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The Kick Off - Feb 10 - Charlie Davies
Courtesy of FC Sochaux

Kick Off: CD9 gets named to Sochaux travel squad

Call it the ExtraTime bump.

After appearing in an exclusive interview on MLSsoccer.com’s ExtraTime Radio (subscribe and listen here) former D.C. United forward Charlie Davies got some big news this morning: He was named to Sochaux’s squad that will face Rennes on Saturday and was one of three forwards named.

Back in MLS, there are three preseason exhibition matches to keep an eye on today. The expansion Montreal Impact will hope to register a better showing in their second match against an MLS side when they take on the Portland Timbers, who were strong in their first outing against the LA Galaxy (1:30 pm ET). The match will be held at The Home Depot Center.

The Galaxy take on the Houston Dynamo in a rematch of MLS Cup 2011 at the same time. But unlike Montreal vs. Portland, this contest is a closed-door scrimmage.

And for the second preseason in a row, it’s going to be San Jose Earthquakes vs. Colorado Rapids on the campus of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo (9 pm ET) in the MLS Central Coast Showcase.

Today is a big day for a handful of Seattle Sounders players who have a final chance at impressing Sigi Schmid and the coaching staff before he makes “a second major round of cuts” prior to Saturday’s preseason trip to Florida.

Did Honduran Ever Alvarado do enough to impress Schmid? Apparently he’s back home with Real España after a trial run with Seattle. (SPANISH)

Later today, we’ll know what the plan is for D.C. United midfielder Andy Najar and his potential participation in CONCACAF Olympic qualifying for Honduras. Apparently manager Luis Fernando Suárez will host a press conference in which this is expected to be the main theme. (SPANISH)

Back to the Impact, between owner Joey Saputo’s tweets and rumors of FC Lugano forward Dante Senger joining the Impact, the Designated Player talk in Montreal is heating up.

At Cruz Azul, they say that there have been no conversations with the Montreal Impact on finalizing a loan deal with an option to purchase the contract of young prospect Martín Galván, who’s on trial with the expansion club. (SPANISH)

Panamanian defender Román Torres will not be playing for the LA Galaxy, according to an executive from the group that owns 50 percent of his player rights. Apparently the MLS Cup champs communicated that their central defender hole has been plugged. Hmmm. (SPANISH)

New England Revolution general manager Mike Burns spoke to MLSsoccer.com about the José “Pepe” Moreno news and reports out of Colombia that say he will not be heading to the Revs after all: “Hopefully, we're going to be able to talk to the player and resolve any issues he has, if any, but the bottom line is that all contract documents have been signed.”

Whether Moreno finally arrives or not, the Revs are not sitting back and waiting. Former D.C. United forward Blake Brettschneider will arrive on trial.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger seems accepting of the fact that the New York Red Bulls are requesting that Thierry Henry return to the club on Feb. 16: “He is captain of the Red Bulls, so just to appear on the first day of the season would be unfair to them. We accepted at the start that we would release him on February 16, so we respect our word. He thinks as well that it would be too late [to remain for two more weeks].”

Check out the latest photos as they lay the sod at Houston’s BBVA Compass Stadium and you’ll understand why the Houston Dynamo are 90 percent of the way to their ticket targets: “Right now, we would be in the top five in the league in season-ticket total,” says Dynamo president Chris Canetti.

This is what you get when you hire a man who developed a list of more than 500 young American youth internationals playing abroad: Toronto FC are giving a trial to one of Thomas Rongen’s former Under-20 players, left back Kevin Huezo.

Who’s going to man the goal for Toronto FC when they play the LA Galaxy in their CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal first leg less than a month from today? It sounds like they’re ready to platoon once again.

There’s no debate on who’s No. 1 in Chicago. Although he only met Sean Johnson for the first time yesterday, veteran Jay Nolly knows it: “If Sean is the No. 1, I'm going to be pushing him to try to get him better. When I do get a start, hopefully that will help me too.”

The Fire may be set at the goalkeeper position, but manager Frank Klopas confirms that the team will sign a central defender before the start of the season.

We’re big fans of the FCDallas.com “Mic’d Up” series, which features Schellas Hyndman instructing right back Andrew Wiedeman on the art of pulling a defender out of position. Assistant John Ellinger was the latest to be wired. (VIDEO)

This weekend could mark Tim Ream’s debut for Bolton when they face Wigan Athletic in a relegation battle. Manager Owen Coyle has named Ream to the squad and says “he is in contention.”

Another American EPL player, Clint Dempsey, recounts how he almost missed the 2006 World Cup in Germany with a back issue. The solution: He took an injection and fought through it.

In Egypt, the soccer federation is seeking postponement of the Feb. 29 African Cup of Nations qualifier in the wake of the violence and protests that occurred last week. Egyptian national team head coach Bob Bradley expects to learn more on Saturday.

Take the time to read this story of how a boy’s story and his passion for soccer struck a chord with countless personalities in MLS as he battled surgery after surgery. “We can all learn something from him,” says D.C. United manager Ben Olsen.

In the women’s game, Beau Dure gives the latest update on what WPS teams are planning to do to stay active after their league cancelled the 2012 season. The article also comes with the obligatory Dan Borislow upate.

The Mexican league Friday night match trumps the Bundesliga afternoon fare on this typical lineup for a Friday in televised soccer action. Seattle Sounders fans get to watch CONCACAF Champions League opponents Santos Laguna as they face Monarcas Morelia (9 pm ET, Fox Deportes), while in Germany it’ll be SC Freiburg meeting VfL Wolfsburg (2:30 pm ET, GolTV). Trying to insert itself in the Friday listings is the Argentine league with Boca Juniors vs. Olimpo at 7:15 pm ET (GolTV).

Lastly, Deloitte’s 2012 Football Money League points out how MLS attendance trumps even that of Brazil’s first division.

MLSsoccer.com Must-Reads:

Countdown to First Kick: 30 – Hartman has New York’s number

Charlie Davies joins ExtraTime Radio and talks about D.C. United, Ben Olsen and his lawsuit

The Throw-In: Is Panama the next big thing in MLS?

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