Red Bulls: Goodbye de Grandpre, Angel to sit Saturday?

Michael Lewis over at Big Apple Soccer reports that Juan Pablo Angel is questionable for this Saturday’s match-up vs. FC Dallas.

Ives Galarcep finally got Juan Carlos Osorio to admit his interest in Jorge Alberto Rojas, the second most-capped player in Venezualan history. He also mentions that Chris Innes should be signed. He organizes well, holds the line, and is dominant in the air.

Marc de Grandpre has officially resigned as Red Bull New York’s Managing Director. He is one of few that survived the Red Bull takeover and spent 9 years with the team. Why now? Apparently, a offer to good to refuse was tabled for some other position in the business community.

26-year old defender Alex Yi – who has been a staple in the back four for Dallas over the past couple of seasons – has retired due to continuous hamstring injuries. Moor, Davino, Wagenfuhr, Wagner, Rhine are all healthy so it’s not like Dallas will be really hurting on Saturday.

Kevin Goldthwaite is honored with The Offside Rules’ first-ever “Goal of the Weak”. It showcases the week’s goal lacking the most aesthetically. I can’t argue. A goal’s a goal though…right?

 

New York Red Bulls: Gregory Coupet to NY?

Don’t think about it too hard. Take it all with a grain of salt. The 35-year old French international recently signed a contract with Lyon until 2010. That would make him 37 if he were to come over on a free transfer. “It’s a desire Greg has”…meaning, at least it’s not forced on him by his American wife…(that was a reference to Sheva, not Coupet – who doesn’t have an American wife).

He has been with Lyon for over 10 years and is still considered the number one goalkeeper for France heading into this summer’s European Championship. We’ll monitor this, but I can’t see it happening…

One thing it would do is piss Jon Conway off. Let’s hope Conway plays well enough to warrant his starting spot…

Red Bulls: A New Player?, Kassel to MLS?, and VDB fires RBNY into the new season…

Busy weekend in world soccer and before we get to all that, I figured why not focus on the team that didn’t play a competitive match this weekend.  

– Haven’t seen much in the way of written press on this, but there isn’t anything to refute. During FSC’s broadcast of the MLS openers yesterday, there was talk of Gretna’s demise over in Scotland. 22 players have left the club and apparently captain Chris Innes is on his way to trial with New York. If that’s the case, that’s leadership and depth added in defense as well as a deep midfield role. Innes is 31 years old and was a vital part of Gretna’s quick three tiered rise to the SPL. Since then, things have gone bad and RBNY as well as First Division squad Morton has shown interest. Innes has stated as recent as 3/26 that his goal is to stay within the SPL.

UPenn graduate and rising goalkeeper Danny Cepero has been sent out on loan to USL-2’s Harrisburg City Islanders. The Islanders won the second division last year and Cepero looks to get the starting nod, preparing him for a bright future with RBNY. Harrisburg has yet to confirm it on their website.
– Ives Galarcep has stated that youth academy star Matt Kassel is in preliminary negotiations with RBNY. If signed, he could become the first real product of the newly implemented youth academies. It’s college or pros for the youngster. I still would expect him to head to college. He held his own though when invited to camp in late January, so who knows?

Dave Van den Bergh scored on a rocket to wrap up the Red Bulls’ preseason with a 1-0 win over the Carolina Railhawks. Odd to see Angel and Altidore being snuffed out in almost every preseason game…should RBNY faithful be worried???

Now We’re Talkin’: Actual Crew News…A Singing + Chatter

Well, shut my mouth! Just after bitching about the dearth of news on the Columbus Crew, a trip around the Web drops a steaming hunk of it plops in my lap.

Soccer By Ives reports the Crew has actually signed Gino Padula, an Argentine (natch) left-back who played most recently in France – and for a club with a name, no less: Montpelier. After that, I know nothing…and won’t insult you by pretending I do. But that’s one left back signed and secured.

Soccer Insider mentions Brian Bliss’ scouting trip to Honduras where his pursuit of “good players” led him to cast his eye over Jocimer Nascimento…yeah, you got it – from CD Motagua. You might know him from such CONCACAF Champions Cup (CCC) quarterfinal first legs as Tuesday’s goalless draw between Motagua and Mexico’s CF Pachuca. He didn’t have much of an impact – no one from Motagua did, in spite of playing fairly wel – but, while Pachuca did contain him, he looked pretty burly. Sadly, can’t say I saw him crack one on goal…which isn’t to say he didn’t.

Soccer Insider also names Allan Dos Santos as a potential target. Don’t know who he is either.

Crewture put out a report and dug up a Wikipedia entry on Jocimer Nascimento (by way of a heads up, Crewture is moderately NSFW, not for naughty images, but because a song plays everytime you hit the page; turn down volume before visiting perhaps?); not a lot in the latter, but one detail gives pause: the list of clubs at right shows he averages a club a year, a two-year stop at São Bento excepted. Often not a good sign. Against that, he’s in the hunt for the scoring chase in the Honduran league (see “Table de Goleadors”). So, he maybe something good, maybe something bad…you just don’t know.

But I’ll wager he’s better than the air currently occupies the Crew’s forward slot…and probably has a thing or two on Jason Garey…just sayin’…

GREAT OUTDOORS
All of today’s come courtesy of b3ta.com.

– A clever ad (based on a Guiness ad, it seems) for what looks like the English equivalent of Cup o’ Noodles.

Clever cartoon, this one answering the question about bears shitting in the woods…though it’s more an answer to why.

– Finally, just…just…weird. And a little wrong. Probably NSFW, but your boss might be too appalled to care.

Clint wants a roommate! Give the man a roommate!

Interesting tidbit from BBC Rumors…they say they got it from Daily Star but I couldn’t find it over there.

Deuce is apparently a bit peeved because all of the Fulham players travelling away get their own room, which leaves Dempsey alone. And he doesn’t like that…Could that be his reasoning for the goal drought? Good to know he’s a people person…

United States striker Clint Dempsey has been bemoaning the fact that Fulham players don’t share rooms on away trips. The Cottagers have a dreadful away record but Dempsey reckons their form on the road could be reversed if the club changed its policy of giving each squad member their own room. “It’s crazy!” he said. “I’d prefer to have a room-mate on away trips because I get bored.” (Daily Star)

If you find the link to the story, post it in the comments! I would assume that most of the EPL clubs have their away accommodations like that, but don’t know for sure…

EPL Daily 2.27: Real Salt Lake finds themselves a doctor, don’t mess with the Spurs and Ledley King, Thaksin facing the music

KENNY DEUCHAR: Not many of you have probably heard of the 6’3″ Scotsman (and it took me a while to remember the name), but he could be Real Salt Lake’s younger version of Toronto FC’s Danny Dichio without the fiery rep. Deuchar is most well known for being the key man in Gretna’s rise from the depths to mediocrity. The “Good Doctor” was responsible for an unparalleled feat in Scottish football history – 41 goals in 41 games, 6 hat-tricks in a season, and he lived up to his stats by treating RSL GM Garth Lagerwey to a two-goal performance in a losing cause against Glasgow Rangers. Gretna hasn’t been able to pay their striker due to financial troubles and that led to Deuchar’s disenchantment with the club but loan spells with Northampton Town and St. Johnstone proved only marginally fulfilling. With RSL he’ll get his pay day (gasp!). Deuchar adds a target man, power and depth to a pacy, skillful set of forwards – Robbie Findley,  Fabian Espindola, and Yura Movsisyan. Oh, and the ‘Good Doctor’ bit? One of the perks of his signing with Real Salt Lake was that he would be able to practice (yep, he’s a practising physician) in a nearby medical clinic.

THAKSIN SHINAWATRA: The ex-Thai Prime Minister and Manchester City owner is set to return to Thailand tomorrow to face the corruption charges still outstanding. Shinawatra has been in some sort of a mid-life crisis – leaving the country for almost a year and a half, buying one of the most storied English football clubs, playing with it, and now realizing these corruption charges aren’t just going to go away.

Other tidbits:

George Gillett and Tom Hicks are reportedly close to selling Liverpool (almost a year after when they first bought the club) to the Dubai International Capital group. Both Gillett and Hicks continue to deny any intention to sell.

Sniffing the Touchline has all the photos of Tottenham’s post-Carling Cup Victory bash. Always knew Ledley King was a belligerent and crazy S.O.B. The best of it all is the fact that Juande Ramos gave his approval, allowing the guys to unwind after watching their team transform this year from disastrous to beyond passable.

David Beckham admits he isn’t ready to play for Fabio Capello’s national squad and is willing to wait. In better news, however, Fox Soccer Channel is rumored to have bought the English language broadcast rights to the LA Galaxy’s Asian Tour (3 games in South Korea, Hong Kong, and China).

The Penultimate Off-Season Progress Report: Best…Off-Season…Ever…

The latest report on all off-season player moves among Major League Soccer’s (MLS) clubs appears below…well, at least the ones that interest me. I’ll work with the same categories as last week’s edition, though, with the March 3rd roster reckoning coming down the pike, I’m going to have to start tracking the players who get axed…if only half-heartedly. By that I mean, I’m going to ignore waivers of say, Chris Loftus for New England. But any move that strikes me as “big enough” will get record in this and, to a greater extent, future editions.

All that said, I want to throw one bold thought out there: for my money, this has been the BEST OFF-SEASON in MLS history. More exciting/intriguing player moves, more movement in general, teams coming into the season with enough question marks over their heads that you almost have to watch the games to form a serious opinion of what it all means – or maybe it’s just that we finally have sufficient coverage. There’s a potential downside getting some airing, especially where all “them furriners” are concerned: e.g. with so many exports coming in, what will happen to the development of the American player? Marcelo Balboa treated the subject a couple times through a Q & A with USSoccerplayers.com – and it’s an interesting subject, even if a wait-and-see approach strikes me as the right one.

All I know is I’m in drunken piggy heaven herding all these cats. Wonnerful, wonnerful.

Enough about my joy. All the movement I saw (or cared about) appears after the jump. Contrary to past practice, I’m ditching links to the current rosters; all y’all know where to find ’em if you want ’em. As always, if I missed anything big, feel free to correct the record, by flagging omissions in the comments field or emailing me (jeffbull71[at]yahoo.com). I will make the change and give due credit. Here goes… Continue reading