Gallardo Meets the Press
Busy day of soccer and hoops for me, so I will have to make this quick.....
*No surprise: Marcelo Gallardo will wear the No. 10 jersey.
*His contract is for two seasons, both guaranteed. How much will he earn? We won't know for sure until the players' union releases all player salaries this spring. I asked GM Dave Kasper if Gallardo will make in the neighborhood of Juan Pablo Angel's $1.6 million. "Maybe, maybe not," he responded.
*According to Gallardo's Argentine-based representatives, the Red Bulls never approached them about their client. (Some reports indicated that Juan Carlos Osorio had approached Gallardo recently.) They also said that Gallardo had drawn interest from Borussia Dortmund, San Lorenzo, a Turkish club and his old team, River Plate. "They started asking questions," one rep said of River.
*Victor MacFarlane talked about giving the front office the "financial tools" to make a major international acquistion.
*Kasper said that although Gallardo has been on their radar for some time, the deal did not turn serious into about three weeks ago.
*Gallardo said he was flattered by DCU's ambitions and liked the idea of living in a new country and new culture. He also said he has a great relationship with Angel, with whom he consulted on a possible move to MLS, and that the Colombian striker told him that the league is growing, competitive and not as easy as some believe overseas.
*Asked about Gallardo's lack of first-team play the last year with PSG, Soehn said he thinks that actually works to United's benefit because the Argentine is "hungry" to prove himself in a new league. Soehn also said Gallardo's fitness level is not much different than the other players and, in fact, may be ahead of most of them.
*Biggest news of all: Ben Olsen has organized a get-together with all the new players, including Gallardo, and some of the veterans to attend tonight's Wizards-Raptors game at Verizon Center. If you're going, be sure to say hello.
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