Is He or Isn't He?
Sure looks as if Marcelo Gallardo is coming to D.C. United, doesn't it? South American media reports say he is on the way. Gallardo himself says he is coming to America. So does his agent. Meantime, DCU has been awfully quiet on the subject.
But after watching what unfolded in the Veron negotiations last month (he was absolutely, positively coming to RFK right?), it's probably best to err on the side of caution. International signings involve player agencies, intermediaries, inflated egos and, of course, complicated contract issues. So let's see how this works itself out over the next few days. There also is the issue of Christian Gomez and his future. Rest assured, you will not see both Gallardo and Gomez in United kits.
This whole situation raises another important question: Would you rather have Gallardo than Gomez?
True, Gallardo is far more accomplished on the global level, having starred for the Argentine national team and played in Europe. Gomez has done neither.
But let me play devil's advocate for a moment. Some fans have noted Gomez's age (33), but Gallardo just turned 32. Gomez adjusted well to the physical MLS game and found a comfort level; would the volatile Gallardo do the same? You can count on Gomez for around 10 goals and 10 assists each and every year; who knows how much Gallardo would produce. Gomez is apparently willing to play for 325K per year, if he could get the 2009 season guaranteed; Gallardo is probably going to cost a lot more. Let's also take into account that Gallardo has not played much in the past year for PSG and is hardly in top form.
Just some things to consider as we near the conclusion of the Argentine/DCU playmaking saga.
*Michael Bradley scored again for Heerenveen in the Dutch league yesterday. Who would have thought that the most potent scorer among U.S. national team players is a 20-year-old midfielder who had modest success in MLS? If I hear one more time that Bradley only plays for the USA because his dad is coach.....
As Paul Kennedy at Soccer America points out today:
Bradley's 13 goals in all competitions are a record for an American-bred and -born player in a European first division. He previously shared the record of 12 goals with DaMarcus Beasley at PSV in 2004-05 and Brian McBride at Fulham last year. Bradley's nine league goals tied the record for an American-born and -bred player in a European first division set by Eric Wynalda at German club Saarbruecken in 1992-93 and McBride at Fulham last year.
Bradley's true test will come in the Olympics, World Cup qualifiers and when he moves to a more competitive league in the next year or two, such as the Bundesliga.
*Sir Alex doesn't think much of Liverpool's American owners and the way they've handled the managerial situation.
*We speculated the other day that Jay Nolly was going to move from DCU to Vancouver in the USL. Looks as if that is going to happen.
*On the college front, I've received word that Michael Brady, who led AU to the 1985 NCAA title match and in recent years has coached the Eagles' women's team, is leaving the D.C. school to become an assistant coach under John Kerr Jr. with the Duke men's program. Also, former AU player and Georgetown associate head coach Jon Pascale has been named head coach at UC San Diego.
*Great stuff from Angola and South Africa:
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