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Wednesday Links 1/18/12

A weekly collection of links to satiate your Red Bull (team, not the drink) cravings. And some other links of interest.

Brian Nielsen, MIA for most of 2011, is set to spend six months with the club, which, as his agent points out, "makes Brian obviously very happy." The rest of us? Not so much. [Empire of Soccer]

Markus Holgersson to the Red Bulls is official. [New York Red Bulls]

The U.K.'s version of PTI tackles Major League Soccer's creation of "footballing mercenaries" a la Thierry Henry. Also, the U.K. has it's own version of PTI. [YouTube]

NBC the "next step" in Major League Soccer's evolution. [Goal.com]

USA Today gets in on the Ream-to-Bolton train. [USA Today]

Chicago Fire release 2012 kit with very possibly the best kit sponsor of all time. [Chicago Fire]

MLS wants the prospective New York expansion team to build a stadium in Manhattan. Lols. [Big Apple Soccer]

"I've watched guys, and I won't say their names, that are in very prominent positions now in U.S. Soccer and MLS, who wet themselves during the National Anthem because they couldn't handle the pressure." If that isn't enough to get you to read the Free Beer Movement's two part interview with Eric Wynalda, nothing will. [Free Beer Movement: Part 1, Part 2]

D.C. United fan picks draft winners and losers. In other news, D.C. United fan has no idea what he's talking about. [Black and Red United]

Speaking of the draft, in the second round Real Salt Lake took Sebastian Velazquez, whose trip to MLS is quite an interesting one. [MLSsoccer.com]

China's footballing ineptitude. [The Economist]