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Friday Kickaround

*We told you the other day that Wake Forest star forward Marcus Tracy was looking to Europe instead of MLS, and today this report surfaced in Denmark saying he is going to Aalborg. U.S. sources say a deal is close to being finalized and an announcement is expected Tuesday.

*Select college seniors and Generation Adidas signees are gathering today in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., for the start of the MLS scouting combine. Games will be played tomorrow, Sunday and Tuesday. The draft is Thursday in St. Louis. A word of caution: Remember Luke Kreamalmeyer, the "revelation" of the 2005 combine? Didn't think so. My point: Don't get too excited about breathless reports that surface out of this year's event.

*I'm hearing that the front-runner for the Columbus assistant coach opening is former Crew defender Ricardo Iribarren, an Argentina native who has interviewed for the job. Another ex-Columbus player, Marcelo Carrera, was also approached. The slot opened when top assistant Robert Warzycha replaced Sigi Schmid as head coach. An announcement is likely next week.

*Defender-midfielder Ezra Hendrickson, who won MLS Cup titles with Los Angeles, D.C. United and Columbus, has retired after 12 seasons.

*It appears Brazilian superstar Marta is close to signing with the Los Angeles Sol in the new U.S. women's league. In response to reports out of Sweden, where Marta has been playing professionally for several years, that a contract is in place, the Anschutz empire had this to say: "We have yet to reach an agreement at this time. However, negotiations are continuing and we are hoping to reach an agreement in the next two weeks." Assuming the deal is finalized, her debut would be March 29 against the Washington Freedom at Home Depot Center.

By Steve Goff  |  January 9, 2009; 9:37 AM ET
Categories:  College Soccer , MLS , Women  
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Thanks. I needed a Danish to go with my coffee.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | January 9, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Good luck to Ezra Hendrickson after a long and pretty fruitful MLS career. Three MLS Cups with 3 different teams. I thought he was one of the last MLS originals but according to the article he started out in 1997.

He was a good attacking player early in his career. Thanks to Nelsen's suspension, he started in central defense for DC in the great PK win over New England in the Eastern Conf championship a few years back.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | January 9, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Kudos and best wishes to EZ!

Posted by: JkR- | January 9, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Ezra was a classy player. I never like it when a player I get a jersey for leaves the team, but for some reason, it's never bothered me to wear my Ezra Hendrickson jersey. Wasn't he also the captain for the St. Kitts and Nevis national team?

Posted by: TCompton | January 9, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Has WPS established a salary cap yet? Such a cap would presumably be somewhere under $100K. Marta would command a much higher salary. Is there going to be some sort of DP rule from the get-go?

Posted by: universityandpark | January 9, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Any word on Namoff yet? Or anything interesting with DCU?

Posted by: kris77 | January 9, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

I'm Better Than Ezra.

(Those over 30 may get that joke...)

Posted by: joedoc1 | January 9, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Thinking of EZ brought a smile. I always liked him, no matter who he played for.

May his life reflect his nick-name.

Posted by: seahawkdad | January 9, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

I REMEMBER Luke Kreamalmeyer

Posted by: BurchFan4 | January 9, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

We RSL-types definitely remember Luke Kreamalmeyer - he even made a couple of esrly 05 starts before disappearing from what was a pretty bad team. As for hype, it was all we had to hold onto that season, so I remember the hype part fondly!

Posted by: bkbsmith | January 9, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Kreamalmyer is having a decent USL career.

According to my sources within the Sol organization, Marta reached a verbal agreement with the club last month. The only reason no contract was signed is that WPS hadn't yet finalized SPCs.

Teams will have the abiity to play players beyond their "salaries" in WPS.

Posted by: LAStory | January 9, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Luke Kreamalmeyer - wasn't he in "Animal House?"

Posted by: joedoc1 | January 9, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

On a totally different topic, has an article claiming that Villarreal turned down an offer from Everton for Jozy. Apparently they are valuing him at $10m. Whoa - that's some serious change for a guy w/ 2 starts.

Posted by: glfrazier | January 9, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Best of luck to Ezra. Classy guy. And joedoc, I got it. I'm not saying it's funny, but I got it. :)

I'm surprised Everton isn't trying to work a loan deal for Jozy. Villareal is obviously holding on based on his potential, but they're pretty loaded at forward right now and Jozy's not exactly at the top of the depth chart. Seems like a loan through the summer might benefit both teams.

Posted by: Kenobi | January 9, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

I could be wrong, but I think Jozy and Villarreal are past the point of no return in regards to a loan. I believe that a player can make up to 5 appearances before the winter break and still be eligible to be loaned out. Jozy has 6 and so cannot be loaned out. Their other forwards are old, injured, losing it, or some combination. Jozy should have the opportunity to make several more appearances with them this season. And really, we want our most promising forward going to England over Spain? Really?

Posted by: Josh8 | January 9, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

I'm Better Than Ezra.

(Those over 30 may get that joke...)

Posted by: joedoc1 | January 9, 2009 11:27 AM

I did. It was good.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | January 9, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Normally dont care about women's football, but I'd pay 20 bucks to see Marta, shes pretty damn fun to watch.

Posted by: arswift24 | January 9, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Funny story about Ezra. He was playing pretty okay after being picked up in the supplemental draft by the Metros. Carlos Alberto Parreira wanted to sign one of his Brazilians, and was told someone had to be cut. He took the roster, and without looking at it, put his finger down on a player's name. It was EZ's. It could just as easily have been John DeBrito who was waived. Another sad story in Metro history.

Posted by: Mastodon_Juan | January 9, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

While I agree with your point on the draft, I DO remember Luke Kreamalmeyer, who is doing very well for himself in the USL. In fact, I think an MLS team should try moving him up again. No one should base anything on how terrible those RSL teams were -- just remember who was coaching!

Posted by: Eugene7 | January 9, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

I'm Better Than Ezra.

(Those over 30 may get that joke...)

Posted by: joedoc1 | January 9, 2009 11:27 AM

I did. It was good.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | January 9, 2009 1:08 PM

Left me desperately wanting though.

Posted by: beach3 | January 9, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

App (goals)
2003 St. Louis Strikers 10 (6)
2004 Chicago Fire Premier 15 (3)
2005 Real Salt Lake 06 (0)
2006-2007 Portland Timbers 50 (9)
2008 Rochester Rhinos 30 (5)

Posted by: mizage | January 9, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Luke is a good USL player. He will do well when the MLS waters its talent down with new teams.

Posted by: mattkenemer | January 9, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

All the best to Ezra.

72 days to the first game.

Posted by: Curious99 | January 9, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

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