Photo by ISIphotos.com
Good afternoon folks and welcome to the first installment of Emptying the Notebook. I plan on making this a weekly segment where I touch on all the topics and stories I wasn’t able to get to during the week. As you know, each week flies by as stories surface and pass through the news cycle. Sometimes there are stories that I just don’t get to.
With that in mind, here are some items from the SBI Notebook:
Donovan and Bayern Munich
As you might have heard earlier this week from the Washington Post, Bayern Munich had discussions with Major League Soccer about Landon Donovan. Here is what I have been told. Apparently Juergen Klinsmann was very interested in adding Donovan, but the Bayern board of directors wasn’t keen on buying a player who is perceived to have twice washed out of the Bundesliga. This led to a discussion between Bayern and Los Angeles about a loan deal with an option to buy. Neither the Galaxy or MLS was interested in that.
What next? Bayern is expected to make a transfer offer this winter. As for Donovan? He was ready to make the move and is prepared to join Bayern Munich if a deal can be struck this winter.
No Champions League for Altidore (yet)
You probably heard about the hat-trick Jozy Altidore scored for Villarreal (you didn’t hear about it here because hat-tricks against semi-pro teams didn’t make the cut for news this week). Well, as much attention as that hat-trick received, what went relatively ignored is the fact that Altidore did not make Villarreal’s Champions League roster.
Should you be surprised? Not really. Some new tough guidelines from UEFA requiring teams to have at least eight home-grown players on the roster may have led to the omission, though his inexperience is probably a bigger reason why he wasn’t selected.
So if you were all excited for the Man Utd-Villarreal Champions League clash next week, don’t expect Altidore to come on and deliver a Goal: The Movie moment. That moment will have to wait.
Conde: Let me go after this year
The Chicago Fire boasts the stingiest defense in MLS this year and one of the key figures in that status is Colombian Wilman Conde. His unhappiness in Chicago was well-documented earlier in the season but he has stayed quiet and played the role of good soldier well.
Does that mean he is happy? Not exactly.
Conde told SBI last weekend that he intends to honor his contract this season but that he is hoping Fire coach Denis Hamlett will let him leave this winter, either to Mexico or to Europe. Conde is in the second-year of a three-year deal and is desperate to make a move abroad.
"I want to play in a bigger league and like any player I want to keep moving forward," Conde said. "I am being a good professional and honoring my contract but I am hoping that the (Fire) lets me leave after this year.
"I have spoken to (Fire coach Denis Hamlett) and I know he is a man of his word so I am hoping that will happen."
Conde signed with Chicago from Colombian club Millonarios in the summer of 2007, and links the reports of his unhappiness in Chicago to his anger over feeling that he was lied to with regard to his contract.
"There were certain promises made to me when I came here that were not kept by the former president," Conde said, referring to former Fire team president John Guppy. "He lied to me. That’s what happened and that is why I was very unhappy at the beginning of the year. I wasn’t happy with my contract situation, and it’s something I am hoping will be resolved after this season."
And for those of you asking, yes, Conde would leave via transfer, not via a release.
Schelotto plans on coming back in 2009
Columbus Crew playmaker Guillermo Barros Schelotto is enjoying an MVP season and has no plans on making it his last season in MLS.
Schelotto spoke with SBI on Wednesday and he stated very clearly that he wants to be back in Columbus in 2009.
"The league has the option on the contract, but if it is up to me, I will be back here," Schelotto said. "I am happy here and comfortable here. This is a good team and a young team and I will stay if the team will have me."
Schelotto is likely to miss the Crew’s game against Toronto on Saturday with a hamstring strain.