Robbie Keane and Not-Unattractive Wife Land In LA

The newest member of the Los Angeles Galaxy landed at LAX yesterday, strolling through the terminal alongside his wife, Claudine, and greeted by a sizable media contingent.

Keane, who will be available for LA’s match against San Jose on Saturday night, gave his first U.S. interview to Yahoo Sports’ Martin Rogers. Here’s a quote:

“Coming at this stage of the season is interesting because the Galaxy are doing well, and I want to help that continue. … I am fit and hungry and ready to go. I hope that they will just throw me in the deep end and let me show what I can do.”

He also said—ah screw it; it’s Friday afternoon: Some observers found that Keane’s airport companion brightened up the drab LAX terminal considerably, and they may have a point.

But we can’t be sure without further evidence:

It’s possible…

Okay, we’ll concede the point.

Don’t forget to set your BPFL rosters, folks. You have unlimited transfers up until Saturday morning’s deadline, and the site promises—promises—that it will have our fixtures up for Week 1 (retroactively) and Week 2 in time for the start of the weekend games. We hope so.

Enjoy the games, and the weekend.

U.S. Striker Eddie Johnson Headed Back to MLS

As the MLS Insider tweeted earlier today, Portland fans will have to retire their “There’s only one Eddie Johnson” chant.

There are about to be two Eddie Johnson’s in Major League Soccer.

The second one is returning from Europe after four years of struggling for playing time at Fulham and getting loaned out to Cardiff City (Championship), Aris (Greek top-flight), and Preston North End (Championship).

Johnson began his professional career in MLS, playing for five years in Dallas and two in Kansas City. He bagged 15 goals for KC in 2007. He has 42 appearances and 12 goals for the USMNT—including a hat-trick against Panama in 2004 World Cup qualifying.

He has signed with the league and will be allocated to a team this week, possibly by Thursday.

Here’s hoping for a fresh start for the once-ballyhooed striker, now 27. He could use some good fortune in his life, considering his recent unfortunate episode in Florida. (Best part of that: “A man who answered a phone call Wednesday from The News-Journal at first said he was Johnson but then said it was the wrong number and declined to comment.” Ouch.)

(Portland’s Eddie Johnson is English, and one year younger than his returning namesake, but also a forward. He has one goal in three starts for the Timbers this season.)

Los Angeles Signs Ireland Captain Robbie Keane

Reports are trickling in today claiming that Tottenham and Ireland striker Robbie Keane, 31, has agreed to join the Los Angeles Galaxy on a $3 million transfer. LA is expected to announce the signing, for a reported two  years and $9.75 million, later today.

If you’re a Galaxy fan, you have to be pretty fired up about this move. Your team is already tops in the league, and while Keane may have been struggling for playing time with Spurs, he scored two goals in an Ireland friendly against Montenegro on June 4, and should be a significant upgrade over the fading Juan Pablo Angel at forward.

Speaking of, the Galaxy have to offload Angel because Keane is being brought in as a Designated Player and league rules only allow three. (LA currently has David Beckham, Landon Donovan and Angel as DP’s.)

Some reports have claimed Angel will be shipped to Philadelphia, while others say he’s merely headed across town, to Chivas USA.

Stay tuned.

Union Man: Freddy Adu to Sign with Philadelphia

Following days of reports suggesting that U.S. midfielder Freddy Adu would return to Major League Soccer as a member of Chivas USA, several sources reported yesterday that the 22-year-old is indeed coming back to the league that launched his career in 2004—but not to Chivas. The new reports say Adu has worked  out a deal with the Philadelphia Union.

An announcement from the club is expected today. Adu had been on track to join Robin Fraser’s Chivas side, but apparently the club’s owner Jorge Vergara squashed the deal at the 11th hour.

The Union recently lost striker Carlos Ruiz and are looking to add firepower as they battle for the top spot in the Eastern Conference down the stretch.

The deal may raise some eyebrows among those who remember Adu’s spell under Philly coach Peter Nowak when Nowak was boss at DC United at the start of Adu’s career. It was anything but smooth. But the pair have reportedly mended the fences and worked together on the 2008 U.S. Olympic team.

No word yet on the length of the deal or on whether Adu has been signed as a Designated Player.

Dynamo Signs Honduran International Carlos Costly

Maybe it’s a Texas thing, but they love them some big strikers in Houston.

Just days after the 6-2, 200-pound Will Bruin went down with a knee injury, the Dynamo has announced the acquisition of 6-3, 190-pound Honduran forward Carlos Costly, who will join 6-4 Cam Weaver and 6-1 Brian Ching in the Houston strike force.

Costly arrives on loan from Mexican first-division side Atlas, and is signed for the remainder of the 2011 season. He is not classified as a Designated Player.

The Dynamo (6-7-9) hope Costly, who has 18 goals in 48 appearances for Honduras, can take advantage of service from wingers Brad Davis and Colin Clark and boost the Houston offense for the stretch run.

He also won’t hurt at the gate in Houston, where 27,600 turned up for a May 29 friendly at Robertson Stadium between Costly’s Honduras and El Salvador.

Klinsmann Unveiled As USMNT Coach, Won’t Select Staff for “Months”

German soccer icon Jurgen Klinsmann (no umlaut, he says) was announced as the new coach of the U.S. national team on Friday, and officially introduced to the media this morning.

Meeting the press at Niketown in Midtown Manhattan, Klinsmann touched on a number of issues facing the program and the job that lies ahead for him, saying one of his first priorities will be “to define how the U.S. team should represent its country. And what should be the style of play?”

He also said that he will not name a staff of assistants for some time, “Because we’re not jumping into qualifying right away, we have the opportunity with exhibition games where I can try out different coaches on my side and see how they’re doing.”

Two current staffers that he did mention by name, though, were U.S. Youth Technical Director Claudio Reyna and interim U-20 coach Tab Ramos:

“I want Claudio very close to me. He will always be part of the staff. He will sit with us coaches at the table so I can tell him how I look at the game and how we can be of help to him.

“I want [Ramos’] perspective and his information about what’s coming though at the Under-20 and Under-17 level.”

As for the August 10 friendly against Mexico, Klinsmann said he hasn’t had much contact with any U.S. players but that he will name both his squad and a temporary coaching staff for that game on Wednesday. So stay tuned for that.

Video of this morning’s appearance is scarce, but here’s a revealing clip of Klinsmann talking about U.S. soccer at last summer’s World Cup:

The signing of a figure as famous as Klinsmann is certainly exciting, but we’d say that given his track record as a coach—a third-place finish at the 2006 World Cup in Germany, and an abortive, unsuccessful stint as coach of Bayern Munich—it’s a gamble, and by no means a guarantee of improvement for U.S. soccer.

Toronto FC Makes Designated-Player Splash with Frings, Koevermans

USMNT fans will remember Frings from 2002.

Toronto FC, which failed to make the playoffs in its first four seasons and has been struggling through a roster overhaul in 2011, announced the signing of two experienced European internationals yesterday.

German midfielder Torsten Frings, 34, and Dutch striker Danny Koevermans, 32, each signed designated player contracts with MLS and will be eligible to play for Toronto after July 15, when the summer international transfer window opens.

Frings, who comes to the Reds from Werder Bremen, has played in two World Cups (2002, and ’06) and in the Euro 2008 final. He’s best known to American fans for his handball on the goal-line during the 2002 World Cup quarterfinal between the U.S. and Germany. The infraction went un-called by Scottish referee Hugh Dallas, and Germany went on to win the game 1-0.

Koevermans has just four caps for the Netherlands, but has scored 136 goals in 253 appearances in the Dutch top flight, for Sparta Rotterdam, AZ Alkmaar, and PSV Eindhoven.

Perhaps fired up by their new signings, Toronto FC picked up their first MLS win since May 7 last night, edging Vancouver Whitecaps FC 1-0 at BMO Field to run their record to 3-7-9.

Feilhaber Signs with MLS—Which Yank Abroad Should Be Next?

Friday night’s news that U.S. midfielder Benny Feilhaber had signed with MLS—to be assigned to a team by tomorrow via the MLS allocation rankings—got us thinking about what foreign-based American players would do well to follow the former UCLA walk-on’s example and join the U.S. circuit.

Here is our Top 5:

DaMarcus Beasley, Hannover 96: The speedy winger has been on the national scene since 1999, when he won the Silver Ball at the U-17 World Cup, so it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that he’s only 28. At that age, he could still summon a decent contract to return to the States. A few more years rusting in Germany and his price will go down.

Mike Grella, Leeds United: The former All-America at Duke signed with Leeds despite being drafted by MLS in 2009. Since then he’s received sporadic playing time with the club, gone on loan to League One sides Carlisle United and Swindon Town, and made an abortive loan move to Scottish side Motherwell. A transfer to MLS could not only get him much needed playing time—it could also simplify the poor guy’s life.

Frank Simek, Carlisle United: The St. Louis–bred former Arsenal youth product has five caps with the U.S. national team. He’s still only 26, and the most direct route to more U.S. appearances, it seems to us, is MLS—not the third tier in England.

Jose Torres, Pachuca: The skillful, diminutive midfielder gets plenty of PT in the Mexican League, but his game could use some grit. Put him alongside, say, Geoff Cameron in the midfield of his home-state Houston Dynamo, and see if Major League Soccer’s physical style doesn’t improve his game.

Marcus Hahnemann, Wolverhampton: Unlike the others on this list, Hahnemann is not in his prime. But goalkeepers typically have longer careers than outfield players (see Friedel, Brad), and MLS could use another solid veteran between the pipes. Maybe he takes over in Seattle—where he played from 1994 to ’96—when Kasey Keller retires after the 2011 season.

Bradley on Verge of Villa Loan Deal

Aston Villa, a Premier League club with American ownership (Randy Lerner) and three American players on its books (Brad Friedel, Brad Guzan and Eric Lichaj), is poised to add a third Yank, Michael Bradley, who has been a starter at Bundesliga club Borussia Moenchengladbach since 2008.

Bradley is of course the son of U.S. national team coach Bob Bradley, who was rumored to be joining the Villans himself—as head coach—just last summer.

That story turned out to be more rumor than fact, but the reports involving 23-year-old Michael have the ring of truth. ESPN and others have reported that the young Bradley is in Birmingham, taking a physical in advance of processing the paperwork to make the loan official.

The deal will last until the end of the current Premier League season, when it could evolve into a permanent contract, depending on how well the U.S. workhorse does.

With the recent arrival of Jermaine Jones at Blackburn, we could see both of the U.S.’s first-choice central midfielders starting in the Premier League in the coming weeks, along with other U.S. midfielders Stuart Holden and Clint Dempsey.

But Bradley will have competition for a starting spot at Villa, which recently added Cameroonian Jean Makoun to a midfield corps that includes Englishman Nigel Reo Coker and Stiliyan Petrov of Bulgaria, the Villans’ captain.

Galaxy Signs Juan Pablo Angel

More than a month after selecting him with the fifth pick in Stage 2 of the MLS Re-Entry Draft, the Los Angeles Galaxy has finally come to terms with former Red Bulls striker Juan Pablo Angel on a multi-year contract.

Angel, 35, is the alltime leading scorer in MetroStars/Red Bull history with 61 goals in all competitions (and 58 goals in 102 regular season matches—not a bad strike rate).

He scored 19 goals in 24 games in 2007, his first season in New York, when he was a finalist for the MVP award. The following year, Angel bagged 14 goals and added two in the playoffs while helping the Red Bulls to an unexpected run to the MLS Cup (they lost 3-1 to Columbus).

Check out the clip below for the best of JPA in New York (after ignoring the tepid ceremony at the start honoring him for surpassing Clint Mathis as the top scorer in MetroBull history):

We will be there when the Galaxy comes to Red Bull Arena this season, and after he gets the standing O he deserves, we’ll sit back down and hope he doesn’t take anything out on the home team.