By DAN KARELL
Tim Cahill might soon not be the only Australian in Major League Soccer.
According to reports, Australian National Team captain Lucas Neill is on his way to North America, finalizing a deal with MLS. The reports state that the 35-year-old defender is in talks with two teams, one of them rumored to be Toronto FC, where Neill can count head coach Ryan Nelsen as a former teammate.
The news of Neill’s potential signing in MLS was revealed by his national team head coach Holger Osieck as he spoke about his squad for the EAFF East Asian Cup that begins on Saturday.
Currently a free agent, Neill’s career has from Millwall to Blackburn, West Ham, and Everton, during a 15-year stay in England, to Galatasaray in Turkey and two clubs in the United Arab Emirates the past two seasons He played in three matches this past spring for Sydney FC, missing a large amount of time with injury.
For the Socceroos, Neill has appeared 92 times and scored his first international goal last month in a 4-0 victory over Iraq.
Here are some more stories to catch you up around the league:
RED BULLS WAVE GOODBYE TO DIGAO
One of the biggest head-scratching decisions in recent memory has been atoned for.
The New York Red Bulls announced on Friday that they had parted ways with Brazilian defender Digao, mutually terminating his contract. According to figures released by the MLS Players Association earlier this year, Digao was due to make $200,000 this season, an amazing number for someone who had only played one minute of one game for the club last season.
Many believe that Digao was signed to help enable the Red Bulls to sign his brother, Ricardo Kaka, of Real Madrid. However, the latest reports state that Kaka has no interest in coming to the Red Bulls in the future.
Digao made just three appearances this season for the Red Bulls reserves. He made no appearances for the first team.
DI VAIO STILL AWAY FROM TEAM
Earlier this week, Montreal Impact forward Marco Di Vaio returned to Italy for what the team says was “family reasons.”
Though he was expected to return to Montreal on Thursday, the Italian forward didn’t show up for practice, leaving his status for this Saturday’s match against FC Dallas highly in doubt.
“You never know, but I spoke to him [Wednesday] and, you know, there are more important things than football,” Schällibaum told ImpactMontreal.com. “I extend my thoughts to him. I understand this situation. We won’t force anything. He has more important things to do. We’ll miss him on the field if the situation stands, but we have to work along with this.”
If Di Vaio isn’t available to go, Andrew Wenger will likely start alongside Daniele Paponi up top.
CHIVAS USA, MACMATH, FINED BY MLS
One week after the 3-1 victory for the Philadelphia Union over Chivas USA, Major League Soccer has come down with three disciplinary fines.
Union goalkeeper Zac MacMath was fined an undisclosed amount for “hands to the face/head of an opponent,” stemming from an incident between MacMath and Chivas USA defender Walter Vilchez.
Chivas USA as a club have been fined $5,000 for what the MLS Disciplinary Committee calls a “violation of the League’s policy on mass confrontation.” Manager Jose Luis Real was also issued a fine of $1,000.
The second incident was after Josue Soto was shown a red card in the 79th minute, which saw nearly half of the Chivas USA players surround the referee to argue the decision.
What do you think of these reports? Do you see Neill being successful in MLS? Do you agree with the Red Bulls move to part ways with Digao? Do you believe the Impact can win on Saturday potentially without Di Vaio?
Share your thoughts below.