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Morning Kickaround

*Remember this summer when USA/Galaxy forward Landon Donovan talked about giving Europe another try? England was the most discussed possible destination, but two sources told the Insider this week that German club Bayern Munich was also interested and that early-stage discussions did take place. There were several obstacles, though, including MLS's reluctance to relinquish its best American player and the league's concern about weakening the marquee Galaxy.

*RSL forward Fabian Espindola will miss 4-8 weeks after injuring his ankle on a premature goal celebration flip. No joke. Read about it.

*New Zealand breezed to another easy victory in the mighty Oceania qualifying competition, 3-0 over New Caledonia. For match details and an item about former DCU defender Ryan Nelsen, click here.

*The Brothers Korea play to a 1-1 tie in Shanghai.

*Paraguay (5-1-2) continued its strong South American qualifying effort with a 2-0 home victory over Venezuela:


By Steve Goff  |  September 10, 2008; 9:22 AM ET
Categories:  2010 World Cup , MLS  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: United Roster Status
Next: Qualifying Day

Comments

Gus Frerotte. That name should be ingrained into the mind of every athlete who considers a socring celebration.

"...weakening the marquee Galaxy"? Well, it's a good thing he stayed, isn't it.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | September 10, 2008 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | September 10, 2008 9:45 AM | Report abuse

After 12 years of salary cap shenanigans to promote NYRB and the Galaxy, the news that transfer requests are considered partly on the basis of which teams might be weakened strikes me as the most outrageous abuse of single entity yet. If this was a big factor in the decision -as opposed to something that just occurred to someone in passing - it's really shameful.

Of course as I-270 noted, it's not like it worked.

Posted by: stuck in 200 | September 10, 2008 9:47 AM | Report abuse

I thought Lanny-Cakes hated playing soccer in dreary grey Germany...Not that he will find England to be warm and sunny.

Posted by: Tweaked | September 10, 2008 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Weakening the marquee Galaxy? I just shot Dr. Pepper out my nose. Thanks Goff....

Posted by: DirtyHarry | September 10, 2008 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Correct me if I am wrong, but doesnt LA only have 1 DP slot? Beckham isn't going anywhere anytime soon. When does Landon's contract run out? I thought it was soon, like this year soon. He won't be able to use the pre-grandfather clause like he does now unless MLS grants some weird rule.

I think it's ironic that the club was Bayern, seeing as how he has already failed in Germany twice...

Posted by: strago | September 10, 2008 9:52 AM | Report abuse

The Bayern Munich link makes sense as Klinsmann and Martin Vasquez are there now and they both know all about Donovan. I don't know if Donovan would head back to Germany but I do think the more his name gets spat about regarding Europe, the more I think he'll jump ship in Jan. Would Bayern rekindle their interest?

Posted by: Michael Vann | September 10, 2008 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Ich liebe Deutschland. Das Fussball is toll und die Leute sind sehr gemu"tlich. Ich mo"chte fu"r die Bayern Mu"nchen Mannschaft spielen. Vielleicht wird meine Frau eine Stelle finden - am endlich.

Posted by: Herr Landon Donovan | September 10, 2008 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, I thought the extra DP slot for LA for LD ran out after this season. I'm not really sure where he would fit on that team.

New Caledonia was really on a roll, too, having moved up some 100 slots in the FIFA rankings in the last year.

Posted by: RK | September 10, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

"There were several obstacles, though, including Bianca's reluctance to go to Germany and Landon's concern about playing against teams who won't let him run through their backlines."

/fixed

Posted by: Section 130 | September 10, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Ok i don't speak german so what is the purpose posting comments in german?
good luck landing at Bayern.

Posted by: td | September 10, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

They've got Podolski rotting on the bench and now they want to sign up a guy who's already shown he can't cut it in the Bundesliga.

Posted by: John | September 10, 2008 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Old Caledonia have a must win match in Iceland today. Or it could be bye bye Burley.

Posted by: Kev | September 10, 2008 10:10 AM | Report abuse

What is the DC United Stadium deal????????

Posted by: td | September 10, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse

How can you weaken a team that isn't in the position for the playoffs and will likely be missing them again.

How can you weaken a team where the gulf in talent between the top and the bottom is so large that you'd want to offload a Donovan and his salary cap hit in order to add the three or four players that could make up that gap and potentially return the Galaxy to the decently run organization it was when Doug Hamilton was the GM?

Guffaw MLS. With the ever enlarging base of investors in the league and "strict" salary cap rules, why in the world do we need the league being the arbitrary overseer of talent acquisition/distribution/movement?

For their own sake, it would lessen the media backlash and make it more enjoyable for the fans if transactions were straight up - whether inter or intra league!

Oh - and the salary cap raised by 2.5 - 3x what it is now with minimums for ANYONE being 65k.

Posted by: Virginia Blue Blood | September 10, 2008 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Well heaven forbid we weak the last-place Galaxy????

Posted by: Felix | September 10, 2008 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Weakening the marquee Galaxy? I just shot Dr. Pepper out my nose. Thanks Goff....

Posted by: DirtyHarry | September 10, 2008 9:50 AM
-----------------
My sinuses are on fire just thinking about that. Of course, that's what you get for drinking Dr. Pepper, DH.

Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't North and South Korea technically still at war? It's pretty amazing how soccer transcends some things.

Posted by: Joe Doc | September 10, 2008 10:36 AM | Report abuse

What is the DC United Stadium deal????????

Posted by: td | September 10, 2008 10:17 AM

The city and Nats are likely going to court over the Nats refusal to pay rent. My guess is the city wont spend a dime on another stadium in DC in our lifetimes...unless of course its for the Redskins.

Portland United! Hopefully Comcast and Goff will still update us on our team after they are moved out West.

Posted by: DCer | September 10, 2008 10:41 AM | Report abuse

What does it matter if you weaken the worst team in the league?

Posted by: Ryan | September 10, 2008 10:41 AM | Report abuse

I had hoped we were passed the point of the league blocking ANY player moves that a team wanted. Very sad.

Since VBB brought up salary...the biggest change I'd like to see is dev. player salaries increase to 20k and 30k, and senior spot minimum increase to 50k with the number of spots going from 18 to 20. Add another 500k on top of those increases in year one of the new contract and I'll sign on the dotted line.

Posted by: Eire Bier | September 10, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

So why did NZ make Nelsen stay for the second match and rush back to Britain right after the whistle if they'd already qualified? This could be the sleeper scandal of the year.

In German: Warum der Kiwi fussballmeisters mit Nelsen machtenforzen ihn bleiben fur dem sekunden spiele und russchenbacken zum Schwarzburn nach der Endenwhistleblowenhaben?

Posted by: gringo | September 10, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Who is Paraguay's goalie? I liked and miss Chilivert (sp?).

Posted by: VirginiaFan | September 10, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Can you imagine the poor announcer for the N. Korea-S. Korea game? All Kims over here, all Ris over there ...
Reminds me of a Johnny Most story, when the Celtics were doing pre-season in Europe and playing a Yugoslavian team, Most didn't want to bother with names like Djordjevic and Milosevic so he just gave everyone a nickname ... "the fat guy passes to the short guy, dribbles a bit, hands off to the bearded guy, around a pick, shot, rebounded by the left-hander ..."

Posted by: MJ | September 10, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

You guys laughing, etc., at Landon at Bayern Munich - you can make jokes all you want, but there it is in black and white: they were interested and started negotiations to get him. You're so quick to label somebody and dismiss them forever: people change. And Donovan is quality and Klinsmann knows it.

Posted by: Funny Stuff | September 10, 2008 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Wow, I don't get that at all. Besides Klinsi living in LA, I can't see any reason for Landon at Bayern. He'd be fourth on the depth chart at forward, especially after we buy Gomez, ROM is Piggy's spot now that Klinsi has screwed his head back on, and Ribery at LOM when healthly.

And Podolski rotting? Do you ever watch the Bundesliga or any league outside MLS and EPL? He actually leads our forwards in minutes played, starting two and subbing in the other two. Just because ManCity will now be linked to every malcontent in Europe does not mean they will go - Poldi has repeatedly expressed his desire to return to Koln, not England. Now whether or not he can actually score goals, thats a different matter.

Posted by: AJ | September 10, 2008 11:04 AM | Report abuse

You guys laughing, etc., at Landon at Bayern Munich - you can make jokes all you want, but there it is in black and white: they were interested and started negotiations to get him. You're so quick to label somebody and dismiss them forever: people change. And Donovan is quality and Klinsmann knows it.

Posted by: Funny Stuff | September 10, 2008 11:04 AM

========================

Goff's report does not indicate whether Bayern was interested for the first team or the reserves . . . .

Posted by: OWNTF | September 10, 2008 11:09 AM | Report abuse

What is the DC United Stadium deal????????

Posted by: td | September 10, 2008 10:17 AM

The city and Nats are likely going to court over the Nats refusal to pay rent. My guess is the city wont spend a dime on another stadium in DC in our lifetimes...unless of course its for the Redskins.

Portland United! Hopefully Comcast and Goff will still update us on our team after they are moved out West.


Is there a way DCU and VW can somehow pay off the city for the back rent of the stadium and turn it into a soccer specific stadium? The city can then send the Nats back to RFK

Posted by: timmy | September 10, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Johnny Most couldn't hold Chick Hearn's half-downed bottle of Dewar's scotch.

Landon Donovan single-handedly brought the Galaxy the Double in '05. His cap space is still well spent, as is Beckham's, it the contracts of players like Vagenas, Pires, Vanney, etc (and the trades made to afford them) that have hurt LA.

Seeing you lot would lose your team would be funny, but unlike NYRB, you actually draw revenue, so you're more likely to move a whopping ten miles away. Some of you will still complain since there wouldn't graffitti and bum urine surrounding your stadium, thus offending your urban sensibilities.

Also, Doug Hamilton, in spite of building a nice team in Miami, was not very good in LA, either.

Posted by: Eric B | September 10, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Doug Hamilton made Alexi Lalas look like Ron Burgundy.

Posted by: Virginia Blue Blood | September 10, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Is there a way DCU and VW can somehow pay off the city for the back rent of the stadium and turn it into a soccer specific stadium? The city can then send the Nats back to RFK

Posted by: timmy | September 10, 2008 11:24 AM

Now that sounds like a plan!


Talk about the poor subsidizing the rich!

So DC United is paying exorbanent rent to the DC Stadium Authority to use RFK who in turn doesn’t spend a dime on RFK. While the Nats aren’t paying a dime to use their brand new publicly built stadium so the Stadium Authority is eating all the costs. Unlike Nats stadium where the Nats receive all the concessions revenue, at RFK the city is entitled to all that extra income, along with parking.

This sounds like a pretty clear case of DC United indirectly subsidizing the Nats.

McFarlane, I’m sorry but you could be the biggest sucker in the city of DC and the Learner family is robbing you behind your back.

I’m a diehard DC United fan and DC resident but I’ll support you and your team 100% if you decide to move to MD or VA. I would love to go to a stadium that is run by anyone but the DC gov’t and stadium authority.

Posted by: DCer | September 10, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

DCer - while I loathe what the Lerners are doing in regards to the "checklist" of unfinished items and rent withholding, it's not quite accurate to say they haven't spent a dime on the stadium. They spent $40 million to add on sexy extras such as the massive HD scoreboard. The Nationals, unlike MacFarlane, also spent money on making RFK passable (and they were just tenants too).

Also, the Nationals do not receive all of the concession money, because a 10% tax (possibly higher pending legislation) on all items goes to the city. Still a great deal for the Lerners, but the District will see plenty of money.

Before the rent and checklist dispute, the loan repayments were rolling in to the city, even creating a surplus that could help United (Fenty's idea to re-invest it in the soccer stadium).

I agree all the stadium business is pretty dire, but I don't think there's a need to exaggerate the Nats Park situation and paint it as a pure enemy to United's hopes.

Posted by: Kev | September 10, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Is it possible//more likely that they will let Donovan transfer in the January transfer window...

At that point if he is not under contract will MLS loose out on the transfer fee. Given the WCQ schedule how many more games would Donovan play for the galaxy anyways that it isn't advantageous to sell him now both for the league and LA who will be at a disadvantage trying to address the DP issue prior to next season.


Joe Doc: The Koreas played in Shanghai, China.

Posted by: WC | September 10, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Joe Doc: The Koreas played in Shanghai, China.

Posted by: WC | September 10, 2008 12:17 PM

All because the North Koreans wouldn't raise the South Korean flag at their stadium in Pyongyang. Interesting that they will compete against them in the biggest sporting tournament on earth, yet not recognize South Korea as a nation (?)

Posted by: Kev | September 10, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

VBB,

You just made me spit out my lunch from laughing so hard.

You stay classy San Diego!

Posted by: toddinho | September 10, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Is there a way DCU and VW can somehow pay off the city for the back rent of the stadium and turn it into a soccer specific stadium? The city can then send the Nats back to RFK
----------
But I would rather have a world class stiduam much better than Red Bulls Arena design. Not something open that looks like a college track and run field Pizza Hut and Colorado.

Posted by: td | September 10, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

The "grandfather" DP status on Donovan lasts until his current contract is over - which is at the end of the 2009 season.

And seriously, dude, like BM is going to recruit for their reserves. Give me a break.

Posted by: Funny Stuff | September 10, 2008 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Isn't the transfer window closed? I may be wrong, and please correct me if I am, but I don't think Donovan can go anywhere in Europe until the next winow opens in December.

Posted by: Tommie | September 10, 2008 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Donovan, if under contract, would have to wait for January. If he goes on a free, then he can leave whenever he wants. Of course, I don't think MLS will want him to go without a fee or during the season.

Posted by: Kev | September 10, 2008 12:48 PM | Report abuse

from bbc:
Manchester City's prospective new owners, the Abu Dhabi United Group, could replace the club's current executive chairman Garry Cook with MLS deputy commissioner Ivan Guides or Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon. (The Guardian)

Posted by: td | September 10, 2008 12:56 PM | Report abuse

I said it all along, DC U will take that stadium from the Nats but no one believes me.
The expos just suck big time and they aren't paying rent...lol
they should be glad they are playing at all.

anyway, DC will move and continue its success in P.G., while the skins will be back in DC and cost the city tons of money! So that they can suck even more!

My question to all, who wants to join the bandwagon to buy Fedex from the Skins and rename it The Peoples Stadium of DC?? eh? eh?

lol
I know farfetch idea lol


Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | September 10, 2008 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Russia won.

Posted by: td | September 10, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Did someone mention Ryan Nelsen?

Conceivably, I would think that the Galaxy would (or at least SHOULD) have a better idea how to improve their team than the MLS. If the Galaxy decides to sell Donovan overseas and collect a huge transfer fee and free up a bunch of salary cap space, it make no sense for the league to stand in the way. The only argument I could see against it is that Donovan brings more marketing potential.

Posted by: DCUMD | September 10, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Landicakes would be an idiot not to want to go to bayern. His previous failures in germany were because he wasn't mature enough to handle just being mediocre in the bundisliga. I'm not saying he is mature enough now but there's only one way to find out. I think he could compete for a starting job with bayern. Isn't he only 27? More americans need to take the opportunity to play in the champions league and play for a premier club in europe. Lets be honest is one of the top three best players to ever wear the red, white, and blue.

Posted by: dcu in iraq | September 10, 2008 1:20 PM | Report abuse

I think that Landy could have been a good fit at Bayern. They play a quality attacking style that Landy would fit into well. He's not going to bump Ribery or the Schweinsteiger but Bayern play so many games that he would still play. Munich is also a far cry from the industrial heartland of Leverkusen.

I've given Landy a lot of stick over the years but I'd respect him a lot more if he went back to Europe. Even if he doesn't stick at least it would show that he realizes that MLS is not where someone with his talent should be playing.

Posted by: Jared | September 10, 2008 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Donovan going to Germany might not be such a bad thing either for him or for the league. Although he's had a decent season personally, the situation in LA has got to be a big distraction. Maybe Bruce can fix it but he will need time. Donovan needs new challenges. I personally think he's bored with MLS. He is still young, more mature (perhaps) than his last misadventure. He would also have to compete for playing time which is a good thing. Not sure Bayern is the best place, perhaps another German or continental club would be a better fit. I don't think he's cut out for the EPL.

Posted by: sbg | September 10, 2008 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Donovan could go to Bayern, but probably only if they let Lukas Podolski go, which seems increasingly likely as Prinz Poldi is growing increasingly frustrated with his role on the bench while an underperforming Klose takes the starting role. If Donovan doesn't mind taking over the role of talented forward relegated to the bench (a position previously filled by the wonderful Roque Santa Cruz and now by Podolski), he'll do great in his second trip to Germany!

Posted by: Mlle. Dupont | September 10, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

come on landyboy doesn't play well outside the country (urine bags or no). he gets homesick real quick.. i'm disapointed at bayern for even considering him.

Posted by: mizage | September 10, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Mlle. Dupont | September 10, 2008 1:43 PM

And this is exactly the problem with Landon joining Bayern.

He would not be an everyday starter, especially not after they complete the transfer of Gomez, and I'm not even sure he would be the first-choice sub. Klinsmann has yet to really settle on a formation, but has been using one which utilizes only one forward, ie a target man, Toni or Klose. Kroos is being groomed for the CAM in another season and even if Schweini fills in on the left for Ribery, I'm not entirely convinced Landon could bump Altintop for the ROM. Maybe it's just me, but I can't see Landon going somewhere when he might not be a top-choice.

Posted by: AJ | September 10, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Kim Jong Il will be dead soon:-)

Posted by: dadryan | September 10, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Funny Stuff = Landicakes

Posted by: Metro Center | September 10, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

I hope Donovan goes overseas. It's the only way he's going to get any better and help the national team. Right now he's so safe and comfortable that all he contributes are stupid post-game quotes. Did he even touch the ball in Cuba? Maybe it was too wet for him...

Seriously, though, he needs to get out of the MLS and face some real, daily competition.

Posted by: Hacksaw | September 10, 2008 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Landon may hate "dreary, rainy Germany," but Bavaria is the sunny south of the country, so at least his home games might remind him somewhat of LA, minus the smog.

Posted by: Hedbal | September 10, 2008 3:22 PM | Report abuse

td:

People shouldn't post in German because you alone can't read it? Are you serious?

Funny Stuff:

Donovan is a Galaxy player. The vast majority of us are DC United fans. At club level, he is amongst our most hated opponents. Pardon us if we want to make fun of your husba-I mean, uh, him.

Eric B:

You're right about LA's contract situation, though the sale of Donovan would enable the Galaxy a shot at picking up 4 good-but-not-great players. With Beckham, Buddle, Klein, and Franklin, that would put LA pretty close to actually being a good team.

And since you brought up things that are funny, I'd like to point out something that makes me laugh: the 2008 Los Angeles Galaxy. Enjoy all that free time that you won't spend watching or attending playoff games (unless you go to a Chivas USA game and double their attendance).

On Donovan:

Do I hope he goes abroad? Absolutely. This season, he's been in discussion for MVP all year, and he's still not playing every game like it really matters. He's a dominant MLS player at 75% effort. The problem for him is that I don't see him figuring it out that he needs to give everything at each practice and in each game. He doesn't strike me as motivated to self-improve (hence his staying in a league he's clearly too good for, as much as it pains me to admit). Maybe Klinsmann knows something I don't, maybe he knows how to push Donovan's buttons and get his best consistently. If so, he'd be a reasonable contributor at Bayern. If not, he'd get used to attending games in street clothes pretty quickly, at which point the US's best player would be riding pine.

Munich is very different from Leverkusen, but it's still not sunny California, it still means uprooting Bianca's career (does she actually act in anything, or is she an "actress" like I'm "CEO of Google"?), and it still means being far from his family, all of which are clearly very important to him on a personal level. People say he's matured, but where's the proof? He still feels entitled to calls in MLS he'd never get (or ask for) in a USA shirt. He still takes games off. From afar, I see nothing that tells me he's any more ready to move abroad than he was the first or second time.

It would be great to be proven wrong. Having a national team player at an actual world power, and contributing, would be huge. Frankly, I just don't see it being Donovan. I hope he proves me wrong.

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | September 10, 2008 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Someone on BigSoccer posted a link to a blog which said United had agreed to a loan deal with 18 year old CB Ibrahim Marcel from Sierra Leone.

Goff, heard anything about this?

Posted by: AlecW81 | September 10, 2008 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Awwwww, Chest you beat me to it.

I just wanted to welcome Mrs Donovan to the Soccer Insider boards. Posting under the alias FunnyStuff, of course.

And I think she is in that CBS sitcom with David Spade reprising his role as David Spade in a previous sitcom, building on his prior performance as David Spade in that other lame sitcom.

Posted by: marksman | September 10, 2008 3:58 PM | Report abuse

"And since you brought up things that are funny, I'd like to point out something that makes me laugh: the 2008 Los Angeles Galaxy. Enjoy all that free time that you won't spend watching or attending playoff games (unless you go to a Chivas USA game and double their attendance)."

Not nearly as funny as watching DCU crap their pants whenever they face Chicago in the playoffs. That is comedy gold!

Also, while I'll miss out on one week of playoffs tickets, I still have my seats for the MLS Cup final, where I'll watch neither of our teams duke it out. I will have the chance to cheer on Sigi while yelling explitives at Tim Lieweke.

Posted by: Eric B | September 10, 2008 4:44 PM | Report abuse

You've got it wrong Metro....
Funny Stuff=Landycakes' Dad

And yeah Funny Stuff, you are so right. Because as we all know, if it's in black and white, we have no choice but accept it as fact. And just remind your son that if by some act of God, he does end up at Bayern Munich, they don't hand out starting positions and let players keep them no matter what their form is. They have to actually battle for them, and then play well enough to keep them.

Posted by: SonicDeathMonkey | September 10, 2008 5:11 PM | Report abuse

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