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Archive for January, 2009

YANKS ON THE MOVE

Saturday, January 31st, 2009

Here is some transfer news involving Americans.

Sacha Kljestan’s move to Celtic is not going to happen.  Celtic could not afford Kljestan’s $3.5 million, plus sell-on clause, price tag.  The young central midfielders is coming off a hat-trick performance with the national team and should see his stock rise in the coming months.  It isn’t likely that he will complete a transfer before the transfer window closes, even though there are plenty of teams interested.  Personally, I’m glad the deal did not go through, I do not think the Scottish game suits him.

Jozy Altidore has just completed a loan deal to Xerez in the Spanish second division.  Altidore could not get regular minutes in Villarreal’s stacked forward line.  Xerez sits first in the second division and that should take some pressure off Altidore needing to come in and make a difference.  Why is this move better than a loan deal to Everton?  I think the rigours of Spanish Second division are much less than the Premier League.  Young players are prone to injuries if not brought along slowly.  It will also give him more time to settle into the Spanish game instead of having to adapt to the English game.  Playing time is probably the biggest factor. Altidore is likely to see more minutes with Xerez than Everton.

Bobby Convey is on his way back to MLS.  The Reading and ex-DC United midfielder is in talks with MLS for a return to the league.  Convey’s time at Reading was filled with ups and downs but current lack of playing has sealed his desire to return to the US.  Convey has been plagued with injuries the last few seasons but states that he is 100% healthy now.  LA Galaxy and San Jose are his two possible destinations if he returns.  LA want him but San Jose are first in the allocation order.  San Jose does not need Convey and LA might strike a deal with San Jose to move up the allocation order.

Duke University standout, Mike Grella, is set to sign with English League One side Leeds.  Grella was a forward at Duke this last season and was considered one of the top strikers coming out college this year.  He was drafted by Toronto FC in this years Superdraft, but he had already set his sights on a move to Europe.  Grella impressed on his two week trial with Leeds, scoring a hat trick in their reserve match versus Barnsley.  Leeds was once a Premier League powerhouse, but finacial issues has seen them struggle in the last 5 years.  I’m a little dissappointed he is playing in League One.  I don’t see how that is much better, besides the pay, than playing in MLS.

RAPIDS PRESEASON ROSTER

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

rapids-logo

The Rapids preseason camp starts today. The Rapids will be in Colorado for two weeks, then the team leaves for a 7 day camp in Ft. Lauderdale. I’m a little dissappointed that the Rapids aren’t going overseas to hold their training camp this year. The Rapids will take the pitch today for the first time and will start 2 a day training on Thursday. The Rapids training sessions will be closed to the public . . . bummer. Maybe the Green Army can get a press pass.

Who showed up?

Goalies: Preston Burpo, Steward Ceus, Mike Graczyk, Justin Hughes, Matt Pickens, Chris Sharpe

Defenders: Ty Harden, Jordan Harvey, Mike Holody, Ugo Ihemelu, Henry Kalungi, Stephen Keel, Kosuke Kimura, Cory Gibbs, Kwame Sarkodie, Cesar Zambrano

Midfielders: Colin Clark, Nico Colaluca, Terry Cooke, Greg Dalby, John DiRaimondo, Nick LaBrocca, Pablo Mastroeni, Ciaran O’Brien, Jacob Peterson, Mehdi Ballouchy, Christian Gomez, Brian Grazier

Forwards: Kwame Adjeman-Pamboe, Conor Casey, Omar Cummings, Kevin Forrest, Ross Schunk, Jordan Seabrook

These guys won’t be back:

Bouna Coundoul (GK) and Jose Burciaga, Jr. (DEF): Out of contract

Tom McManus (FWD) and Facundo Erpen (DEF): Rapids declined to pick up their contract options, McManus is on trial in Scotland.

Mike Petke (DEF) and Tim Ward (DEF): Waived, Petke has recently signed with the NYRB

I think these players not returning is a smart move. Bouna’s departure would have hurt more if Pickens was not in the picture. Burciaga, Erpen, and Ward never made an impact with the Rapids and their departure will not be felt. McManus had the potential to be a great striker in MLS but the team has decided to move in another direction.

Salary cap space:

Facundo Erpen never lived up to his $125,000 salary and his departure will give the Rapids salary space to play with. Similarly, Tom McManus leaves behind a $140,000 salary that was slightly more warranted, but ultimately too much for his production. Petke’s departure gives the Rapids another $133,000. Burciaga’s $80,000, Ward’s $54,000, and Bouna’s $33,000 give the Rapids a grand total of $565,000 in salary cap space. If they could offload at least some of Gomez’s $430,000 they would be a great position to start dealing for new players. I’m sure some of the money will be redistributed among existing players and some of the players already on trial, but $150,000 South American striker wouldn’t be such a bad move.

Christian Gomez?

Gomez was big question mark coming into this preseason. The interest in the player expressed by New England and Dallas never materialized. Goff at the Soccer Insider is predicting a move back to DC for the Argentinian playmaker. Dallas hasn’t completely taken their eye off Gomez, but Gomez’s salary demands make a move unlikely. I hope there is a way to get Gomez into the Rapids lineup because he is a talented player that still has a few years of soccer left in him.

Tryout Players:

No word on any potential tryout players yet. Smith has stated that there will be several joining the camp soon.

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