*I hear that the Revs have finalized the purchase of Costa Rican forward Argenis Fernandez from Santos and a formal announcement is likely early next week. He was on the Ticos' squad at the Under-20 World Cup last summer. Earlier reports said the transfer fee would be $200,000, but I've heard it is much less. Meantime, negotiations with Saprissa concerning Costa Rica national team defender Gabriel Badilla have stalled. As for the arrival of a designated player, mid-season seems more likely than preseason because of player availability and the opportunity for a free transfer.
*ESPN announced this week that its Spanish-language outlet, ESPN Deportes, will show all CONCACAF Olympic qualifying matches live. We are still awaiting an announcement on the English-language rights, but from all indications, there will be live coverage on Fox Soccer Channel [updated]. A CONCACAF spokesman said an announcement concerning all of the tournament broadcast information is expected soon.
*Peter Nowak is preparing to announce a list of 24 players who will be in Olympic qualifying training camp starting next weekend at Bradenton. The situation, however, remains murky concerning the availability of the major European-based players (Michael Bradley, Freddy Adu and Jonathan Spector) for all or some of the qualifiers.
*As for ESPN's MLS coverage, I've heard that most of the pregame productions will be handled from its Bristol, Conn., headquarters with Rob Stone and Julie Foudy instead of on site at the stadiums. For major events (MLS Cup, All-Star Game, etc.), however, the studio crew will be at the venues.
*One contact tells me that MLS wanted bench-warming Benny Feilhaber to agree to a long-term contract to join the league, but Derby County was only offering a short-term loan. Still awaiting more details.....
*Former English league midfielder Adrian Heath (Stoke City, Everton, Manchester City, Burnley, others), who coached Sheffield United briefly, has been named coach of the Austin Aztex, which will join the USL's first division next year. The Aztex are affiliated with Stoke City.
*Former Georgetown coach Keith Tabatznik has accepted an assistant coaching job with Bermuda's national team, which tied the Cayman Islands in its World Cup qualifying opener and needs a result on the road next month to advance and face Trinidad & Tobago. Bermuda is guided by former Howard University coach Keith Tucker.
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