MLS- New York Red Bulls

MLS Notes: Saputo addresses Del Piero talk, Boyd passes on Houston and more

DelPiero (Getty Images)

Juventus and Italian national team legend Alessandro Del Piero has long been linked with a move to MLS, and despite recent reports having him wind up with the Montreal Impact, the club's president set the record straight on the matter.

Joey Saputo admitted to having discussions with the 37-year-old Del Piero's representatives on two occasions — last April in Montreal and last June in Italy — while discussing a potential move to MLS, but offered that Del Piero has his eyes on the league's two major markets should he come to America.

"We were advised by his group in August 2011 that Alessandro would rather focus on New York or Los Angeles," Saputo said in a statement released by the Impact. "There has been no discussion since then. There is no truth to the rumour that we want the player at all cost. Although we feel that Alessandro would have been a good addition to our club and the city, we respect his decision to look elsewhere in MLS. With the knowledge of soccer in the city, Montreal deserves a Designated Player but the conditions must be right."

The Los Angeles Galaxy currently would not be an option for Del Piero, because all three of the club's Designated Player spots are occupied (David Beckham, Landon Donovan, Robbie Keane). New York would be a potential fit, because the departure of goalkeeper Frank Rost leaves Thierry Henry and Rafa Marquez as the two lone DPs.

Here are a couple of more items from around MLS:


Scottish striker Kris Boyd has passed on the chance to sign with the Houston Dynamo as a Designated Player, according to the Houston Chronicle.

The 28-year-old Boyd, who scored more than 100 goals as a former standout at Rangers, has long been a target of the club but resisted Houston's advances. After leaving Rangers in 2010, Boyd spent a season at Middlesbrough before heading to Turkish club Eskisehirspor, but he got out of his contract with the club after reportedly not being paid and is a free agent. 

"We tried our best to bring (Boyd) here," Dynamo coach Dominic Kinnear told the Chronicle. "Unfortunately I think the move was just not something he wanted to do in his career, but I can't fault us for being very aggressive in our approach to him."

Houston's forward unit is still a work in progress following the departure of Brian Ching to Montreal in the expansion draft. The club used its first-round SuperDraft pick on Louisville's Colin Rolfe and selected up Virginia's Brian Ownby in the supplemental draft to complement the returning trio of Calen Carr, Will Bruin and Cam Weaver.


Following the long-term knee injury to reigning MLS Defender of the Year Omar Gonzalez, the Los Angeles Galaxy are continuing to look for reinforcements on the back line even after drafting Indiana's Tommy Meyer and bringing back Leonardo on loan from Sao Paulo. Reports out of England suggest that the club is looking at Leeds United centerback Alex Bruce as an option.

The 27-year-old Bruce, the son of former Manchester United standout and Premier League coach Steve Bruce, is out of favor at Leeds. He was briefly sent on loan to Huddersfield Town before returning to the club earlier this month.


What do you make of Saputo's statement? Do you want to see Del Piero in MLS? Disappointed Boyd passed on Houston? How do you feel about the Galaxy's centerback options?

Share your thoughts below.

  • timmytwoshoezzz

    Sell Landon to the EPL and bring in Del Piero if you wish. Anything to get to see Donovan play against real competition week in and week out.


  • The Imperative Voice

    I’m concerned Houston’s not signed a F and seems to be backsliding even further from last year’s weak set of Fs, but the Dynamo usually make their most intense effort at re-rigging the team during the summer, not now. Most of the players brought in last winter/spring have already been flushed…..Garey, Graye, Freeman, Koke. In fact, that would be my response to the Trust in Kinnear crowd is, for every bit he seems to know how to set up a team for the late summer and fall, to play precisely his style, he makes plenty of mistakes setting the team up at this stage of the year.

    Personally, I think F needs to be more of a priority if Houston intends on returning to the pinnacle. It doesn’t matter how tough the defense is and how well a fighting 442 approach is instilled, if you don’t give yourself enough firepower to win. Houston without Davis was declawed completely.


  • dan

    LD is happy living and playing in LA. He doesn’t need to prove anything to himself (or to you or anyone else) with regards to soccer. Actually, right now he has the best of both worlds and that is pretty good!


  • The Imperative Voice

    Brad Friedel, is that you?

    Problem is Everton never seems to pony up the dough to buy him outright. Why buy cow, etc. And his Bayern experience suggests if he moves up the ladder to teams with money sitting around, he’s not as assured of so strong a role.


  • Dune Man

    “Los Angeles currently would not be an option for Del Piero, because all three of the club’s Designated Player spots are occupied”
    There are 6 DP spots in LA….I know its easy to forget, but Chivas is the other LA team ;-)

    (I am still a bit surprised they share a stadium though. While it makes sense money wise….trying to build a brand based on a legendary club in Mex while sharing the locker room of the Galaxy just seems a bit odd. At least if they had their own stadium people could pick the LA team they want to support based on which team is closest to their neighborhood. It seems odd someone would pick Chivas based on the talent the Galaxy are putting on the field. Dont get me wrong….LA can support 2 teams….I just find the stadium share odd, especially if Chivas wants to be seen as something other then “the other team in LA”.)


  • mike

    Obviously MLS isn’t all that bad if Donovan is playing well, Keane scored two goals last weekend, Henry scored one a few matches ago, Ream got picked up, etc. Clearly not the EPL, but it is “real competition.”


  • mistadobolina

    there are a few MLS squads that are looking particularly thin these days I hope the last 6 days of the january window we see some signings.


  • timmytwoshoezzz

    If I told you Landon was going to be playing for Leicester City in two months, would you be excited? Because when his loan ends, the teams Leicester plays are about the equivalent of the competition he’ll be facing.

    And Dan, did I say Landon had to prove anything to me? no. I enjoy watching him in the EPL, and wish that I could see him there permanently.


  • Air Jordanz

    I wouldn’t say declawed completely, but against the Top 5 or 6 teams they won’t make it without Davis.

    They did stick it to SKC after he went down. The Galaxy, however, were on another level.


  • Air Jordanz

    It’s a shame Boyd decided to pass on a chance to actually get paid and to play in a brand-new stadium.


  • chaslymunroe

    He should have something to prove to the world. I think this is a cop out because he doesn’t want to hurt his ego again like he did in Germany. He is a big fish in a little pond… and comfortable.


  • Dune Man

    Indeed….it would be one thing if it was just another team sharing the same town and stadium like the Quakes, the Crew, the Rapids, etc. The Galaxy might become “the LA team” and have the bigger budget and name, while the other team tries to carve out its own identity…”hey we are the LA team, not the Hollywood Galaxy with the big budget names. We are a blue collar team with a great local development program.” You can do that approach when you are The Goats, but when you are Chivas USA and for some reason trying to leverage the colors, kit, crest, and name of a legendary Mex league team….it seems like being anything other then the far and away leader in your market only hurts the brand. You dont want to be both the “lesser chivas” and the “lesser LA” because then the name/brand wont mean much in MLS. It might have been better for Chivas to just do a summer tour and play MLS teams or host some mini 4 or 6 team turny with MLS invites. Paying for Chivas USA and letting it become the Clippers of MLS just confuses me. But that is enough for being off topic today ;-)


  • Rowsdower

    I’m concerned too. We need a Striker and a right midfielder. Both are priorities in my book. I wonder how having essentially 2 (lame) owners is effecting bringing in quality players.


  • bryan

    well, im guessing NY sign him. also, i would like to know what broke down the boyd talks.


  • WK

    Surprise, surprise. Another aging European star who only wants to play in NY or LA. I hope one of them is foolish enough to sign him for a LOT of money.


  • steve

    guys, you keep talking del piero + galaxy… how about del piero in NY – you know how many italians are in NYC… he’d be bigger than jersey shore!!! (i’m not italian by the way)


  • Dune Man

    Well sure…because living in LA and NYC are basically the same thing. I am surprised they dont call them the Twin Cities. I feel bad for Chicago…its like these Euro Stars are totally unaware that Chicago is a real city and could be another option for them as well.


  • Wooly

    No, greater competition in MLS, because the teams are so evenly matched. Everton will never get a chance to win a title with the Big 4 at the top. Winning a title is tougher for a top tier team in the states.


  • Enrique

    You are crazy. This guy is perfect for Backe’s style. All that is now missing is attack through the middle. With the revamped defense and Henry playing off of Piero, Ny would be a beast in the East. Del P would instantly be a fan fav. It wouldn’t matter who plays goalie, the team would be that good.


  • timmytwoshoezzz

    This eurosnob, eurotramp thing is SSOOO old. It’s a real shame that on here, you can’t call the sky blue on a sunny day, you can’t say that Kentucky grass has a blue tint, and you can’t accept that the MLS is on a tier about even with the Npower championship, even though I have seen the two compared on this same website many times.

    I didn’t trash Landon or the MLS. I did say I wanted to see him play in England because its fun seeing America’s best footballers play in the world’s best league.

    And Wooly, Everton may not win a title, but they will play at least 12 games against clubs that play in the top international competitions. Those games are tougher than any MLS playoff #fact


  • bottlcaps

    It sees like every aged footballer (and their agent) casting about for a new contract, is now bringing in the LA connection! And LA means the LA Galaxy not the “forgotten” and transient Chivas USA (which doesn’t even have LA in it’s name). Such is the recognition as a footballing destination thanks to a certain Mr. Beckham. Yes, LA has a lot of panache, as does New York, but the recent MLS Cup victory means it has become footballing power and has owners willing to write a big checks, if needed.

    I seriously doubt that Landon Donovan will leave LA this early in his contract. Reportedly 2 years ago it was rumored LA wanted 10M US to sell LD which was out of line with EFC’s offer of around 4-5M. It is possible that EFC could up their offer for Donovan to around 7-8M (if they had the money) and LA could accept and use it to purchase a Frank Lampard for which it has been acknowledged that LA was interested in. But it’s the whole “bird in the hand” thing. Bruce Arena will fing cover for Juninho and Gonzales and the “Holy Trinity” of Keane, Donovan and Beckham will terrorize the MLS for another year.

    I think Evertom will pull the trigger on Buddle, at least for the end of the season. Buddle wants to get out of Ingolstadt and a chance to show himself off in the Premier League is a great opportunity.Buddle is reasonably valued and Moyes and EFC desperately need a goal scorer


  • Patrick

    How are MLS franchise markets valued? by profit? tickets sold? merch+tickets? number of fans (regardless of whether they are buying tickets)? I don’t doubt that NY is one of the major two in some senses, but not in all senses. Anyone know about financial/fan stats for MLS teams?


  • Carlos

    Tier up teams, not leagues. Everton is a decent squad, but EPL teams at the bottom simply aren’t any good. I’ll take the Vancouver Whitecaps over many of them. Maybe even Montreal.


  • ChrisTheLSUTiger

    I don’t think Landon wants to play for anyone other than Everton, and Everton can’t afford Donovan. Plus, Donovan REALLY likes California.



    Who cares? Hes the all time leading scorer for our national team and we get to see him in our country and in our league…oooooh noooo!!


  • timmytwoshoezzz

    Blackburn Bolton, and Wigan would wipe the floor with the likes of the Revs, Whitecaps, and Toronto FC


  • Timmythreeshoe

    These teams wouldn’t wipe the floor with anybody. And let’s not forget that Everton’s best player developed his trade in MLS…


  • timmytwoshoezzz

    Everton’s best players now play for Chelsea (Arteta) and Blackburn (Yakubu) because the team is flat out broke.

    And yes, a Blackburn club with English, Congolese, New Zealand, Nigerian internationals and more wouold beat about all that MLS has to offer. And that’s not hating on MLS. There’s a reason why most relegated clubs in the EPL return to the top flight soon after getting sent down. Even the worst teams in the EPL are better than what you find in the Championship, which is about on par with the MLS skill level.


  • tim

    I feel the same way here in Dallas. We should have a huge atmosphere here but we just don’t, due to poor FO/ownership marketing and and a stadium built in a backwoods part of the area…


  • coop

    I think it’s more than just stats. A European prima-donna celebrity player doesn’t want to live in Columbus or Kansas City regardless of support. Frankly, I don’t blame them.


  • crossmlk

    Well guess what we here in the US would like to see our best players play here. I realize that won’t happen in every case but of all the things I’ll knock Donovan for playing in his home country isn’t one of them.

    So just because YOU want to see him in the EPL, BFD it ain’t your call and despite your inference it doesn’t reflect badly on him for wanting to play in MLS.


  • timmytwoshoezzz

    Did I say playing here reflected badly on Landon? I don’t think so.

    It is nice to see Americans playing here, but I would argue it grows the US game on a global scale much better when the best Americans are playing the game in the best leagues. The most commented games on this site are USMNT matches and when Donovan is squaring off in England. Even with Dempsey playing out of his mind, its Donovan that catches the eye of most.


  • zeke

    How do you people think Del Piero would do in the MLS?
    We know about his talent but the MLS is fast and much more physical than he is used to. Not sure at 37-38 if it would be anything more than a swang song-cash grab.

    But Montreal has to do something because interest is zero right now. Id say its even lower than its been the past two seasons (having the training in Mexico means out of sight, out of mind with the media.)
    The team said that last year was a transition year and cleaned house from two years ago and then cleaned house again this year. So you have now a third team in place in three years, with a rookie coach (his CV was fluffed and the media realizes now that Bradley was his fluffer like in his whole career).
    I talk with a lot of AD’s about Impact’s perception among the kids and during the Xmas breaks, I had the chance to work with pre-teens and teens at soccer camps and their knowledge of the team is … depressing.
    Most complained that the team captain wasnt going to be invited to camp and when I told him he was there, they were surprised. (the team didnt even announce that they changed their minds 2months after they made a decision not to invite to camp) Like I said, zero knowledge of the team by groups that should be among the best informed and passionate. Say the word Ching and the kids draw a blank (yet they know who the central defenders from Arsenal are playing fullback at the moment). And the MLS is of little interest apart from Theirry Henry and the few that have watched MLS thought it ‘sucked big time’.
    I blame this SQUARELY on the team management.
    They had always done amazing things in terms of community involvement and getting the players out to meet the public but they blew it when it really counted.
    (FYI, there are more registered players in Quebec in soccer than in hockey and in Canada, soccer overtook hockey about 20-25 years ago and is close to double more than hockey)

    And if you think Toronto has been bush league up to now, hold on to your hats. KFC has had experienced people since they started and it has been awful. Montreal is run by a ‘connected’ family’s idiot son, the director DeSantis who was way over his head in D2 but is in tight with the owner, head of operations another player who just retired with zero experience and a coach who has never coached before. The KFC resumes had plenty of experience so maybe the idea is that experience is highly overrated.
    The transition dangers were known, the team prepared for it over two years and still royally screwed it up. Instead of coming into the MLS full steam ahead, the team limped into it to general indifference. The past 4 months have been even worse.
    Season is starting in 6weeks? Oy, vey….

    Del Piero is IMHO, too old, too slow and Im doubtful of his commitment but he would be needed because filling the team with unknowm mediocre US college players isnt going to get more people to come.
    Because the team will play in a stadium that will have 35% more seats this year and the first 2months will be played in the 60,000 Olympic stadium this will be a problem. And right now, I have doubts they could fill Saputo stadium (apart from the home opener). Del Piero might help bring some people (I think the pseudo-italians are a lost cause since they only watch ‘real’ soccer) and interest.


  • H2Oman

    I would say it is a very good likelihood that the Galaxy will be playing downtown when the new stadium is completed there. AEG who own LA Galaxy is the developer there and the stadium is being specifically designed to host both flavors of football. Ought to be an outstanding venue! So… Chivas will have Home Depot to themselves before too long. I honestly think San Diego would be a better fit for Chivas though. They should rebrand/rename and move there. As a former resident, I can tell you, there is a HUGE soccer market there that is being completely neglected and untapped by MLS.


  • bobby

    not may italians in NYC.
    you have lots of americans whose parents or grandparents are born there, guidos are as much italians as 3rd generation germans are nazis.
    at the very least, knowing the language is necessary if youre gonna use the hyphen.


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