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United Near Deal With Defender [updated]

[UPDATED WITH MORE ARMAS INFO AND HENDERSON NEWS]

*The latest buzz on the D.C. United front is that the club is close to finalizing a deal with Gonzalo Peralta, a starting central defender for Club Almirante Brown in Argentina's second division. No other details are available at the moment and GM Dave Kasper is not commenting on potential signings, although he did say the other day that the club had been approached by Peralta's representatives. Sure sounds like a similar situation to the Facundo Erpen signing in 2005.

*Like Dallas, I hear Columbus is planning to hire a technical director to work with the coaching staff. The only names I have heard mentioned are former Wizards assistant and interim coach Brian Bliss (now in charge of Kansas Youth Soccer player development) and Renato Capobianco, the Revs' former director of soccer.

*Recently retired midfielder Chris Armas has been helping his former team, Chicago, hire a new head coach, but I also hear that Armas has interviewed for an assistant's position with the Red Bulls. With John Harkes out in New York, perhaps Armas will fill that slot under Juan Carlos Osorio. Here is a link to Michael Lewis's story on bigapplesoccer.com

*[NEW] Wizards assistant coach Chris Henderson has left the club and, according to a source, was close to joining Colorado in some capacity. But that apparently did not happen and he could end up with expansion Seattle next year.


By Steve Goff  |  January 4, 2008; 1:30 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Comments

if we sign Peralta, it's time to bring my bones brigade/ripper banner back

Posted by: pat | January 4, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

can i wear my old black and red vision street wear shoes?

Posted by: moses | January 4, 2008 1:41 PM | Report abuse

WRT to Harkes, I seem to remember a comment a while back that he couldn't come back to DCU. Bridges burned? I hate to hear that about any of the original XI. Anybody got anything to share?

Posted by: stuck in 200 | January 4, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

No news or word on Jay Needham?

I wouldn't be surprised if Harkes burned bridges, from what I know of him...

Posted by: RK | January 4, 2008 1:52 PM | Report abuse

anything new on figo? houston chronicle and a portuguese newspaper are reporting that a figo contract with AEG is a done deal.

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/sports/5414999.html

any thoughts?

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

I loved Harksey as a player and he is fun to play golf, have a drink, and share a laugh with, but I've heard his coaching abilities leave a lot to be desired. The rumor is that DC was not sad to see him leave the youth development, in which Maessner has done a fantastic job. I'd maybe gives Harkes a scouting position first and see where that takes us. Although if Arena gets a job, it wouldn't surprise me to see harkes follow him.

Posted by: steve-o | January 4, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

asn,

Goff already said the Figo reports were fake.

Posted by: United F | January 4, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Here is some Gonzalo Peralta info:

DOB: 9/16/1980
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 190 lbs.
Nickname "El Polaco" [The Pole]
Career Games Played: 173
Career Goals: 13
Teams:
2002 Apertura - 2004 Clausura: Comunicaciones (C Division)
2004 Apertura - 2007 Apertura: Almirante Brown (B Division) - current captain of team

Posted by: Zman | January 4, 2008 2:27 PM | Report abuse

So this new Argintinean another Lucio Filomeno, a Facundo Erpen, a Matias Donnet . . .

or a Gomez . . .

speaking not of position, but of ability. We're obviously expecting him to start sooner rather than later.

Posted by: theworldwonders | January 4, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Harkesie for the Broadcast booth!

Seriously, I think he's quite good doing analysis on soccer at any level.

Posted by: JkR | January 4, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Is the pole better than OTC?

Posted by: RTS | January 4, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

"Harkesie for the Broadcast booth!"

Please, no.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | January 4, 2008 2:41 PM | Report abuse

So this new Argintinean another Lucio Filomeno, a Facundo Erpen, a Matias Donnet . . .

or a Gomez . . .

speaking not of position, but of ability. We're obviously expecting him to start sooner rather than later.

Well he is 27 and has never played in the Primera (1st Division) in Argentina while all of the other DCU Argies played in it.

That being said, he has been a starter for his career on has been captaining one of the better defensive teams in the B Division - a team that is in the promotion mix for the Primera. Although having never seen him play, he seems like he could be a serviceable center-back with some size to him whose salary demands should not be too high given his B Division background (Argie team wages tend to be on the low end except for big clubs like Boca and River).

Posted by: Zman | January 4, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Interesting story on soccernet on mathematical effectiveness of Gomez (see article by jeff Carlisle) and Soccer 365 says Fulham is close to signing Eddie Johnson for big bucks

Posted by: Ruthie | January 4, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

I think Donnet could have fit in great at DCU if he had been given more time to fit in, just as it took Fred a while to get settled and adjust to the type of play.

Posted by: pat | January 4, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Johnson's performance is erratic, but when Johnson comes up big, there is a real upside. This could be good for Fulham and Eddie.

Posted by: Pierre | January 4, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

long ball and kick-and-run are exactly what eddie johnson needs to improve his game. he needs to go somewhere like spain or holland.

Posted by: PKTaker | January 4, 2008 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Can't wait to make a big sign with the Muppets Gonzo on it.

Posted by: ohboyohboy | January 4, 2008 3:02 PM | Report abuse

This rumor always seemed more legit, since it filled a desperate need and it involved a more realistic target than Gallardo or Lopez.

I like his size, but can he play? Hopefully Lost in BA knows a little something on the topic.

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | January 4, 2008 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Hey Steve,

On behalf of Chico, I-270 Exit 1, UVA United, JkR and the rest of us Insider regulars, we want to know when you're going to get the Ironmen dance team to advertise on Soccer Insider.

Posted by: Joe Doc | January 4, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

On behalf of Chico, I-270 Exit 1, UVA United, JkR and the rest of us Insider regulars, we want to know when you're going to get the Ironmen dance team to advertise on Soccer Insider.

Posted by: Joe Doc | January 4, 2008 04:30 PM
----------------

Between their biosketches and the Leslie Osbourne website... sigh... I'm not gonna get any work done now, am I?

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | January 4, 2008 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Quote from upthread:

"So this new Argintinean another Lucio Filomeno, a Facundo Erpen, a Matias Donnet . . .

or a Gomez . . .

speaking not of position, but of ability. We're obviously expecting him to start sooner rather than later."

************************************

Just goes to show the unpredictable nature of all new signings (not just at DC or just in MLS).

I'm pretty sure Donnet and Filomeno had more "pedigree" than Gomez or even maybe Emilio but for various reasons they weren't nearly as productive.

Hope this Peralta guy's pretty solid. He's got the size and at his age he should be neither over the hill nor a young development project.

Posted by: garbaggio | January 4, 2008 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Fulham has to earn at least 24 points in their last 17 to hit the magical 39 points which seems to be the barrier for survival in the EPL over the past 5 years. That's 6 wins, six draws and five losses. Not sure EJ wants to get into a relegation fight like that. Fulham's schedule is not too bad, but they need a healthy Kasey and McBride to make a difference.

Posted by: AM | January 4, 2008 4:51 PM | Report abuse

long ball and kick-and-run are exactly what eddie johnson needs to improve his game. he needs to go somewhere like spain or holland.

Posted by: PKTaker | January 4, 2008 03:02 PM
------------

I hate to say it, but I could really see Eddie flourishing in that style. He's got all the physical tools to thrive in a league where they discourage forwards from trying to break defenders down 1v1.

Posted by: S | January 4, 2008 4:56 PM | Report abuse

So we went from trying to sign a polish defender to signing an argentine defender called "the pole". It all makes sense when you really really think about it.

Posted by: stairs | January 4, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Santino cut by New York Red Bulls . . .

ok, I can't stand Santino as he likes to coif his hair and polish his tattoos more than play the game . . .

but we need depth and I'll admit Tino is a serviceable, stand in mid (no Gros, no Carroll, Gomez?). . . don't know what Quaranta's salary is, but United should look into it.

Posted by: delantero | January 4, 2008 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Um, no.

There's a reason United traded him for a bit of allocation money. And a reason the Galaxy traded him for nothing. And a reason NY waived him outright.

Unless, of course, he wants to play here on a developmental contract...

Posted by: Goff | January 4, 2008 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Any chance you'll tell us the reason Mr. Goff?

Posted by: MFF | January 4, 2008 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Gonzalo Peralta played his high school soccer in the US. He was a student at burbank high in the los angeles area before he left to pursue a professional career in argentina. he was only in the US for a couple of years.

Posted by: douglas | January 4, 2008 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Goff - If DCU signs Peralta, does that make Jay Needham trade bait. Needham wants a roster spot (that is why he left last year). With Peralta, Vanney (when he signs) and the rest of DCU's defenders is there space for him?

If not, it seems Kasper would trade his rights to get something for the expended draft pick. Am I looking at this wrong?

Posted by: Crazy Al | January 4, 2008 5:53 PM | Report abuse

i wonder what charming belissa thinks of fulham's chances for avoiding relegation, with or without the vastly overrated eddie johnson???

Posted by: ironmen dance team admirer | January 4, 2008 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Any chance you'll tell us the reason Mr. Goff?

------

I thought it was pretty obvious.

He's not good.

As for Needham, no other MLS team is going to trade for his rights unless they are certain he's interested in signing an MLS contract. And I'd be surprised if any MLS teams would be willing to offer him more than 30K.

Posted by: Goff | January 4, 2008 6:06 PM | Report abuse

"Johnson's performance is erratic, but when Johnson comes up big, there is a real upside. This could be good for Fulham and Eddie."

This could be good for USMNT as well.

Posted by: peridigm | January 4, 2008 6:18 PM | Report abuse

As long as Peralta comes with decent to fantastic recovery speed, is aware of space, and is not a fan of the two footed dive-in tackle...I say give the kid a chance. Does anyone know his tis dude plays, center or outside? I can't wait for a DCU signing to start the New Year.

As always, thanks for the solid updates Goff.

Posted by: Kosh | January 4, 2008 6:28 PM | Report abuse

thanks goff -- for being so eloquent in your response to MFF re Santino.

I would have just said "Because he sucks @ss now!!"

Posted by: steve-o | January 4, 2008 6:32 PM | Report abuse

As long as Peralta comes with decent to fantastic recovery speed, is aware of space, and is not a fan of the two footed dive-in tackle...I say give the kid a chance. Does anyone know his tis dude plays, center or outside?

Peralta typically plays right center-back.

Posted by: Zman | January 4, 2008 8:41 PM | Report abuse

I could be completely wrong (zero-to-no Spanish here) but I think this is our boy (#2) scoring off the free kick:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9a8W8eh6PDw

(found here: http://alte-brown.blogspot.com)

Posted by: no habla | January 4, 2008 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Steve - Thanks

Posted by: Crazy Al | January 4, 2008 10:08 PM | Report abuse

Peralta's picture is in this article about an earlier game. Kind of hard to see him all that well with the sun behind him but he's the same guy from the YouTube link.

http://diarionco.com/a3543/1.html

Posted by: garbaggio | January 4, 2008 11:28 PM | Report abuse

Not sure what the hell this is but I appear in it briefly. HINT: I'm NOT the German Shephard.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IIEo9uXUyLw

Posted by: Gonzalo Peralta | January 4, 2008 11:35 PM | Report abuse

This article says Peralta was one of the stalwarts of Almirante Brown's unexpectedly good past season but that there are rumors he will soon be going to a Mexican or American team:

http://www.periodicouno.com.ar/index.php?page=2&resultadopage=2&idNoticia=4981

I'm not familiar with the A. Brown team but the article seems to mention some kind of 18-point penalty the team would has to overcome to avoid relegation.

(Just guessing that it would be over the course of 2 seasons as Argentina plays a short 19-game Apertura and Clausura each calendar year. So 18 points would seem like a death penalty in a short season)

Posted by: garbaggio | January 4, 2008 11:48 PM | Report abuse

Is this really the best we can do? A guy who has never even appeared in the Primera division? I see upthread that he went to high school outside L.A. So, I can see why he might have interest in a U.S. team, especially the one that won that first title (maybe he was still here then?), but why does DCU want him? Have they seen something in him that the top Argentine clubs have not?

Posted by: Fisch Fry | January 5, 2008 1:33 AM | Report abuse

Don't knock the Argentine second division. It's probably more like MLS than the first division. More physical, less technical, and lower salaries. Erpen and Gomito did very well with their clubs in the second division, winning promotion and translated that success into varying degrees of success at United. (Both were pretty unremarkable careers in the first division - Gomito is considered a donkey by some Independiente fans.)

Alm. Brown is a strong team in the second division. Peralta is, as mentioned, an important player for the club, and organizes their defense. While I have little first hand knowledge of him, it appears like it has the makings of a smart signing. Affordable, experienced player in a position United needs to bolster.

BTW - interesting tidbit in today's Clarín that Denilson is offering his services to River. After his miserable tenure at Dallas I hope this is just headlines with no substance.

Posted by: Lost in BA | January 5, 2008 8:10 AM | Report abuse

Can anyone of you insider fanaticos give an accurate MULLET update re: Peralta.

Posted by: most important question | January 5, 2008 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Sure our man isn't in this one?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mpFl7kfJh8U&feature=related

and will they come in the deal?

Posted by: mama mia | January 5, 2008 9:20 AM | Report abuse

During the Mallorca- Barcelona match, Ray Hudson wishes Kevin Payne a great recovery from the surgery he had. He seems very fond of KP. I have heard him mention his name numerous times.

Posted by: Garret | January 5, 2008 4:27 PM | Report abuse

I heard it too. By the way, no news today on anything from SI?

Posted by: td | January 5, 2008 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Looks like another Argentinian is heading to RSL. Ole is reporting that midfielder Matias Cordoba is coming on loan from Argentinos.

Posted by: Jonas | January 6, 2008 1:39 AM | Report abuse

Looks like another Argentinian is heading to RSL. Ole is reporting that midfielder Matias Cordoba is coming on loan from Argentinos.

http://www.ole.clarin.com/notas/2008/01/06/01578730.html

Posted by: Jonas | January 6, 2008 1:40 AM | Report abuse

To Lost in Ba: I wasn't knocking the ARgies' second division, so much as I am knocking MLS. I"d hoped we might have advanced to level where we're not recruiting guys who've topped out in their nation's second devision. I guess we've still got along way to go, before we're reall a first division league, even by Western Hemisphere standards.

Posted by: FIsch Fry | January 6, 2008 9:53 AM | Report abuse

to FIsch Fry:

we've gotten players from other 1st division leagues from around the globe, as i'm sure you're very aware. this guy seems to be a big time player in the argie 2nd division and DCU apparently thinks he can hang in the MLS. he's going to be relatively inexpensive, i'm sure, and could probably make an immediate impact in our defensive structure. look at the USL, there are some quality players in that league, and it's in essence the USA's 2nd division (not completely, but kinda).

Posted by: ant | January 6, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Ray Hudson does admire KP...

In an interview a few months back he said KP was the best front-office/G.M. he had ever known in futbol, anywhere.

If Ray did the DCU broadcasts, I would cancel my tix and stay home to watch on TV. I love his commentary.

Posted by: Erick | January 6, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Fulham tie Bristol Rovers, bottom half of League 1, at home. Derby tie Sheffield Wednesday, Feilhaber does not play yet again. Can we please get him? He'll develop much more here than at Derby.

Posted by: Garret | January 6, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Anyone know the history of why there isn't an "overtime" period and/or PKs to decide these FA Cup games instead of having all of the tied games result in complete replays?

Posted by: emanon | January 6, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Probably to earn some extra money. The whole football world revolves around money, it seems. I like the format, personally.

Posted by: FA Cup | January 6, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

The replays are only for the rounds before the final, right? IIRC, once upon a time, even a tied final would be replayed. I reckon that OT and PK tiebreakers are devices of modern life in which TV rules the world and replays cannot be fit into the schedule. However, ancient tournaments in tradition-bound lands can (sometimes) trump "progress."

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | January 6, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fa_cup

If a match (other than the semi-final or final) is drawn, there is a replay, usually at the ground of the team who were away for the first game. Drawn replays are now settled with extra time and penalty shootouts, though in the past further replays were possible, and some ties took as many as six matches to settle; in their 1975 campaign, Fulham played 12 games over six rounds. This remains the most games played by a team to reach a final.[1]. Replays were traditionally played three or four days after the original game, but from 1991-92 they were staged at least 10 days later on police advice. This led to penalty shoot-outs being introduced.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | January 6, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

"The whole football world revolves around money, it seems."

That is, except for a certain Argentinian whose name we're all sick of.

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