Plenty of fresh faces joining MLS in 2013

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Gosh, it’s exhausting covering Major League Soccer. Gale Agbossoumonde’s signing isn’t the only news of the day. Far from it, in fact.

First, we have the Los Angeles Galaxy snagging Homegrown player Gyasi Zardes. The 21-year-old forward is a former product of the club’s U-18 and U-20 academies and scored 33 goals in 37 games over the last two seasons at CSU Bakersfield.

“I am extremely excited about the opportunity to join the LA Galaxy,” Zardes said in a statement. “The chance to play in front of family and friends and alongside the likes of Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan truly is a dream come true… I am looking forward to working hard and helping the Galaxy defend their MLS Cup title next season.”

Because what LA needs is more talent.

Elsewhere, the Generation Adidas class signs a pair of centerbacks in Louisville’s Andrew Farrell and Furman’s Walker Zimmerman. Farrell should be the No. 1 pick. Ives Galarcep also reports that senior John Stertzer, Dillon Powers, and Carlos Alvarez have signed contracts with Major League Soccer. Finally, at least for now, the Columbus Crew sign Akron defender Chad Barson to a HGP deal.

This is all good news. MLS is missing out on a few big names, but the GA class will keep growing and adding players. The 2013 draft should be deep with college and international talent. If you’re a GM, you have to be happy with the options.

Not coming to the party, however, will be Duke defender Sebastien Ibeagha, who is staying in school for his senior season. We can’t say we’re surprised. It’s getting mighty crowded up in here.

LAFC selects Urena, 4 others in MLS Expansion Draft

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Los Angeles FC selected five players in the MLS Expansion Draft, including Costa Rican national team star Marco Urena.

Whether they’ll make their way to the City of Angels is another story.

The first pick from general manager John Thorrington was goalkeeper Tyler Miller from Seattle Sounders.

[ MORE: Benitez on NUFC struggles ]

Going next was Latif Blessing from Sporting KC, an electric attacker who netted thrice with an assist last season.

Next was Urena from San Jose and the Costa Rican national team, a huge addition, and then Columbus left back Jukka Raitala before closing up the draft with Raheem Edwards from Toronto FC.

LAFC has already announced the signings or acquisitions of Carlos Vela, Walker Zimmerman, Carlos Alvarez, Monday Etim, and Guillermo Vizcarra.

The club will also loan Omar Gaber from Basel and Rodrigo Pacheco from Lanus.

WATCH LIVE: Three Premier League matches

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Chelsea visits the John Smith’s Stadium to face Huddersfield Town in one of three Premier League fixtures this chilly Tuesday in December (Watch live at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

The Blues are now 14 points back of Manchester City, and three points clear of fifth place.

Meanwhile there are a pair of matches on NBC Sports Gold: Burnley looks to keep pace with its Top Four ambitions when it hosts struggling Stoke City, while in-form Crystal Palace seeks a home win that would move it out of the drop zone. In its way? Dangerous, attack-minded Watford.

Burnley vs. Stoke City — 2:45 p.m. ET [ STREAM ]

Huddersfield Town vs. Chelsea — 3 p.m. ET [ STREAM ]

Crystal Palace vs. Watford — 3 p.m. ET [ STREAM ]

FIFA bans Colombia midfielder Cardona 5 games for gesture

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ZURICH (AP) FIFA has banned Colombia midfielder Edwin Cardona for five matches for making a discriminatory gesture with his eyes toward a South Korean opponent.

FIFA will allow Cardona to serve the ban in friendly games, so he should be available for Colombia’s World Cup opener against Japan on June 19.

[ MORE: Pep on post-derby celebrations ]

Cardona has also been fined 20,000 Swiss francs ($20,150) because of the incident last month in a friendly in Seoul.

Cardona apologized at the time, saying he “didn’t mean to disrespect anyone, a country or a race, but if anyone felt offended, or interpreted it in that way, I am sorry.”

Spurs’ Alderweireld won’t return until February

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Spurs finally got a bit of good news this weekend with a blowout of Stoke City.

That was a followed by a tough draw against Juventus in the UEFA Champions League, and bad news on an old injury.

[ MORE: Benitez on NUFC struggles ]

Center back Toby Alderweireld is going to be gone into February, extending his time on the sidelines with a hamstring injury suffered Nov. 1 against Real Madrid.

Spurs were 6-2-2 in league when Alderweireld went down, and are just 2-2-2 since the injury. The Belgian has missed losses at Arsenal and Leicester, draws against Watford and West Brom, and wins over Crystal Palace and Stoke.

Tottenham did win both of its UCL matches since the injury.