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Brian Ching Kick Off

Kick Off: Ching set for emotional match vs. Houston

They say it’s only preseason, but try telling that to Brian Ching.

The emotions will be flowing when Ching takes on his former club, the Houston Dynamo, for the first time after his controversial selection in the Expansion Draft by the Montreal Impact. The match is set for 1:30 pm ET at The Home Depot Center.

To get you ready for the match, listen to Houston manager Dominic Kinnear preview the match on Dynamo All-Access with Glenn Davis. (AUDIO)

On the same show, Dynamo president Chris Canetti addresses the news of the bar incident involving the arrest of Houston’s Tyler Deric. The attorney for the goalkeeper also made a public comment: “This whole incident revolves around the fact that Mr. Deric was with other soccer players, some who were African-Americans. The club did not want them coming in. ... He's not guilty of assaulting that off-duty officer."

In addition to Houston vs. Montreal, today the Columbus Crew take on Swedish side Malmö FF in a doubleheader. Manager Robert Warzycha previews the matchup: “The Swedish team is very physical. I watched that game [against United] and they’re big guys. I’m looking for a good game.”

In yesterday’s preseason action, Kenny Cooper opened his scoring account with the New York Red Bulls and Corey Hertzog added another as the New York Red Bulls downed FC Dallas in Cancún, Mexico. Here’s a photo gallery from the match. (PHOTOS)

The Colorado Rapids got a late goal from Quincy Amarikwa to down Chivas USA 1-0 at The Home Depot Center. Watch the highlights from the match here and the post-game reaction from both head coaches. (VIDEO)

Find out the name of the Chivas USA trialist who reminds head coach Robin Fraser of DaMarcus Beasley.

The Portland Timbers put four goals past the defending MLS Cup champs LA Galaxy in a 4-1 victory (watch the highlights here). Apparently, Franck Songo’o has made an impression: “It’s just up to us to sit down and hopefully agree on something to keep him here on a longer basis,” says head coach John Spencer, who had time to snap a shot with projected NFL No. 1 draft pick Andrew Luck.

For more reactions from Spencer and LA’s David Beckham, check out this video. “I’ve never been a big fan of preseason friendlies,” Beckham says.

A preseason defeat will do nothing to dampen the enthusiasm around the Galaxy after it was announced that midfielder Juninho was returning on loan. One LA writer makes the case that with the addition of the young Brazilian, the Galaxy have amassed the “best contingent of midfielders America has seen since the old North American Soccer League's glory days.”

While the Galaxy add another All-Star, Jay Heaps and the New England Revolution seem to be losing a potential left back. Reports from South Africa say that out-of-contract Danleigh Borman is set to sign with SuperSport United.

Staying with South African players, Belgian side Lierse have reportedly green-lighted Lance Davids’ move to the Portland Timbers should the MLS club wish to sign him. He played in Tuesday’s 4-1 victory over LA.

According to reports in Panama, national team defender Eduardo Dasent rejected a contract offer from the Chicago Fire after he claims terms were changed in the contract. “Everything was ready for Dasent to fly to Chicago today,” said an executive at Tauro FC. (SPANISH)

This is a strange report from Colombia. After the New England Revolution announced the signing of Colombian forward José Moreno, this article claims that Moreno has decided to stay with Once Caldas. (SPANISH)

Here’s a Colombian forward who is apparently headed to FC Dallas. His name is Jeison Quiñónez and reportedly took the MLS option presented to him as opposed to going to play in Peru. (SPANISH)

In Honduras, they say there is still no agreement between D.C. United and the Honduran Olympic team to release Andy Najar for the CONCACAF qualifying tournament despite hours of meetings. The saga continues, at least in the media. (SPANISH)

Philadelphia Union beat writer Kerith Gabriel reveals that an announcement of the club’s newest international forward signing is apparently just hours away.

The Seattle Sounders will be playing five matches in the next two weeks as they gear up for their CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal series against Santos Laguna. But expect a sixth: the Community Shield match at CenturyLink Field on Feb. 29, “possibly against another Mexican team,” according to this report.

Staying with Cascadia clubs, check out this video feature with Whitecaps goalkeeper Joe Cannon who talks about the advice he received from his late grandfather and how his goal is to create memories this year: “I don’t want to have to look back at singing with Garth Brooks as the highlight of my 2012.”

For those keeping track of the career of US Olympic team prospect Gale Agbossoumonde, here’s a feature story which provides the latest update. He talks about his future plans and also shares his experiences from Europe: “When I was in Sweden we weren’t doing so well, and we had hooligans show up at the practices. The team’s director [Stefan Alvén] had to step down because some fans threatened to kill his family. So, it’s not easy over there."

Here’s a story of an American playing abroad that follows the lines of Rise & Shine: The Jay DeMerit Story: Alex Smith was ruled ineligible in college, failed to stick at FC Dallas and he just up and moved to Australia, where he’s now competing for an A-League title.

It’s going pretty well for Landon Donovan in his second stint at Everton. The Toffees are also in good form which has LD in a buoyant mood ahead of Chelsea’s visit on the weekend at Goodison. But he’s already looking forward to sinking his teeth into an In-N-Out Burger once he gets back to LA. His gift card is ready. (AUDIO)

Donovan may be considered the greatest American player of all-time, but Harry Keough, who passed away yesterday, was a member of the greatest US victory of all-time. If you knew nothing about him, this Soccer America retrospective will tell you all you need to know.

This CNN.com article is the most in-depth interview conducted thus far with former US coach Bob Bradley about his feelings surrounding the incidents in Egypt over the last week. He has immersed himself in the socio-political landscape, reading James Dorsey’s writings and consuming articles sent by his son – Chievo Verona’s Michael Bradley – on the topic: “The conversations I've had with him in the past few days have been important to me," says Bob Bradley.

After appearing in front of millions in a TV spot which aired during the Super Bowl, David Beckham is now set to grace the cover of the March edition of Men’s Health. (PHOTO)

Here’s a nugget to take away from the Beckham interview in the magazine: “I’ve got my wife. I’ve got my four kids. I’ve got parents, grandparents still, and three really good friends. It’s all you need. I’d rather have three really good friends than 20 good friends.”

Getting as much pub as Beckham these days is Anfield Cat, which has more than 25,000 Twitter followers. We find out the background of the cat, whose real name is Kenny, in this article which also reveals that bookmakers have a line on the next EPL animal invasion: William Hill make a Dog the 6/4 favorite.

We conclude with the listing of live matches on the tube today. First there’s the FA Cup fourth-round replay between Middlesbrough and Sunderland (2:30 pm ET, Fox Soccer) and there’s also the Copa del Rey semifinal second leg between Barcelona and Valencia (3 pm ET, GolTV). There's also a Copa Libertadores doubleheader on Fox Deportes which will feature Mexico's Cruz Azul (4:30 pm ET).

MLSsoccer.com Must-Reads:

American Jonathan Spector helps Birmingham inch closer to EPL

The Sideline: The great cheerleader debate

Talking Tactics: How Vancouver’s Martin Rennie plans to make use of his attacking riches

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