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January 11, 2013 at 10:23 AM

Kansas City to host 2013 MLS All-Star Game on July 31, opponent TBD (Friday links)

Sporting Kansas City Logo.jpgThe 2013 MLS All-Star Game will be held at Livestrong Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan., on July 31 against a to-be-determined international opponent.

It’s pretty clear the stadium and city are growing into mainstays for top events within the league and U.S. Soccer.

“This market has just been so incredibly exciting for all of us at Major League Soccer — and really for soccer fans throughout the United States and North America,” said MLS commissioner Don Garber at a news conference Thursday. “This has been one of the great, great success stories for our sport. We’re very proud of what’s taken place here.”

Forward Eddie Johnson and midfielder Osvaldo Alonso represented Sounders FC in last year’s All-Star Game, a 3-2 win against Chelsea FC with Johnson scoring the winning goal.

Let’s get to some links:

* * *

Here is video (here, too) of a Fredy Montero interview upon arrival to Colombia. It’s clear he has the Copa Libertadores and future participation with the national team on his mind.

— A rumored replacement for Montero? An anonymous Twitter account (does it get any more official than that) has the Sounders in talks with Portuguese forward Helder Postiga.

— Regarding a trademark of the Cascadia Cup, here’s a Sounder at Heart reader with an informed post on the matter.

— And here’s a story on the Sounders’ new hire on the sports science front.

— The LA Galaxy are apparently busy making staff moves with Jovan Kirovski signing on as technical director and the recently retired Pat Noonan reportedly becoming an assistant coach.

— In Vancouver, there’s more talk of DP forward Kenny Miller being on the way out. Defender Andy O’Brien is training with Bolton for a month leading into preseason training camp, and the team signed an American center back Friday who was playing abroad.

— Elsewhere around the league, Chivas USA fired its lead assistant Carlos Llamosa, Houston defender Andre Hainault is off to play in Scotland, Colorado is close to landing a Chiliean midfielder, and FC Dallas signed a new goalkeeper.

— How valuable is an MLS SuperDraft mock draft? Not sure. You can judge for yourself. Here is information on the teams at the upcoming combine.

— SI.com’s Grant Wahl posted his latest mailbag. The Washington Post has this nice feature on rising American star Joe Gyau.

— Is Juan Agudelo close to signing with Celtic?

Here’s a story with USMNT fitness coach Masa Sakihana regarding the early training routine in January camp.

— Thinking about going to Brazil for the 2014 World Cup? Here are a few tips to read first.

— Lastly, Bryan Meredith is just about off to join his new team in Sweden (ignore the fact that he’s still listed on the Sounders roster on the team website).

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