo Alvarez in a Paços de Ferreira jersey. (PHOTO)

It’s a pretty one-sided account, but former magicJack player Ella Masar provides lengthy details of her experience at WPS’ South Florida club under controversial owner Dan Borislow, including this line: “He sent one too many emails or said to the girls one too many times, call me ‘Daddy.’ I wish I were kidding.”

We’re not going to let this one slip by us: At the end of this article, Sounders manager Schmid admits to being on Twitter but he uses an alias. He says he keeps up with what his players and media are saying. Anyone want to take a guess at the Alias?

Lastly, did you know that D.C. United goalkeeper Bill Hamid had an email address that started YoungTimHoward@ as a 12-year-old? This ESPN.com feature discloses a lot more, including naming the European clubs that came closest to landing Hamid.

MLSsoccer.com Must-Reads:

Climbing the Ladder: Measuring MLS’ market presence compared to other leagues

Postcard from Europe: Guzan seizes his chance with Aston Villa

Pressure mounts on Chicago’s Oduro to match his 2011 success

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