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The Evening Roundup: German interest in Altidore, Twellman doubtful and Messi cleared for Olympics


                                                                 Photo by ISI Photos

Good evening folks. There was a bunch of soccer news that I didn’t get around to posting or discussing earlier today so here’s a roundup of soccer stories that made the rounds:

German club inquired about Altidore

The Washington Post’s Steve Goff reported earlier today that a German club inquired about Jozy Altidore and that MLS is looking for $10 million for the 18-year-old striker. In other Altidore news, you may recall when I reported back in February that Reading came close to prying Altidore away from the Red Bulls. Goff reported on Tuesday that Reading’s offer for Jozy Altidore during the winter transfer period was $8 million, which MLS turned down. The story I heard was a bit different, with Altidore ready to make the move only to have Reading prove unable to come up with the necessary funds after failing to sell off one of its players.

So what’s next? The $10 million price tag may sound steep but given the dollar’s sinking value, it isn’t as prohibitive a figure as some would expect. The real question is whether Red Bull will stand in the way of a summer transfer move. According to sources, the club was ready to let Altidore leave last winter (begrudgingly), but a summer departure wouldn’t leave the Red Bulls much time to find a replacement.

Twellman ‘Doubtful’ for San Jose match

New England forward Taylor Twellman has been listed as doubtful for the Revs upcoming match against San Jose after suffering a sprained ankle in New England’s 2-1 win against Chivas USA. That match was Twellman’s first since recovering from knee surgery. The doubtful status is good news for Revs fans who feared Twellman might be sidelined for another extended stretch.

Larsson gets Sweden call for Euros

From the ‘Blast from the Past’ department comes word that Sweden has called up Henrik Larsson for the European Championships. Larsson has enjoyed a good season with Swedish club Helsingborg (the same squad that knocked Michael Bradley’s Heerenveen out of the UEFA Cup) and is ready to enjoy one last ride with the Swedes. Get ready to see some vintage jerseys in the stands at Euro.

Messi cleared for Olympics, says ‘no thanks’ to Chelsea

Argentine star Lionel Messi has been cleared by Barcelona to represent Argentina at this summer’s Olympic Games. That sound you heard is defenders in Argentina’s group vomiting. But seriously, Messi’s inclusion proves what has long been suspected, that Argentina will be sending as strong a team as possible to China to bring back the Gold. I’ve also heard that Brazil will be loading up with some top-shelf stars (Robinho and possibly Kaka to name two).

In other Messi news, the Barca prodigy said he wouldn’t leave Barcelona for Chelsea after reports linked the Blues with interest. Can’t you just picture Roman Abramovich sitting in his mansion with a mountain of cash in front of him, trying to figure out which untouchable player he can pry away from one of the world’s top teams. Let’s see, Messi said no. Chelsea’s interest in Ronaldinho appears to have cooled. Who’s next? Kaka? Fabregas? Robinho? I think it’s safe to say that Chelsea will be shattering some transfer fee records this summer.

Sven to Mexico?

If you are wondering why this rumor isn’t higher up on the list, it’s because I really don’t buy it. What rumor? The rumor turned report that Manchester City manager and former England boss Sven Goran Eriksson is set to become Mexico’s new coach.

I’ll wait while you stop scratching your head and/or stop laughing.

There’s no question that Eriksson is a good manager but this one seems like an odd fit. I mean I know that he brought Nery Castillo to Man City and all but I just don’t know if he fits with ‘El Tri’.

Please feel free to share your thoughts and opinions about these stories. Also, if there are any other interesting (and legitimate) soccer stories not covered, please feel free to post them here.


  1. Christian- “he’s gonna have to wait ’til next summer because if he leaves during the winter he might not play that much during the second half of next season.”

    if the redbulls dont transfer him this summer, he’ll definately be gone in January… they wont hold onto him half way through the end of his last year, as his transfer fee will surely decrease…

    if the price is right this summer, he’ll be gone… if not, the price is going to come this winter by a number of options….

  2. Matt-My motivations were the same as dabull’s. I would certainly hope RBNY saw it coming, especially since they almost sold him to Reading last winter. By the way, how crazy was it that no one learned of that until months afterward? In this day when there are tons of factual stories, plus three times as many unfounded rumors, I never heard Jozy to Reading. By the way, Ives, I saw a one line blurb that said Middlesbrough was looking at Demerit. Obviously you can’t spend time running down every little thing, but have you heard anything on his situation?

  3. Christian, relax. World soccer reporting isn’t my strong point because I didn’t buy a report that has clearly been proven to be false? There were reports on Tuesday saying Sven already had the job. That’s clearly not the case. It’s just another example of Mexican media getting a grain of a story and creating their own meal. Word leaked that Sven was in the mix and some people start writing that it’s done.

    And my comments were never meant to imply that Mexico couldn’t afford Sven. They can pretty much afford anybody. I just don’t see it being a good fit. That Pekerman isn’t the leading candidate is mind-numbing.

  4. Ives,

    I guess world soccer reporting isn’t your strong point. Justino Compean, FMF honcho, just confirmed last nite that Pekerman, Scolari and Erikson are the main candidates for the MNT job with Erikson being the lead candidate since Scolari has asked for too much money. I will agree with you that Eriksson might not be a good fit for the MNT job but it is not far-fetched. Thanks to SUM, the FMF is sitting on fat pile of cash.

    BTW, Jozy has to start showing the same form he showed last season if he wants to leave this summer otherwise he’s gonna have to wait ’til next summer because if he leaves during the winter he might not play that much during the second half of next season.

  5. I know! While you were home sleeping, I was out all night with beautiful women at the disco. I can’t even see straight this morning, but let me tell you, if Red Bull called me right now, I could still pull the ball in the net for them because I am the greatest goal scorer in North American Soccer history and don’t you forget it!

  6. Here’s a radical thought – the Redbulls owe their fans a successful season and should NOT sell Josy until next January.

    After that – he’s going to be very successful in Europe.

  7. Matt, I sure hope the Red Bulls saw this coming. I made that statement because Ives said that if he left in the summer, NYRB would have a hard time finding a replacement. Since this was a strong possibility, NYRB should have already had a replacement in place (or a summer signing in the works).

  8. Lots of topics!

    Jozy is probably not ready to compete in Europe but hey, as someone mentioned, he can learn there faster than here….if he plays.

    Sven to Mexico: I would be worried…he is a strong tactical coach IF the players listen. Not sure the fit is right though.

    Chelsea: I don’t really know if their net purchases will be that much. So much depends on Lampard and Drogba. If either leaves, then there will be a big signing but that money will be somewhat funded by the transfer fee for the departing player.


  9. You know, I like this kid and I should know. I was the greatest goalscorer in the history of the North Americam Soccer League. He is a good kid and plays hard. He is going to love Germany. The women are beautiful and the disco fantastico!

    But, you know, I wish the kid would stay here. He plays with what we call “sprezzetura” and the MLS ..she needs more of that. Otherwise, why pay to go to the game? To watch that cissy boy Donovan flop around? In my day, we’d have broken his leg in three places with a hard tackle by Jeff Durgen!

    I love Jozy, but I hope he stays. We have nice discos and beautiful women in New York too! And I should know. No one went to more discos or had more women than I did when I was the leading scorer in the North American Soccer League!

  10. BrianK:

    Modric single handedly destroyed the English National Team AT WEMBLY last summer. Altidor can barely score goals against Honduras.

  11. jay, dabull – what makes you think the Red Bulls “didn’t see this coming”? How could they not? There’s been talk of Altidore leaving for Europe ince last year. I’m sure that RBNY are fully aware that it will probably happen at some point, and they will need to find some way to replace him.

  12. Everyone saying “No, Jozy should play one more season” to raise his transfer price (to be fair, it’s just one person that is saying that so far), that’s a ridiculous point. Price doesn’t matter. If he has a chance to go to a top-flight Euro team, which I’ll define as a team in one of the top leagues, and preferably not a team in immediate danger of relegation, then he should go, and go now. There’s nothing he would learn in MLS that he wouldn’t learn overseas, and the sooner a player leaves the better. He should get a spot while he can, and while he’s young enough that he’s still viewed as someone worth developing. And I totally agree that if the Red Bulls didn’t see this coming, then they’re completely culpable. This is how soccer works. I just hope they don’t hold Jozy back, what a nightmare that would be. Get him off the field turf as soon as possible.

  13. Given what players in Europe are being purchased for these days, $10 million is probably a gamble for the buyer but NOT a lot of money, all things considered.

    Given Altidore’s ceiling, even if there is only a 50% chance of him hitting it $10 million is a joke of a transfer fee for any team that turns a profit in Europe.

    Kris…you probably shouldn’t assume he will go to Germany. I wouldn’t even criticize the move, don’t get me wrong. But at this point, with the ridiculous rumors we read every day, there’s no reason for anyone to jump to a conclusion based on pure hearsay and nothing more.

  14. Joe, as I understand it, RBNY get 2/3 of the transfer fee, but there is an upper limit number, which this transfer will almost certainly exceed. So RBNY will get the maximum allocation, whatever that is.

  15. I have never understood this transfer policy of the MLS. Ives or someone, can you help me out?

    Do the Red Bulls get this transfer fee if he is sold? Because if they do it would help them find a replacement. But I don’t understand how it all works with the MLS being a single entity.

  16. I personally think that $10 million (5 million pounds) is a pittance for a talent like Altidore. Was it Tottenham which just shelled out 16 million pounds for Croation midfielder Modric (spelling?)? He seems to be a quality player but 16 million pounds is insane? If he is worth that then Altidore is worth 10 million pounds.

  17. Either it’s a German club who understands the $$$ of jersey sales and what not back here if they sign Jozy, or it’s club who already has Americans and gets that. Thus, the German club was probably

    Hanover 96


    Bayern Munich


    But I personally hope he goes to Stuttgart, as I’m sure everyone knows :). They can develop young forwards like you wouldn’t believe! Watch out for Fischer!

  18. I will say that the German club looking at Altidore will be American friendly Bayern Munich with the new coaching staff, and President Beckenbauer, they have to the best cannidates. If its not them then Stuttgart trying to bring him in to build up a team that was no comparison to last seasons team. My third choice, but a farshot is permoted Borussia Monchengladbach. This team could use a young guy like him to build a team that in a couple years could be a euorpean playing club.

  19. The Red Bulls should have had a plan to replace Jozy already. If they didn’t, they have only themselves to blame for the situation they’ll be in if he leaves. Granted, losing him during the middle of the season is not an ideal situation for the team, but it was known for a while that it was a strong possibility.

  20. MLS transfer fees = a good reason to continue to bet on a weak dollar.

    Messi to the Olympics, so much for the USA medaling..but we can still hope.

    Ericcson to Mexico. LOL they wish; but I too saw it this AM on Galavision news. The newscaster said “I heard from a reliable source in the MFF that this was a done deal and all but the ink is dry”.

  21. this has probably been asked and answered plenty, but can someone tell me how it works in the MLS in terms of selling players? ives, i see you said that the mls turned down readings offer for altidore. i think i remember the revs turning down an offer for twellman earlier this year. so do both the league AND the team have to agree that it makes sense before a sale is consumated? finally, does all the money go to the team, or does to the league take a split? if so, what’s the split?

    a preemptive thanks to anyone who can answer these for me.

  22. I don’t think Jozy is ready yet. Let’s see him do some damge on the international stage. Then that 10 million dollars might turn into 15 or more. Plus the Red Bulls really need him for the ten games he’s gonna play in MLS this year.

  23. As a Red Bull fan I’d be sad to see Jozy go during the summer, but I think it would be in his best interest to get started with a team before the season starts and challenge himself through a whole season.


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