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Szetela to D.C. United

The Insider has learned that D.C. United has claimed Danny Szetela in the allocation process. Dallas had the first option but passed on the 22-year-old midfielder who began his career in 2004 with Columbus before signing with Racing Santander in Spain three years later and getting loaned to Brescia in Italy's Serie B. He played for the USA Olympic team last year in China. Yesterday, the Insider was the first to tell you that New Jersey's own was on his way back to MLS.

UPDATE: United confirms Szetela's acquisition. He arrived in Washington this morning, practiced with the club for the first time today and took a physical. The club is hoping his paperwork will be completed in time for Saturday's match against Colorado. If not, he should be available for the U.S. Open Cup semifinal Tuesday.

Szetela can play a variety of roles -- on the flank, in a holding slot or attacking -- and will add depth to an already decent midfield. Terms of the contract were not disclosed. When he left MLS in 2007, his salary was around $50,000. With his Euro experience, he will probably earn much more now.

"Europe was good for him in terms of maturing in soccer and being in another country and culture," GM Dave Kasper told the Insider. "He's learned a lot."

Szetela will fill one of the three openings on United's roster. The club has two European-based defenders on trial, including a promising 20-year-old from the Anderlecht system in Belgium and Burundi's national team, and will consider other players in the coming weeks.

Did Dallas pass on Szetela in anticipation of a veteran national team player re-signing with MLS? Hmmm.....They will need the experience if Kenny Cooper is sold to Bristol City.

Szetela at training today:


By Steve Goff  |  July 15, 2009; 5:05 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Next: Thursday Kickaround

Comments

Awesome!

Posted by: Golden_Child | July 15, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

I second the awesomeness

Posted by: rockotodd | July 15, 2009 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Benny O needs to take him under his wing and and make sure he understands commitment and workrate.

Still, interesting and positive. Good stuff

Posted by: JkR- | July 15, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Hope he fares better here than on his last three teams.

Posted by: LostinPotomac | July 15, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

I'm calling him by his first name.

Posted by: joedoc1 | July 15, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

I third the awesomeness!

Posted by: kdiff813 | July 15, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Hooray.

Seriously -- it's nice to see the team building towards a strong future with talented American players. I've seen some real skill from him in international competitions. His presence should be a real boost to a team that often struggles to turn possession into real danger for the opposition.

Smart move. Dallas may want to wait on Beasley or perhaps some other American looking for a place to play, but DCU did well here.

Posted by: fischy | July 15, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

I have an inquiry, however:

How much cap room do we have, how much will Szetela take up of it, and if he takes up a lot, does that mean we can expect to lesser-quality players to fill the other two spots? And why are we content to keep just 2 keepers on the roster? It's kind of puzzling. One would think you'd want three, in case one of them gets injured.

Posted by: kdiff813 | July 15, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Can't ever complain about getting a 22 year old Olympic player for free. This is good. Whether he makes an impact on the field remains to be seen. I forgot...does he play the outside or in the middle?

Posted by: AtlantaMLS | July 15, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Hmm. I'll reserve judgment until we see him on the field, but adding another central mid isn't exactly addressing the current needs of United's roster. Maybe this is in prelude to a trade?

Posted by: Kenobi | July 15, 2009 5:22 PM | Report abuse

I like the acquisition. Szetela is better than our non-starters and should get plenty of playing time at both d-mid/ holding mid and right mid as we get to the most congested part of the schedule w MLS regular schedule resuming, Open Cup games, CCC games and still a couple guys gone for Gold Cup.

I'm glad the team acquired someone quickly after Barklage's injury (not that they are necessarily related). Szetela is young and some have questioned whether he has a strong work ethic or is a solid "team first" player but I think his arrival is very promising.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | July 15, 2009 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Hurrah!

Posted by: GoUnited | July 15, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

I've sentenced boys younger than you to the gas chamber. Didn't want to do it, felt I...owed it to them.

Posted by: Section117 | July 15, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Goff -- it would be interesting to know what, if any salary hit DCU is taking here...since, as you say, they're going to pursue other players.

Posted by: fischy | July 15, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

I hope his attitude has improved since his time in Columbus. I think if he wants to be here it's a good pickup.

then again, YA has him saying that DCU was his preference, not his hometown RBs (but then who would want to play there?)

so what do we do with him? I mean besides clutter our 3-5-2 even more in the middle? are we now looking at a top lineup of something like this?

Emilio - Moreno/Pontius
Gomez
Wallace Quaranta
Szetela/Olsen- Simms
??? Jacovic Namoff

I use the ???? because I refuse to put Burch into our top ten sorry, Marc.

I mean that's a heck of an offensive lineup, even if we never see it because of roster juggling for the next two months, right?

Posted by: joshuaostevens | July 15, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

OK, I forgot about Barklage's injury. Definite upgrade.

Posted by: Kenobi | July 15, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

I really didn't expect this. Dallas must either have no cap room or a big signing on deck. If neither of those is the case, they're more inept than I thought (I already think they're pretty inept, so...).

This is a good move for DC. Szetela is a great fit in the Olsen role, but can also play on the right, and he shouldn't have much trouble adjusting to our squad. I also like expanding the group of quality young players we have to be the next stars here once our big names retire. Jakovic, Quaranta, Wallace, Pontius, and now Szetela...has DCU ever had a group of youngsters that combine their levels of current ability with their potential for more?

I wonder, though, if this means the end for Jacobson. There are already some things stacked against him (Wallace doing better centrally, not really embracing a destroyer's role despite doing better there than he has in the Olsen two-way role), and now Szetela will come in. I think it's safe to assume Jacobson will be further down the depth chart as a result. We need depth, to be sure, but I feel like we'd be able to get something good in return if we trade him.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | July 15, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

For the U-20s, where he played very well, he was in the Michael Bradley box-to-box central MF role. I think he had 2-3 goals in the U-20 World Cup tournament.

I don't know his cap figure, but a good young American player is a great find.

Last year we started with basically none. Now with Tino's resurgance, Pontius, and Szetela we have a nice group of young U.S. players.

Posted by: Golden_Child | July 15, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

I smell a trade too Obi Wan. ;-)

Posted by: DadRyan | July 15, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

@Atlanta -- he has played both centrally and on the right flank. Not clear where he will fit in immediately, at least as far as the first XI, but he'll get time in different competitions and definitely be high on next year's depth chart, when the roster can be expected to get considerably younger.

Posted by: fischy | July 15, 2009 5:28 PM | Report abuse

$20 says Nowak picks him up in the expansion draft for Philly . . . .

Posted by: OWNTF | July 15, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse

A guy sitting on the bench for a second tier club in Italy -- that has to be Jacobsen type of money (a guy who sat on the bench for a second tier club in France).

As far as getting an extra keeper, I think we have two in the DCU academy that are getting ready to bolt for Europe, so maybe we have one of those in mind for Barklage's developmental roster slot.

Posted by: LostinPotomac | July 15, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

He might stick around, though. Lots of guys who may be playing their last season with us and could be left unprotected in the expansion draft.

Posted by: Senor_Funk | July 15, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

by the way, I have no problem with carrying two keepers instead of three and using the keeper pool for emergencies. We have two up and coming keepers now, let them compete for the starting spot and push eachother. we're not going to find a starting quality keeper for the money we're interested in spending, and with the matches to come, I would rather have someone potentially capable of picking up a few minutes here and there (if another potential starter is too much to ask for)

The Sounders dipped into the keeper pool, why can't we?

Posted by: joshuaostevens | July 15, 2009 5:36 PM | Report abuse

If he stays I hope he doesn't steal Party Boy's thunder.
http://usa.worldcupblog.org/files/2008/10/danny-szetela.jpg

Posted by: DadRyan | July 15, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Interesting, but I'm curious......


where does that leave United in terms of salary cap for the remaining two positions?

Posted by: Curious99 | July 15, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

@Chest -- As ever, your comments are illuminating. This probably slides Jacobson down the depth chart. He might even welcome a trade, especially to a California team, but I expect he will be kept on for depth and still start in the Open Cup.

As for Dallas, all the scuttlebutt is that they anticipate bigger fish with the allocation. Beasley may seem to be on the downside of his career, but perhaps could be more attractive to a team really struggling to fill seats. There could be others. Heath Pearce, maybe?

@Dad -- As for trades, it's possible. However, I'm sure that was not what DCU had in mind. It's a rare year that the team is even in a position to use an allocation. They saw a chance to improve their roster and build for the future -- plain and simple.

If, however, they're looking at other players, I would not be surprised to see the team sell one of its high-priced Brazilians to an interested South or Central American side. Right now, they can do that. After the season, they would (or could) leave on free transfers.

Posted by: fischy | July 15, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Ooh, Szetela. Though I wonder if that means Beasley may be in negotiations with FC Dallas.

And David Habarugira (5'8 LB/CB) is on trial? Cool.

Posted by: B_A_ | July 15, 2009 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Behind the Badge is reporting that he won't be available this weekend.

Posted by: Curious99 | July 15, 2009 5:41 PM | Report abuse

I've sentenced boys younger than you to the gas chamber. Didn't want to do it, felt I...owed it to them.

Does Szetela drink Fresca?

And as for FC Dallas passing on young Danny, par for the Pizza Hut Park course, unbelievable...

Posted by: BillUrban | July 15, 2009 5:43 PM | Report abuse

So, can we no longer afford Heath Pearce? Because that was soundign really good to me. With Pearce AND Szetela, we'd easily have the best team in the league and win the MLS Cup without much trouble.

Plus, we'd have 6 USMNT past, present, and future players. Quaranta, Olsen, Pearce, Szetela, Party Boy, and I heard Namoff was in the Gold Cup discussions this year.

Posted by: kdiff813 | July 15, 2009 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Dadryan- Is he holding a joint in that picture? Either way, LOL!

Posted by: kdiff813 | July 15, 2009 5:48 PM | Report abuse

When is Olsen's contract up?

Posted by: addick | July 15, 2009 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Some people might have been surprised by Dallas' passing o=n him, ut it seems United and Szetela were not. Behind the Badge already has video up with our new midfielder training today (? -- I suppose it could be from the rumored training yesterday) at RFK.

http://www.behindthebadge.com/2009/07/say-hello-to-danny-szetela.php

"He will not be available for Saturday's match, as we are still awaiting receipt of his International Transfer Certificate."

Hopefully, that comes through before next week's game in Germantown. It would a good way to get his feet wet and introduce him to the fans. Might even raise interest in the game.

Posted by: fischy | July 15, 2009 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Chest: I'd trade Jacobsen for a decent draft pick (late first or second) I think he could start for a lot of teams in MLS. I do like this continued building with young players, I see no good reason in what is really a bit of a rebuilding year to bring in anyone older than about 25, let's look to continue to build a core of young players (Pontius, Wallace, Quaranta, Jacovic, Szetela, Wicks/Kocics, Simms) who can work together for a couple of seasons and build a winner. that's the recipe in MLS, as we did with Moreno, Gomez, Olsen from about 03-07.

and seriously, if someone had said last January "I'll trade you Szetela for Jacobsen straight up' wouldn't you have taken that deal?

Posted by: joshuaostevens | July 15, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

@kdiff813 -- It has nothing to do with cost. DCU has now used up its allocation. It's like the waiver wire in your fantasy league. Now they move down to the bottom of the list. That means all the other teams would have to pass on Pearce, assuming he's the next player in the allocation pipeline.

Posted by: fischy | July 15, 2009 5:54 PM | Report abuse

I'd trade Jacobson just so people stop misspelling his name. I can't wait to see what people do with Szetela's name....

Posted by: fischy | July 15, 2009 5:56 PM | Report abuse

fischy-

I meant cap room, but are you saying that doesn't apply to the allocation process?

Posted by: kdiff813 | July 15, 2009 5:56 PM | Report abuse

I'm calling him by his first name.

Posted by: joedoc1 | July 15, 2009 5:19 PM
------------------------------------------

His surname is properly pronounced "sheh-tell-uh", which does open up some ribald possibilities.

Posted by: cow_pasture | July 15, 2009 5:57 PM | Report abuse

@kdiff813 -- I'm not familiar enough with the obscure allocation rules. I know that teams are constantly including allocation money in trades. Perhaps that does fall outside the salary cap. I don't know how that works. It's definitely the most obscure part of MLS.

The point I was making is that United will not have a shot at Pearce. If he comes back here, he will be allocated per the the allocation order. Right now, Dallas has the right of first refusal for the next player. DC United is now at the bottom of that list.

Posted by: fischy | July 15, 2009 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Apropos of a previous thread: Someone asked whether Beckham's grand reopening tomorrow night would be televised. Apparently it will be, on FSC.

Posted by: cow_pasture | July 15, 2009 6:03 PM | Report abuse

I'd welcome a trade for Jacobson too, anywhere but here.

Szet'z attitude has to be better, especially when you leave Europe and have to come back to MLS when you are so young. It'll be his chance to come back and make an impression and get his career going again. If not at United or MLS, then a USL team is next.

Posted by: delantero | July 15, 2009 6:03 PM | Report abuse

I suppose there are potential downsides, but if Chest is down, then so is Jacob.

I especially like the idea of another young player to be slotting in for the eventual replacement of one of the older guys.

Plus, he scored a couple of nice goals here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_DgOkYb01ZI

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | July 15, 2009 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Yea, I don't get the whole allocation thing either. But I do (sort of) get the "list" thing. Personally, I feel like this whole thing is kind of dumb; teams should be able to sign whomever they please.

Someone mentioned Philly picking him up in the expansion draft next year. It got me thinking: who are we going to protect?

Well, I think right off the bat that if Jaime and Olsen don't retire, they're obviously locks (though who would build a franchise around old men?). Then Wicks, Tino, Party Boy, Gomez (maybe; the age thing comes into play again), Simms, Wallace, Namoff, and Jakovic. I think Fred and Emilio's contracts are up anyway, and I doubt (unless they both light the league up for the rest of the season) that we will resign either. Assuming at least one of the elderly (Benny, Jaime, and Gomez) retires, those are only ten players. Then who do we use the 11th spot on? Burch? McTavish? Jacobson? Boyzzz?

We actually look to be in good shape for the expansion draft. We might lose Kocic, but...oh well. Is that really a big deal? We can always go resign Crayton (kidding).

Posted by: kdiff813 | July 15, 2009 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Guys,

Pearce still has a year left on his contract in Europe (as does Cherundulo). Pearce already had offers from teams in the Bundesliga, so there is next to no chance that he would come to MLS.

The only other player out there that I would have wanted besides Pearce is Zizzo, and he, too, is staying in Europe.

Posted by: jason1551 | July 15, 2009 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Then who do we use the 11th spot on?
------------------------------------------

I believe that if the next expansion draft is like the last several, there will be only ten protected players. I also believe that the last time out, Olsen was left unprotected, and he obviously was not taken. That is actually not surprising, when you think about it.

Posted by: cow_pasture | July 15, 2009 6:16 PM | Report abuse

This is Friggin Sweet!!!

ps. This now means we definetly have the best midfield in MLS. Now we just need a decent left sided defender.

This also means that we don't have to worry about the center of the pitch so much, so Quaranta, Wallace, and Pontius can feel the pressure roll off a little and start enjoying themselves more.

Hurray!! (As for work ethic, I think this guy wants to get back in the national team camp as soon as possible). Awesome.

Also, wouldn't dump Jacobson just yet.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | July 15, 2009 6:18 PM | Report abuse

There's no chance we protect Emilio (dp), olsen (injury), moreno (old),gomez (old), Wallace (ga). So we will be more than able go protect our youth.

Great pickup; jacobsen is likely on the way out...

Posted by: strago | July 15, 2009 6:20 PM | Report abuse

@jason -- Pearce is out of contract. Had a 2-yr deal with Rostock. It's over. It's also odd to see you say otherwise in the same paragraph that you claim he has offers from other German teams (I assume you mean Bundesliga 2 or 3, ot the top-flight). If you know he has offers, you are the only one.

@Jacob -- I posted a link to that video a week or two ago, in advance of Gold Cup...hoping to see some of Adu's magic again. Interesting that Szetela comes here. I still can't believe that team washed out in U-20 quarterfinals, against Austria, They were immensely talented and probably should have made the finals.

Funny how that works -- that team was arguably one of the 2 best in the tournament, but didn't even make the semis. But, the varsity beats Spain and takes a 2-0 lead against Brazil in the Confederations Cup.

Posted by: fischy | July 15, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse

I think this is a good move. Obviously, time will tell. Maybe he'll have an attitude. Maybe he won't be in shape. Maybe he'll have injury problems. All of those are possibilities.

But here's what I see...
--We got a guy who at times, has been a force in the middle of the field, playing a complete game (winning balls, tackling, using his body, showing a good first touch, moving off the ball, even scoring goals). And he's young.
--Our team this year has a couple of guys with NT commitments (Jakovic and Quaranta) that pull them away. A couple of other guys (Moreno, Fred, Emilio and Olsen) who have had injury issues or aren't iron-men anymore. Depth is good. Especially since we've got two very busy stretches coming up. If all Szetela is this is year is Jacobson's twin, that still isn't a bad aquisition. Now, long-term I'd want more. But another Jacobson isn't a bad thing at this point with some busy stretches coming up and us having a depleted roster.
--We play a 3-5-2 best. Which means you've got to have central mids to make that work. Szetela is probably the second best holding mid on the team (behind a healthy and in-form Olsen). IF....(and I admit that's an "if") Szetela brings his "A" game than that frees Gomez up to be the Christian we all know and love from years past--even more so. Christian will play like a withdrawn forward, score goals in bunches.

Now, Szetela may give us the rest of the season and then bolt. Or may play erratically. I doubt we'd expose him in the expansion draft--we've got too many aging players with big salaries who aren't fulltime players anymore for us to expose--in short--guys who aren't that attractive to an expansion team.

When I think of Szetela I think of another player (different position) but similar story I think: Robbie Rogers. Outstanding in college, left early to go to Holland. Got no minutes, game got in a funk, came back and lottery sent him to Columbus. His first half-season there was....meh. Since then he's been a force. I expect that to happen with Szetela...probably not much this season but a factor next year and beyond.

Also, Nowak romanced him hard when he was turning pro and he wanted to go to Metro first and then us (Nowak was evidently on a first-name basis with his mom). I can understand why the NY/NJ franchise was no longer his first choice (JCO would play him at left back). But our scheme fits him very well.

Posted by: JoeW1 | July 15, 2009 6:25 PM | Report abuse

last time out the expansion draft allowed for 11 protected players. assuming the rules are the same this time around, a couple of things come to mind: first off, GenAd players (Wallace) are exempt and you had to protect at least 3 internationals (all but one if you have fewer than four, which isn't relevant to us)

as the roster sits now, I protect the following players:

Pontius
Wicks
Namoff
Quaranta
Simms
Jacovic (I)
Szetela
Kocics (I)
Boyzzz (I)
Janicki
Emilio (who I think needs to be protected because of DP status)

everyone else can be exposed. that's a pretty solid core for a team moving forward into the future, and losing one of the older guys or a backup isn't going to kill us.

Posted by: joshuaostevens | July 15, 2009 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Last year, teams were allowed to protect 11 players, not 10.

It's early to project, but the protection list is likely to include Quaranta, Pontius, Szetela, Namoff, Simms, Wicks, Kocic, Wallace and Jakovic. That leaves two slots, to be divided between younger players like Burch, Janicki, Khumalo, McTavish and Jacobson.

I think United could survive losing one of these guys in the expansion draft. We might even find a better player in the Superdraft, and probably bring in a foreign player that would be better (maybe even a new DP). None of them are crucial, though losing Burch would mean United needs a new starting left back. Of course, Wallace might be be able to fill that role next year, but then we need someone on the wing.

Although United has some good older players like Moreno, Gomez, and maybe Olsen and Fred, there's probably no reason to protect them. Given their ages, only Fred might tempt Philly, but he's not worth what he's making.

Posted by: fischy | July 15, 2009 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Whoops -- Joshua Stevens is right. I thought Gen Adidas players were exempt, but overlooked in a quick review of the rules. So, they won't have to protect Wallace. SO to the list I put out above, there are still 3 additional protection slots -- probably to be used on Burch and 2 others still to be signed this year.

The rule on Designated Players: Designated Players do not have to be protected unless the player has a no trade clause in which case he must be protected.

I have on idea if Emilio has such a clause, but I don't imagine that United will protect him. In fact, I'd be shocked if DCU wants him back next year.

Posted by: fischy | July 15, 2009 6:44 PM | Report abuse

My bad. I remembered that the number 10 figured in there somewhere, but in fact, that is the number of players the expansion team may acquire via the expansion draft. That means that there is a one in three chance that United (or any other given club) will sail through unscathed.

Posted by: cow_pasture | July 15, 2009 7:04 PM | Report abuse

I guess this will have to serve as the thread for the Freedom match. The matchtracker makes it look as if they are coming out in a 3-4-3.

Posted by: cow_pasture | July 15, 2009 7:08 PM | Report abuse

plus you have new england and chicago playing in front of friends and family in Superliga...or of course, DC-Chelsea from 05

Posted by: joshuaostevens | July 15, 2009 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Bompastor strikes in the fourth minute; answered by Kai within two minutes.

Posted by: cow_pasture | July 15, 2009 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Anyone know of a site online to watch the Libertadores final? I don't get Fox Espanol.

Posted by: fischy | July 15, 2009 7:19 PM | Report abuse

mcbride just scored to make it 1-0 Fire in the 34th.

Posted by: joshuaostevens | July 15, 2009 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Heck yeah! Danny should be a great pickup for us. Another versitile mid who is experienced in tourny play. I just hope he doesn't play so well he is gone on national team duty too often ;). I plan on being a DCU fan for a while, so I like having young talented players. As for being in Europe that can be a humbling experience for a young player and I hope he has gotten the most out of it. Now let's go get a good left back (being a defender that is something I crave for this team).

Posted by: evanskr521 | July 15, 2009 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully one of these days I get a computer so these entries will not take so long! I phones are great but not for typing :-)

Posted by: evanskr521 | July 15, 2009 8:14 PM | Report abuse

SO, I watched some of the DCU-Chelsea rerun...

A barely remembered tidbit: Kevin Payne came on for an interview, just after Boswell's goal. Apparently, the game was played not long after the MacFarlane-Chang ownership bid was announced, and before approval by the league. KP said that it was the DC Sports and Entertainment Commission that brought the MacFarlane group to DC United -- an attempt to marry their interests in developing Poplar Point with DCU's stadium need. This never came from any of the soccer people. It probably didn't even originate with MacFarlane. This was Anthony Williams' deal from the start. Victor was led down the primrose path by the Williams Administration, and then cut off at the knees by Fenty.

What's really irksome about that is the way public ire was stoked -- and continues to be stoked by both political grandstanders and sincere conservationists -- with suggesting it was United that was trying to extort or make demands on the DC gov't to hand them "pristine" parkland and public dollars.

Posted by: fischy | July 15, 2009 8:31 PM | Report abuse

Fischy,

Here's where I got the info from:

http://www.soccer365.com/us_news/story_3709034846.php
"He has interest from Denmark, Sweden, the second Bundesliga and from one of the top teams in Austria," his agent, Lyle Yorks, told Soccer365.

"There is still a Dutch team we're talking to, but there they have a minimum salary (for non-European Union players of nearly a half million Euros per season) issue."
-----
I forgot that he's out of contract, as there hasn't been much hype around it. However, there's been no mention of any MLS link, and I doubt that he'd settle for what MLS pays.

Posted by: jason1551 | July 15, 2009 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Any news on LA vs CHI?

Posted by: evanskr521 | July 15, 2009 8:46 PM | Report abuse

LA isn't playing Chicago. It's NE vs. CHI. Fire leads the Revs 2-1. Revs just missed tying it, as a shot rang off the crossbar.

Posted by: fischy | July 15, 2009 8:50 PM | Report abuse

Sorry had the wrong day of the week and team. I'm an idiot. NYB play LA tomorrow. Again sorry.

Posted by: evanskr521 | July 15, 2009 8:52 PM | Report abuse

The Fire survive a late barrage by the Revs. Meanwhile, they've kicked off in Brazil and La Bruja started with a great strip off the foot of a Cruzeiro player. He's good. Can I still hope that he has his agent ring up the DCU front office, after tonight's game?

Posted by: fischy | July 15, 2009 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Just as I'm posting that, Veron levels a Cruzeiro player with a wicked forearm as he heads the ball clear. Good and dirty.

Posted by: fischy | July 15, 2009 9:02 PM | Report abuse

SuperLiga semifinal (I saw only the 2nd half) was surprisingly good. Blanco scored on a perfectly placed freekick that bent over the wall and into the near post upper 90 to give Chicago the 2-1 lead. But New England dominated the final stretches and had many chances to tie.

A few weeks ago the Revs offense was completely decimated through injury but they seem to have recovered some of their firepower. No Twellman but Ralston is back and Jankauskas looks like a handfull. Ande some dangerous but ultimately fruitless contributions from Mansally, Dube and Videira.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | July 15, 2009 9:08 PM | Report abuse

Looks like this is going to be a long one...

Actually, I might need to do 2. Shows me for going to the grocery store.

LostinPotomac:

Jacobson has nowhere near as much youth national team play, nor actual senior caps. He also spent his late teens/early 20s playing NCAA soccer, while Szetela was a professional. To me, that amounts to a substantial salary difference.

fischy:

The more I think about it, the more I think we almost have to move Jacobson. We have no option on the left of our back three that anyone is truly comfortable with, and I don't think too many of us are particularly thrilled by Khumalo and N'Silu as our forward depth. Jacobson is a player I'd like to be able to keep, but if we can get a defender or forward of roughly equal ability, we have to pull the trigger.

joshuaostevens:

That is absolutely a deal I'd have taken, and the fact that we could get even more is great news. Personally, I'd like to see a player-for-player deal before one for picks, if only because of our upcoming volume of important games (I am, of course, assuming we can beat Firpo and get into the CCL).

kdiff813:

I too want to know his salary. Like I said before, I think he'll be getting a pretty good deal from MLS. I'm actually thinking around $100K, considering his background and potential. Anyone remember what his initial deal with MLS paid?

JfAtl-ish:

Potential downsides here are, basically, that Szetela has a poor attitude and doesn't mesh with the rest of the locker room. As a player, I think he's a good fit for what we do on the field. The other downside would be overpaying him and having to fill our 1 remaining senior spot (the other is a developmental) with a senior minimum guy that can't contribute. If the club wants success in MLS and in the CCL, we need to fill every roster spot with someone useful, so cap management here is important.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | July 15, 2009 9:28 PM | Report abuse

No Pavel Nedved, but I guess he'll do well.

Posted by: Konoha7 | July 15, 2009 9:28 PM | Report abuse

I can see why DCU wanted Veron. He woulda held his own rather well in MLS.

Posted by: Juan-John | July 15, 2009 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Interesting scoop on the twitter, Goff...that's a new one.

Posted by: Reignking | July 15, 2009 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Expansion draft talk:

Obviously there's a lot of soccer to play, but at this point I'd lean heavily towards protecting the young core. Keeping those players together, with wise additions, will make us a contender for years.

Here are the guys I'd definitely protect, keeping in mind that we must protect 3 international players:

Wicks (assuming he maintains his form)
Namoff
Jakovic (Int.)
Quaranta
Simms
Gomez (Int.)
Pontius
Szetela

Wallace is kept as a freebie, which is excellent.

After that, there are a lot of questions. Will Emilio and/or Fred accept a lower salary? Will they show the kind of form that got them such high-paying deals? If either one returns at a lower price, we should protect them (thus fulfilling our three international obligation). Like most here, I don't think that's likely. However, it's still definitely up in the air. Another big question: Will Moreno and/or Olsen want to play another season? If so, you've got to protect them. Nowak, of all people, knows what they mean to United, and I really would rather not see the ugliness of a) them being forced into retirement rather than accepting a move in their last season as a pro or b) trading away something valuable for a player we will only have for one more season.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | July 15, 2009 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Szzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | July 15, 2009 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Edgar Castillo (he of the potential USMNT switch from El Tri) is playing as the left back for Tigres in Superliga right now. Tigres is up 2-0 after about 20 minutes. He looks OK. He has given up a cross and a shot from his side, but he has shut down a couple of attacks and combined well on the left hand side going forward.

Posted by: Golden_Child | July 15, 2009 10:03 PM | Report abuse

Chest-

Goff has his salary at $50,000 from his first stint in MLS, so $100,000 would probably be pretty accurate. That leaves us with $60k from Crayton alone, plus whatever Barklage and Peters were making. Not bad. We can probably get another player worth about $80k and then a developmental player.

With regard to Jacobson: I don't see a reason to keep him. If he ends up being a star and we missed out, then we dropped the ball. But all he has that sets him apart from your average USL middie for now is that cannon of a shot- and I can only recall seeing it a few times. So I, too, would like to hang on to him for a few years, but it's just not worth it. Maybe if Benny retires at the end of the year, he'll find a place on the depth chart, but with the addition of Szetela, I can't see a role for him.

Posted by: kdiff813 | July 15, 2009 10:03 PM | Report abuse

That first half was not what I expected. No joga bonita from Cruzeiro. They were shoving Estudiantes' players all over the pitch. Estudiantes seemed to be the more skillful side. Veron had a great half, except for a little trouble delivering a free kick and the ensuing corner. His genius is in attempting stuff that others would never do -- volleys, bicycles, etc., when others would make more conservative plays. Some seriously sublime touches and defense.

Posted by: fischy | July 15, 2009 10:05 PM | Report abuse

Castillo lets his man run by him for a free header from 5 yards out, 2-1 Tigres 26'.

Posted by: Golden_Child | July 15, 2009 10:06 PM | Report abuse

And, for your second comment, Chest:

I think Emilio HAS to accept a lower salary. His production has gone down the tubes since 07. If he wants to stay here (and I think he does; he seems to like it), then he'll have to negotiate a contract worth a couple hundred grand less than his DP salary. Same with Fred, who makes in the $200k's. He's useful as a sub, but when he starts, he isn't very productive and certainly not worth $200k either way.

Posted by: kdiff813 | July 15, 2009 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Cruzeiro takes the 1-0 lead. An own goal -- or just an unfortunate deflection?

Posted by: fischy | July 15, 2009 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Estudiantes responds with a gorgeous goal.

Posted by: fischy | July 15, 2009 10:20 PM | Report abuse

kdiff813:

I don't know if we're out of the woods on Szetela having a reasonable salary. We'll really only know when either that info comes out, or judging off the level of our other signings.

Peters made the senior minimum or very close to it, so he and Crayton combined for roughly $200k. I don't think we get Barklage's cap space back (just his roster spot). For that much room, if Szetela is signed for below $120k, we should be able to sign a player that is somewhere between potential starter and reliable sub. With the right trade, we could get someone to replace Burch as a starter, which in turn might leave us able to jettison John (who has looked pretty poor thus far), leaving us with some room again.

As for Emilio and Fred, that's kind of my point. From DCU's perspective, both players are worth keeping only at lower prices. There's no way the club can say it's doing a responsible job and keep them at their current salaries. However, if you're Emilio or Fred, a pay cut is probably going to be a hard thing to accept. Emilio knows he could go back to a big Honduran club and be a star. Fred has similar status in Australia. Is it worth it to them to stay here, knowing they'll be looking at something like a 50% (or more, in Emilio's case) pay cut?

I don't think Emilio's production has gone down the tubes (scoring 11 on last year's team was actually a pretty respectable goal haul given how dysfunctional the team was), but in either case it's not worth losing $400k of our cap space. With Fred, I like most of his game (the fouling too often and the shocking finishing are the exceptions), but with our current squad it's hard to see where he starts. MLS teams can't afford a $200k supersub/back up playmaker. However, my gut instinct is that he's the more likely to accept the pay cut, so maybe we can keep him around. If Moreno retires and Gomez moves into a second forward role, Fred could be pretty dangerous underneath the front line.

fischy:

I can't say that I'm too surprised by that. Brazilian clubs are, by and large, teams that value aggression far more than you'd expect from a country able to produce the players Brazil has. I guess everyone tries to be brilliant, and failing that you learn how to be a goon.

I should get downstairs and watch what's left of that game. A good friend of mine is a Cruzeiro fan from his time in Belo (he's so fond of Belo that he adores Fred simply for being born there), and I feel like Estudiantes is going to come through and give me the chance to hassle him about it.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | July 15, 2009 10:36 PM | Report abuse

Veron delivers -- a corner bending away from goal that drops on to the head of Boselli at the penalty spot, and it's headed home for the lead.

The announcer keeps saying Veron is playing the game the game of his life.

Posted by: fischy | July 15, 2009 10:37 PM | Report abuse

Even though he left DCU standing at the altar, you gotta smile at what Veron was able to accomplish. This is why he stayed.I'm happy for him, even though I guess this means there's not much chance he'll leave with a Club World Cup awaiting in December.

Bien hecho, Juan.

Posted by: fischy | July 15, 2009 10:58 PM | Report abuse

OK, somebody remind me why DCU couldn't sign Veron again?!?

Posted by: Juan-John | July 15, 2009 10:59 PM | Report abuse

OK, somebody remind me why DCU couldn't sign Veron again?!?

Posted by: Juan-John | July 15, 2009 10:59 PM |

He had a change of heart and wanted to lead Estudiantes to a Libertadores championship, like his father did. Mission accomplished, I guess.

Man, I wish we had signed him.

Posted by: NattyBo1985 | July 15, 2009 11:10 PM | Report abuse

Cuz Veron couldn't "bear to leave his beloved club". Duh.

Posted by: DadRyan | July 15, 2009 11:20 PM | Report abuse

Good for him, that's a huge deal, and he's done it.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | July 15, 2009 11:25 PM | Report abuse

oops Natty. I hadn't refreshed, but you do have a great point about Veron doing what he set out to "do".

Look I have wholeheartedly enjoyed Christian Gomez's return, but can we hold off on crying about Veron. He'd never do here, what he had done there.

Personally I am feeling like we'll not be seeing Fred for much longer unless something changes drastically. I also am going out on a limb and saying this might continue to push Tino forward, right where I like him.

Hot Dang! this team is sooooo much better than it was last year ain't it? I love me some domestic players. boo! Ya!!!!!

Posted by: DadRyan | July 15, 2009 11:27 PM | Report abuse

@fischy, i think what you got at was more what I mean. I can see Fred getting sold, or Emilio sooner than later. I meant that Danny may be a cheaper and in the long term better option in the midfield.

Posted by: DadRyan | July 15, 2009 11:29 PM | Report abuse

I was reading the twitter on the Colorado Rapids vs Club America match that ended a few minutes ago - it seems the Rapids two defenders - Gibbs and Baudet - got hurt during the match. With Ihemulu (spelling?) out with yellow card suspension - the defense of Colorado is looking weak for Saturday.

Posted by: AnthonyTheGreat | July 15, 2009 11:35 PM | Report abuse

I played as United on my Fifa09 machine tonight. I cannot begin to describe how happy I'll be to get ahold of 10. That's just one way of knowing how much better this year's team is (as if the standings didn't show it).

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | July 15, 2009 11:35 PM | Report abuse

When does FIFA 10 come out...October?

Posted by: Pedalada | July 15, 2009 11:56 PM | Report abuse

A quick Google search says yes, October

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | July 16, 2009 12:11 AM | Report abuse

Chest, I think Goff reported right after the injury that we will get Barklage's cap space back for the remainder of the season, similar to last year when we put Dom Mediate on the season-ending injury list.

Or maybe I just read that in the comments section, but either way, the author seemed pretty certain about its verity.

Posted by: kdiff813 | July 16, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

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