Colombian Defender to DCU
D.C. United won't talk about it, my MLS contacts have been quiet and the player's agent has nothing to say.
Colombian defender Gonzalo Martinez is telling media at home that he has agreed to join United this season and the Insider has confirmed from sources close to the negotiations this morning that the sides are, indeed, nearing a deal. Martinez told Colombian radio that he plans to arrive in Washington on Jan. 20; sources tell me he is "tentatively" scheduled to be here on the 20th or 21st for a formal introduction before the start of training camp.
United GM Dave Kasper and Martinez's agent, Alex Solis, who also represents Luciano Emilio, told me they had no comment.
Martinez, 32, has played for Colombia's national team at Copa America and in World Cup qualifiers. His club career has taken him to Udinese, Napoli and Reggina in Italy; Olimpia and Libertad in Paraguay; and, most recently, to Millonarios in Colombia.
From what I have been told, it is a free transfer.
Martinez would start in central defense for United, which traded Bobby Boswell to Houston last month and remains in negotiations with veteran Greg Vanney on a new deal after declining to exercise the option on his most recent contract. Devon McTavish is United's only other central back.
*Sigi Schmid says the Crew is not pursuing Nigerian midfielder Jay-Jay Okocha (Hull City).
*Mexican midfielder Said Godinez (Tecos) is waiting to find out where he will end up in MLS, with San Jose being a distinct possibility. From what I understand, it's still a ways from being resolved and United is not among the possible destinations.
*Because of stadium issues, three opening-round matchups in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying will be single games instead of home and home: Dominican Republic at Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands at Grenada and Montserrat-Surinam to be determined. The region's qualifying opener will be Feb. 3 with the Cayman Islands at Bermuda. The complete schedule is here.
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