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Kick Off: Daniele De Rossi
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Kick Off: AS Roma star midfielder sees MLS in his future

Nothing to spice up the holidays like a good transfer news bit.

This one may need some time to materialize. AS Roma and Italian national midfielder Daniele De Rossi, who many American fans will remember for busting open Brian McBride’s head in the 2006 World Cup, says he’s interested in a move to MLS: "In the future, I would like to have an experience in the United States."

Meanwhile, De Rossi’s teammate at AS Roma, USMNT star midfielder Michael Bradley, has his eyes on the 2014 World Cup. He discusses the upcoming CONCACAF World Cup qualifying Hexagonal as well as his transition to AS Roma in this Q&A with Jack Bell of The New York Times.

Bradley and Roma are currently in Orlando, Fla., for a winter training camp and they’ll be facing USL side Orlando City in a friendly on Jan. 2. Forget about getting tickets to this one though. It’s sold out.

While Bradley will likely make a run at best American export of all-time by the time he’s done, that title is arguably held by goalkeeper Brad Friedel for the moment. It was announced today that Tottenham Hotspur have inked the US goalkeeper to yet another one-year deal, keeping him around through the end of the 2013-14 EPL campaign, his 17th consecutive season in England. Oh, and he turns 42 in May.

The latest MLS export to England, ex-Sporting KC midfielder Roger Espinoza, is hoping to make his debut on Jan. 2. However, reports in England say Wigan are “sweating on his paperwork.”

Just like England has become the home for so many American players, San Jose could fast become the home away from home for Honduran internationals. Earthquakes defender Victor Bernardez says he’s looking to lure two of his fellow catrachos from the Honduran national team to join him at the Supporters’ Shield holders.

Speaking of the Quakes, they came in as the No. 6 Story of the Year in MLSsoccer.com’s year-end countdown. No. 5 will be unveiled later today along with the Broadcaster Call of the Year. Get caught up on the entire year-end “Best of” series.

Meanwhile, former MLS star forward Alecko Eskandarian chimes in with his own top 10 favorite stories of 2012 on SI.com. Give it a read here.

More lists. How about the most intriguing person in American soccer in 2012? According to Steve Davis at Pro Soccer Talk, that’s US women’s star Alex Morgan.

There is plenty of intrigue around Portland Timbers forward Bright Dike, who made Nigeria’s provisional quad list for the upcoming African Cup of Nations. “Dike has one cap, but I was really impressed with his fitness level when we played against Venezuela in Miami,” says Nigerian head coach Stephen Keshi. “His dedication level is impressive. These are the kind of players that I need. I am not saying he will make the list or will be dropped eventually. When the camp opens in Portugal, we will see who is who.”

Another MLS forward was doing his part to spread some holiday cheer in a faraway land recently. Columbus Crew striker Aaron Horton talks about his recent trip to South Africa, which combined soccer and mission work.

Colombian side Millonarios are on a mission of their own to make a run at the Copa Libertadores and they’ve made no secret that they want Seattle’s Fredy Montero to help do the job. The latest report from Colombia says that they’re trying to negotiate a deal that will keep Montero in Colombia through June. (SPANISH)

Forget June. Some players just want to just get through January. FC Dallas midfielder Bobby Warshaw talks about the pressure he’s facing in the team’s upcoming preseason training camp: “I’m still not on a guaranteed contract, I’m still on the fringe, so I could very easily show up, have a good two weeks and get released.”

Here’s one guarantee we can offer: It’s going to be a big day for Chivas USA fans, as Dennis te Klose is presented as the new head of soccer for Chivas in Mexico and the United States. We’ll hear what he has to say about the plans for the MLS version of the Goats.

After the arrival of “Chelís” as manager at Chivas USA, other prospective head coaches seem to be setting their eyes on MLS. That’s the case of former MLS forward Jorge Luis Dely Valdés, who says he hopes one day to get the chance to coach the Colorado Rapids. (SPANISH)

Will Colorado be the new home for Diego Calderón? He plays for Liga de Quito in Ecuador, where Sporting KC designated player Claudio Bieler also hails, and this report confirms that he’s heading to MLS. No team name just yet. (SPANISH)

It’s the day after Christmas: the time when David Beckham said he’d be ready to announce that new challenge of his. Still no word yet, but we do know that AS Monaco are off the table. (FRENCH)

Forget France. It’s all about England today. Here’s the Boxing Day soccer TV schedule: Manchester United vs. Newcastle (10 am ET, ESPN2), Sunderland vs. Manchester City (10 am ET, Fox Soccer), Norwich vs. Chelsea (10 am ET, Fox Soccer Plus), Aston Villa vs. Tottenham (12:30 pm ET, Fox Soccer) and Stoke City vs. Liverpool (2:30 pm ET, Fox Soccer). And if you’re so inclined, Dundee host Celtic in Scotland (2:30 pm ET, Fox Soccer Plus).

And finally, as you’re watching the best that English soccer has to offer, here’s something to ponder. For all the hype around the EPL, is German soccer the best in the world? This New York Times article would seem to back that claim and the Bundesliga could be set to dominate for years to come.

MLSsoccer.com Musts

Best tifo display of 2012: Yep, you guessed it

Best of ExtraTime Radio: Listen to the top interviews and debates from the year that was

Tribute to Newtown: Watch the video created by San Jose’s Marcus Tracy


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