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Even MORE United News (Aren't Ya Happy?)

Technical director Dave Kasper declined comment on my report that United was close to acquiring Brazilian forward-midfielder Fred. Asked if the club was still pursuing a foreign player, though, he said: "Yes."

However, sources familiar with the negotiations said the Fred contract with DCU is DONE, and all that remains are the international clearance and work visa. He could be here next week, he could be here in two weeks, we'll see, but unless he's banned from entering the country, he's on the way. Australian hearts are a breakin'.

His contract, I'm told, is a standard MLS four-year deal with options each year. His starting salary is likely to be in the $150,000 range, with incentives.

Meantime, following United's decision today to not offer Jamil Fearrington a contract after a week-long trial, I asked Kasper if the club has any plans to look at any other defenders.

He tells me: "Not right now, no. We feel we have adequate cover in the back. If there is a situation where we can look at someone, we'll do it, but we're not pushing the panic button."

On the status of ailing goalkeeper Troy Perkins, Kasper said: "He's coming along. I think he'll be ready, that's my guess, but I just got down here [in Florida] so the coaches would know better. We'll see how he does next week."

United will play a friendly against Honduran club Motagua on Friday night in Miami. They'll return to Washington this weekend.

By Steve Goff  |  March 8, 2007; 3:37 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Next: Rogers to Columbus

Comments

Sorry, A League! Back to the dingoes, eh, eh . . .

Who does DC consider adequate cover in the back . . Namoff, Erpen, Boswell, Wilson, McTavish, Gros . .

It's a long season and other than Boswell, these players have all been injured a time or two

Posted by: delantero | March 8, 2007 3:56 PM | Report abuse

....so, we have adequate cover in the back? Did I miss some player signings?

"If there is a situation where we can look at someone, we'll do it, but we're not pushing the panic button."

Wow, he's a spin master.

Posted by: Happy Go DC | March 8, 2007 3:59 PM | Report abuse

So, are we now farming the A League?

Isn't that a fine little twist for a league a little more than a decade old.

Too bad the rest of the MLS is out looking for European has-beens while United is actually looking for long term contributers. Why is it that United is the only one with this focus?

Posted by: James | March 8, 2007 4:00 PM | Report abuse

DCU is way ahead of the curve...

Posted by: Goff | March 8, 2007 4:01 PM | Report abuse

The heck with that thing....whazzit called?....oh yeah, defense...

Let's send 'em all forward, attacking in waves, and we'll confuse and overwhelm all of those silly teams! Let Perkins score too!

Posted by: Clockwork Orange | March 8, 2007 4:02 PM | Report abuse

I really hope that Kasper is being coy about our defensive issues, and just keeping his lips shut. If not, and he really does believe that the team is fine with just three adequate defenders on the roster... well... I'd need a drink... Good news about Fred. Although I still am not fully convinced of the clubs true intentions with him. He (it seems) is adequatly proven, young, and etremely talented, oh yeah and he also plays the same position traditionally as Gomez.... Gomez has not yet agreed to a contract.... Gomez will be 32, Fred is 27.... do I need to go on...?

Posted by: Chris | March 8, 2007 4:03 PM | Report abuse

awesome! Fred was just named co-mvp of the A-league for last year!

I assume Soehn has a plan for getting Gomez, Moreno, Emilio and Fred out on the field at the same time? We just went from the most dangerous trio in the league to the cuatro!

Posted by: pat | March 8, 2007 4:04 PM | Report abuse

I think with Fred, we'll have to wait and see. The A League is Australian for Swiss Cheese Defense. I mean, Diego Walsh (remember him, long time MLS followers?) is like a star at Adelaide United. He bombed out of Columbus and KC....but then again, Messi may have done the same at those two black holes...but, yeah, I think it's better to get players the way we're going about it than trolling the old age homes in Europe.

Posted by: Wait and See | March 8, 2007 4:06 PM | Report abuse

maybe Soehn is a disciple of Eric Cantona's 1-1-8 formation!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CNigBfXEviU

Posted by: pat | March 8, 2007 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Magic triangle? How about the Magic Rhombus!

Posted by: rick | March 8, 2007 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Where is the live coverage of the lottery drawing for Ritchie Rogers?? This blog is slipping.

Posted by: Rocko | March 8, 2007 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Mls is reporting that Chelsea and LA are making a "major" annoucement tomorrow. Just another joint marketing partnership I assume.

Posted by: Rocko | March 8, 2007 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Great news. I like the look of Fred, he seems to be another player that will bring another facet to DC while still playing the same style.

Posted by: Kinney | March 8, 2007 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Galaxy-Chelsea friendly, I'm sure

Posted by: Goff | March 8, 2007 4:23 PM | Report abuse

I agree we're ok in defensive depth if all we ever do is play 30 MLS games - but who the heck is gonna be the 3 in the back for the reserve games ... plus our 3-4 other tournaments this year.
Call me crazy, but that worries me (not enough to panic, there are still 4 weeks to go 'til the real season starts)....

What happens if anyone gets injured? Who's gonna spell those 3 guys so they can rest? You remember rest, it's that thing that keeps your team fresh into November.

Posted by: Lonnie | March 8, 2007 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Fred at $150K - sounds like a good deal (similar to the $ that Gomez got when he arrived).

For USOC and reserve matches, it sounds like we will see Wilson or deRoux (since Casal will play LM) at LB, Wilson or McTavish at CB and McTavish or J. Carroll at RB.

Posted by: Eric Z | March 8, 2007 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Wilson in the center of a 3 man backline? god i hope not

Posted by: pat | March 8, 2007 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Wilson did anchor the backline in some exhibitions/reserve matches last season.

...and no; I'm not disagreeing with your expressed sentiments.

Posted by: Jared | March 8, 2007 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Wow! The glass sure is half empty around this place. The game's more exciting when we let up a few cheap goals...

Fred needs a more brazilianish name, though. Fredinho?

Posted by: Dave | March 8, 2007 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Love the Magic Rhombus!! Though will it have two sets of parallel sides? I don't think so...

Magic Trapezoid?

Posted by: DE | March 8, 2007 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Aussies know all about attacking in waves...

Posted by: ANZAC | March 8, 2007 5:15 PM | Report abuse

DC United = Class of the League hands down. Don't expect anyone else to be as good as United in scouting players. They're all like 5 years behind in that regard.

DC in DC United need only stand for Dinastía de la Campeones!

Vamos United!

Posted by: Dinastía de la Campeones | March 8, 2007 5:17 PM | Report abuse

DeRoux is manifestly unsuited to be a left-back in a 3 man backline. Maybe left back in a 442, but never in a 352.

Erpen and Boswell are almost never injured. Namoff is the obvious starter. Wilson is decent depth. Jeff Carroll, Gros and McTavish all can provide depth. Don't forget that if we do sign Welton, we have Gros, McTavish, Casel, Moose and potentially Welton and Fred who can all play wide roles. Heck - John Wilson can do it in a pinch too.

That means that Gros can also help in the back, where he has played fairly well in limited minutes in the past (though I think it is not optimal because he covers so much ground and gets more involved as a wing-back).

Posted by: Liverpool_SC | March 8, 2007 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm....I find it interesting that Kasper (in responding to the question about Perkins) says "I just got down here (Florida)". Can anyone think of any reason he'd need to stay in the DC area? I wonder if he was out scouting someone else and if so, where?

Posted by: Joe | March 8, 2007 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Monroe (SF) | March 8, 2007 5:46 PM | Report abuse

If the Victory boards are correct that Fred had been offered $100,000 AU to re-sign ($78,000 US), then he's just doubled his income.

And then there are those incentives.

Posted by: seahawkdad | March 8, 2007 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Once the Fred, Casal, Kpene and Crowe signings are announced, that should just about do it. No other major acquisitions planned...at the moment. (Fearrington is gone and Welton Silva is a longshot)

Posted by: Goff | March 8, 2007 6:12 PM | Report abuse

United looks to be in great shape. If we don't sign another defender by August then you all can be worried but until then just sit back and watch the show. If the Fred signing goes through we'll have a fabulous starting offensive three. Moreno or Fred coming off of the bench will scare anyone. I would personally like to see Moreno coming off the bench almost every game -- that would frighten almost any MLS team to death.

Gros can play D. Wilson can play D. We'll be fine. With Casal and Kpene added we have plenty of midfield depth. Let's see how the other MLS teams play us, because I think they'll be in plenty of trouble

Posted by: Diego R. | March 8, 2007 6:22 PM | Report abuse

If DC managed to sign Fred which it looks like they will, will be a big loss for us down here in Melbourne. The whole of Melbourne as well as the league have warmed to his skill and playmaking. He was a major player in our team this year, he basicly won the Grand Final for us by setting up 4 of our 6 goals. The Money n the MLS is perhaps beyond A-League Salary caps. but thats life and thats certainly Football

Fred will be missed

Posted by: Duke of the Victory | March 8, 2007 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Its a sad day for MVFC and our suporter.
i dont want Fred to leave but i understand that $$$ talks in the football world.

if this is all true, and we have lost Fred to DCU, then i wish him all the best of luck. And to DCU, you haver a great player in Fred.

Watch you back MLS.
were not far behind.
in a few years maybe we will be farming your best talent... full circle... Australia is becoming a power in world football. just look at the progress we have made in 2 years. the tables WILL turn.

Posted by: Chrisinhio | March 8, 2007 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Liverpool_SC: DeRoux has played on the left of a back three for the reserves on quite a few occasions. I'm not saying it's his best position, but he has done it. If he was so terribly unfit for the role, they would have stopped playing him there.

The bottom line, however, is that we need at least one more defender. There are going to be games where the offense doesn't click and we need to keep a clean sheet. There are also going to be games where we play an opponent that can attack just as well as we can (for example, our CONCACAF games coming up). If Fearrington wasn't good enough, fine, but we need another back.

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | March 8, 2007 6:58 PM | Report abuse

ANZAC: "Aussies know all about attacking in waves..."

Ouch! How about Australia v. Turkey in South Africa 2010?

Posted by: edgeonyou | March 8, 2007 7:49 PM | Report abuse

What about that Archie Thompson, we have enough cap room to pick him up, players down there are 'cheap as chips' so why not? Two A-leaguers might be better than one if they sync up well. We'd have more than enough attacking depth to play in Copa Sudamericana.

I wonder how much that guy gets paid. Might be worth it.

Posted by: Hmmmm | March 8, 2007 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm: Archie is under contract and is our marquee (players pay falls outside the salart cap)

you cant aford him.

and he wont go.

here's an idea... go scout for some talent in other leagues.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 8, 2007 8:33 PM | Report abuse

How can we afford another quality (foreign) player? Does he have ties to emilio? Welton?

How much cap room is left? How can we afford welton III? How does allocation money from the league play in these signings?

Lastly and most importantly, how can DCU find and sign the type/quality of players that have signed or been rumoured to be signed (like Ruy)? Is DCU that far ahead? How? With what budget/resources?

Come on SG, Inquiring minds want to know....

Posted by: Jeff | March 8, 2007 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Also, what do these signing reveal about Gomez' future with the club?

Posted by: Jeff | March 8, 2007 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Can't afford him?

You do know that DC United is operated by a group of billionaires right?

http://web.mlsnet.com/news/team_news.jsp?ymd=20070108&content_id=81370&vkey=news_dcu&fext=.jsp&team=t103

Let us know when his contract is up ok? We have a marquee player rule here too you know? It's how we got Beckham.

Posted by: lol | March 8, 2007 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Archie Thompson has applied his trade in Europe and came back to Melbourne last year to settle with his family. As stated he is the Marquee player which isnt included in the salary cap. Thompson would already be on more than the apparent deal with Fred.

If Fred does go i will respect his decision and wish him the best, he has given us a lot to cheer about. We have to realise that footballers are not robots and they have to think of their own interests and futures. But this is notice to the Football Federation of Australia, we need a bigger salary cap so we can keep players like Fred.

Posted by: Beazles | March 8, 2007 10:53 PM | Report abuse

Jeff,

IIRC, D.C. had cleared up nearly a million bucks in salary cap space before doing anything with new contracts for perkins and carroll, emilio, etc. and had close to $300,000 in allocation money to work with.

One thing you can do with allocations is buy down a player's salary cap hit.

Posted by: Goose | March 8, 2007 10:57 PM | Report abuse

billionaires ssshhmillionairs there's only so much a football teams can afford and can adopt. regardless of how much DC got Archie's going no where he's Melbourne born, Melbourne loved and Melbourne till he dies..

With all do respect to DC, you must understand 'We Are Melbourne' and we havent shown our final hand to Fred just yet. @ this moment he remains a Championchip winning player with the Victory and will remain so until he signs with DC... hence 'until' he signs with DC or any other team for that fact..

It is well known HERE Fred has grown so quickly to love our city and our country and that he believes himself that our A-League is by leaps and bounds heading into a stratosphere never imagined in a Football sense in this country. Take away the money side from any decision being made, Fred only has to see what a life he could lead for himself here for @ least 3 years (victory's offer) if he chooses. He is a star player in our 11, its well known that the player and coaching groups all love him and so do the supporters, with the AFC champions league to follow after the next season, this could prove pivitol in Fred's decision. If money is the factor and being closer to home and family prove too hard of a luxury to be without, then I wish Fred all the very best and thank him in advance for the helping Melbourne Victory become A-League Champions

But it aint over till the fat lady sings

Posted by: We Are Melbourne | March 8, 2007 11:01 PM | Report abuse

i'm amazed at how polite the visiting Melbourne fans are being in these comments, especially considering our cavalier comments about Thompson. if some Australian team signed away Gomez and their supporters were talking about swiping Moreno too, i'd be furious.

kudos to you fellows and best of luck in the next season, with or without Fred.

Posted by: jeremy | March 9, 2007 4:27 AM | Report abuse

Chest Rockwell: goalkeepers play field positions in reserve games. I have watched DeRoux play and aside from a big work ethic, all of his positive assets are attacking-oriented. He does not play particularly big, is weak in the air and his positioning is poor. As a defender in a 3, DeRoux might make me pine for David Stokes.

Posted by: Liverpool_SC | March 9, 2007 7:34 AM | Report abuse

Kiwi paper says Fred deal is NOT done
http://www.sportal.co.nz/soccer.asp?i=news&id=95596

Posted by: Menno Soccer Man | March 9, 2007 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Re: Swiping away players,

In my section at RFK vs CD Olimpia, we were surrounded by Honduran fans---particularly in the 2nd half. They were none too pleased with Luciano, yelling cule%@^ . . . over and over again . . . but then he scored his second of the game and they just got quiet.

---> I am amazed at the comments from some who think we have plenty of depth defensively . . . these folks clearly think we can outscore everyone. Maybe for MLS this is true, but they forget our PUMAS shellacking last year and our plans for the Super Liga this summer. We need to find defenders, not modified middies.

Posted by: delantero | March 9, 2007 9:30 AM | Report abuse

sounds like Melbourne is going to force us to pay a transfer fee if we want to get him before June 30.

http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,21355231-2883,00.html

how much do you think they could get for that? we've got allocation money we could use for that, right?

Posted by: pat | March 9, 2007 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: delantero | March 9, 2007 09:30 AM We need to find defenders, not modified middies.

Hello! I'm Rinus Michels. I'm dead now, but like an Almodovar movie, I've come back to have a chat and perplex people as to whether I'm really dead or just taking care of a sick aunt, hiding away whenever anyone comes over.

I invented this thing called Totaalvoetbal, or Total Football in your native English. Maybe you've heard of it. It was a system where a player who moves out of his position is replaced by another from his team, thus retaining their intended organizational structure. In this fluid system no footballer is fixed in his or her intended outfield role; anyone can be successively an attacker, a midfielder and a defender.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Total_Football

At Ajax (or IACS, if your an ESPN intern with no clue as to what a round football looks like) we won many titles, trophies, vases and the like including Big Cup. Here are some of the awards I won as a manager:

UEFA European Football Championship winner: 1988
FIFA World Cup finalist: 1974
European Cup winner: 1971
European Cup finalist: 1969
Eredivisie winner: 1966, 1967, 1968, 1970
La Liga winner: 1974
KNVB Cup winner: 1967, 1970, 1971
Copa del Rey winner: 1978
DFB Pokal winner: 1983

I guess what I'm trying to say from the great beyond is that you don't need dedicated players to be a good team. I
I leave you with this thought:

It is an art in itself to compose a starting team, finding the balance between creative players and those with destructive powers, and between defense, construction and attack - never forgetting the quality of the opposition and the specific pressures of each match.

Vamos United!

Posted by: Marinus ("Rinus") Jacobus Hendricus Michels | March 9, 2007 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the extensive lecture on total football . . . but by your logic if Erpen and Boswell go down then Jaime can play there?

You and I both know that "dedicated players" is exactly what is needed at the highest level of the game. Certainly crossover ability is required in certain positions, i.e. outside mid/outside defender, but a Boswell is not replaced by a Gomez nor vice-versa. I am not confident that our bench, if called upon, has enough defensive strength to step up their play for the Interliga/CONCACAF matches. PUMAS 5, DCU 0.

And your Dutch "TOTAL Football" system never quite won you a Mundial!

Posted by: de | March 9, 2007 12:16 PM | Report abuse

http://web.mlsnet.com/news/mls_news.jsp?ymd=20070308&content_id=85186&vkey=news_mls&fext=.jsp

Emilio article from MLS site.

Cheers to the Aussies and good luck with your league. It seems we are on similar trajectories. Never been to Australia (that's a wicked flight) but I've liked every Australian I've met.

Posted by: Shmoo | March 9, 2007 1:22 PM | Report abuse

According to this report from The Age (which relies heavily on Goff's reportage) Fred is out of contract and should be transfer fee free.
http://www.theage.com.au/news/soccer/us-club-claims-fred-has-joined-it/2007/03/09/1173166986368.html

Posted by: Glenn | March 9, 2007 4:10 PM | Report abuse

a-league is not your farm, piss off.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 9, 2007 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Jeremy, the reason why we couldnt care if people are talking about getting Archie is because he is safe, he is from Melbourne, is on a very good wage, and wants to keep playing for Australia. Players playing anywhere else but Europe and Australia will find it difficult to play for Australia.

Secondly most of us realise that with the very low salary cap we have here we just have to get used to this happening, quality players from overseas will not stay here when they can be earning 10 times that overseas. Until the other teams in the A League lift their game then the salary cap will stay the same and we will just watch these players keep leaving.

Posted by: Beazles | March 9, 2007 10:47 PM | Report abuse

In 5 yrs time the A-League will be bigger than the MLS. The only thing that keeps u in business is your money. Australia has better football knowledge and passion than you seppos. You can take Fred but in 5-10 yrs time then we will take your stars, the Beckhams of the world will come to AUS to end their careers and we will make the business end of the World Cup while you Yanks are languishing in the group stages.

PS We play AFC Champions League and no american clubs play in comps like that (friendlies with chelsea dont mean much at all)

Posted by: Dimitiros | March 10, 2007 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Preface: All due respect to those Aussies out there.

In the end, it's a player's decision where he wants to play and with what kind of dedication. Short of blackmail, a player decides his own future, whether he listen to money, family, glory, or anything. I'll leave the morality of his decision of leaving or staying to his conscience, and I'll enjoy the game all the same whether he comes or goes.

Dimitiros: The MLS and A-League are more similar than you're giving either credit for. You have the AFC Champions League, we have CONCACAF tournaments. Where you have stronger ties to Asian and the EU, we have stronger ties to the Americas. Both leagues are restricted by the salary cap (keep in mind, DC, LA, and RBNY are three headlining clubs in a thirteen-team league) and both are passionate about their budding-but-still-internationally-underappreciated clubs beyond comparison. I don't see any irreconcilable difference from the foundation or formation of either league. Granted, the MLS certainly benefits from the U.S.'s propensity for commercialism and surperfluous funding, but the game is still the beautiful game, and when you get down to it, there's not much that separates the MLS and A-League at all.

(Vamos DCU!!!)

Posted by: Dan | March 11, 2007 5:10 PM | Report abuse

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