Sunday Bullets & Rumor Mill: Go!

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Not as bad as Cleveland Cavs' season tickets, but still....

• Here are two seemingly-unrelated, but in fact very-related, pieces of news.

There has been little movement in the transfer market this summer with less than 10 major names changing places to date and Manchester United ticket sales are stumbling–big-time–in the lead up to the 2010-2011 campaign with more than 4,000 season tickets still unsold.

The relation? Simply less money to go around with the world economy. Combine this with more clubs feeling they can compete for a Champion’s League birth (and also feeling they need to in order to attract sponsorship dollar and players) and here’s what’s happening:

The clubs looking to sell are trying to sell and–per usual–are holding out for the right price, but this transfer season–conscience of dollars per acquisition–the top clubs, the buyers, are waiting as long as possible, hoping to get more on the dollar from the clubs that need to make that player sale.

The result is a major transfer impasse.

This very problem is impacting Jozy Altidore’s Villarreal as they are looking for the best deal for either Giuseppi Rossi (more on the Italian striker in a second) or Altidore but are finding few takers to ante up.

• Speaking of Manchester United, stay focused on the moves of Sir Alex Ferguson. The Red Devils are destined for one big transfer this season. Coming in last year was Antonio Valencia and the year prior was Dimitar Berbatov.

If Ozil stays put at Werder Bremman, might United look to two different Americans?

The most rumored name headed to Old Trafford on the attack is Mesut Ozil, with David Silva signing for rival Manchester City.

However, we’ve heard speculation–and just media speculation–that two names might be on the docket if the German sensation doesn’t make the move.

Those being Landon Donovan–who recently was ruled out of David Moyes’ plans–and Giuseppi Rossi who may (or may not) have a buyback clause in his current contract that was sold previously by Man United.

On Donovan–for our overseas and non-USMNT fans–the move would make sense as the aforementioned Valencia provides width on the right and Donovan is a better than fair cover for the aging Ryan Giggs.

Oh, and on Donovan and Everton skipper David Moyes: Look for Moyes’ sentiment to change if Steven Pienaar or Mikel Arteta get moved–Moyes doesn’t have the kitty now to make an acquisition, but that doesn’t mean he won’t in the future in 2010.

• Chelsea fell 2-1 in a friendly on the road to Eintracht Frankfurt this weekend. Ricardo Clark didn’t make an appearance. Clark sits no higher than 3rd in the central midfield pecking order at Frankfurt behind Pirmin Schwegler and Alexander Meier on the Frankfurt depth chart.

Don't expect to see Clark on the New Jersey Turnpike August 10th...

Clark, unless he comes on like gangbusters, will likely be seeing only spot start duty in central midfield for the Eagles.

Our guess is the man dubbed Rambo in Germany is not Meadowlands-bound come August 10th for Bob Bradley and company against Brazil.

• We’ll reach out to Chuck Deezy this week. Reports have him still lagging far behind in his bid to be an impact striker at Sochaux this year.

• Rumors abound that another top Turkish side, Trabzonspor has stepped into the bidding for Jozy Altidore’s services as their treasurer has flown to Spain this week to speak with Villarreal about the striker.

If you’re counting at home, that’s now three players, Clark, Charlie Davies and Jozy Altidore who were not expecting to see August 10th against the Canaries .

• Thank you to reader Joe for alerting us to another rung up the ladder in Jermaine Jones’ recovery. It’s goal time for the player known at TSG as “The Soccer Snuffleupagus”

• Yura Movsisyan–who is rumored to be awaiting his US citizenship–is flat-out on fire for his Danish Superliga Randers club. We’ve sent a note specifically about Movsisyan to USSF on aid or influence it has in these affairs and expect an answer back this week.

Iceman: In a perfect position heading into the new campaign

• If you’re looking for the perfect club situation for an American abroad, you may be hard pressed to find a better one than Stu Holden’s situation.

First, with Owen Coyle at the helm, the Bolton Wanderers figure to shed the “boring” label that’s been stamped on the club for some time.

Holden, who’s been playing inside in a psuedo-CAM role, started the other night for Bolton in a friendly. He’s got up-and-coming 22-year-old South Korean wonder-winger Lee Chung-Yong on his right and they should make for a formidable right side.

Further, Coyle brought in aging but savvy veterans Robbie Blake from Burnley and Martin Petrov from Blackburn.

Both are back-sliding in their careers, however both can offer Holden the perfect tutelage without tension in central midfield.

Expecting big things from the Scottish Texan this year.

• Liverpool have officially tabled a 2.5M move for Aston Villa defender Luke Young. Young is considering the move. Should Young head to Merseyside, Eric Lichaj’s name will figure in the mix for a starting role. How much longer can USSF ignore Lichaj’s progress?

• Word is that little known American Jarred Jeffrey is in-line for a starting role in midfield for Bundesliga mid-table side Mainz.

How will the Mark Hughes Era impact the Clint Dempsey Era in Cravenville...

• With Mark Hughes in charge at Fulham, Craig Bellamy rumored to be headed to the Cottage and big Bobby Zamora in the middle, look for Clint Dempsey to be tried on both the right and left of a 4-3-3 with Hungarian Zoltan Gera as his primary foil for playing time if the Deuce stays in London.

• Rafael Marquez secured his release from Barca and is all but officially introduced already as a member of the Red Bulls. For any of you that have the infamous “Rafa Marquez makes a mistake as told by a cat announcer” clip, please, please send it to us. For those that that havenever heard of the clip, “Yes, it’s as ridiculous as it sounds.”

• TSG is working on a few different player and front office interviews right now. Got someone you want us to speak to? Send us an email at shinguardian at and give us a question you want us to ask as well.

• Let’s finish up with some kudos. An absolutely superb interview of MLS head honcho Don Garber–where he backs off his uncalculated Donovan comments from the week before–by Grant Wahl. Stellar work by the SI man.

Also Greg Seltzer has been knocking the stuffing out the ball with his tips and news over at MLS Soccer. Greg also writes at No Short Corners.

17 responses to this post.

  1. If Donovan went to United I would, idk. My favorite player on my favorite club, it’s way too much to handle


  2. Posted by Kevin on 2010/08/01 at 1:39 PM

    Donovan to united? Interesting and probably too good to pass up from MLS. Sure they can say they have the best American currently in the league but then they can say their players are good enough for united.

    Anyone else think that right now NYRB is the city of MLS and LA is the Madrid of MLS?

    It’s looking great for Holden at Bolton.

    For whatever reason I just don’t like movsisyan


  3. Posted by dth on 2010/08/01 at 1:47 PM

    I don’t know that the USSF is necessarily ignoring Lichaj’s progress-they’ve invited him in to train a couple of times, IIRC. But I don’t know if he’s roster-quality yet: Cherundolo and Spector are, after all, starters at their clubs.


  4. I hate to be the grammar/spelling Nazi, but my OCD can’t hold back.

    Snuffleupagus. I’ve got a 3-yr-old, I guess that makes me an authority.

    Deuce. Not Duece. Kind of like the guage/gauge misspelling.

    That off my chest…

    LOVE the analysis. And judging from the was SAF has been touting American Soccer these days, I think that the MUFC move for Donovan would not only be a good one on the field for them, but with American owners, and an American market that ManUre hasn’t really adequately tapped, it’s a good business decision as well.

    I loathe MUFC. They are the Yankees with a lesser business model.
    I would STILL buy a Donovan jersey though. THAT would be a memory piece.


    • Posted by s44 on 2010/08/01 at 8:05 PM

      It would definitely an epic hit on the shirt-selling front.


    • Posted by KickinNames... on 2010/08/02 at 9:32 AM

      RE Spelling OCD. This is a blog. Blog=content not spelling. Please don’t force the rest of us to sit through your spelling lessons.

      Good points on Donovan. Went to see Man U in Philly with an expat friend who has college buds on MU training staff we had beers with after. Ferguson is HOT for the US market and was driving the team throughout the US tour. The Donovan purchase makes much sense for both MLS and MU.


      • Posted by kaya on 2010/08/02 at 4:17 PM

        I’m glad someone else has put on the grammar nazi ‘stache. Errr.
        Anyway, Matt, I thought I saw something about you finally getting that hot intern… errr, editor.


      • Posted by FulhamPete on 2010/08/03 at 12:16 AM

        OK Eeyore,

        Don’t like it. Don’t read it.

        Besides, if I was truly looking to edit Matt’s exemplary work on a regular basis, I would have left less self-effacing remarks in the comment. Next time I’ll try to inject more humor into the statements about Snuffleupagus to make that clearer.



  5. Posted by Jordan on 2010/08/01 at 2:45 PM

    Where is your source for jarred jeffery? I know he made the bench a couple times last year.


  6. Posted by dude on 2010/08/01 at 9:47 PM

    I’m surprised you would say Jeffrey is “little known.” I mean, he’s young, hasn’t been capped yet, but he’s one of the few blue chip prospects coming out of the youth ranks. In time, he’ll probably be the best distributing defense midfielder we’ve ever had (Torres being a skilled passer).


  7. Very happy to see that Holden has ended up in a great spot after a lot of questions about his initial move. Can’t say I’m a big Bolton fan but I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on them this season.

    Any recent news on the potential moves for Bradley Junior or Senior?


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/08/02 at 8:42 AM

      Hi Chris:

      My guess on younger Bradley is that he won’t be moved right now. If Bo’Munchen goes south during the season, that may change.

      On Senior Bradley–with his contract running to the end of the year and with a little bit too late (Bradley as we know is a preparation freak)–that USSF will have him see out his contract unless a major offer comes.

      Bradley as far as I know only speaks English. So that limits him to the British Isle leagues if he wants to go to Europe. Yes, I know a lot of other leagues invoke English as their first language but I’m not sure Bradley would be excited to try and learn a new league/players + a new language.

      My guess is that Bradley–unless resigned by US Soccer for a longer term–will take a look at potential openings in January or be resigned by USSF if there doesn’t appear to be a wealth of candidates.


  8. Posted by Chris on 2010/08/02 at 9:27 AM

    Donovan to Manchester United? Oh man.. I’ll buy a jersey if the transfer goes through, but United’s kit this year is just, wow. Only a mother could love that Nike designer’s work.


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