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Kick Off: Have the Red Bulls identified their new manager?

Will this be the week that the New York Red Bulls name their new manager?

A report at Big Apple Soccer indicates that we could be just days away from having another Scot roaming the MLS sidelines with former Scotland international Gary McAllister considered the favorite to take over for Hans Backe in New York.

Meanwhile, the Red Bulls continue to be in the news about the rumored Thierry Henry loan to Arsenal. But new New York chief Gérard Houllier is pouring water over any loan talk: "I do not think both parties need to have this second comeback. Moreover, he became a dad. I think he will want to enjoy the holidays."

Houllier is not the only one looking to quell Henry loan chatter. Here’s a columnist who believes that a move for Henry “is the last thing Arsenal need.”

Count on Cascadia to give the Red Bulls a run for their money as far as offseason headlines. For the first time we heard from the Mix Diskerud camp this weekend – specifically his father, who doubles as his agent – and the interest from the Portland Timbers and his former Olympic coach Caleb Porter is real. But apparently there haven't been formal contract talks just yet.

There’s also talk of another creative midfielder heading to Vancouver: The potential return of Davide Chiumiento. Those talks were also confirmed for the first time by the club this weekend.

A creative type who may be on his way out of MLS is Seattle’s Fredy Montero, who apparently tied the knot (photo here). Reports indicate that in addition to newly crowned Colombian champions Millonarios, Mexican side Monterrey are seeking his transfer.

There’s a Canadian-American left back with ties to Vancouver who’s looking to potentially leave Scandinavia and head to MLS. His name is Mason Trafford. Find out more about him and watch a video of the player in action here.

A surprising report emerged from FC Dallas camp over the weekend with the club reportedly dismissing recently named assistant coach Daniel Hernandez. No details yet on exactly what happened.

People are still trying to figure out what’s happening with that Tampa stadium plan that made headlines in American soccer circles a few weeks ago. Well we have a few more details about it and the charitable angle that may give the project the best chance to succeed.

American forward Jozy Altidore continues to find success with AZ Alkmaar in the Dutch Eredivisie. Watch his latest two goals against FC Zwolle. (VIDEO)

Great news for Stuart Holden, who looks to be in the Bolton Reserves matchday squad for a match tonight against Bury.

Another USMNT star Clint Dempsey was busy helping Tottenham Hotspur rack up another EPL victory. Dempsey’s “Deuce Face” is the latest celebrity figure to go Gangnam Style. (VIDEO)

It was all about style on what can arguably be the goal of the weekend from the European scene: A bicycle kick goal by Bologna’s Panagiotis Kone that was an impeccable feat of athletic coordination. (VIDEO)

But it’s not all pretty stuff from the Old Continent. Zlatan Ibrahimovic was caught stomping on an opponent’s head in France (watch it here) and Marouane Fellaini unleashed a vicious head butt on a Stoke City player (video of the incident here).

But there are some positives vibes coming from across the pond. AC Milan’s Antonio Nocerino dedicated his goal on Sunday against Pescara to the victims of the Newtown school massacre saying he doesn’t “know how much the dedication will help the dead American children, but everything I did today was only for them."

Is Europe the most likely destination for David Beckham? It would seem so after one executive in Australia says “I just don't think he'll be coming to Australia, full stop."

Who knows what that next challenge is that Beckham says he’s pursuing. Are we sure it’s not the “Bend It Like Beckham – The Musical” that’s going to be keeping him busy?

Back in our neck of the woods: Don’t look now, but the Cuban national team has just won its first CONCACAF honor. They beat Trinidad and Tobago to claim their first-ever Caribbean Cup.

You want an upset? How about Brazilian side Corinthians downing Chelsea to win the FIFA Club World Cup. Here are the highlights in case you missed it. But what was most impressive is the Corinthian supporter contingent that traveled to Yokohama. You believe that fans spent a total of nearly $100 million to see their team make history?

Lionel Messi’s pursuit of soccer’s goalscoring record in a single calendar year, even if not recognized by FIFA, was the big news story on the international scene for several weeks. Here is the unconventional portrayal of the historic achievement by an animated video that is expertly narrated. (VIDEO)

Messi’s so great. Random people just take the field and interrupt play to get a hug with him. It happened this weekend (watch it here).

Staying in Spain, Deportivo La Coruña vs. Real Valladolid will be broadcast by beIN Sport later today (2 pm ET), while at 3 pm ET Reading will take on Arsenal in EPL action (ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes).

Here’s a holiday idea that could potentially be imported to these shores in MLS: an annual Christmas-specific soccer jersey. Chievo Verona of Italy’s Serie A does it (catch the latest holiday kit here). (VIDEO)

Lastly, speaking of the holidays, if you’re somewhat familiar with English Premier League goalkeepers over the years, you just might get a kick out of “The 12 Penalties of Christmas.” (VIDEO)

MLSsoccer.com Musts

Former US Under-23 international traded in Mexico

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Union: We didn’t pick up Conor Casey to be a role player

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