Good afternoon all. Apologies for the gaps in posting but the Olympic tournament has done a number on my schedule. There are so many stories to get to, and so much information to pass along.
I have nuggets, some new and some old, on the Galaxy, the New York Red Bulls and their forward search, Clint Mathis, Kasey Keller and another America going to Europe to ply his trade.
First up to bat is the Galaxy, which is looking for permanent replacements for the two men in the above picture who aren’t smiling (could this photo have been a sign of what was to come?). Let’s get started:
Galaxy set out to find replacements
The Los Angeles Galaxy need a new team president and new head coach following the departures of Ruud Gullit and Alexi Lalas and the search has already begun on one front. Sources are telling me that the Galaxy will look to fill the team president position before deciding on a permanent head coach, with Tim Leiweke expected to leave the decision on the coaching hire to his new president.
So who will be the new president? Current interim president Tom Payne is in the mix, but another name to consider is Houston Dynamo chief operating officer Chris Canetti, who has been an integral part in building the successful operation in Houston. While team president Oliver Luck is the more visible front office leader in Houston, the feeling out of Houston is that Canetti is more involved in the day-to-day operations, both on the business and soccer sides of the Dynamo.
Another name to consider is former Chivas USA general manager Javier Leon, who is currently working for Chicago Fire owner Andrew Hauptman. Leon helped hire Bob Bradley as Chivas USA head coach, helping turn the Goats into a respectable team, but was eventually forced out because of the club’s lagging ticket sales. Leon has been working closely with Hauptman on the running of the Fire, though sources say he has not been considered a candidate to fill the Fire’s team president position that has been left vacant since John Guppy was forced out in April.
As for the Galaxy’s head coaching position, Peter Nowak remains a favorite of the current AEG leadership, but rumors persist that Bruce Arena is being strongly considered, both for the head coach and team president positions. I have had sources offer conflicting takes on Arena’s chances in LA, with more believing that Arena winding up in Los Angeles is a long shot, so it’s still difficult to tell just how good his chances are of eventually finding a job with the Galaxy.
Red Bulls hunting for allocation funds to land Kandji
With time running out on the Red Bulls search for forward help, the club is actively trying to trade for allocation funds to pay for a transfer fee to acqure Atlanta Silverbacks striker Maccoumba Kandji. According to multiple sources within MLS, the Red Bulls are ready to trade at least one senior roster player to acquire the allocation funds needed to land Kandji, considered the top striker in the USL first division.
So who are the Red Bulls trying to deal? That’s the magic question. The club doesn’t exactly have that many players with trade value that it can actually afford to deal. Could the club be ready to deal a team fixture such as Jeff Parke or even Dane Richards? It remains unclear, but what is clear is that the Red Bulls aren’t done dealing and aren’t done changing around their roster.
Matt Taylor off to Germany
Former Kansas City Wizards and Chivas USA striker Matt Taylor has become the latest American to make the move to Europe, signing with German Bundesliga 2 club TUS Koblenz. Taylor, who scored six goals in four seasons in MLS, played briefly in the USL with the Portland Timbers and spent some time with Hollywood United, before eventually signing with Koblenz.
Here are some other nuggets I will look to talk more about tomorrow:
Kasey Keller has signed with Seattle Sounders FC for the 2009 season. Just what that means for current Seattle Sounders goalkeeper Chris Eylander remains to be seen (what it means is that the 24-year-old USL standout will likely be riding the pine in 2009.)
Clint Mathis is returning to MLS, joining Real Salt Lake for a second time. He can provide depth for RSL, but you wonder how much Mathis has left considering he tried out for Norwegian second division club IK Start and couldn’t land a contract.
That is all for now. Who do you see running the Galaxy? Do you think the Red Bulls would be wise to break the MLS bank to add a USL striker in Mac Kandji? Are you surprised to hear that Matt Taylor has resurfaced in Germany?
Share your thoughts on any and all of these stories in the comments section below.