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Friday Kickoff: Henry finalizes Arsenal loan, Rongen heads TFC academy & more

HenryArsenal (Reuters Pictures)

It's official: Thierry Henry is going back to Arsenal.

The New York Red Bulls forward and his former Premier League club put the final touches on a short-term loan that has Arsenal's all-time leading goal scorer returning to the Emirates through the end of February.

Henry will be eligible for the club's FA Cup match against Leeds United on Monday. During his return to Arsenal, where he starred from 1999-2007 and scored 226 goals, he will provide cover at striker, as Gervinho and Marouane Chamakh will miss time for African Cup of Nations qualifiers.

"I always said I would not play in Europe again," Henry said in an interview with Arsenal's official website. "But it is hard for me when it comes to Arsenal. I am not coming here for the whole season, I will be back (in New York) and I want to win the MLS Cup with the Red Bulls. I hope it is a win-win situation where I can help Arsenal and come back fit for the MLS season."

Here are a few more stories from around the soccer world:


Thomas Rongen's whirlwind of a soccer journey over the last year has taken him north of the border, where he has been named director of Toronto FC's youth academy.

TFC manager Aron Winter confirmed the appointment on Friday. In the past year, Rongen coached the U.S. Under-20 national team prior to taking a temporary post as coach of the American Samoa national team, which he guided to its first-ever victory during Oceania World Cup qualifying.

Rongen, a Holland native, certainly fits in with with club's Dutch approach to the game and has a knack for identifying young talent. In addition to his U.S. youth national team duties, he had also been a color commentator for D.C. United's local television broadcasts.


Former Argentina national team coach Jose Pekerman will be taking over as boss of the Colombian national team, according to reports.

Pekerman replaces Leonel Alvarez, whose tenure lasted just three World Cup qualifying matches. Pekerman, who guided Argentina to the quarterfinals of the 2006 World Cup, is expected to be introduced in the coming days.


News has gone from bad to worse for Everton, who learned that it will be without defender Phil Jagielka for the next six weeks.

Jagielka suffered a knee injury in Everton's loss to last-place Bolton on Wednesday, and tests revealed ligament damage that will rule him out and force Sylvain Distin and John Heitinga to pair as the centerback tandem in front of Tim Howard.


How do you see Henry faring on his loan with Arsenal? Think Rongen and TFC's academy are a good match? Do you see Colombia qualifying for the 2014 World Cup? How much trouble is Everton in without Jagielka's services?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. nahhhh ull realize ur truly old when you fart so loud in the middle of the night you wake ur self up and start cursing at urself for interupting ur sleeep.

  2. Rongen was making 156k with the U-20s. Then he went to coach American Samoa (A country with 55k people). I’m assuming the new contract pays him six figures for Toronto.

  3. The funny thing is…I realize that I might be getting older (29) when I make a reference to a movie and some people might not get it. Haha. Crazy

  4. Yes, get Henry (while you are at it, Donovan too) some leg braces like Forest Gump so they don’t injure their knees over there in Europe.

  5. But that will take years to pay off and the owners will fire seven head coaches by then and the team will bounce from soccer identity to soccer identity.

  6. Henry: “I will be back (in New York) and I want to win the MLS Cup with the Red Bulls”

    Yes, well, a torn ACL could very well be healed by MLS Cup in December.

  7. Huge surprise with Rongen announcement. Many TFC supporters were alarmed by Stuart Neely’s resignation as the academy under his leadership was producing some quality players. I would have to call this a four star addition, and one that must not have came cheap. For all the past problems at TFC, MLSE is demonstrating first with the $20M facility and now with Rongen contract, that they are committed to making the TFC Academy high quality.


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