Good afternoon folks. Hope you are all enjoying some time off around the holidays, and if you're one of the people who have faced the horror of flight delays and bad weather, good luck on your travels.
This won't be your standard Ticker, moreso just a chance to catch you all up on the latest. I'll start with my own interesting run-in of the week. I went to the New Jersey Nets-Houston Rockets game with a friend who scored some courtside seats. As I watched Yao Ming tower over the Nets I realized that sitting 10 feet from me was none other than U.S. national team striker and former New York Red Bull Jozy Altidore. He was in the United States as part of his vacation during Spain's winter break.
Altidore was in good spirits and it was very clear that he is enjoying life at Villarreal. "It's better than I could have imagined," said Altidore, who also showed off a little bit of his newly-learned Spanish.
He may be the future of American soccer, but Altidore is definitely a basketball junkie. After taking in Monday's game, an ugly Nets loss for those wondering, Altidore was heading to Florida to visit his family and take in Tuesday's Miami Heat-Golden State Warriors game.
That was my interesting encounter of the week. Here are a few more stories to get you through what I hope is a relaxing Christmas Eve.
Galaxy lands Ricketts
When I saw Bruce Arena in Los Angeles during MLS Cup, I pressed him on a trip to Jamaica I heard he had taken. When I asked him how his trip to Jamaica was, Arena didn't miss a beat and replied, "Jamaica where? Jamaica, New York?"
As it turns out, Arena's not-so-secret scouting trip was to find himself a goalkeeper and that is what he found. Arena and the Galaxy announced the signing of Jamaican national team goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts on Tuesday.
The 6-foot-4 goalkeeper should step in and start for a Galaxy squad that struggled mightily to find a replacement for Joe Cannon, who LA traded to San Jose before the 2008 season.
Arsenal looks for Cesc replacement
With Cesc Fabregas set to miss up to four months with a torn MCL, Arsenal is desperately searching for a replacement and that search could led the Gunners to the very man who helped cause the injury.
Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso, whose challenge on Fabregas led to his injury, could make a January move to Arsenal.
Reports also continue to persist linking Arsenal with a move for Russian playmaker Andrei Arshavin.
I will be back later today with the SBI MLS Mock Draft 2.0 and the latest installment of Your Questions Answered. For now, what do you think of the above stories? Is Ricketts the answer for the Galaxy? Do you think Liverpool would actually sell Alonso to Liverpool? Are you glad Altidore didn't follow his first love and become a basketball player?
Share your thoughts below.