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MLS Updates

A few tidbits to share between vacation trips.....

*Wake Forest senior midfielder Michael Lahoud (Annandale, Va.), who was approached by a German-based representative after the College Cup, has signed with MLS and will be available in the Jan. 15 draft. He joins a group of non-seniors that has already agreed to Generation Adidas contracts with the league: Maryland's Omar Gonzalez, Rodney Wallace and Jeremy Hall and Indiana's Kevin Alston. From what I can tell, Lahoud's deal is bigger than a common rookie salary but not a Generation Adidas pact.

*D.C. United is planning to address veteran defender Bryan Namoff's situation in the coming days in hopes of signing him to a new deal. Namoff is out of contract. Training camp opens in about three weeks. I'm told that DCU has already re-worked contracts for Devon McTavish, Marc Burch and Santino Quaranta.

More below.....

*DCU upper management was apparently none too pleased that its interest in Ghana star Stephen Appiah went public.

To recap, United was approached by an intermediary last month about talking to Appiah, who was out of contract and willing to explore the MLS option. When DCU stalled, Dallas prepared to go forward but was not in a position to pay a multimillion-dollar contract. Los Angeles also had a high opinion of Appiah but was not able to pursue him because of salary and roster issues. Appiah, 28, is now possibly headed to AC Milan and has also drawn interest from Spurs and Celtic.

As for those reports that Appiah had a good laugh at the suggestion of MLS's interest? Ignore them.

An Appiah contact tells me that "he is a very inclusive and positive person and, anyone who knows him, knows it's not in his personality to say something like that. To the contrary, the fact that Appiah was even open to the suggestion of playing in MLS validates his high respect for the league and the country. Every once in a blue moon, an opportunity presents itself where a player of his caliber can be brought [here], and this almost happened with Appiah, given his unique set of circumstances. It was just someone trying to put together a win-win situation in the interests of soccer in the States."

Because I was off the clock the past week, I missed an opportunity to talk directly with Appiah. However, I've been told I'll probably be able to chat with him once his new European destination is determined. Stay tuned.

That's all for now. Maybe more Wednesday. I will be back in the full swing of things next week.

By Steve Goff  |  December 30, 2008; 10:40 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United , MLS  
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I think I'll trust someone that actually gets paid to do this job! Enjoy the remaining vacation...

Posted by: Reignking | December 30, 2008 11:44 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the info Steve.
Good to see it in your own words on McT, Burch, and Quaranta.
Hoping we get Namoff back unless he's got problems with staying in the area.
Some real continuity might help next year, right?

Posted by: DadRyan | December 31, 2008 12:40 AM | Report abuse

I wonder if Namoff has been taking Danish classes.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | December 31, 2008 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Welcome back Goffs.

Posted by: Matte | December 31, 2008 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Great stuff, Steve. It's great to have you back.

Posted by: joedoc | December 31, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

What is DCU management none too pleased about? They got free publicity out of nothing. How many people outside of the US, even know who DCU are? It's not like their visibility in meaningful competition speak for themselves, .e.g. Copa Sudamericana, CONCACAF Champions League, Superliga ...
I remember the Copa Interamericana (?), but that was 10 yrs ago.

Posted by: Charisma_Man | December 31, 2008 10:40 AM | Report abuse

DCU does not like it when their internal business goes public, especially when it pertains to the pursuit of players. In this case, while the club's name was mentioned in international circles, the story also created a perception that they dragged their feet on Appiah and possibly missed an opportunity to negotiate with him.

Posted by: Steve Goff | December 31, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse

""What is DCU management none too pleased about? They got free publicity out of nothing.""

Perhaps the fact that a) it was negative publicity, particularly after the report of Appiah laughing and mocking the idea of of playing in MLS/for DC U (which later seems to have been false) b)any pursuit of a player that leaks out has the potential of ruining a deal, driving up the price of the contract secondary to market push from other teams, c) generally disliking leaks about player pursuits.

Posted by: delantero | December 31, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Goff, any truth to the Ghana v DC U friendly?

Posted by: delantero | December 31, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Do DCU Mgmt feels non-plussed about the Appiah affair? Hmmm, so do the fans.

That makes two big opportunities that passed by - Appiah and (don't forget) Veron. Veron seemed to not be candid with DC and strung them along. The failure to even talk with Appiah though is all on the Mgmt.

I think too many people dismiss just how attractive living Stateside can be for many player coming from Europe. Less so for Latin American players, if only due to money and exchange rates. For players than have been making multi-millions of pounds or euros for the bulk of their careers, U.S. living is comparatively much cheaper than living in Europe. Lower tax rate, cheaper real estate, less intrusive soccer media (especially compared to Italian and English media). There are alot of positives to living and playing in the U.S. for these guys.

Personally, I think some of the euro-based players haggle with MLS for the money not because they need it, but based on perception of respect and placement in the football food chain. (Unless, of course, they are from the Letrell-Sprewell-We-Make-Alot-But-We-Spend-Alot-Too School). For guys such as Appiah or Ljundberg, who for years have enjoyed weekly salaries exceeding most folks' yearly wage, one would think money is not the ultimate issue. They perhaps just don't want to suffer the ego implications of playing on the cheap.

Posted by: ErickSp8 | December 31, 2008 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Maybe Appiah thought a "big name" player on the local team would be a shoo-in for inaugural tickets; then someone set him straight and he changed his mind.

Posted by: fallschurch1 | December 31, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

OT, anyone check out Jaime Moreno's Ultimate XI players he's played with, interesting choice of forwards.

Posted by: ratco | December 31, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of Veron...did anyone notice that Maradona is calling him back to the national team? Maradona expects to use him, along with Riguelme, as his on the field coaches/leaders. Guess his career is still going pretty good.

Still not keen on Appiah...head case with a bum knee linked to match fixing...yeah - that would be a great addition to our team!

Posted by: LostinPotomac | December 31, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of Veron:

Juan Sebastián Verón might have called an end to the European leg of his illustrious career a few years back, but he’s quality has not diminished one bit. One the eve of 2009, the former Sampdoria, Parma, Lazio, and Inter star was chosen as the South American Player of the Year by the Uruguayan daily El País.

Verón beat national team partner and former Villarreal playmaker Juan Román Riquelme by three votes. Riquelme comes off a very impressive second half of the year where his team won the Apertura tournament and the South American Recopa. He also won the Olympic gold medal with Argentina in Beijing.

Posted by: Reignking | December 31, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Goff: The delay in resigning Namoff worries me. Is their any indication of interest abroad, or any desire on his part to relocate? As our steadiest and most reliable defender, we can't afford to be too casual in our dealings with him.

Posted by: b18bolo | December 31, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

how much did simmms sign for goff? what are you hearing? 3 years? guaranteed? 100k+

Posted by: jay-jay | December 31, 2008 2:27 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if Namoff has been taking Norwegian classes.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | December 31, 2008 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Did the Indiana high school basketball gig not work out?

Posted by: fischy | December 31, 2008 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Or eyeing Norwegian lasses.

Posted by: fallschurch1 | December 31, 2008 4:34 PM | Report abuse

But he must be married, come to think of it. Sorry, Mrs. Namoff. You can get back to your Oslo guide now.

Posted by: fallschurch1 | December 31, 2008 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Vamos United!
Happy New Year one and all!

Posted by: DadRyan | January 1, 2009 2:23 AM | Report abuse

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