Training camp, Day 2
A few items to pass along from United training camp today at RFK:
-- Team officials expects the full regular season schedule to be released next Wednesday, Feb. 7. Of course, that could change. MLS is finalizing TV games and tinkering with some matches here and there, but for the most part, it's set. The Beckham-to-RFK match is still planned for Aug. 9, sources have told me.
-- I had a long talk with Luciano Emilio for a feature story in the coming weeks. Fascinating background, which I will elaborate upon in the article. He said he has not yet received his work visa, but expects it very soon. Team officials say it's a formality. Emilio's family is still in Honduras, awaiting visas to move to the Washington area.
-- Coach Tom Soehn, on fitness levels: "This year more than ever, I think the guys addressed their offseason a little bit better. Yesterday we focused on playing a little bit, today was more fitness-generated. We'll take the rest of the week and address all the fitness needs and, as we get to Florida, we'll address the soccer part because we only have a couple weeks leading up to a very important game."
Now, onto more important matters...
As I reported a few months ago, league MVP Christian Gomez has been offered a new contract, worth an estimated $325,000 per year, for this season and the 2008 season. So far, he has not accepted it.
What does it mean? Nothing at the moment. Gomez is under contract for 2007 and will be paid at least $200,000 (his base salary was 180K last year, not including bonuses), but his deal expires next winter and unless he agrees to a new contract, he'll be free to go elsewhere. The Middle East, Asia and South America are possibilities.
Here are his thoughts on the matter:
"Basically, right now, it's been discussed, it's been negotiated, but nothing has been determined. The door is still open and we're in constant talk. It's an ongoing communication."
"I have felt very good about D.C. United every since I came to the club. I was welcomed with open arms and my family has been treated very well. It has meant a lot to me, and in that regard, I would like to stay. It's just a matter of finalizing things and making sure we have something that makes sense for myself and for the people who represent me. Hopefully, that will take place."
That's all for now. Discuss amongst yourself.
I probably will not attend practice the next two days, but will keep you updated as news unfolds.
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