Trades: Forward Crisis in Houston? Gallardo Goes…Where? Who Is Ivan Trujillo?

It’s not so much the trades I’m reading about today that interest me, and not all are – how do you say? – consummated, as the fallout they’re producing. Here’s a quick tour, starting with the outgoing and confirmed.

Joseph Ngwenya to SK Austria. Sounds nice for the player, but what’s it do to the Dynamo? Consider this snippet:

“Ngwenya leaves a deep hole in the Dynamo’s offense as he was Brian Ching’s attacking partner. His departure comes at a time midseason acquisition and fellow forward Nate Jaqua (six goals, two assists) is also seeking employment in Austria.”

“A third forward, Paul Dalglish, was released at year’s end.”

And that leaves…leaves…leaves…who? Bernando Fallas answers on Soccer y Futbol, and fairly credibly from a straight-up personnel point of view. There’s also a hint of reinforcements on the way at the bottom of the piece, as well as Jaqua’s luck with testing foreign waters to consider. But you have to wonder about things like depth, fatigue, and reworking the on-field formula. I get what Fallas is saying, but have my doubts on the mechanics.

Elsewhere, the Columbus Dispatch’s Shawn Mitchell tops off his post on this move with a dollop of Schadenfreude. Continue reading

Give ‘Em Hell, Andrea!

I don’t often do simple plugs, but Andrea Canales penned a good post over on Sideline Views, ripping into the Los Angeles Galaxy management, along Major League Soccer (MLS) in general, for being psychotically close-to-the-vest in their dealings with the media. Worse, league management, in collusion with players’ agents, get players to go along.

Good for her. One can only hope the league, agents, etc. realize this is a friggin’ game we’re talking about as opposed to state secrets. Yeah, there’s money involved, but what’s the harm of fans knowing this or that player might go abroad or that this or that player might come to play? It generates this thing called excitement, ya silly shits, typically a good thing when you’re trying to pique and, god forbid, maintain interest.

Andrea doesn’t touch on this but it’s a related issue. Who’s the frickin’ twit who thought it best for players to talk like lobotomized robots? Think of your friends: do you associate with fucking stiffs or do you do your damnedest to find interesting people? Relating to players as normal human beings, as opposed to, say, “on-field product,” deepens the emotional bond between fan and player. Again, this is a good thing.

As always, the larger the entity, the more you can rely on them to take aim at their own feet and start shooting…

La Liga: Real Zaragoza Gets a Win, Loses a Coach

Just as quickly as I said Ander Garitano gave Real Zaragoza their first win since Halloween, the Basque coach announced his resignation late Monday night.

The resignation came as a complete surprise to most around the club. Garitano was scheduled to appear at several media appearances but was reported to have a fever, thus missing his appointments.

However, now the truth has come out that Garitano has left Zaragoza, after only two games as head coach. He wasn’t a newbie to Zaragoza, as he came there in 1996 from Athletic Bilbao and stayed there until his retirement in 2002, when he dawned a track suit and became a youth team head coach.

Garitano cited ‘personal reasons’ for leaving the club, but it was widely known that he wasn’t happy with Andrés D’Alessandro and the attitude he was bringing to the club.

Headlines dealing with Zaragoza constantly rang out lines of ‘It’s not a problem with the players, it’s a problem with the attitude’, something that Garitano wanted to chance as the head coach.

‘Given the state I am in right now I would have damaged the team and the club if I had carried on and I want to go now given that the team is in the middle of the table.

‘I don’t feel strong enough to face up to this challenge. I prefer another person to take over because the team needs someone who is 100 percent.’

Zaragoza will again be on the hunt for a new head coach, with all fingers pointing to Javier Irureta, former Recreativo skipper.

MLS Supplemental Draft Coming….Shhh…

It seems Major League Soccer (MLS) views Thursday’s Supplemental Draft as some kind of malformed, chickenhead-eating geek, some horrific half-man they keep under lock and key in the basement. At least that’s the impression one gets from’s front page (or even news page) radio silence on the event. Don’t know how a body is supposed to whoop up a little excitement absent hype.

Thankfully, 3rd Degree’s Buzz Carrick continues to labor heroically and thanklessly to keep all of us news-starved amateur hacks typing. On that site one can find the order in which teams make selections in the supplemental draft (scroll down; it’s there) as well as a list of his Top 10 players who slipped between the SuperDraft cracks…quite possibly to join that geek in the basement.

UPDATE: The fact that this post picked up more hits than most things I post several times over, that tells me two things: 1) if there’s a “pulse” for MLS news, my finger is nowhere near it; 2) MLS’s media arm suffers from the same shortcoming, because all those hits tell me there was genuine interest in the supplemental draft.

With that in mind, here’s a link to which team picked which players in the 2008 MLS Supplemental Draft.  If I knew much about any of the players named, I’d tell all y’all about it.  But, like most of you, I’m just going to have watch some games and learn what I can about them.

World: UEFA and FIFA Will Pay Clubs For International Duty

Any readers of this site know of my utter despise when players head off on international duty. Case and point: My beloved Sevilla currently without Kanouté, Kone and Keita while they toil it out at the African Cup of Nations in the hot sun.

However, today UEFA and FIFA have came to an agreement (of sorts) that gives teams compensation when their players are called off to international duty.

The agreement is for World Cup 2010 and the next two European Championships 2008 and 2012. The deal works out to around $252 Million Dollars.
Continue reading