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Szetela Back to MLS?

Two sources tell the Insider that midfielder Danny Szetela, who left MLS during the 2007 season to sign in Europe, has agreed to a contract with the league and will be allocated to a club soon. Dallas, D.C. United and Colorado are at the top of the allocation list, although it's unclear if any of them are interested. Szetela, 22, was under contract with Spain's Racing Santander and loaned to Italy's Brescia the past 18 months. He made 34 appearances for Columbus between spring 2004 and late summer 2007.

By Steve Goff  |  July 14, 2009; 4:44 PM ET
Categories:  MLS  
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Do you lose your spot in the allocation order if you "pass"?

Posted by: Danno1313 | July 14, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Did he ever actually play in Europe? Every time I checked to see if he was in a box score, it was like looking to see if Altidore or Adu was playing as well (answer:no!).

Does riding the pine in Europe substitute for PT in MLS? Didn't seem to help Jovan Kirovski or Clint Mathis all that much.



Posted by: jayrockers | July 14, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

He is still under contract with Racing. One year left -- Brescia just returned him after his loan.

He played off-and-on at 2nd division Brescia (injuries didn't help). If you can't start regularly for them, well, I doubt you'll start or play much in La Liga (Jozy is an exception!).

Posted by: Reignking | July 14, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

It's never bad to have a 22-year old midfielder with bite on your roster, especially with Simms having a down year and Gomez aging.

Posted by: b18bolo | July 14, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

That would be a great pick-up for any club. I realize he plays centrally (where DCU is deep) or in Tino's spot, but it's hard to say "no" to a player with his upside. My guess is that Dallas wouldn't say no, either...if he's willing to go that route. My guess is this Jersey boy would prefer DC.

Posted by: fischy | July 14, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Fischy, Ben Olsen is most likely retiring this year, and Jacobson isn't that great. We are not deep in this position, in fact, defender is the only position where we have less depth, in my opinion.

I would love DC to make this man their own, but sadly he'll be farmed out to all the failure teams first, Dallas, San Jose and Red Bulls will have first dibs.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | July 14, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Also, Brescia flipped coaches early last fall, which did not help him one bit.

He got unlucky at Racing -- when he went, they were doing surprisingly well, and they had a decent midfield that he couldn't crack.

Posted by: Reignking | July 14, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like Olsen body slammed Ivan Carter before the show, put him in a headlock and noogied him until he promised he'll never say "The United" again!
Quick someone call up PB and tell him that they will probably be discussing exactly what DC United is actually called in a few minutes when Ben makes his appearance live!
Ha, Ha!

Posted by: DadRyan | July 14, 2009 5:12 PM | Report abuse

I just hope his nickname isn't "Alka."

Posted by: joedoc1 | July 14, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

and a yellow card is shown to joedoc1

Posted by: rockotodd | July 14, 2009 5:22 PM | Report abuse


We're second on the allocation list. If Dallas passed on him, we would be the next team in line to sign him.

Posted by: jason1551 | July 14, 2009 5:48 PM | Report abuse

DC should sign him. However with the u20 coming up and 5 players leaving for that, (Lambo,Davies, Wallace, Shea, Marosevic)I would expect Dallas to jump at the opprotunity to the dismay of Dax McCarty. I would definitely expect Red Bulls to be all over him as well, as he is a Jersey Boy who is better than the vast majority of their lineup without question.

Posted by: Dipssince78 | July 14, 2009 5:52 PM | Report abuse

I'd be interested in Szetella if he was the best available player possible during this window. Beasley doesn't excite me. Neither does John. Pearce would be a fantastic pickup, but seems unlikely to come to MLS. After those three, who else is out there?

Szetella may be the best of what's left, and he would provide cover at CM, especially with Olsen's health issues, Simm's decline in play, and Jacobsen's level of development. I'm not wild about him, but he's a known commodity.

Posted by: jason1551 | July 14, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

I can't imagine a scenario in which Dallas would turn him down. He's better than Rocha and McCarty (both currently first choice at Pizza Hut Empty Public Space). I guess I could see them taking him and trading him, since most MLS clubs will be rightly interested.

In either case, I don't see him ending up here. Either Dallas keeps him or trades him to someone more motivated and in more dire need for central midfield improvements. I don't think we have anyone that is both valuable enough to Dallas yet also expendable to us.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | July 14, 2009 5:56 PM | Report abuse

This is the Dallas FO we're talking about. We could probably give them a minor dispensation and a box of fig newtons, and they'd jump at the opportunity to trade their allocation away.

Posted by: TheAMT | July 14, 2009 6:13 PM | Report abuse

I would love to have Szetela. He would help us out definately.

Posted by: GoUnited | July 14, 2009 6:14 PM | Report abuse


Don't sell them so short. Off the field they're obviously not doing well, but they did orchestrate the Van den Bergh for Oduro trade. OK, so skinning NY in a trade is like taking candy from a baby, but still. They're not entirely stupid. Trading away this allocation, given their squad, would be pretty much unforgivable unless the deal brings them either a) a truly top MLS player, b) several second-tier guys who aren't all-stars but are solid starters, or c) a substantial amount of allocation money. I don't know their cap situation; if they're up against it, they wouldn't be able to fit him in, but otherwise they really should just sign him.

Other teams should be making them offers. NY, San Jose, and Kansas City strike me as teams that could use the boost (KC might be a little less in need...I think they'd be better with Szetela than Hirsig, but it's not nearly their biggest problem).

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | July 14, 2009 9:21 PM | Report abuse

SBI is reporting that we're going to get him. SBI is saying that FCD is likely to pass (they'd like to save first in the order for another player that would help them more) and they're already pretty young. SBI is also reporting that Szetela was here in the DC area on Tuesday.

As for me, I'm okay about getting him but not wild. First, expansion is going to take hits this off-season and next. So loading up on talent is temporary at best. Second, he had health problems in the past--I'd want to make sure he's over those. That said, in a 3-5-2, he's an excellent holding mid.

Posted by: JoeW1 | July 14, 2009 9:46 PM | Report abuse

He should go on loan to Wisla Krakow this season, then play for Nowak at Philly Union!

Posted by: arswift24 | July 14, 2009 10:02 PM | Report abuse

I was just wondering where Szetela and Zizzo were for these Gold Cup squads that look pretty deep into our player pool. It's too bad he can't find a way to win time in Europe, but he could develop more here then go back again later maybe.

Posted by: SeanWG | July 14, 2009 10:18 PM | Report abuse

@JoeW -- there's another site -- -- that is running a piece implying that DCU is trying to land Szetela...but there's no sourcing. Maybe, they read the Ives report.

Posted by: fischy | July 14, 2009 10:59 PM | Report abuse

I agree that Szetela fills a real need for depth right now, and offers United a great option as a regular down the road. Here's what I posted at Ives (my first post there -- not sure if that's a milestone I want to remember):

I'd say that Szetela will have some work to do, to crack the regular DCU starting XI -- but he would see action in the Open Cup and Champions League, and spot starts and substitute time in MLS. When he plays, it would give United more attacking options, as they could move Gomez, Pontius or Quaranta up top.

If he shows well, I wouldn't be surprised to see him be a regular, either by season's end, or from the get-go next year. DCU has got some older players (Olsen, Moreno, Gomez), and a DP they probably won't resign (Emilio). So, Quaranta or Pontius will move permanently to a striker position next year, opening up the right flank and/or a central midfield slot for Szetela. It's actually a really good place for him to land. And not that far from his native haunts.

Posted by: fischy | July 14, 2009 11:13 PM | Report abuse

Also, Nedved's people say he has received offers from several MLS clubs.... Is he willing call the turf @ Giants Stadium home?

Posted by: fischy | July 14, 2009 11:53 PM | Report abuse

Won't Giants Stadium and its turf soon be history, at least from an MLS, as opposed to NFL, point of view?

Posted by: universityandpark | July 15, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse in next year...

Posted by: fischy | July 15, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

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