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Morning Ticker: No Spencer for Fire, Crew on the DP hunt and more MLS news

Good morning all. It is a busy day in the MLS world as the news is permeating throughout the league. My colleagues around the country are cranking out the information, which is definitely a good sign.

Here are some MLS-related stories to digest with your morning coffee:

Spencer out of the Fire race

Houston Dynamo assistant John Spencer tells the Houston Chronicle’s Bernardo Fallas that he turned down the Fire coaching job, claiming that he did so because the contract offer was too low. If true, this is thoroughly embarassing for the Fire, which have managed to make England’s coaching search look like a masterpiece by comparison (the difference being that England broke the bank).

Sources tell me that the job Spencer really covets is the Colorado Rapids job currently held by Fernando Clavijo, and he may be willing to wait a year to get it.

So what now for the Fire? Well, Denis Hamlett is the leading candidate, and potentially the only viable candidate. Mike Jeffries and Frank Klopas were considered outside possibilities.

At this rate, the real question is which will be hired first, a replacement for Osorio or a replacement for Fire president John Guppy. The worst part for Guppy? The same man he wanted to be the Fire’s coach, Spencer, is the same one who winds up airing his dirty laundry. OUCH.

Crew have a DP target

As you may have read on SBI yesterday, the Columbus Crew expects Guillermo Barros Schelotto to return AND is serious about keeping its designated player slot. The Columbus Dispatch’s Shawn Mitchell followed up on both topics and found out just how serious in a story today that reveals that Crew president Mark McCullers has a very specific DP target in mind.

McCullers didn’t name the player but did take time to turn it into a game of 20 Questions, giving a bunch of clues about the player. Crew fans all over Ohio are cranking up their editions of Football Manager to narrow down the candidates (And yes, I would have too if I weren’t trying to crank out posts).

Twellman transfer chase is on

English club Preston North End is hot on the trail of New England Revolution forward Taylor Twellman, with the Boston Globe’s Frank Del’Apa reporting that PNE is set to up its offer to $2 million.

Someone should tell Preston North End that they need to give up now. There is almost no way the Revs are going to give up their leading scorer, not for the kind of money PNE can afford anyway. He is too vital to their team and I doubt New England would blink for anything less than $8 million, particularly given the weak state of the U.S. dollar.

D.C. close to adding forward

This one is a day late but in case you missed it, Washington Post guru Steve Goff reported on Wednesday that D.C. United is closing in on signing Argentine forward Franco Niell.

Here are some other tidbits from the SBI mill:

Duilio Davino will NOT be a designated player for FC Dallas.

The Columbus Crew IS in the process of hiring a technical director and is down to three finalists.

D.C. United is set to begin serious talks with Christian Gomez’s representatives about re-signing.

That’s all for now. I’ll be checking back in with some more news throughout the day so stay tuned.


  1. Guppy is a joke. FIRE HIM NOW. This coaching search is a joke. Spencer is classless the way he aired out all the dirty laundry (unless they said something particularly nasty to him) though it is kinda the British way (I don’t mean that as offensively as it sounds, I swear).
    Hamlett is nuts if he sticks around. The instant he loses a game the fans will turn on him and the FO since he is the 10th choice candidate and has been passed over for the job 3 other times.

    Gudjohnsson isn’t coming to MLS this year. His fee would be astronomical. Robbie Fowler would be more likely.

  2. I highly doubt that Eidur will be coming to the MLS much less COLUMBUS of all places. Im gonna side with everyone saying Okocha (even tho hes not a native european)

  3. I’m with Hincha Tim on this. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s someone with 30 or 40 caps for a team that doesn’t make the World Cup or the Euros very often, is retired from int’l play, in his 30s, and either doesn’t play much for an OK club team or is a key player for an unimpressive team. But I’ll be happy for the Crew if it’s someone better than that.

  4. Eidur Gudjohnsen might fit the description, but so would dozens of other players. Hopefully the Crew are using their heads on this one.

  5. In addition to the other “clues” I would be willing to bet that the player is not currently in favor with whoever he is playing for, in terms of minutes played, and is in his 30’s.

  6. Wishful thinking that it’s Gudhonsen. He’s way too valuable and way to costly in a transfer fee for Columbus to be able to afford him. Barcelona has been using him, and other major clubs in Europe have expressed interest in him. Columbus can’t compete in that sphere for players.

  7. Jay-Jay makes sense more then Eidur. I believe that I read that Gudjohnnsen wants something like 80,000 pounds per week! I don’t think that is in the Crew budget. It would be amazing if it happened though!

  8. I heard through ESPNDdeportes that the Crew is in search of Nigerian football Attacking Midfielder “Jay-Jay” Okocha (born August 14, 1973 in Enugu) currently playing for Hull City (second tier of English Football). He was well known for being one of the best dribblers in the world at his prime. Okocha played for Bolton Wanders, Paris Saint-Germain, Fenerbache, and Eintracht Franfurt.

  9. kpugs, are u saying Twellman is a diver?

    eidar gudjohnson to the Crew? now that’d be insanity. I heard it could be Jay Jay Ochoa though. Maybe it’s Claudio Lopez, he said he’s 90pct to come to MLS.

    Craig, right click on the link and select Open in New Windo.

  10. Hey Ives, I love the new site, and the amount of content you’re covering now a days! It’s great. Quick suggestion, because I’m lazy. Can your links that you put in your stories open in a new window when you click on them? ‘Cause I’m way to lazy to hit the back button once i’m done reading the story.

  11. Spencer wants the Colorado job. The fans want Spencer back in Colorado. When will the Rapids front office wake up and fire Clavijo and bring in Spencer?

  12. Negotiations with Spencer may have gone as far as they can go – generally it ends up at a “take it or leave it” point.

    If Spencer went public with the “insulting offer” bit, that’s going to really hurt his chances with other teams. Who’s going to want to make him an offer if they think he might embarrass them and humiliate the 2nd choice?

  13. Any guesses as to the Crew DP target? According to the article he is:

    1) A veteran

    2) forward

    3) currently under contract in europe

    4) who is a native european

    5) and who has a significant number of caps for his national team.

    Any guesses? I thought it was McBride until I read the native euro part…

  14. THURSDAY Jan. 10, 2008 in the TP Offices . . .

    Guppy: Hello Denis.

    Denis: Hey John

    Guppy: How’d you like to be the new head coach of the Chicago Fire?

    Denis: I was just turned down Tuesday for the job John. I don’t want to feel like I’m your second choice. Is that what I am?

    Guppy: No, no . . no Denis. Don’t ever think of yourself as our second choice. You were our third. Third time’s a charm!

    Denis: Oh. Okay, I’ll do it!

  15. Hey Ives,

    Any update on the RSL tidbits you teased with yesterday? I know it probably isn’t on the top of the list for most of the SBI Mafia…

  16. How sad has this coaching search been? If your Denis, do you even want to work as the head coach for someone who has passed you over 3x ?


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