Thierry Henry To Grace Football For a Few More Games, At Least

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The New York Red Bulls' 2-1 Thursday night MLS Cup win over Sporting Kansas City means a second season in a row of silverware is still a possibility. It also means that Thierry Henry's career is prolonged for at least two more games.

There have been constant rumours about Henry's retirement throughout the season, though the player himself has been mostly silent on the matter. Sport's Illustrated's Grant Wahl writes that Red Bull official, Gerard Houllier, believes Henry will retire. Should the Frenchman announce his retirement in the near future, then football will have lost one of its greatest talents.

Goodbye Chivas USA, Hello L.A.F.C...

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As one era ends, another begins for the Los Angeles market of Major League Soccer. It was announced on Thursday afternoon that MLS would be adding a new team in Los Angeles, which will be known as the Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC). The announcement comes just days after the MLS Association announced to cease all operations of Chivas USA, effective immediately.

A Funny Old Game: The weirdest stories from this week in football

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Football can get people to express a whole gambit of emotions. Sadness, joy, anger – all from the kick of a ball. But this sport can lead to some utterly bizarre moments in time. This week has certainly been no exception, which featured moments ranging from player identity theft to child auctioneering (less sinister than it sounds), so let’s get into it.

El Clasico to Serve Up Another Great 90 Minutes of Football

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"El Clasico."

Few club rivalries can match the mixture of high-priced talent, political tension and passion that encompass the all-important La Liga match between Barcelona and Real Madrid. As expected, this season's first encounter between the two Spanish giants brings with it plenty of talking points. Barcelona will travel to the Bernabeu amid talk of La Liga goalscoring records soon to be broken, in-form superstars, fairytale debuts and history. Lots, and lots, of history.

Arsenal’s continuing struggle to find 3 points

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Football is a fickle game, and the fortunes of a team can change with the drop of a hat. It could be the retirement of a tactical mastermind a la Manchester United, the arrival of a new manager who understands the needs of the club - think Southampton -, or the signing of two players who read each other and the game so well, that a lower mid-table team find themselves pretty comfortably in fourth position, as with West Ham. With Arsenal, though, it just seems to be the same old story of moneyed mediocrity.

Could QPR really turn to Tim Sherwood?

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Another weekend, and another loss for Queens Park Rangers. There are positives to be taken from their performance against Liverpool on Sunday, and a couple of negatives to boot. Preventing Liverpool from scoring for the better part of 70 minutes is an achievement that any team could be proud of, especially one rooted to the foot of the table, as QPR are.

Should football players be disciplined for a lack of effort?

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The latest in a long line of unfit players showed up in the media over the weekend, but didn’t on the pitch, as Adel Taarabt was absolutely blasted by manager Harry Redknapp in his post match press conference after Queens Park Rangers were beaten 3-2 at the hands of an incredibly fortunate Liverpool side. Obviously, Redknapp was seething from the result, but did it warrant such an outburst against one of his own players?

Who would replace Yaya Toure?

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There's different schools of thought as to who Manchester City's best player is of the Sheikh Mansour generation. Purists would probably say David Silva, idealists would say Vincent Kompany, pragmatists Sergio Aguero. But I don't think there can be any question that Yaya Toure has been their most important. There's an argument to say that without him Manchester City might well have won nothing up to this point.

The start of a new era for Luis Suarez

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Luis Suarez's impending return to football will be the subject of plenty of attention, leading up to his debut with Barcelona, followinghis ban resulting from biting Italy's Giorgio Chiellini during the 2014 World Cup.

The Uruguayan attacker will certainly be chomping at the bit to return to centre stage, and there couldn't be a more fitting venue. On the last Saturday in October, Barcelona will visit Real Madrid in the first act of "El Clasico" this season, with the two attacking sides in great form. Suarez will play some part; whether he starts or not is dependent on a variety of circumstances, and the world will be watching.

Landon Donovan Takes His Final Bow for U.S. Soccer

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The end of an era is upon us. At the end of the year, Landon Donovan will hang up his professional football cleats for the last time. While LA Galaxy fans still get to see Donovan sport gold and blue for the next two months, US Soccer fans had to bid farewell to their faithful captain on Friday night. The 32-year-old took the field for his 157th, and final, appearance for the U.S. Men’s National Team in East Hartford, Connecticut on a chilly night. The stands were packed to capacity, over 36,000 fans were on their feet donning their US National team best as they applauded a US soccer legend on his career.

Scouting Report: Paul-Georges N'Tep (Rennes)

Even if some of France’s greats have shot to instant fame, most of France’s young talent often surfaces in a more roundabout way.

During the January transfer-window, Paul-Georges N’Tep, a Cameroon-born French national, was involved in a tug of war between several clubs.  Newcastle United, already home to copious gallic players, had expressed an interest. N’Tep’s agent played the waiting game, looking for the most lucrative offer available for the attacking midfielder, who was plying his trade at AJ Auxerre (in unfamiliar territory in France’s second tier.)

Manchester United - Five Talking Points

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1) The start to the season has been…okayyy…ish

I was genuinely taken aback this week when I read that Manchester United had re-entered the Premier League’s top 4 for the first time in over a year. Perhaps no stat better defines the David Moyes ‘era’. It’s a stat which demonstrates just how void of hope or anticipation last season was for United, a year in which United got no traction. It got me thinking about United’s start to the season, and how significant, or not, their current position in the table is.

Di Matteo to lead Schalke to a bright new dawn?

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A couple of weeks back, I wrote about the mounting pressure on Schalke boss Jens Keller. The club’s poor start to the season saw the shouts from his detractors grow louder and louder, and I wrote in my last Schalke article that Keller would have to turn things around extremely quickly in order to save his job. Unfortunately for him, he was unable to do so, and by the time the announcement was made on Tuesday that he was to be replaced, it came as no surprise to anyone. The club had slumped to another defeat – this time to Hoffenheim, with Schalke flop Adam Szalai (signed by Keller) on the scoresheet – and the manager’s position had finally become untenable.

Scouting Report: Munir El Haddadi

Barcelona’s famed youth academy, La Masia, has delivered an absolute gem of a player once again. 19-year old Munir El Haddadi has seemingly come from nowhere, grasping his opportunities as they have revealed themselves. Just a year ago, the most avid Barcelona fan might not even have heard of the young prodigy – but that has changed quite quickly.

Jermain Defoe: should he stay or should he go?

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When Jermain Defoe made his decision to play for MLS, people were ecstatic. Now, people aren’t so happy to have the Englishmen playing for Toronto FC. Over the past couple of months, Defoe has voiced over and over again his constant dislike for playing for TFC and how he wants to return to the Premier League. If TFC President Tim Leiwke has anything to do with it, Defoe might get his wish after the season is over. Earlier this week, Leiweke was a speaker at Ryerson University where he was quoted saying, “My attitude is, if you want to be here, let's go roll up our sleeves and we'll fight together. And if you don't want to be here, then get the hell out of our way."

We Be Brawling: Football's Finest Fisticuffs

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They’re both synonymous with the same city while being polar opposites. One is pragmatic while presenting an ostentatious façade; the other provides a modest face while striving for beauty in everything they do. And they do not like each other. In the Battle of the Bridge, or (as I prefer to call it) the Conflict of the Capital, two deadly rivals clashed for one afternoon only.

I am, of course, talking about Jose Mourinho vs. Arsene Wenger.

Hamburg: what’s gone wrong?

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A new season, a fresh start. That’s what the 2014/15 campaign was supposed to bring for Hamburg. The manager who guided the team to safety beginning his first full season in charge; a raft of now-household names signing up for an exciting project; optimism spilling from the stands onto the pitch. Yet once again, it all appears to be going very, very wrong. Even the most pessimistic Hamburg supporter could not have predicted last season’s complete write-off. One of the Bundesliga’s ‘institutions’, the one club to have played in every single Bundesliga season since the league’s formation looked likely to finally drop out of the top flight with barely a whimper.

Social Media and Football: The Dark Side

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Queues stretched for miles across the world a couple of weeks ago for a wireless telephone compressed into a size that can fit into your pocket. Attached to said telephone is a supercomputer that does not just connect you with those in your phone book: it keeps you connected with the world through voice, text, image and video. And like any effective parasite, the supercomputer has taken over, allowing you to communicate with those closest to you or the entire world with nothing but a touch screen and a strong opinion.

What a time to be alive.

Time for Fiorentina to face reality

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With a grand total of two goals and four points in their opening five games, Fiorentina have looked like a shell of their former exuberant selves in the 2014-15 Serie A season. Crowned Italy’s own tiki-taka juggernaut since the introduction of Vincenzo Montella as manager in 2012, Fiorentina have quickly become the ‘second team’ of most Serie A followers, drawing adulation for their offensive approach. However, this season seems to be different.  

Manchester City 1-1 Roma: tactical battle leaves City with uphill struggle

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Formations

Manchester City played their usual 4-4-2 with Silva on one side, Navas on the other. There were not many surprises in the starting line-up.

Roma started in a 4-3-3, Totti started up front as a false nine,heped by Florenzi and Gervinho on the two wings. Seydou Keita set in front of the defence, with Pjanic and Nainggolan making up the remaining of the midfield.