Archive for the ‘Transfers’ Category

Heath Pearce Lands In………….Turkey!

September 2, 2009

American international Heath Pearce has signed for Turkish First Division side Bursaspor (just south of Istanbul).

The Gators are currently in fifth place on seven points after the first four matches of the season.

For more details, check out LFV pal Greg Seltzer’s report over on his blog No Short Corners.

Livorno Crushes Brescia’s Serie A Dreams

June 21, 2009

Livorno crushed Danny Szetela’s Brescia side 3-0 in the final leg of their promotion playoff and will return to Serie A next season. Livorno’s win capped a 5-2 aggregate win in the Serie B playoffs. Lingering injuries kept Danny Szetela out of the side which will remain in Serie B for at least one more season. Szetela’s loan deal to Brescia expires at the end of June and its still not clear whether he’ll stay with the club, move back to Racing Santander, or be picked up by another European side.

Francesco Tavano, Alessandro Diamanti and Martin Bergvold were the goal scorers for Livorno, which returns to the top flight after finishing the 2007-08 Serie A campaign bottom of the table.

More Great Soccer Writing

June 13, 2009

Its been about six months since we’ve featured some great soccer writing so here are a few as we start the summer.

Sometimes great soccer writing can be found in the business pages as Bloomberg London’s Christopher Elser shows us this week in an insightful piece on the big gamble Real Madrid is making with its future with some of its current transfer deals. Elser does a fine job of reminding readers that far from being a rich club, Real Madrid is now so mired in debt that if Ronaldo and Kaka do not significantly up the club’s revenues, it may start to resemble a teetering US bank considered too big too fail.

I contrast Elser’s piece with a recent contribution by the AP’s Jim Litke constrasting traditional US sports club owners with the wheelers and dealers of European football. Its always refreshing when someone can translate European soccer phenomena into terms American non-soccer fans (like Mr. never-played-sports-in-his-life Jim Rome) can understand…OK, maybe not Jim Rome (unless we get Jim Everett to make him read it). I’d love to see Jim do a follow-up article on how those European wheeler-dealer owners manage to do so well without acting like American sports team owners who blackmail cities (and their taxpayers) to build them a new stadium, lest they move to another city.

Finally, LFV reader Kevin Quinn passed along Al Needham’s 1998 World Cup diary which he tells us pushed him from being a casual fan into becoming an “obsessive one.” Reading Al’s passionate commentary, I can see why.

So I Guess Chelsea Won’t Be Spending Much This Year

June 13, 2009

…since Abramovich just bought a huge yacht for $550 million. Buying the world’s largest yacht, complete with a helipad and its own submarine, doesn’t exactly leave much money to buy Franck Ribery from Bayern – leaving the door open for Real Madrid to swoop in.

Berhalter Leaving 1860 Munich For MLS

April 1, 2009

1860 Munich has announced that American defender Gregg Berhalter will be leaving the club immediately to continue his career back home on Major League Soccer (MLS). Berhalter’s contract with the Second Bundesliga club was set to expire in June 2009 but the club has agreed to release him early.

This marks an end to Berhalter’s long career in Europe after playing in the Netherlands, England, and for the past seven years – in Germany. Reflecting on his European career, Berhalter remarked that: “I had a very good and successful 15 years in Europe but the time has come to say goodbye and go home.” He thanked the club for their understanding to release him early and in a parting statement to the fans said: “I had a super time here in Munich and I’m excited to start a new chapter of my life playing in MLS.”

What remains unclear is which MLS team he will be playing for in the coming weeks as he starts a new 2-year deal with the league.

Berhalter made 23 appearances in the Bundesliga and 88 in the Second Bundesliga. During his stint at 1860 Munich, he made 73 appearances, scoring eight goals.

Beckham To Stay With Milan Until July

March 3, 2009

The LA Times’ Grahame Jones is reporting that the LA Galaxy has reached a deal with AC Milan to extend the loan until July, when Beckham would rejoin his team in LA.

The agreement will give Beckham a chance to stay in England coach Fabio Capello’s scheme while compensationg the Galaxy and their sponsors in the process.

Whether the Galaxy can improve over last year’s embarassing run while missing its most expensive player for half the new season remains to be seen. I for one don’t think he’ll pull on a Galaxy jersey ever again. Don’t be fooled folks, this is something akin to a separation agreement awaiting a final divorce.

Read more about it here.

Given how hollow Beckham’s previous words and promises to MLS and LA Galaxy fans are ringing these days, you’ve got to wonder when the Rossoneri faithful will discover that his only loyalty appears to be to no one but himself.

Transfer Window Closes

February 5, 2009

The January transfer window has closed without some of the moves American fans were hoping for as DaMarcus Beasley, Heath Pearce, Oguchi Onyewu, and Brian McBride (to name a few) will be staying put.

Since I’m in the middle of my own transfer, I’ll let my friends Bob Wagman at Soccer Times and Greg Seltzer at No Short Corners fill you in.

Marseille Still Eying Onyewu

December 26, 2008

Olympique Marseille coach Eric Gerets is still keen to possibly sign Stantard Liege central defender Oguchi Onyewu. According to France Football, Gerets was at Standard’s recent UEFA Cup match against Sampdoria to observe Onyewu, who scored in his team’s 3-0 win.

Gerets is looking for help to strengthen his team’s central defense which has been a disappointment, despite the club’s current fifth place standing in Ligue 1. Their defensive softness was most vividly displayed last weekend in a 3-0 loss to Nancy. During that dismal performance, the central midfield and defense did not communicate well and L’OM was overall weak in one-on-one challenges. Observers have noted that this year’s edition of L’OM is strong on paper but mentally weak. The addition of Onyewu, a player Gerets referred to as “intense and strong” could be just what the team needs to challenge for one of the league’s top places this season.

Any move for Onyewu would likely be tied to the fate of central defender Ronald Zubar, a player once linked to Arsenal and Olympique Lyon but who has had a disappointing season. The trick for Gerets is whether he decides he can bring the once-promising French U-21 player back into form or sell him off and go after Onyewu.

But L’OM is also interested in Onyewu’s teammate Milan Jovanovich to strenghen their attack. So, talks between the two teams won’t necessarily mean that Gooch is in play although a package deal is remotely possible. With a price tage estimated at 12 million euros, Jovanovich may be too pricey for Marseille so they may settle for bringing in veteran striker Henrik Larsson from Helsingborg (for an estimated 5 million euros).

Donovan Training With Bayern Munich

November 11, 2008

Today at Bayern Munich’s 3 PM practice, a new face showed up alongside coach Juergen Klinsmann, a face familiar to many American fans. Yep, that’s right, the LA Galaxy’s Landon Donovan is in Munich to train with Bayern for a weeek or two to “stay fit.” Hmmm.

Could Donovan, who last left Bayer Leverkusen in 2005 after playing in seven league and two Champion’s League matches, be looking for for a ticket back to European soccer? Donovan’s own web site seems to indicate so when he says “I am pleased that Jürgen Klinsmann and Bayern are giving me this chance to get to know their new performance center and stay fit alongside their great international footballers.”

Kicker speculates that Donovan could fit well into the formation behind Luca Toni and Miroslav Klose, especially if Lukas Podolksi makes a possible mid-season move elsewhere. The question is not so much whether Klinsmann thinks Donovan is ready (by all accounts he does), but whether Donovan can prove his worth to club boss Uli Hoeness who must approve any deal (be it a loan or an outright purchase). My guess is that is exactly why Donovan is training in Munich this week.

Hoeness has made it clear that Podolski isn’t going anywhere unless a suitable replacement is found. For many observers, that replacement appeared to be Zenith’s Russian phenom Andrei Arshavin but if Donovan can prove he has the goods (and is available now), it may just be doable.

Stay tuned because if this is like any of Donovan’s previous transfer sagas, it will get quite interesting.

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.