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News of the Day

*Everyone I have spoken to about the Figo-to-MLS reports say they are not accurate. Maybe someday he'll show up in the league, but apparently not right now. So there you go.

*An update on the college players invited to U-23 camp at Bradenton: They will be excused for one day to attend the MLS combine in Fort Lauderdale and show their stuff for the coaches and general managers before the draft.

*Some of you have asked for the whereabouts of the draft picks that United supposedly acquired as part of the Santino Quaranta and Freddy Adu trades. They were both conditional picks, and the conditions were not met. In the case of Quaranta, he did not play in enough matches with Los Angeles/New York for the pick to go through. With Adu, Freddy would have had to play the entire 2007 MLS season with RSL for it to happen. As you know, in both trades, United acquired allocation money that was applied toward player signings last winter.

*I had a nice chat with United GM Dave Kasper, who tells me.....

-- DCU expects to talk with Christian Gomez's representatives next week in hopes of reaching a deal. "I think he's looking at all his options," Kasper said. Gomez is out of contract and free to sign anywhere in the world. One MLS club had also expressed interest in trading for his rights.

-- Jaime Moreno has interest overseas (clubs are eyeing him and he is eyeing them) and could reach a decision next week whether to remain with United. "He's looking for something with more stability and long term," Kasper said. "He's been an important part of our success and we want Jaime to stay here. At the same time, we have to do what makes sense for the club as well." Asked if United would consider offering Moreno a new, long-term deal with guarantees beyond 2008, Kasper said: "It's possible, we've considered it."

-- On the subject of Latin players linked with United.......

Kasper said the club has been approached by an agency about Argentine second-division defender Gonzalo Peralta. Asked if United is interested, he said: "We don't comment on potential player signings."

Marcelo Gallardo? "His name has been circulated in the past" but would not comment.

Claudio Lopez? "I'll just say that we have been approached about so many players since the end of the season and we've seen a lot of players as well."

Hmmmm......

Anything imminent?

"Nothing likely this week, maybe next week, we'll see."

By Steve Goff  |  January 2, 2008; 3:50 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Catching Up With DCU and MLS
Next: Morning Update

Comments

I can't believe you didn't ask him about Gazza.

Posted by: Kim | January 2, 2008 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Great stuff Goff, one of the best sources for MLS info even if you are not a DC fan.

Posted by: GLC134 | January 2, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Santino Quaranta -- an object lesson in the fragility of "promise" and a career. At this time two years ago, he was in the USMNT camp. In the past two years he has failed to log enough first team minutes on two clubs to make the "conditional" part of DC's trade to LA come through. Well, at least DCU got the cash upfront.

Posted by: griffin1108 | January 2, 2008 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Good reporting, Goffer.

I remember last year when in the middle of the season, Figo announced that he'd signed with a Saudi club, and then he backed out of the agreement and remained with Inter. He's a master at not only dribbling but at negotiations and keeping his options open.

Posted by: Bill in Md. | January 2, 2008 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Godd - good to have you back blogging and feeding us with all MLS things.

could you do some short summary of what's going on with all MLS teams if you have the connections ?

Ben

Posted by: Ben | January 2, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Great update, Goff - I really wonder what shape United's roster will take next season. There are so many permutations; some big decisions are being made this winter.

Posted by: Jeff M | January 2, 2008 4:57 PM | Report abuse

gallardo mmmmmmmmmmmmm that would be interesting

Posted by: jhon | January 2, 2008 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Goff, you should make a non-Washington Post site and compete with Soccerbyives.com

Posted by: Garret | January 2, 2008 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Why would he need to make a non-post site?
This doesn't cost him anything and he doesn't have to worry about everything that goes with running a site. It doesn't appear that the post really limits his commentary, and he's already got a much larger audience than Ives.

Plus, Ives sucks.

Posted by: AlecW81 | January 2, 2008 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Gomez is out of contract and free to sign anywhere in the world. One MLS club had also expressed interest in trading for his rights.
------------------------------------------

So even if Gomez is out of contract, another MLS club would have to offer United something to get him, which a club anywhere else in the world would not? Is that just a matter of rules that are internal to MLS?

Posted by: 22201 | January 2, 2008 5:29 PM | Report abuse

wow - that's a whole lot of nuthin!

Hail to the Redskins.

Posted by: bobf | January 2, 2008 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Godd - good to have you back blogging and feeding us with all MLS things.
----------------------
We know Goff is good, but isn't this placing a lot of weight on his shoulders?

Posted by: seahawkdad | January 2, 2008 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Steven, Do you know which clubs are interested in Jaime? Could one of them be Marco's new team in Bolivia?

Posted by: Winoman | January 2, 2008 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Listen I'm not trying to play the Debbie downer role here, but it needs to be said... What is the front office doing?? They better have some great players up their sleeve's, cause right now it looks like we could likely loose more than we could replace this offseason.

"Kasper said. Gomez is out of contract and free to sign anywhere in the world."

Can Kasper please stop acting like our clubs s**t doesn't stink and lock up one the leagues best players. All of this after the Veron deal fell through! I really didn't enjoy the dark ages a few years back. I'd really like to avoid another period like that, but it's hard not to think it could happen again when you read quotes like that.

Posted by: Chris | January 2, 2008 5:43 PM | Report abuse

To answer one of the above questions, MLS teams retain the rights to players that have recently played for them. So if, say, New England wanted Gomez, they would have to trade for his MLS rights. (No, the Revs are not the ones that expressed interest in trading for Gomez last month.) Outside of MLS, Gomez is free to sign where he pleases.

FYI, there will be a short Gros story in tomorrow's print edition. No big surprise, but a wrinkle of sorts.

Posted by: Goff | January 2, 2008 5:55 PM | Report abuse

didn't the dark ages a couple years ago come about because too much salary was given to etch, and his play on the field didn't match up? i'd like to see both gomez and moreno back but not at contract amounts and lengths that cripple the club for years.

Posted by: pat | January 2, 2008 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Happy New Year, Steve and all!
There isn't much depth of defenders in the current roster. Aside from draft and international players, are there any league defenders who got waived (or on the bubble) that United should make a move for? How about that player Needham, who was drafted last year, but went to the USL? Does DC still own rights on him and is he worth bringing into camp?
FORZA UNITED

Posted by: Dominic | January 2, 2008 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Gallardo interesting?


Well, one thing is for sure if we do sign him. Carlos Ruiz, Alejandro Moreno and Guille Schelloto fall way back in the "Diver of the Year" competition.

I'm not sure I want that fish on United.

Posted by: A Rickey | January 2, 2008 6:17 PM | Report abuse

I think it is Toronto would are interested in Gomez. I'd take Edu for Gomez straight up but I don't think Mo would be stupid to do that unless he knew Edu was leaving in the summer for Europe.

Posted by: FarAway Fred | January 2, 2008 6:53 PM | Report abuse

So give us a clue.....which MLS club is interested in trading for Gomez?

Posted by: cg | January 2, 2008 6:59 PM | Report abuse

My bet is that Sweet Creamy Butter Garth Lagerway and his RSL boys are the ones who wanted Gomez - they are a team without any stars and they began drinking the Argie Kool-Aid late last season when they bulk-rate acquired Morales, Mantilla and Espindola; they just cleared a bunch of salary $ when Pope retired; and they are a star-less team and could use a league MVP.

Posted by: Zman | January 2, 2008 7:24 PM | Report abuse

I don't know which MLS team pursued Gomez, but it can be narrowed down to the following teams that have the need for Gomez and the cap space:

New York: I don't know if they have that much cap space, but they definitely have the need for some creativity out of midfield. If they buy out Reyna's contract, they'll all the sudden have a DP slot available.

Columbus: Losing Schelotto means they'll have to rely on Gaven (2 straight seasons of only playing well for the last few games of the season) and Rogers to do all of their creating. Schmid has always seemed to like veteran playmakers (Cienfuegos, Schelotto). They have the cap space, I believe.

Toronto: While they need a creative player in the middle (Carl Robinson was pretty mediocre), I think Mo Johnston wants to play a flat midfield with wingers pushing up. Gomez doesn't really fit in that scenario, though a midfield featuring him, Ronnie O'Brien, Mo Edu, and a competent left midfielder would be dynamite. Maybe they switch to a 3412 or 4231 to make room?

Colorado: Name a Rapids player that would start for the majority of other MLS clubs not named Pablo Mastroeni. It's hard, isn't it? My point is that Colorado is dying for quality all over the field. Gomez would be such a massive improvement over Mehdi Ballouchy and Pepe Cancela; maybe that rumored Mastroeni-to-DC deal involved Gomez?

RSL: Club motto: "When in doubt, copy DC United". Javier Morales was so impressive that he was benched for Andy Williams before needing season-ending shoulder surgery.

San Jose: No cap problems, as they only have 11 players. Their current playmaker would be Ned Grabavoy. Enough said.

Chivas: They may lose Mendoza, and Marsch may retire. Kljestan seems equally comfortable in MLS on the right or as the man in charge of their attack, so the need isn't that pressing if they can find someone to play on the right. They also don't have a DP slot until 2011 (traded for the maximum allowable length to NY for Guevara).

I'd guess it's between Columbus, Colorado, and RSL. I don't think Gomez plays deep enough/works hard enough defensively for Yallop's traditional system (Ronnie Ekelund played almost alongside Richard Mulrooney at times for the old Quakes). Columbus only enters the picture if Schelotto does leave (which seems more likely than not at this point).

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | January 2, 2008 7:49 PM | Report abuse

Goff, hear anything about Eddie Johnson heading to Fulham?

Posted by: the deuce 2.0 | January 2, 2008 8:51 PM | Report abuse

I saw Derby was interested in Eddie Johnson in today's BBC gossip.

Posted by: td | January 2, 2008 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Columbus only enters the picture if Schelotto does leave (which seems more likely than not at this point) - Chest Rockwell

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

And you say this why? All indications are pointing to him being back in MLS next season after intial Argentinian press hacks reporting otherwise...

Posted by: Fid | January 2, 2008 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Kasper's comments about Moreno are pretty depressing. Veron was Plan A.

I hope the braintrust figures out Plan B while they can still sign some players. We might, of course, pick up a few Nick van Sicklens or David Stokes in the draft but realistically we need to get some players from Latin America.

El Dolar and el Salary Capo will only buy about a cup of coffee anywhere else.

Right now Harbor View's looking like Real Madrid to our questionable lineup.

Posted by: garbaggio | January 2, 2008 9:23 PM | Report abuse

I am under the impression that if a player is out of contact or released in 2007 and beyond and signs with another MLS team that rights of old team is limited to matching rights i.e. meeting the specifications of the new contact. For example, if Gomez signed with another MLS team and DC United wanted to retain him DC United would have to match the new offer. Is it possible Goff that you could identify all of the players in MLS that became out of contract as of January 1?

Posted by: lt | January 2, 2008 9:25 PM | Report abuse

If DCU is looking for a number 10 playmaking midfielder, than Gallardo is a much better choice than Veron would have been. If Gallardo still has gas in the tank, which he did at least 2 years ago for River, he's a great playmaker and is very good at free kicks too.

Posted by: Timoteo | January 2, 2008 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Gazza!

Posted by: Anonymous | January 2, 2008 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Gallardo was subpar when he came back from River. He scored all of his goals on penalty kicks and wasn't setting up people very frequently either. Piojo Lopez was borderline atrocious for Racing this year. Both would be terrible DP signings. At the same time, I think they would be good signings, especially Gallardo, as normal foreign players like Fred and Emilio. If they want to come for that kind of money, great. That's what Schelotto did and it worked out just fine for a year. But paying either a lot of money would be a huge mistake, and I think United is too savvy for that.

Posted by: Nick | January 2, 2008 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Under a new rule change, MLS teams are permitted to sign players WHO HAVE BEEN WAIVED without having to compensate the player's previous club. For instance, any team can grab Mira Mupier.

Players whose contracts HAVE NOT BEEN EXERCISED do not fall into that category. Many of those players are in negotiation to reach a new deal with their current club, which maintains their MLS rights. Greg Vanney, for example.

The MLS rights to players whose contracts HAVE EXPIRED remain tied to their most recent club (such as Christian Gomez). If someone else in MLS wants that player, they would have to trade with DCU for his MLS rights.

Posted by: Goff | January 2, 2008 11:10 PM | Report abuse

Fid-

I said that because everything I've read on the topic has been from US press, and indicates that he wants to go play for Gimnasia. What other conclusion am I supposed to draw?

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | January 2, 2008 11:31 PM | Report abuse

according to this article Gallardo recieved a "concrete offer" from DC but would apparently rather stay in Europe and is a transfer target of Dortmund.

http://www.goal.com/en/Articolo.aspx?ContenutoId=529454

Posted by: uranderson | January 3, 2008 12:30 AM | Report abuse

...and Besiktas, and Atletico Miniero, and others. He's not coming here.

Posted by: uranderson | January 3, 2008 12:34 AM | Report abuse

according to this article Gallardo recieved a "concrete offer" from DC but would apparently rather stay in Europe and is a transfer target of Dortmund.

http://www.goal.com/en/Articolo.aspx?ContenutoId=529454

Posted by: uranderson | January 3, 2008 12:30 AM
______________________

Awesome, another over the hill player that doesn't want to steal our money. This offseason just gets better and better.

Posted by: Chris | January 3, 2008 1:19 AM | Report abuse

When's the last time goal.com has been accurate, espcially with MLS?

Posted by: B.A. | January 3, 2008 4:10 AM | Report abuse

saw a report that Arguez is on trial with Hertha not just training. Any truth to that Goff?

Posted by: rrp | January 3, 2008 7:07 AM | Report abuse

Someone asked if Moreno was going to Etcheverry's new club in Bolivia. Etcheverry ended up not signing the contract because they couldn't agree on a key point, so he is NOT going to Oriente. That said, I have no idea who Moreno is looking at (and vice versa).

Posted by: Lost in BA | January 3, 2008 7:22 AM | Report abuse

I hope these guys make Gomez happy. He's been too important to United's success the past two years... It would be annoying to see him wearing any other colors.

The same goes for Moreno, within reason. I find it troubling that he apparently wants a longer-term contract. He's incredibly valuable, but I'm afraid he's well into the one-year-at-a-time portion of his career.

Posted by: Joe S. | January 3, 2008 7:28 AM | Report abuse

Along Joe S.' line...yeah Moreno is perhaps a little arrogant? Can I say that?

Sir Alex has a concrete policy that his players over thirty receive one-year contract extensions, nothing more. That goes for ManYoo legends like Scholes, Giggs, Keano, etc. - every single one of whom is, or was, light years better than Moreno (he played at Birmingham).

According to press, Jaime wants a concrete deal beyond 2008?!? He is 33 - turns 34 this month! If he were a world-class player coming over from Europe, he might be able to expect such treatment at this age. The fact is, he is not. While he is perhaps the best player in MLS at playing with his back to goal, he is not a world class player. He needs to deal with reality - in most quality leagues 34 year olds are not signing multi-year deals.

That being said, petrodollar-rich teams in Qatar/UAE/etc. regularly ink multimillion dollar contracts for former star players that are well past their sell-by date. If Jaime truly wants one last big payday, he needs to go to the Middle East. No other league will him anything close at this point.

Posted by: Erick | January 3, 2008 8:00 AM | Report abuse

Any time DC's FO talks like that it freak the willies out of every United fan, but then they manage to pull a rabbit out of a hat and you all praise their name almost as much as Redskins fans praise the Passion of the Gibbs! You all need to practice some yoga! I defer judgement until Goffino comes back with SOLID news. Although I do love the gossip!

Posted by: Beltwayrob | January 3, 2008 8:19 AM | Report abuse

It is not arrogance for a soccer player, employee, or any other businessman, for that matter, to attempt to negotiate and negotiate hard for the very best possible deal he can. Maybe they'll come to terms, maybe not. But I can't begrudge a guy for trying to realize and maximize his market value.

Posted by: Ron | January 3, 2008 8:21 AM | Report abuse

rrp,

If you go back a few posts, you'll see that Goff has already reported that Arguez is training with Hertha Berlin. He's not there on a trial.

Posted by: Kim | January 3, 2008 8:54 AM | Report abuse

-----
Moreno (he played at Birmingham).
-----

Jaime spent time ('94-'96) at Middlesbrough, not Birmingham in England.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 3, 2008 9:20 AM | Report abuse

When Arsene Wenger is done at the Emirates, can MLS hire him to set up/run its youth system?

Posted by: UVA-United | January 3, 2008 9:23 AM | Report abuse

I'd highly doubt that Arguez would really be looked at from a trial perspective since he doesn't play first team football for United and was on the bench for most (if not all) of the Youth World Cup.

He's still a project and it'll cost Hertha a lot less to build a relationship with him through winter training sessions and let United develop him, than to pay for his development themselves.

Posted by: TCompton | January 3, 2008 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Erick, can you provide us a link to press reports that Jaime wants a concrete deal past 2008?

Posted by: DirtyHarry | January 3, 2008 9:53 AM | Report abuse

FYI, there will be a short Gros story in tomorrow's print edition. No big surprise, but a wrinkle of sorts.

Posted by: Goff | January 2, 2008 05:55 PM
---------

Here's the link Best wishes to josh in his new job.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/01/02/AR2008010202696.html

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | January 3, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Interesting news about the change in rules for WAIVED players, it's about damn time the MLS FO learned the meaning of "waived", I always thought it was strange and unfair you had to trade for a player the team outright fired.
So why didn't we go for Big Zack? I think that was a joke, what happened to that guy, he used to be pretty darn good and quite scary coming at you from goal.
Oh, and welcome back!!!!!

Posted by: Lonnie | January 3, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Got me - Jaime played at 'Boro and not the Blues. I guess I ate too many Crack Flakes for breakfast.

Dirty Harry,
Goff wrote the following above:
-- " 'He's looking for something with more stability and long term,' Kasper said...Asked if United would consider offering Moreno a new, long-term deal with guarantees beyond 2008, Kasper said: 'It's possible, we've considered it.' "

The implicit message is that Jaime wants something beyond the '08 season and DC is willing to consider it, but surely at reduced salary.

What I don't know is how long Jaime could sign for in Qatar. I know he could pull six figures, maybe seven, but whether they would give him two years guaranteed or one plus one-year option is beyond me.

Is Ron Waxman his agent? Waxman is the MLS Super Agent, but I am not aware of the quality of his overseas contacts of value of contracts negotiated with overseas clubs.

Off Topic, Hahnemann just signed an extension through the 08-09 season.

Posted by: Erick | January 3, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Hello, of course I came to visit your site and thanks for letting me know about it.
I just read this post and wanted to say it is full of number one resources. Some I am familiar with. For those who don't know these other sites they are in for a treat as there is a lot to learn there.

Posted by: Male Enhancement | March 5, 2008 11:19 AM | Report abuse

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