Saturday, March 10, 2007

Would Terry Leave

There's a lot being made of John Terry's contract status. With new FIFA rules, he could buy out the last 2 years of his contract and move to a new club. And talks his agent has had with Chelsea are reported to have broke down. The real question here is why would John Terry want to leave Chelsea? He's reported to be pulling in £4.5 million / year. He's been with Chelsea since he was a youth with his only time away from the club being a short loan stint at Nottingham Forest. He's never expressed any interested in leaving Chelsea. Why would he now?

Friday, March 09, 2007

Metzelder : Leaving Germany?

As recently mentioned, German Christoph Metzelder is available on a free transfer. It didn't take long for him to be linked with Real Madrid. Didn't Real learn their lesson after bringing in injury-cursed Jonathan Woodgate?

Top 25 US Seniors

Props to College To Pros for catching a list of the top 25 high school seniors in the US. I was surprised not to see one or three planning on heading over to Europe to play. Do they see it as an option? Or if they do, do they leave before their senior year of high school?

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Rapids & Wasson Come To Terms

One of the young local players the Colorado Rapids coaching staff has been big on is Daniel Wasson (Colorado Springs, CO). He was a 4th round pick in the supplemental draft last year but managed 17 appearances with the first team. Rumor has it that he and the Rapids have come to terms and that he's putting pen to paper today and signing a new contract.

Colorado Rapids Incompetence

I got the latest Rapids newsletter in my inbox yesterday. In the recent past they have put out press releases with an incorrect domain name. No, that incorrect domain name didn't involve their flubbed attempt to change their name to the arsenal. This is The team does not and has not owned this URL. Yet again they show great incompetence in getting their own domain correct. No wonder this team struggles to sell tickets. They can't even get the people to the right web site!

Manchester United : Any Cash To Spend?

That's the question many people have had about Manchester United since Malcom Glazer's leveraged buyout of the team. Depending on your perspective, the beauty or ugliness of an LBO is that the person or group buying the company uses the company they're buying as to secure they debt they need to buy out the company at this hand. In the case of ManUtd, Glazer used it as collateral to buy them out and left the club saddled with a heavy debt load. Think of it as buying a house. Most all residential mortgages involve you buying a house with the debt secured by the house that you're buying. And even if you haven't bought a house yourself, most of us have heard how tight money can be the first year or three. And that's why there is so much speculation over Manchester United's transfer budget and if they have much of one at all. Asian Football Business Review is reporting that Manchester United will have a transfer budget this summer. Technically AFBR is reporting that ManUtd has a new sponsor, Grupo 2002 and ASC. Manchester United's Chief Executive David Gill is stating that the money will be used to help finance transfer this summer. Now that they've gone on record as having money to spend, the next question is how much. And who will they buy? A replacement for Scholes? A left winger? A new striker?

Metzelder : Going Anywhere?

It looks like German Christoph Metzelder will be available on a free this summer (thanks Soccer Jones for the scoop). I agree that he seems unlikely to leave Germany. I just hope he ends up with a club like Hamburg or Werder Bremen instead of joining Bayern Munich. And of course no matter how unlikely he is to move to England, it won't stop the English press from linking him with a move there.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Conor Casey, A Mess?

It's easy to see how things were going to play out with hind sight. The MLS finally announced yesterday that Toronto FC had signed Conor Casey. But not before WVHooligan posted about the mess that is Conor Casey. Hindsight aside, the tone of the blog was too cynical in my opinion. The league has been becoming more transparent with their player issues. More so, in this case the core issue was that Toronto was being reluctant to use a major allocation to bring in Casey. I didn't see how this was a reason to be cynical about the league's dealings. Casey is relatively known quantity and talent. And he's coming into the league on the heals of a year when Kenny Cooper went from a young ManUtd academy reject to US National Team player. More teams than just Toronto and Colorado were interested in Casey. Not only is it reasonable given his talent and demand that Toronto had to use a full allocation on him but it shows that the league is moving away from back room deals that may favor a certain team. Are they perfect yet? No but at least we've moved way from the days when league pet projects like DC United could cherry pick the best players from league controlled teams like Tampa Bay.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Clavijo Looks At Rapids Upcoming Season

Soccer 365 has a nice interview with Colorado Rapids head coach Fernando Clavijo. It's good to see Clavijo again stating where his goals for the team lie :

“I’ve been saying all along it would take 3 years to put a group of players together and this is 3 years, so no excuses. Everything is falling into place and you have to believe that this is our time.”
With the MLS having a salary cap and the league's office slowing adding transparency to the player acquisition process, clubs in smaller markets should be aiming for winning it all. The question is do the Rapids really have the talent to do so? A lot has been made over the loss Joe Cannon. Zach Thornton, 33, is perceived as being at the near end of his career. The defense, tied for the worst in the league last year, has been shaken up with some new veterans (Vanney, Prideaux) brought in along with the talented Ugo Ihemelu. Clavijo will need to find a way to get all those new faces in the back to gel if the team is to make a run. More so, they need to start scoring goals. Hercules Gomez may be able to be the 15 goal scorer the team needs if he can find ways to latch on to Terry Cooke's crosses. But as we saw last year with Cunningham at Real Salt Lake, it'll take more than that. And as well as Beckerman and Mastroeni may play together in the middle, the Rapids will likely need one of their under performing vets like Mathis or Kirovski to step and show they can still play and produce some magic if the team is going to have a serious chance of winning a trophy.

Toronto And Conor Casey

It looks like the MLS has signed Conor Casey. But Toronto FC has not announced Casey's signing as of yet. So there is some speculation as to why this is. From the Toronto Sun's article it would appear that it's a matter of which allocation Toronto will need to use to bring Casey into the fold. What I'm wondering is how soon Toronto needs to finalize this before other teams get a chance to use their allocation to bring him in.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Does Loyalty Still Exist?

Boleiro takes a nice look at player's loyalty to a team in the Brazilian game. He points out how players like Magrão play for one team, swear they'll never play for a rival and yet turn around and do so. It brings to mind Matthew Le Tissier who played 444 leagues games (162 goals) for Southampton FC. Saints were the only club he ever played for and a move to a bigger club would have likely brought him in to English national team picture more than the 8 caps he earned. Is this why players move? Is it just money or also for a change for more glory with their country?