Here are the top 15 soccer stories we’re following today...
1. STIRRING THE TRANSFER RUMOR POT
It's a busy period for potential transfers right now. We'll start with the New York Red Bulls, who are apparently after Armando Lozano, a 29-year-old central defender who currently plays for Spanish side Córdoba and would provide extra cover in what is likely to be a busy year for the Red Bulls across three competitions.
2. READY ORR NOT
Up in Toronto, TFC are once again looking to England, with a report from the BBC Sport website indicating that Blackburn Rovers defender Bradley Orr is set to join the club on a year-long loan. Could the 31-year-old be a natural replacement for Richard Eckersley?
3. EVER-EXPANDING GALAXY
Next up, the always-busy LA Galaxy, whose head coach Bruce Arena promised there would be more player signings still to come. Sure enough, on Saturday, a report suggests the club is closing in on Swedish winger Stefan Ishizaki.
4. CAPPING THE CAPS' SITUATION
No more rumors for the Vancouver Whitecaps. All done deals. On Friday, the Camilo Sanvezzo transfer saga came to an end when the 2013 Budweiser Golden Boot winner joined Querétaro for a multimillion-dollar transfer fee and something of an apology. Hours later, a new ordeal arose following the revelation that Andre Lewis, one of the Caps' first-round picks in Thursday's SuperDraft, had signed a contract with the NASL's New York Cosmos. However, MLS and the Whitecaps quickly moved to clarify that a deal has already been worked out with the Cosmos.
5. RIVAS RETURN
Injuries have limited Nelson Rivas to only 11 appearances since he signed with the Montreal Impact in 2011, but the Impact have re-signed the Colombian center back for 2014. “He has been healthy for months now," Impact sporting director Nick De Santis said. "We have to do everything in our power to help him stay healthy going forward.”
6. HOMEGROWN HOOSIER MAKES HISTORY
Another players signed, sealed, and delivered will make history for the San Jose Earthquakes. The club has inked its first-ever Homegrown player, Indiana University star Tommy Thompson, an 18-year-old attacking midfielder recently voted Big Ten Freshman of the Year.
7. NAJAR BREAKS THROUGH IN BELGIUM
Speaking of Homegrown stars, former D.C. United Academy product finally notched his first goal since transferring to Belgian side Anderlecht. It took the 20-year-old more than a year to get on the scoresheet. In the end, though, the Mauves fell 2-1 to KV Mechelen.
8. AGUDELO HEADING TO NETHERLANDS
Staying with former MLS Homegrowns in Europe, some definitive news finally on Juan Agudelo. The former New York/Chivas USA/New England star has signed with English Premier League side Stoke City, who have sent him out on loan to Dutch side FC Utrecht until the end of the season while the Potters continue to fight for his UK work permit.
9. OLUM SOUNDS OFF ON KENYA
What about MLSers in Africa? Lawrence Olum, the Kenyan midfielder who played a vital support role in Sporting KC's MLS Cup victory, has yet to debut for his country, but in an intervew with SuperSport.com had some choice words for the Kenyan soccer establishment. "What ails Kenyan football is lack of vision," he said. "We do not see where we want football to be in the near future."
10. ORLANDO CITY PREDICTING SELL-OUTS
Orlando City SC co-owner Phil Rawlins is not afraid to talk the talk. And he expects the club to walk the walk. He accompanied a local news station to the spot where the club's new stadium will rise, saying, "I would expct on opening day, we'll have 20,000 people filling the stands here," he said. "I think we'll be at capacity every week."
11. MLS TEAMS EYEING DIFFERENT KIND OF EXPANSION
The day after the MLS SuperDraft, the Nation Women's Soccer League held its draft. With the Houston Dynamo and Portland Timbers already operating teams in the NWSL, U.S. Soccer Federation president Sunil Gulati revealed that other MLS teams are interested in having their own teams as well.
12. CONFIDENT KLINSMANN
US national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann came out last week remarkably confident in his side's chances of escaping the World Cup's Group of Death, saying, “I’m pretty sure we are going to make it through to the [knockout] round.” But Ghana are not planning to make it easy. Midfielder Kwadwo Asamoah believes the matchup between the two will be “war.”
13. A DIFFERENT BRAZILIAN DREAM
With the USMNT currently training in Brazil, the experience will likely mean more to Benny Feilhaber than anyone else on the squad. Feilhaber, who turned 29 on Sunday, was born in Brazil and the midfielder will be working his hardest to be back with the squad in the summer. However, the Sporting Kansas City player also revealed that he harbours a dream of one day playing for Brazilian side Botafogo.
14. KIMURA’S QUEST FOR A CALL-UP
Mike Petke may expect SuperDraft choice Chris Duvall to challenge Kosuke Kimura for starts at right back but the incumbent won't relinquish his place easily. And Kimura is equally focused on another goal: earning a cap for Japan. In other international news, Jairo Arrieta is back with the Costa Rican national team and you could say he’s happy about that.
15. D.C. UNITED MAKING A DIFFERENCE
What are you doing this Martin Luther King Day? Well, if you’re a part of the D.C. United staff you’ll be spending some time helping beautify a DC school. Plus maybe either checking out Michael Seaton talk about a number of subjects while in Milan.
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