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Report: Eto'o headed to MLS next summer

Samuel Eto'o of Chelsea celebrates his second goal, 2-0

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

A three time UEFA Champions League winner could be heading to Major League Soccer next summer.

According to a report in the British newspaper, the Guardian, Chelsea forward Samuel Eto’o has decided to come to MLS at the end of his contract this summer. The 32-year-old forward took a pay cut to move to England this past summer but his move to the EPL hasn’t gone off as well as he would have liked.

Eto’o, who is expected to captain Cameroon at the World Cup in Brazil next summer, was subject to transfer speculation last month for a move to Toronto FC. However, this report states that he’s likely to snub the Canadian club in favor of moves to either the LA Galaxy, Chivas USA, or D.C. United. The report adds that the Seattle Sounders and Chicago Fire have expressed interest as well. MLS teams can begin negotiating with Eto’o’s representatives next month with as there will be less than six months left on his current contract.

MLS and Chelsea have yet to publicly comment on this report.

If the Galaxy are indeed interested in acquiring Eto’o next summer, it would mean that one of their current Designated Players, Robbie Keane, Omar Gonzalez, and Landon Donovan, would either have to restructure their contract or be sold. The same would apply to the Sounders, who have three Designated Players on their roster, Clint Dempsey, Osvaldo Alonso, and Obafemi Martins.

Before moving to Chelsea, Eto’o spent two seasons at high-spending Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala, which paid him a reported €20 million per season after taxes. Prior to the big-money move to Russia, Eto’o was Mourinho’s star forward at Inter Milan, winning a Serie A title, Champions League, and two Coppa Italias.

Eto’o though really made his name with FC Barcelona in Spain, winning the Champions League twice and La Liga three times. In his final season with the Catalan club, Eto’o scored an amazing 36 goals in all competitions.

This season for Chelsea, Eto’o has scored just twice in nine EPL appearances and just four times in 15 appearances in all competitions.

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What do you think of this report?

94 comments
    • timmytwoshoezzz

      Wait, someone actually thought the quality of the team and the chance to “win” actually mattered to these guys going into semi-retirement. No, when it comes to former European stars choosing a home in the next thing to retirement league of MLS, it all comes down to the three rules of real estate. Location, Location, Location.

      Like

      • Shawn

        It also comes down to who is going to pay them the most and that is not going to be Chivas based on history.

        Like

      • KB

        Is the Turkish league “semi-retirement.” Because Galtasaray does the same thing.

        Like

      • Gary Page

        First troll sighting for this article. Calling the MLS a retirement league is always a dead give away. When Beckham left the Galaxy for PSG, I guess that made the French league a retirement league. Did Diego Valeri come here as a DP to retire? Such nonsense.

        Like

    • bottlcaps

      It’s really a move to L.A. As the Galaxy would have to make some drastic changes to bring him in, Chivas does not. Most of the Euro and SA players like LA and would like to move there. Would Chivas spend the big bucks for E’to. I doubt it.

      Like

      • Camjam

        .5 rating. Point Effin 5! MLS has made many mistakes, but you can’t argue with their format and where it’s already gotten them in 17 years.

        But when you’re championship game can’t draw more than a .5 then you aren’t ready for a system change.

        And regarding showing work; It was called the NASL. Maybe you heard of it (past tense, obviously).

        Like

      • Coco

        NASL was over 30 years ago when soccer wasn’t popular and when there were enough domestic players to fill up a league. How long are you guys going to beat that dead horse?

        There are plenty of leagues around the world with less revenue than MLS. In fact, MLS brings in a lot of revenue compared to other soccer leagues. And EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THOSE LEAGUES HAS FREE AGENCY AND NO SALARY CAP.

        so show your work will ya? If you’re going to just spew MLS propaganda then show your work.

        Like

      • Jason

        A recent interview of Garber by ESPN states more than half the teams are not making a profit. Also many teams do not have the money to spend anyway as we’ve seen most only have one DP on their team. Let’s fill those DP slots first before thinking about opening things up.

        Like

      • Ian

        Therein lies the rub. Coco is talking revenue. You’re talking profit. Every club brings in revenue, but like you (and Garber) said, they’re not all profitable. Until more teams reach profitability (like 50%+1), MLS will continue to lose money and salaries will remain low.

        Like

      • Luke

        Maybe you’ve heard of the USFL. Should the NFL be afraid that they too will fail because the USFL did? All professional leagues in the USA have had predecessors who have failed. That is the natural progression all pro sports. The lessons learned on the failure of the NASL will not be lost if the MLS does away with the single-entity format. Simple fact is no owner wants to lose money and that’s the bottom line!

        Like

      • josh

        Are you saying the USFL was a predecessor to NFL? What was the predecessor to MLB, or NHL? I think you might need to look up the word predecessor.

        Like

      • Luke

        I’m fully aware what predecessor means. Re-read my post and nowhere does it mention that the USFL was a predecessor to the NFL.
        Try using Google. Search for “Professional leagues that have folded”.

        Like

      • Tony in Quakeland

        Americans understand the difference between socialism and cartels.

        Like

      • Increase

        I love me some trade cartels. My favorite de Beers. So much classier than OPEC. Blah

        Like

      • bakunin

        You know that De Beers invented the entire concept of the diamond as an engagement ring.

        Like

      • bakunin

        Once we did embrace socialism, communism and anarchism.
        As a result, we had strong unions, which gave us the 8 hour work day, weekends, the end of child labor, work place safety and many other things we took for granted. Then, with the election of Cowboy Ron and advanced brainwashing techniques; we embraced selfish greed – wrapped in pop culture. We all thought we were going to be rich and famous one day. Meanwhile, the oligarchs practiced privatized profits and socialized losses. The result was the biggest transfer of wealth in history. The elite waged class warfare on us and stole our savings and future – while we worried about Survivor, our local sports team or some celebrity slut.

        Like

    • slowleftarm

      Haha yeah because what they’re doing now isn’t working at all. From no professional league 17 years ago to a soon to be 21 team league almost all playing in soccer specific stadiums with higher per game attendance than the NBA and NHL. Yeah, by all means, let’s scrap that because it’s more important to be like Europe.

      Like

  • West of the Cascades

    How much will the league shell out this year to make sure that Et’o can join the Sounders?

    Like

    • frank from santiago

      that’s were i think he’ll go. there’s room for a dp plu dc has THE money to make this happen.

      Like

      • DCUnitedWillRiseAgain

        Technically, there is room for 3 DPs. Eto’o should do very well in MLS, and we shall welcome him in DC! Close proximity to the embassy, and some of the best shopping on the East Coast. DC is usually the East Coast trial market for the latest products. Great night life, and broad acceptance of folks from other countries due to the massive diplomatic and immigrant communities. Plus a new stadium coming, and an owner tie in with his old club Inter Milan!

        Seems like a strong case.

        Like

  • MLS_Soccer_Talker

    LA has 3 DPs. Chivas only likes Mexicans. Sounders have 3 DPs. DC is dirt cheap. TFC is going after Defoe. Skeptical about this report.

    Like

    • dude

      re DC: It would certainly be a test of the new owners. Thohir in particular is stinking rich, definitely has the scratch to bring in Eto’o. My guess would be that DC is financially in the running in terms of interest, but might not be where Eto’o wants to hang his hat. Washington DC doesn’t have the allure of New York or LA.

      Like

      • DCUnitedWillRiseAgain

        I agree to some extent, but DC does have it’s allure. DC is very cosmopolitan due to the diplomatic and affluent immigrant communities. Great Restaurants and shopping for people with tons of Indonesian money. Plus Thorir owns his old club Inter, so he may be thinking of DC as a way back to a long term relationship that lasts past his playing days.

        Like

      • Ian

        I’m sure Canberra can say the same thing, but international players only think Sydney.

        Like

      • Chicago Josh

        Only if he plays like 2012 Omar. He hasn’t been as good this year and I don’t think he should be considered a lock to start for the USMNT…too many brain farts. Someone will take him in Europe only if he steps up his game.

        Like

      • kev

        European scouting process for MLS americans goes something like this:

        “Does he play for USA, if so, purchase. If not, do not purchase. That is all.”

        Like

  • Dan

    If Eto’o signs for Chivas I’m sure he would arrive and quickly realize he made a mistake and thought he was signing for THE LA club

    Like

    • MLSfan

      It says in the article he’s like going to snub TFC.
      TFC’s more interested in Defoe, Gilardino or that other brazillian dude.

      Like

  • KB

    The big thing …. are the reports about Chelsea having a policy of only giving one-year contracts to age 30+ players accurate? It certainly appears to be consistent with their practice. That means that this year Eto’o, Terry, Lampard, Ashley Cole are all free at the end of the year. It also would mean, if true, that MLS could potentially raid Chelsea yearly with multi-year contracts.

    Like

      • Brain Guy

        The utter incomprehensibilty of MLS’s roster and acquisition rules is a scandal. And Farber admits that the league even makes up new rules and procedures on the fly to desk with specific situations. If all makes MLS look less like a professional sports league and more like professional wrestling.

        Like

  • Dan

    Eto’o going to DC United would clearly be 100% contingent on their getting a new stadium deal. Absolutely no way it happens otherwise.

    Now if they get that deal? Then, I could see it easily happening as part of a pseudo-rebranding for marketing purposes. Would make a lot of sense actually.

    Like

  • sock her

    Not that I (or anyone outside a few high ranking MLSer’s) have any idea as to how the retention funds truly work, but I’d have to believe that Omar Gonzalez could be kept using retention funds in the way that Zusi and Beisler are in order to free up a designated player slot.

    Like

    • mccul105

      Not 100% sure but I believe LA used their “retention funds” when they signed Juninho after having him on loan up until 2012

      Like

      • DCUnitedWillRiseAgain

        Retention Funds are funds that MLS gives to teams in order to retain key players that might be getting underpaid, and possible transfer targets for European clubs. I know that DC got some last year for Pontius, and several other clubs did too.

        Like

  • UnionFan

    Looks like the agent for Eto’o is playing the same card as Fat Frank’s agent a year ago. “Yes, we have received many many inquires about the player from MLS! Who, you ask? Oh, many, many teams like LA, DC, and many other teams in major cities!?!?!”

    I will believe it when I see Eto’o actually suiting up for a MLS team, but until then (and this goes for any other older European player), I won’t believe it till I see it!!!

    These players need 1 more contract and they want to stay in Europe, but creating a fake “market” for them is only so they can have a little leverage when negotiating their last deal!

    I just wish someone from MLS would come out and say “the player in question would most likely not accept what MLS really think that player is worth, so no, we don’t see that player coming to the league!”

    Like

    • AcidBurn

      This. Exactly like Fat Frank. Eto’o has a good agent, that’s what is story really means.

      Like

  • Travis

    Would really like to see him go to DC, that team needs some life but it probably wont happen as long as theyre trapped in RFK

    Like

  • Puffer

    This would never happen, but he would be a great fit for the Revolution offense. Nice fluid striker

    Like

  • Quit whining about soccer in the US

    I can’t believe.that a.guy would use MLS as leverage, so it must be true. See you next summer Eto

    Like

  • byob el paso tx

    So eto joins the history of top talent coming to MLS but will he come in true life. What happen to my dream player of ronaldinho comin to MLS. Not only ronaldinho but, lampard, owen, raul, kaka, drogba, palermo, and the list is long.
    I also wonder, if cities like chicago, boston, nyc, dallas, LA,tfc, dc, montreal, denver all had downtown stadiums, would it be easier for a top player to come to MLS. Not only the big markets but teams like san jose, columbus, philly.
    For example, if im drogba and i dont know a lit about MLS but i tour denvers.downtown soccer stadium or dallas downtown stadium or columbus downtown stsdiun, i would actually pick denver over LA or dallas.
    I just think, MLS needs to open their doors to all, and give them a tour of MLS cities in order to show them, their is more.than LA and new york.
    Is nit like they are going to live in the ghettos right.

    Like

  • TomG

    Wow, I love my snark as much as the next guy, but the snark to substance ratio in the comments is really rough lately. Every big dp signing is incredibly interesting to analyze and predict IMO. Certainly a gigantic name and talent (at one point anyway). A couple red flags: he’s a 32 year old speed guy and speed starts to decline about that age. I think he’s got enough skills to compensate, though a la Robbie Keane. He has also already spent two years in a mid level league (Russia) and didn’t seem to dominate (13 and 10 goals). Does he have the insane innate competitive streak that Keane, Henry, Cahill, Beckham, DiVaio, etc have that allows them to keep playing at the highest level even though theyre in a lower league and older? Will he treat this as a pay day or will he be motivated? Anyone follow his career close enough to comment?

    Like

  • Neruda

    Seattle making Alonso a DP rules them out of the eto sweepstakes. GAM is out so they need martins, Dempsey isn’t going anywhere and Alonso isn’t getting any love from Europe. Sounders are set at DPs for next year. This sounds like the agent of eto is trying to churn the rumor mill to keep the interest and price high for his guy.

    Like

  • Gary Page

    First Kaka and then Lampard were supposed to be coming to the Galaxy. So many rumors. I’ll believe it when I see it.

    Like

  • Cory

    The problem with Marquez was the crappy team he was playing for. He was expecting better players around him.
    Eto’o just wants to get paid. The only colors he’s willing to defend is the color of money.

    Like

    • Super

      The team won the SS as soon as they got rid of Marquez and the players were the problem? We have dozens of examples of games where it was clear the guy was below his teammates

      Like

    • Brain Guy

      No, the problem with Marquez was his utter refusal to do any real defending and his condescending attitude toward just about everyone else on his team. He did not deem it worth his while to work hard for teammates who could not meet his lofty standards.

      Like

  • PD

    Eto up front Kennedy and Bocanegra anchoring the back.

    tons of youth willing to learn from an international master.

    nowhere to go but up.

    Actually through that lens Chivas doesn’t sound all that bad… until FO shoots themselves in the face again.

    Like

  • TFC-Dan

    yes TFC are targeting Defoe, but they are targeting to attacking options….as someone who has followed this team long enough I never believe what I hear until I see them holding up the TFC kit…however it Tim L is true to his word and his reputation of getting what he wants it would not surprise me to see Defoe in TFC for JAN and possibly Et’o or Gilardinho here in July after the WC.
    TFC are not 7 or 8 players away they are 1 RB, 1 attacking mid and 2 good strikers away from going bottom to close to the top in MLS.

    Like

    • Neruda

      FTC need a lot of everything. They’re not one or two players away from beating skc and nyrb.

      Like

      • MLSfan

        They really only need 2 good strikers (probably DP’s) and 1 or 2 midfielders.

        Like

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