Photo by ISIPhotos.com
By JOHN BOSCHINI
The Los Angeles Galaxy went into the off-season looking for defensive depth and took a good step toward that on Thursday by signing veteran fullback Frankie Hejduk.
Acquired in the Re-Entry Draft from Columbus, Hejduk should give the Galaxy the defensive leader the club has needed to help mold a strong, but young stable of defenders.
The Galaxy has yet to announce a deal with Colombian striker Juan Pablo Angel, who the club also acquired the MLS rights to in the Re-Entry Draft.
Here are some other stories to close out your Thursday:
Puyol injured in Catalonia friendly
Barcelona is set to lose captain Carles Puyol for up to 10 days after the defender was injured while representing Catalonia on Tuesday.
Puyol, 32, picked up a groin injury during the regional side's 4-0 defeat of Honduras. He is set to miss two La Liga matchups against Levante and Deportivo la Coruna, who sit 16th and 13th in the Spanish table respectively. Puyol will also miss Barcelona's Copa del Rey's replay with Athletic Bilbao after the two sides battled to a scoreless draw earlier this month.
Catalonia, who is not sanctioned by FIFA and is not eligible for any World Cups or European Championships, had not played since a 4-2 defeat of Argentina in December of 2009.
Man sentenced in Togo bus attack
An Angolan man convicted in connection with the deadly attack on the Togo national team in January has been sentenced to 24 years in prison.
Joao Antonio Puati was convicted of "armed rebellion" after the bus carrying the Togo team to the African Cup of Nations was fired upon in the Angolan province of Cabinda. Two Togolese officials were killed during the attack while Togo goalkeeper Kodjovi Obilale was severely wounded. The Front for the Liberation of the State of Cabinda claimed responsibility for the attack.
Benfica reject Chelsea bid for defender Luiz
Chelsea's hope to inject some youth into its squad during the January transfer window took a hit today when Benfica rejected a bid for 23-year-old defender David Luiz. The Portuguese club rejected a 17 million Euro offer from the reigning Premier League champions and said that it would not sell Luiz for less than 43 million Euros. Chelsea is without Brazilian defender Alex and aging captain John Terry is still struggling with a nerve problem.
China, Australia, South Korea announce Asian Cup squads
Some of the top Asian players are set to miss up to five weeks of action when the 2011 Asian Cup kicks off January 7th in Qatar. Australia, who is running unopposed to host the 2015 Cup, called in Everton star Tim Cahill and Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer. China is sending its youngest-ever squad with a median age of 24. South Korea will be led by Manchester United's Park Ji-Sung, who could retire from international duty after the tournament.
What do you think of tonight's stories? Will Barcelona slip up without Puyol? Was the sentence in Togo fair? Can Chelsea find another defender?
Share your thoughts below.