European Soccer

Mid-Day Ticker: Clark let out of contract, Vela seals full transfer and more

Clark (ISIphotos)

Photo by ISIphotos.com

Ricardo Clark will be getting a fresh start at the end of this month.

Clark and Eintracht Frankfurt have agreed to terminate his contract, the club announced on Tuesday. Clark has been on loan with last-place Stabaek in Norway, where he has received consistent playing time, but that deal expires at the end of the month, upon which time Clark will be a free agent.

For Clark, who scored a game-winning goal for the U.S. men's national team against Venezuela in January, he has started in 15 games for Stabaek in all competitions, including both legs of the club's UEFA Europa League first preliminary round tie.

Here are a few more stories from around the soccer world:


One of Mexico's top young talents has secured club stability after a long quest.

Carlos Vela has completed a permanent transfer from Arsenal to Real Sociedad, where he starred on loan this past season, scoring 12 goals in La Liga. According to Real Sociedad, Vela will be presented on Thursday and will sign a four-year deal with the club.

Vela, 23, turned down an Olympic invite to sort out his club situation, which has been a tenuous one ever since he joined Arsenal in 2005. He has been on loan to Salamanca, Osasuna, West Brom and Real Sociedad while rarely featuring for the Gunners. With the signings of Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud, it became even more clear that he had no place in Arsene Wenger's plans.


A failure to sell hundreds of thousands of tickets to Olympic soccer matches has resulted in tournament organizers reducing the capacity for a number of games.

According to reports, 700,000 tickets are unsold as the tournament approaches in the coming weeks. As a result, as many as 500,000 seats will go unused as sections of seats get blocked off. Games are slated to be played at Old Trafford, St. James Park, Millenium Stadium, City of Coventry Stadium, Hampden Park and Wembley Stadium.


The French presence at Newcastle continues to get stronger.

French international defender Mathieu Debuchy is eyeing a move away from Lille with hopes of linking up with fellow countrymen Yohan Cabaye, Hatem Ben Arfa, Romain Amalfitano, Sylvain Marveaux and Gabriel Obertan at Newcastle.

Lille and Newcastle are reportedly in talks of a move that could reach the £7 million range for Debuchy, who is said to be wanted by Inter Milan as well. Debuchy started all four of France's matches at Euro 2012.


Where do you think Clark's next stop should be? Think Real Sociedad is an ideal landing spot for Vela? Surprised that more tickets have not sold for the Olympics? What do you think landing Debuchy would mean for Newcastle?

Share your thoughts below.

  • THomas

    Does this include the women’s games? I imagine it does. In which case, I’m not surprised.

    And even if it’s for jus the men’s, you really expected New Zealand vs. Belarus to sell out a 40,000 seat stadium?


  • matt

    FIFA killed the prestige of the Olympics for men’s soccer when they forced it to be a glorified U-23 tournament: Belarus vs. New Zealand would draw well in a WC setting. Also, with Euros having just concluded, many of the nearest soccer fans to England have likely blown their travel budgets.


  • betamale

    Can’t believe this guy started against Ghana. What a bad coaching decision


  • liltommyj

    Rico you may not have what it takes at international level but you are still a good midfielder for MLS! Come on home!


  • Duneman

    Hmmm….maybe one of the 3 overage players that people can see any week in the BPL season in Team GB will get “injured” or “need more time for fitness” and they can call in Becks who is in mid-season fitness and has not played in London (outside of a charity match) in a few years, sell out all the England matches without reducing capacity and keep interest high for some of the other matches as well.


  • Bird

    WOW! Boyd just hit the post on a bicycle and off the rebound a teammate crossed it back in and he bicycles again for a goal! Amazing finish!

    Roma vs Rapid in a preseason match. Bradley started also.


  • fifawitz1313

    Boyd with an amazing bicycle kick that goes off the cross bar, Roma poorly clears it and then Boyd strikes another bicycle kick into the corner for a goal. This kid is fearless.


  • Eric

    I don’t know if you can entirely blame FIFA for that. They have enough of a fight getting clubs to respect the tournament in this format. Do you really think clubs would be more receptive towards the olympics if it were full national teams?


  • Bird

    correction – his teammate shot on the rebound the goalie saved it into the air and he bicycled the save into the low corner, even more impressive!


  • matt

    Although it’s better for clubs to not release senior players for yet another international tourney (and I for one am glad for that for the players’ sake – WC and Federation Championships are enough) I doubt the desires of the clubs weighed as much on FIFA as FIFA’s own desire to protect the brand of the WC as THE global soccer championship. I’m not criticizing the reduction of the tournament to the U-23 model, just saying that doing so has made Olympic soccer a fairly weak draw, and that ultimately, for better or worse, it is FIFA’s fault that it happened.


  • The Imperative Voice

    Tad more complicated than that. For a long time (through ’80?) this tournament was amateur, which for serious footballing nations rendered it a de facto youth team anyway. Generally only the commie teams and minor nations could enter anything approximating their national teams, because the good players signed contracts at a young age, etc. For just two tournaments, 84 and 88, it was full professional. It then switched to U23 for the ’92 games and after, which if you follow the history abd consider the amateur roots, is something of a compromise between pure amateur and pure professional.

    It is a little goofy, but we have the quadrennial World Cup to settle the full world championship.

    Which, in terms of the women, is why theirs is different. They did not have a Wold Cup until 1991 and thus the Olympics stepped in as the de facto world championship. Likely because women’s soccer only remains slightly professionalized, they maintain the two championships. With massive professionalization of the men’s version, there is arguably not the same need to have a World Championship every 2 years.


  • Joe

    He would be a great addition to a contending team trying to make a playoff push. Which teams are at or near the top of the allocation order?


  • The Imperative Voice

    (1) Boyd’s goal is basically in a nutshell why he has more upside than Altidore. Boyd is a big lad also but capable of this kind of finesse. Altidore remains a blunt instrument, all due respect to Eredivisie fast break soccer.

    (2) Though Clark’s impulse may be to sign in Europe I could think of far worse places for him to sign than Houston. While here he reached an elevated station — some would say over his head. Though we have a ton of mediocre DMs signed I’d be just fine with clearing them out and popping him in the middle of the offense. [And since he left on a free don’t we have first dibs?]


  • zayss''fr/ewa

    Clark should try for a permanent deal in Norway or if not try Belgium, Switzerland or Sweden. If not he should come back to MLS. I’m sure he can probably get 100 K


  • tex0313

    Dynamo have his rights due to the bona fide offer they made before his free departure to germany


  • The Imperative Voice

    Ortiz’s H. Chronicle blog says we are considering something like a roster “trade” of Cameron for Clark, who Ortiz suggests might be interested.

    Which sounds all well and good except I’d swear Canetti said earlier this month we had roster and cap room for an offensive signing, after Boniek. I don’t remember that being linked to a Cameron sale.

    In which case, I know we promised Geoff but the ideal outcome for the franchise as opposed to the kool aid fanboys would be retaining both. I mean, an offense like this would be cup-competitive:

    Kandji Bruin Boniek
    Davis Clark Cameron

    But it might be a matter of whether we were figuring in a Cameron sale to then buy a replacement.

    And also, I think if we signed Clark we have to address the sheer volume of mediocre or even bad CMs on the roster, Camargo Watson Sturgis Moffat, etc. No need for all that and there are spots like back where we could use depth.


  • Rlw2020

    NE and TFC are at the top Followed by Chivas, SJ and DC. Any of those teams could really use him.

    Have to wonder if Boca, Bedoya, Hanneman, DMB, Whitbread or Gomez will move to MLS but id say Clark is more likely than any of those.


  • Rlw2020

    Correction: clark would return to Houston if he returned to MLS. Would be an ideal replacement for Cameron assuming he is off to stoke


  • Hogatroge Abroad

    The WC would be so much less dramatic if it had serious competition from the Olympics 2 years later.

    In fact, they’re thinking of making Olympic basketball a U23 event, too, and having the main focus be placed on the World Championships.


  • steve

    I’m sure Beckham + Giggs would have sold more tickets. Pierce should not have snubbed him.


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