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Wednesday Kickaround

*The Daily Mail reports Glasgow Celtic is preparing a $2.9 million offer to MLS/Chivas USA for USA midfielder Sacha Kljestan. Meantime, Maurice Edu is sticking it out with Glasgow Rangers.

*I hear that one MLS club is interested in acquiring Colombian defender Gonzalo Martinez's rights from D.C. United. (Not sure which one.) DCU did not exercise the option on Martinez's $245,000-per-year contract, which means he is free to sign anywhere else in the world. A trade within MLS would only be executed if Martinez agrees to a new (presumably much smaller) deal.

*I also hear Honduran defender Osman Chavez's move to MLS (Los Angeles?) is still in the works, as is compatriot/forward Walter Martinez's loan to United, but obstacles remain. Marathon, which holds Martinez's contract, was apparently asking for more than DCU was willing to pay, but negotiations continue.

*Soccer on TV today:
Italian Cup, Udinese-Sampdoria noon ET GolTV
England Carling Cup, Burnley-Spurs 2:45 p.m. Setanta
Italian Cup, Inter Milan-Roma 2:45 p.m. GolTV
South American U-20s, Colombia-Peru 6 p.m. GolTV
South American U-20s, Ecuador-Venezuela 8 p.m. GolTV

*With the USA-Mexico World Cup qualifier in Columbus just three weeks away, the Insider introduces a new semi-daily feature:

Buckeye Barometer

Today in the Ohio capital: 20 to 23 degrees, mostly cloudy.
Tomorrow: 29 to 37 degrees, mostly sunny.

By Steve Goff  |  January 21, 2009; 10:06 AM ET
Categories:  D.C. United , MLS , Scotland , TV , U.S. men's national team  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Who Should Start for USA?
Next: DCU, MLS Updates

Comments

*Local player called in to womens national team camp, at 18 she is the youngest player there.

http://ussoccer.com/articles/viewArticle.jsp_12320774.html

Posted by: OWNTF | January 21, 2009 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Shouldn't a "Buckeye Barometer" (technically) also include some information on the current atmospheric pressure near Columbus, and how that may affect that chances for precipitation/snow?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barometer

Don't make us sick the Capital Weather Gang on you.

Posted by: tab5g | January 21, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

I bet that it's Juan Carlos Osorio who's interested in Martinez. JCO probably saw some of his domestic play and I also think he's got a thing for South American players, even if they aren't bargains or playing well (see Cichero, Pietrevallo and Rojas as just 3 examples).

Posted by: JoeW1 | January 21, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

The Buckeye Barometer will become more detailed as the game approaches. For more current info, check www.weather.com

Posted by: Steve Goff | January 21, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

That's dang cold.

That's dang good.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | January 21, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Great for Kljestan, if true. That's a pretty big fee.

Posted by: Kev29 | January 21, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

I'd jump at that fee if I were MLS/CUSA.

Posted by: Wendell_Gee | January 21, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

I think it's a good move if Celtic really do pursue the kid. I just really hope it's for a spot right away rather than a sit the bench and let's see how you develop kind of move.

I'm all for our guys going to Europe for a chance to play at ever higher levels and earn respect for our country - however, I'm not sure that the lack of playing time abroad is better than more MLS minutes.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | January 21, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

I hear that one MLS club is interested in acquiring Colombian defender Gonzalo Martinez's rights from D.C. United. (Not sure which one.)

Him?

Posted by: Section117 | January 21, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

I was hoping Martinez wouldn't be in MLS or on any other team DC plays.

Posted by: sitruc | January 21, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

I would totally rock/run an EMO Celtic jersey. That would be some awesome experience for Sacha if the deal goes through, I'd just hope that he'd be in the starting XI sooner rather than later or never.

Posted by: DadRyan | January 21, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Having watched Martinez last year, I was hoping he would be in MLS or with some other team DCU plays.

Actually, I hadn't given it a thought, but it certainly doesn't strike fear in my heart -- except maybe for any possible injury he might inflict with one of his hockey-style hip checks and shoves over the lines.

Posted by: fischy | January 21, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

My top three guesses for the Martinez move would be:
1. NYRB
2. Chivas USA
3. San Jose

Posted by: AnthonyTheGreat | January 21, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Great to see interest from overseas in Kljestan. I thought he showed very well in the Olympics and in the autumn qualifiers. However, if it goes through, I'm not looking forward to seeing "DNP" or "not in the 18" next to his name in the Insider's weekly Americans Abroad roundup.

Doesn't the US v. Mexico game kickoff in prime time? If so, then the Buckeye Barometer should include the evening/nighttime temperature.

Posted by: BaltoFan | January 21, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Martinez is Very good friends with Angel And Osorio! He once said that if DC didnt want him anymore the only other team he would play fon in MLS was the redbulls!

Posted by: ThE-BaRRa-BrAvA-KiD | January 21, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Can anyone who has been to Columbus for a match suggest a reasonable place to stay? I've heard the stadium is a bit in the hood...

Posted by: hacksaw | January 21, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

I'd jump at that fee if I were MLS/CUSA.

Posted by: Wendell_Gee | January 21, 2009 10:56 AM
=====================================
It's not that simple. What good does the money do if you operate in a salary cap situation and you have already traded your DP slot on a guy that isn't playing for you (Guevarra).

So we can't use the money to attract a DP and we're still constrained by the salary cap.

Goff, do you think that Chivas can hold the deal hostage in exchange for MLS granting another DP slot (or waiving the loss of the original DP slot... if that makes people feel better)?

Posted by: PocketKings | January 21, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

SK with Celtic would be a great move so with DMB and Edu at Rangers, can anyone thing of a top footie rivalry where Yanks were on both sides of the divide?

Was Reyna with Man City when Timmy! was at ManU?

And no... Keller-Friedel with Spurs-Blackburn would not count.

Posted by: IamAM | January 21, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

The stadium is on the cusp of the hood (on one side) and OSU campus (on the other). ANY of the hotels downtown would be stop #1 since that is where all of the official pre-game festivities seem to schedule. For example, Claddagh Irish pub on Front Street (downtown) is having food and drink specials on Tuesday AND Wednesday,showing old USA v. Mexico games, and running a shuttle to and from the game. If downtown is too expensive, look to the Easton area next, then the Polaris area, and if all else fails, the Morse Road and Route 161 areas.

Posted by: CBUS | January 21, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Also, regarding the weather, it is currently about 20 F in Columbus with 5" to 7" of snow from previous days. It should be a balmy 37 for the next two days before the temp drops back down into the 20s. Next week's forecast calls for snow to some degree every day. At night, it has been dropping into the single digits by kickoff time.

Posted by: CBUS | January 21, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

My hope for the weather is that it is pleasant (30s-40s) until about February 9th or 10th, then it gets cold and nasty, and starts snowing like a mofo at about 7.30 PM on the 11th.

Bienvenidos a Columbus, hombres! :)

(for the record, I am, at the moment, about 90 minutes south [and a little east] of Columbus)

Posted by: SportzNut21 | January 21, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Dos a cero, otra vez...

Posted by: schmuckatelli | January 21, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

PocketKings:

What good does the money do? Chivas can use the 2/3 of the transfer fee that they get (just under $2 million) to extend their salary cap to a certain extent. They can get a guy on a DP salary and pay down the part that's over $400K with some of this money. They can also skip the DP and reinforce their team in several spots. Or, they can trade some of that money as allocation funds for a DP. They have plenty of options.

MLS has done a better job in recent times of actually sticking to the rules it sets out, rather than breaking them at the first sign of them inconveniencing anyone. Do you really want the league to take such a massive step backwards? What's next, calling for the return of the shootout? Chivas made a mistake and gave up a valuable asset for a known headcase. Deal with it. If Chivas wants another DP slot, they need to trade for someone else's like the rest of the league.

DC and NY both wanted 2 DP slots, and they went out and got them via trades. If those 2 clubs, with a history of favorable treatment from MLS, can't get handouts, how is Chivas (poor attendance, unremarkable history, not even the most prominent soccer team in its own city) going to get them?

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | January 21, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

I thought Martinez was about the only good DC player in the first few months last season and still has potential to be one of the top defenders in the league. But he also seemed stubborn and disinterested in playing the way the team wanted him to play. Don't know whether Soehn or Martinez was more responsible for the Failure To Communicate but I could see Martinez motivating himself to play well for Osorio.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | January 21, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

The stadium is on the cusp of the hood (on one side) and OSU campus (on the other). ANY of the hotels downtown would be stop #1 since that is where all of the official pre-game festivities seem to schedule. For example, Claddagh Irish pub on Front Street (downtown) is having food and drink specials on Tuesday AND Wednesday,showing old USA v. Mexico games, and running a shuttle to and from the game. If downtown is too expensive, look to the Easton area next, then the Polaris area, and if all else fails, the Morse Road and Route 161 areas.
Posted by: CBUS | January 21, 2009 1:18 PM
________________

Thanks! I get in on Tues afternoon so I guess I know where Im heading....

Posted by: hacksaw | January 21, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Dos a cero, otra vez...

Posted by: schmuckatelli | January 21, 2009 1:54 PM
=============

Dos a cero, siempre.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | January 21, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Chest_Rockwell
1.How in the world do you "extend" a salary cap. By the definition of the word, it's a cap. You are not allowed to spend more than the cap (Even DPs count for part of the cap). There is no "extending the salary cap." *** I'm not saying the club doesn't have the $2.3 in order to pay their players. I'm saying we can't pay players more than that.

2.Yes, I agree, we've already made a big mistake and traded away our DP on an idiot. But was that the intention of MLS with the DP rule to create a situation like this? (I don't think so, it's bad for the league) So in this case, I don't think its out of line to ask that MLS consider correcting this error. If MLS says no, then I can live with that.

3.I understand that you don't like my team, but I really don't care. I'm not asking to scrap the DP rule. I think it needs a little tweaking.

4.Seriously, a shootout. You've got to be kidding. I want a single table, European system where clubs are individual entities that can pay as much as they want for players, provided they can afford it. I truly dislike this Communist economic model that this league is using. And quite frankly, I question the patriotism of anyone that says a MLS league ownership model is the only way it can work. So Chest, take you and your communist loving buddies to China. There shouldn't be a monopoly in MLS. FREE MARKET RULES.

5.Now isn't that last section as silly as your rant about my team's mismanagement of a ill-thought out rule?

Posted by: PocketKings | January 21, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Pocketkings: If you think that the salary cap is firm and that China employs the communist economic model, then you have neither followed MLS nor global events in quite a while.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | January 21, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Uhhhm, burn.

Posted by: DadRyan | January 21, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

I-270
Thank you for your thoughts, apparently I'm not being clear....

1.It is my understanding that an MLS team must pay all of its players under an approximate $2.3 million salary cap.
2.The first DP counts for $400,000 of that and a second DP counts for $300,000???
3.Regardless of how much you actually pay the DP (which is up to the club's finances), the $400K or $300K still count toward the salary cap.
4.If you can get a Generation Adidas athlete, they are guaranteed over $100K by Adidas, and does not count against the club's salary cap?

**** The point I was trying to make is that just because CUSA is going to get a nice cut of the transfer money, we have already blown our DP spot with a bad trade... so we can't spend the money on players' salaries ... b/c they are tied to (wait for it) the salary cap!

If I want to get a Adolfo "Bofo" Bautista from Guad., I have to be able to pay him less than $400k, in order not to be a DP. And if he agrees to it, I might have to sell players or have them take a pay cut, in order to stay below the salary cap.

Yes, we could use the money toward promotional items, or making club merchandise, but we can't spend it on new players (and in this case, a DP because we blew that option with Guevara).

But yes, I should have said Cuba or North Korea, or even better 1950's China. I was in such a hurry to spit out my sentiments that I didn't take the time to be precise (a mistake I will not make in the future.... thank you for the lesson.)

Having said that, do I understand the MLS Salary Cap issue?
Does it make sense that letting Sasha K go to Celtic for $1.75m (approx cut for the club) might be good for Sasha, but not a great deal for the club? Who will I get to replace his current talent level for his current salary???
The only way to do it would be to trade additional players to make space under the salary cap... which further weakens the club. Quite frankly, I'm not comfortable with that, and I would rather keep Sasha with the club for a few more years until the Guevarro DP fiasco is cleared from the books and we can regain his DP slot.

Posted by: PocketKings | January 21, 2009 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Pocket, teams can use "allocation money" to buy down players salaries against the cap. For instance, the past two seasons the Crew have used allocation money to shave GBS under the DP level. This year they don't have the allocation money to do that, so now he's a DP. From the transfer money a team gets for selling a player, they can use up to $500K for allocations. So theoretically, you could bring in a player being paid $800K, but using that allocation, he would only count $300K against the cap.

Posted by: SonicDeathMonkey | January 21, 2009 9:04 PM | Report abuse

SonicDeathMonkey,

1.Thank you for explaining how "allocation money" is used. I appreciate an intelligent person taking the time to explain something instead of taking cheap shots. (ahem...Chesty...Freeway)

2.Can the $500K allocation money be used over a period of time, or does it have to be used all at once?

Posted by: PocketKings | January 22, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

I can't say for sure, but I think you can break it up at least. JCO used his allocation money that he got from the Altidore sale on several players last year.

Posted by: SonicDeathMonkey | January 23, 2009 2:05 AM | Report abuse

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