Morning Ticker: Arsenal-ManU to meet in FA Cup, Boro close in on Alves, Red Bulls set to open camp and my latest on Reyna

Morning Ticker: Arsenal-ManU to meet in FA Cup, Boro close in on Alves, Red Bulls set to open camp and my latest on Reyna

European Soccer

Morning Ticker: Arsenal-ManU to meet in FA Cup, Boro close in on Alves, Red Bulls set to open camp and my latest on Reyna

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A rather busy week is in full swing.

The European transfer window is three days away now and it is time for clubs to start finalizing deals. That means it will be decision time for at least two MLS goalkeepers, Brad Guzan and Matt Pickens. It also means decision time for players such as Brazilian striker Afonso Alves.

Today also marks the first day of training for the Red Bulls. Well, not really the Red Bulls. More like the supplemental draft picks and non-roster invitees the team has culled together. It certainly won’t look like the collection of talent D.C. United showed off on Monday.

I wrote about Claudio Reyna today in my Herald News column (no, I haven’t left the paper yet, we are in negotiations for me to stay on in a less frequent role). Today Reyna and the rest of the Red Bulls will speak to media at the team’s practice facility at Montclair State. If he speaks, it will mark Reyna’s first public comments since before the team’s playoff elimination loss to New England last November. It will be interesting to see what he will say regarding his decision to come back as well as his falling out with Bruce Arena, that’s if he says anything at all.

Here are some other news nuggets to digest:

Arsenal vs. Man U in FA Cup: In case you missed Monday’s FA Cup Round of 16 draw, Manchester United will play host to Arsenal. You can wipe the drool from your face now.

Boro closing in on Alves: The long-awaited move to Middlesbrough by Afonso Alves is set to be completed. Why should you care? You should care because it puts Michael Bradley one step closer to winning the Dutch Golden Boot. Okay, I’m half kidding.

Bad Boy Barton is back: Newcastle midfielder and resident troublemaker Joey Barton (otherwise known as the Pacman Jones of the EPL) is set to rejoin the team and could see action in today’s match against Newcastle. If he can avoid getting arrested in the next four hours I think you’ll see him play.

Newcastle hire Wise: Newcastle has hired Dennis Wise as the team’s new executive director. Why should you care? The Red Bulls, who lead the world in directors, don’t have an executive director to my knowledge so look for them to create that position shortly. Yes, I’m kidding. More seriously, I can see Wise as Newcastle’s head coach in two years.

Ono lands in Germany: Japanese star Shinji Ono is set to join German club FC Bochum this week. The troubled 28-year-old midfielder is looking to revive a career that has faded pretty rapidly. Why should you care? Sources tell me the expansion Seattle franchise (set to be named the Emerald City Wicked Witches, or something similar) plans on signing a high-profile Japanese player when it opens for business in 2009. Could Shinji be the one?

That’s all for now. I will be heading to the Meadowlands today for the Red Bulls training session but will have my computer with me and will be ready to post any news that comes along so stay tuned.

Also, feel free to comment on any of the stories above. As always, share your thoughts below.

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