PHILADELPHIA — Thierry Henry's looming future teammate is one of Landon Donovan's former teammates, and as the two MLS standouts prepare for the MLS All-Star Game against Chelsea, they took the time to address Tim Cahill's pending arrival in the league.
Everton announced Monday that Cahill has been transferred to MLS, where he will play with Henry's New York Red Bulls, and while the club has yet to confirm his capture, Henry is intrigued at the possibility of adding him to the club's attacking arsenal.
"I think he's going to be a great asset," said Henry, who warned that he did not want to jump the gun until Cahill passes his physical and the deal becomes official. "The way he plays, I love the commitment. He's great in the box. His head is unbelievable. He fights. His football IQ is great. Hopefully that can be a plus for us."
Donovan, who teamed with Cahill during his two loan stints to Everton, said that he did not talk to Cahill about the move to MLS or New York but added that "most players" in his experience overseas talk about one day coming to the league.
"I didn't speak to Tim about this particularly. I would've preferred to have him in L.A.," Donovan said light-heartedly. "It's a great opportunity for him, and fingers crossed everything works out for him."
Here are a few more notes from the build-up to the 2012 MLS All-Star Game:
TORRES NOT PLAYING FOR CHELSEA
MLS fans hoping to catch a glimpse of Euro 2012 Golden Boot winner Fernando Torres are out of luck.
The Chelsea striker won't play in the MLS All-Star Game, according to comments made by manager Roberto Di Matteo, who said that Torres' late arrival to join the club will prevent him from seeing the field.
"Fernando arrived (Monday)," Di Matteo said. "It's too early for him to be involved tomorrow."Di Matteo, who has 10 substitutions at his disposal after Chelsea and MLS agreed to the rule change Monday, will look to spread the minutes across his squad as it continues its preparations for the upcoming Premier League season and a UEFA Champions League title defense.
"We're looking to try and give everybody some playing minutes and try and reach a good balance, that once we get back to England all the players will have played more or less the same amount of game time," Di Matteo said. "This season, the fact that we have many players coming back at different times because of their involvement in the European championship, we have to manage this and consider this."
FARFAN RELISHES ALL-STAR CHANCE
Philadelphia Union attacking midfielder Michael Farfan was a late addition to the MLS squad, but as the 19th man he gives Ben Olsen some more flexibility on his roster.
Farfan has come on strong in his second MLS season, assisting on four goals for the Union while providing an attacking spark going forward.
"I'm excited. I'm just happy to be a part of it," Farfan said. "It's nice to be able to do it in Philadelphia with the Sons of Ben and all the fans around here. The atmosphere will be great."
Olsen said that Farfan is likely slated for a role late in the second half to help soak up more minutes but also lengthens the roster to help protect against an injury or an ejection.
"When you look at it, we're managing minutes," Olsen said. "I thought it was important to have a guy that I could hold as long as possible, and we'll probably do that with Michael. I've expressed that to him, and he's happy to do that and be a part of this thing."
ALONSO, JOHNSON GET SECOND CRACK AT CHELSEA
It has been six days since the Seattle Sounders fell to Chelsea 4-2 in a World Football Challenge exhibition at CenturyLink Field, and MLS All-Stars Osvaldo Alonso and Eddie Johnson will get a second chance to knock off the European champions.
"It's an unbelievable opportunity," Johnson said. "Not many people in the world get to play against Chelsea. I played against them in England, played against them last week. We all know what theyre capable of doing as a team.
"For us, we have a lot of good players on this All-Star team, a ton of experience. We're all pumped up for the game."
Alonso, who is still waiting to hear from FIFA about whether he can change his international allegiance to the United States from Cuba after becoming an American citizen, hopes to use his experience from last Wednesday to his advantage against the Blues.
"It's good for me, I know a little bit more," Alonso said. "We have to be focused tomorrow night. It's going to be a tough game."