Archive for the ‘Pablo Mastroeni’ Category

Pablo Stays Home

November 12, 2008

Instead of trying his luck in Italian soccer, something he has been exploring for some time, Colorado Rapids captain Pablo Mastroeni has decided to stay on in Denver. He had been previously linked to Serie A side Cagliari plus a handful of Serie B teams before deciding to stay with his current club. His decision seems in part to do with the signing of interim coach Gary Smith to a three year deal.

Mastroeni told newspaper reporters: “I can honestly say it wasn’t a hard decision for me,” after confirming he signed a four-year deal. “The last few months of the season, with Gary at the helm, I think completely changed my mind about where I wanted to be (and) where my heart was.”

So, instead of adding a fifth American player to Italian soccer, it looks we’ll stick with four this season.

Photo courtsey of MLSNET

Mastroeni: New Interest From Spain

September 26, 2008

As we’ve reported here before, it appears USA and Colorado Rapids midfielder Pablo Mastroeni is set for a move to Europe in January, the only question is where.

While a handful of Italian clubs (such as Cagliari, Catania, and Palermo) have been whispered to have interest, LFV friend Nick Thomas is reporting that interest is also coming from Spain’s Real Betis and Malaga. Check it out here.

Transfer Season: By Midnight We’ll Know

September 1, 2008

OK folks, now that Michael Bradley has found a new home at Borussia Monchengladbach, we still have 12 hours before we know if Oguchi Onyewu is going to PSG, Espanyol, Lazio, Bologna, or someplace England. The Italian deadline is at 6PM (12 PM EDT) so if its a Serie A move, expect to know earlier in the day. After the rollercoaster ride that Gooch’s last transfer turned out to be, we’ll need to hear the fat lady signing on this one before we know for sure.

We’ll also soon know whether Heath Pearce will leave Hansa Rostock for greener pastures. My spidey sense (which seems to be spreading like an epidemic these days) tells me that Pearce will stay at Hansa since the club has mentioned him as someone they are counting on to help them win promotion back to the Bundesliga.

Also in Germany, Die Welt is reporting that VFL Wolfsburg’s American Kamani Hill is on the auction block but its not clear yet who the suitors may be.

Regarding Pablo Mastroeni, while there has been interest from Cagliari and some Serie B clubs, word on the street is that any move would not happen until the January 2009 transfer window. My spidey sense places Catania and Palermo on the list of interested clubs as well.

So, don’t wait for the mailman, just stay tuned here…

Onyewu: I Deal With Reality

August 23, 2008

Standard Liege defender Oguchi Onyewu, seeming to be completely disgusted with the transfer process, told US reporters in Guatemala that “I only want to live in reality, and the reality of the situation is that I play for Standard. I enjoy it and what happens, happens.”

Meanwhile, the buzz coming from cognoscenti back in the States links Onyewu to Serie A side Catania, which is still looking to replace top defender Juan Manuel Vargas after selling him to Fiorentina. In what appears to be a late house cleaning, they also just sold defender Andrea Sottil to Rimini with three more midfielders and defenders on the auction block. The Sicilian club had a pretty porous defense last season and boss Walter Zenga is looking to shore up the back line.

Another coach looking to anchor the back line is Cologne boss Christoph Daum, who at one time was stalking Gooch like a teenager in puppy love. Its not clear now if Daum is still interested, given the club’s transfer focus on bringing in another attacking player.

All that said, I still think Onyewu will either stay at Standard to win another championship or he’ll be playing somewhere in France where there has been sustained interest in him since 2007. Plus, its hard to see tiny Catania outbidding PSG or Lyon, two of the bigger teams which still seem to be in the hunt. PSG was also looking at Dynamo Kiev’s Senegalese defender Pape Diakhaté, who is also being pursued by Monaco and Rennes (where Carlos Bocanegra is in desperate need of a quality partner in central defense). If Diakhaté ends up at PSG, perhaps Rennes will opt for Gooch, provided there is enough time left to make a deal – the clock is ticking. Two Americans at Rennes? Who knows.

Also when asked in Guatemala, Heerenveen’s Michael Bradley seemed mystified by the entire transfer process, telling US reporters: “I have no real idea what is going on but my agent tells me something may happen next week.” Greg Seltzer seems to think its Everton, Celtic, or Middelsbrough (a club which always seems to be linked to an American player but never seems to close the deal). Again, my spidey sense seems to indicate he’ll head be heading to Germany (Bayer Leverkusen?) but probably not Hamburg which found its replacement for Van Der Vaart in Mladen Petric, just purchased from Borussia Dortmund. In about a week, we’ll know the answer for sure.

There have also been whispers here on the boot that a few Serie B teams have taken an interest in Colorado Rapids midfielder Pablo Mastroeni but its not clear if any of them are in a position to acquire him now or wait until mid season, when he would be available on a free transfer. Back in July, Serie A side Cagliari had also taken a discreet interest in Mastroeni but given the club’s modest budget, they may also be waiting for midyear.

Elsewhere today, American Jozy Altidore replaced Giuseppe Rossi in the 67th minute of Villarreal’s preseason match against Italy’s Udinese. Altidore’s side lost 1-0.

NOTE: In case you are waiting for the fourth and final installment of The Evolution of American Soccer Players in Europe, I’m waiting for the smoke to clear on this transfer season before finishing it up.