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Posted at 12:29 AM ET, 12/ 7/2010

Tuesday kickaround: Ronaldinho-Galaxy talks, D.C. United, MLS re-entry draft, Virginia's Restrepo, Champions League TV listings

By Steve Goff

*The 50,000-plus followers of the Insider's Twitter page read about it Monday, and here it is again: The Los Angeles Galaxy is awaiting word from Ronaldinho and his representatives about the Brazilian superstar's interest in joining the club next season, a source familiar with the situation said. The Galaxy "doesn't want to wait any longer" and would like to "move on with or without him" in the next week or so. Finances are apparently not an issue, just Ronaldinho's level of interest in coming to MLS from AC Milan.

*D.C. United has the first pick in the inaugural MLS re-entry draft Wednesday, and according to Coach Ben Olsen in a story on the club's Web site, "There is a guy or two that we have our eye on, and we think this thing can help us." Jimmy Conrad, perhaps? He and Olsen were teammates on the 2006 World Cup squad. Conrad would fill a leadership/experience void in central defense, but with his 34th birthday in February and a 2011 option salary of more than $260,000, is it the smart move? United could pass on Conrad and wait for the second stage of the re-entry process next week, when the club would have the flexibility to negotiate a new deal. But by then, another club could claim him or Conrad could re-open talks with his previous club, Sporting Kansas City.

As for the Jan. 13 college draft in Baltimore, United General Manager Dave Kasper says the club will have the third overall selection; one of New York's second-round picks; and its own fourth-rounder. and Columbus's fourth-round selection.

*Goalkeeper Diego Restrepo, who anchored Virginia's run to the 2009 NCAA title, has been invited to the Seattle Sounders' player combine ahead of the MLS combine and draft, his older brother told the Insider. Restrepo, who was born in Venezuela and grew up in Colombia, is also exploring options in South America and Mexico as well as a possible sign-and-loan deal with an English club, Alfonso Restrepo said. Diego is finishing classwork in Charlottesville following the Cavaliers' NCAA first-round loss last month. Last summer, he trained with the New York Red Bulls, New England Revolution, Deportivo de La Coruña in Spain and Lokeren in Belgium.

For the extensive Champions League TV listings.....

*Soccer on TV:
(All times are Eastern)
Champions League
Twente-Spurs 2:45 p.m. FSC (tape at 5 on FSP)
Werder Bremen-Inter Milan 2:45 p.m. FSP (tape at 7 on Fox Deportes)
Benfica-Schalke 2:45 p.m. DirecTV (482)
Lyon-Hapoel Tel Aviv 2:45 p.m. DirecTV (484)
Bursaspor-Rangers 2:45 p.m. DirecTV (485)
Manchester United-Valencia 2:45 p.m. Fox Sports Net, CSN Plus/DC (tape at 5 on Fox Deportes, tape at 7 on FSC)

Barcelona-Rubin Kazan 2:45 p.m. Fox Deportes (tape at 5 on FSC)
Copenhagen-Panathinaikos 2:45 p.m. DirecTV (483)

Seven matches available live on foxsoccer.tv

By Steve Goff  | December 7, 2010; 12:29 AM ET
Categories:  Brazil, College Soccer, D.C. United, Euro Champions League, MLS, TV  | Tags:  D.C. United, MLS, Ronaldinho  
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Next: MLS draft news & notes

Comments

Maybe life in LA would make Ronaldinho self-conscious enough to fix those teeth.

50,000 Twitter followers? If all those people subscribed, the Post would turn a profit and not have to rely on Kaplan's test preps for overzealous, paranoid parents.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | December 7, 2010 12:52 AM | Report abuse

DC has the third overall pick in the draft... Good Stuff!

Posted by: SoccerGod | December 7, 2010 1:10 AM | Report abuse

Anybody have an idea what United's cap situation looks like entering 2011? Anybody even know what the MLS cap number even is?

Posted by: benonthehill | December 7, 2010 1:51 AM | Report abuse

benonthehill,

If LA Galaxy can afford Donovan and Beckham, and with serious prospects of bringing Ronaldinho, I am confident D.C. United wont have cap-trouble signing players on the likes of Conrad or even Angel.

I still love our previous choices for DPs...Gallardo and Boskovic. Woot!

Posted by: redskinsux | December 7, 2010 3:44 AM | Report abuse

P.S.
Thank you Goff for late night post.

Posted by: redskinsux | December 7, 2010 3:48 AM | Report abuse

Conrad. Age 34. Old, slow, another likely injury-prone flop.

Angel. A great player. In the PAST. At present, pace and skills in precipitous decline. Another likely old, slow, injury-prone flop.

Aged retreads are not going to help DC United.

Posted by: Ron16 | December 7, 2010 6:45 AM | Report abuse

Somebody should tell Portland that DC has two fourth-round draft picks because Portland is under the impression it received the lower of those picks (the Columbus pick) in the Dax McCarty trade.

http://www.portlandmls2011.com/news/2010/11/timbers-acquire-dc-united%E2%80%99s-rodney-wallace-dax-mccarty

And I'm guessing that DC's third-round pick was sent to New England in the Avery John trade 4/23/09. If anyone can confirm it would be appreciated.

Posted by: bubba24 | December 7, 2010 6:52 AM | Report abuse

Don't go all nostalgic and select Conrad, Benny! Ryan Cochrane is much cheaper, younger, and I think better.

Posted by: b18bolo | December 7, 2010 8:01 AM | Report abuse

I know it has been a while, but does anyone remember the days when DC United was the flagship club within MLS and was the club that people on the other side of the ocean would follow within MLS? It appears that the Galaxy have taken over the mantel of the most popular team in MLS, at least for the players. Does anyone think Ronaldinho would even think about playing for any other MLS team?

Posted by: Dougmacintyre | December 7, 2010 8:02 AM | Report abuse

Don't go all nostalgic and select Conrad, Benny! Ryan Cochrane is much cheaper, younger, and I think better.

Posted by: b18bolo | December 7, 2010 8:04 AM | Report abuse

Benny: Don't go all nostalgic and sign your old buddy Conrad. Ryan Cochrane is younger, cheaper, and better.

Posted by: b18bolo | December 7, 2010 8:06 AM | Report abuse

Not to be that guy, but...

--------Buddle----Donovan--------

Ronaldhino----------------Beckham

-----------Juninho---Birchall---------

Dunivant----De la Garza--Gonzalez--Franklin


---------------------Ricketts----------------------

Plus the new rules to help teams with a few extra bodies, plus allocation help for Champions League teams... Wow.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | December 7, 2010 8:13 AM | Report abuse

I hope future MLS teams that do well in the Champions League don't follow Columbus' lead and dismantle their teams in preparation for big knockout round games. Looks like they'l be getting rid of Schelotto along with having lost Carroll, Garey, Brunner and Moffat and also not extending the contracts for Hejduk, Oughton and Padula.

It's tough fielding a competitive team while trying to schedule things on 2 different seasonal calendars.

Offseason MLS player movement:

http://www.socceramerica.com/article/40656/player-movement-aplenty.html

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | December 7, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Come on Exit 1, those teeth are endearing. As for Ronaldinho "level of interest in coming to MLS from AC Milan" being an issue. Do you really think so? Going from Serie A powerhouse to MLS semifinalist is a big leap?

Posted by: lovinliberty | December 7, 2010 9:11 AM | Report abuse

"Don't go all nostalgic and select Conrad, Benny! Ryan Cochrane is much cheaper, younger, and I think better. Posted by: b18bolo" Couldn't agree more B18!

Cochrane has a lot more wear on the treads. What is with DCU going with an "Aged" movement? Are they taking pages from Dan Snyder's play book? Why don't they e identify good youth players and really rebuild....

Posted by: lovinliberty | December 7, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

You've got to stop looking at this an individual players and more as team needs. Our defense could use an organizer, a cool head and someone in particular who has things in control in the last 10 minutes of the game or just before the half--think of all the cheap goals we gave up especially this year. Conrad is that guy. Now we might conclude it makes more sense to pass on him and come back and renegotiate down. Or find a cheaper alternative overseas. But Ryan Cochrane is a nice piece. But he's not a solution to what this team needs.

I agree that Angel is old. He's got a bad back. I wouldn't want to sign him at DP salary. But Olsen indicated we needed a clinical finisher and Angel is probably the best pure finisher in MLS--even today.

Here's something else I'd like to know: is DCU going to claim Ethan White (of Maryland) as an academy player?

As a team last year, once Benny took over we were better. But we still didn't have a finisher and we still gave up too many cheap goals and got flustered on defense. Adding a finisher and a defensive organizer to go with Jakovic would solve major problems. The other thing is we need to add depth--not just bodies but guys who can contribute from the #14 or #15 or #16 spots on the team. By adding McCarty, the #3 pick in the draft, 1 or 2 players from the re-entry draft, Ethan White (hopefully)...that's a huge upgrade in depth for this team. At a minimum, it means we've got a lot more capable bodies--guys who can contribute and play soccer--on the roster.

Posted by: JoeW1 | December 7, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

You've got to stop looking at this an individual players and more as team needs. Our defense could use an organizer, a cool head and someone in particular who has things in control in the last 10 minutes of the game or just before the half--think of all the cheap goals we gave up especially this year. Conrad is that guy. Now we might conclude it makes more sense to pass on him and come back and renegotiate down. Or find a cheaper alternative overseas. But Ryan Cochrane is a nice piece. But he's not a solution to what this team needs.

I agree that Angel is old. He's got a bad back. I wouldn't want to sign him at DP salary. But Olsen indicated we needed a clinical finisher and Angel is probably the best pure finisher in MLS--even today.

Here's something else I'd like to know: is DCU going to claim Ethan White (of Maryland) as an academy player?

As a team last year, once Benny took over we were better. But we still didn't have a finisher and we still gave up too many cheap goals and got flustered on defense. Adding a finisher and a defensive organizer to go with Jakovic would solve major problems. The other thing is we need to add depth--not just bodies but guys who can contribute from the #14 or #15 or #16 spots on the team. By adding McCarty, the #3 pick in the draft, 1 or 2 players from the re-entry draft, Ethan White (hopefully)...that's a huge upgrade in depth for this team. At a minimum, it means we've got a lot more capable bodies--guys who can contribute and play soccer--on the roster.

Posted by: JoeW1 | December 7, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

JPA should be signed at fully salary!!!

...by Dan Snyder.

Posted by: PrinceBuster21 | December 7, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

I like the idea of acquiring Conrad but not at his current salary. Hasn't United been down the old and highly paid road enough now?

Posted by: hateisnotafamilyvalue | December 7, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

maybe they will sign an experienced player named -E-m-i-l-i-o- Moreno, just to see how it goes?

Posted by: Section107 | December 7, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

50,000+ tweeters? Are you the guy that counts attendance at the Nats games? ;p

Posted by: boda-united | December 7, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

MLS has more drafts than a Hofbräuhaus but none as useful.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | December 7, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

OT -- government predictions of income generated by public "investment" fall short -- shocker -- South Africa spent 40 BILLION rand on infrastructure and recouped 3.6

http://af.reuters.com/article/southAfricaNews/idAFLDE6B50YL20101206

40 BILLION rand -- I'm no expert, but I'm guessing you could do a helluva lot of HIV/AIDs and malaria work in South Africa with 40 BILLION rand

Of course, "Almost 90 percent of tourists said they would consider visiting South Africa again, while 96 percent said they would recommend the country to their friends." So they got that going for them. Which is nice.

Posted by: OWNTF | December 7, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

The draft is in Baltimore? Interesting...

Posted by: Kev29 | December 7, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

50,000 tweeters...but how many woofers?

The midrange must be amazing...

Posted by: SportzNut21 | December 7, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Goff is the stacked Advents of soccer reportage . . . .

Posted by: OWNTF | December 7, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

@Kev29 this will be the 3rd superdraft in Balto since 2005. These tea leaves are not what you think.

Posted by: DadRyan | December 7, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

How come at 2:06 pm, I don't see any comments after my comment at 8:02 am?

Posted by: Dougmacintyre | December 7, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

SoccerGod:

This was the worst year possible to get the 1st pick. We managed to get the third pick because there are two freaking expansion teams. When I realized how bad we were this summer, than realized two more teams were coming in? Suffice it to say, I wasn't a happy camper.

Posted by: graywolfe81 | December 7, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Smart move by Seattle. Restrepo will be a star.

Posted by: Pedalada | December 7, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

@Kev29 this will be the 3rd superdraft in Balto since 2005. These tea leaves are not what you think.

Posted by: DadRyan | December 7, 2010 1:35 PM

Seriously officer, they're tea leaves!

Oooo, Martin Tyler and Andy Gray doing the Man Utd-Valencia match - little blast from the past.

Posted by: Kev29 | December 7, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

@benonthehill -- MLs doesn't call it a salary cap any more,. Per MLS Newspeak, it's now konwn as a salary budget. The league number for 2011 is $2.67 million, but individual clubs may have different budget/cap figures to work with, on account of allocation amounts. Having finished in last place, DC United would be entitled to the largest allocation amount, but that's subject to change in either direction based on trades. I doubt anyone outside of MLS is actually in the know about the real number, and there's not much more public information to divine how much salary has already been committed for next year.

Posted by: fischy | December 7, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Uhhhh. I wish "our" Pablo Hernandez had the chops that the one who just scored for Valencia has...

Posted by: DadRyan | December 7, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

I wish I hadn't benched that Pablo Hernandez this week in UEFA fantasy ball.

Posted by: fischy | December 7, 2010 11:03 PM | Report abuse

United should take Carey Tally...3rd time is the charm, eh?

Posted by: 9Nine9 | December 8, 2010 7:41 AM | Report abuse

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