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November 25, 2012 at 1:09 PM

Countdown to MLS Cup (Sunday links)

mls cup playoffs 2012.jpgMLS Cup Week is here.

As a reminder, and I’m sure you’ll get many in the next few days, the Los Angeles Galaxy host the Houston Dynamo for the league championship at 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

Things have slowed down a bit here on the blog with the end of Sounders FC’s season, but there are a couple programming notes to pass along. MLS commissioner Don Garber will host a conference call Monday afternoon, where he’ll announced the MLS Best XI.

Sounders FC general manager Adrian Hanauer and coach Sigi Schmid will hold end-of-the-year interviews Tuesday. Exit interviews for players are to be determined.

Here are some links:

* * *

— Goalkeeper Michael Gspurning did some interviews with some Austrian news outlets, which you can read here and here. They particularly asked about contact with the national team, and he indicated there hadn’t been any in a while.

— Sounders FC’s CCL opponent in the upcoming quarterfinals, Tigres UANL, signed a familiar face: U.S. men’s national team midfielder Jose Torres.

— Around the league, reports have linked David Beckham‘s next move to the New York Cosmos (as always, take that with a grain of salt), Nick Rimando has three of the four finalists for MLS Save of the Year, and Celtic FC appears interested in Chivas USA’s Juan Agudelo.

— Also, D.C. United is in the market for a big-time forward, Houston’s Ricardo Clark is hoping to overcome injury to play in his first MLS Cup, and here’s a story on Bruce Arena rebuilding the Galaxy.

ESPN.com and the folks at ProSoccerTalk offer their Best XI picks. I posted mine a while ago.

— MLS Rookie of the Year Austin Berry, the Chicago fire defender, is off to train with Atletico Madrid in the offseason. Here’s a list of all the known league players with such plans.

— Also in a realm of Americans abroad, not a good moment for Charlie Davies the other day.

— SBI has posted the first version of his 2013 MLS Draft Big Board.

— Sounder at Heart has a roundup of Sounders FC’s youth academy products.

— Around the world of soccer, a 9-foot bronze statue of Sir Alex Ferguson went up recently at Old Trafford, former NASL Sounders coach Harry Redknapp has signed on as the new Queens Park Rangers coach, and Brazil has fired its national team coach a couple years before hosting the World Cup.

— Also, international NBA players weigh in on the Ballon d’Or, and it sounds like the World Cup in South Africa was quite spendy.

Kasey Keller (albeit through anecdote) was involved in this interesting look at youth soccer, particularly the negative aspects.

— Lastly, a hype video…

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