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Christmas Eve Ticker: A Jozy sighting, Galaxy lands a keeper and Arsenal eye Alonso

Jozy Altidore (ISI Photos) 

Good afternoon folks. Hope you are all enjoying some time off around the holidays, and if you're one of the people who have faced the horror of flight delays and bad weather, good luck on your travels.

This won't be your standard Ticker, moreso just a chance to catch you all up on the latest. I'll start with my own interesting run-in of the week. I went to the New Jersey Nets-Houston Rockets game with a friend who scored some courtside seats. As I watched Yao Ming tower over the Nets I realized that sitting 10 feet from me was none other than U.S. national team striker and former New York Red Bull Jozy Altidore. He was in the United States as part of his vacation during Spain's winter break.

Altidore was in good spirits and it was very clear that he is enjoying life at Villarreal. "It's better than I could have imagined," said Altidore, who also showed off a little bit of his newly-learned Spanish.

He may be the future of American soccer, but Altidore is definitely a basketball junkie. After taking in Monday's game, an ugly Nets loss for those wondering, Altidore was heading to Florida to visit his family and take in Tuesday's Miami Heat-Golden State Warriors game.

That was my interesting encounter of the week. Here are a few more stories to get you through what I hope is a relaxing Christmas Eve.

Galaxy lands Ricketts

When I saw Bruce Arena in Los Angeles during MLS Cup, I pressed him on a trip to Jamaica I heard he had taken. When I asked him how his trip to Jamaica was, Arena didn't miss a beat and replied, "Jamaica where? Jamaica, New York?"

As it turns out, Arena's not-so-secret scouting trip was to find himself a goalkeeper and that is what he found. Arena and the Galaxy announced the signing of Jamaican national team goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts on Tuesday.

The 6-foot-4 goalkeeper should step in and start for a Galaxy squad that struggled mightily to find a replacement for Joe Cannon, who LA traded to San Jose before the 2008 season.

Arsenal looks for Cesc replacement

With Cesc Fabregas set to miss up to four months with a torn MCL, Arsenal is desperately searching for a replacement and that search could led the Gunners to the very man who helped cause the injury.

Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso, whose challenge on Fabregas led to his injury, could make a January move to Arsenal.

Reports also continue to persist linking Arsenal with a move for Russian playmaker Andrei Arshavin.

I will be back later today with the SBI MLS Mock Draft 2.0 and the latest installment of Your Questions Answered. For now, what do you think of the above stories? Is Ricketts the answer for the Galaxy? Do you think Liverpool would actually sell Alonso to Liverpool? Are you glad Altidore didn't follow his first love and become a basketball player?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Arshavin is not that good. The Russian league is in no way comparable to the English league. Yeah Arshavin has played a few good games at the Euro’s but its really not that hard to beat up on Rangers. Most people have only see him play in 4 or 5 games and base there opinions on that. They don’t see all the shitty games he plays in Russia.

    I don’t really see the point of signing a player that is the same as Cesc because Cesc will be back sooner than expected. Remember Wenger said it could be that he was out for up to 4 months and he opted to not have the surgery. Minus Rosicky and Walcott (Pending) every player that was injured has come back before his recovery time was suppose to finish (Nasri 2x, Diaby, Sagna, RVP)

  2. We’d be fine at center back had we not loaned out Senderos I think. Gallas has been horrific this season, and Toure is constantly injured. Senderos always gets the best out of his defensive partner, although he is occasionally mistake prone, and Djourou is only on his way up.

    I just want somebody who is energetic and just runs around the entire game winning the ball back(Flamini).

    Oh, and Bendtner will hopefully be on his way out.

  3. One big problem with Alonso is that he is cup tied. Aresenal does not have many options in trying to get a world class midfeilder to fill in for Fabregas that is not cup tied. One option would be to try a loan deal with a south american player…riquelme?

    That being said, Aresenal don’t need Arsharvin as much as they need a holding midfielder and and another center back.

  4. I think Altidore is better off playing soccer professionally, as opposed to basketball. He’ll make a lot of money playing soccer, whereas his size would probably preclude him from playing in the NBA.

    I think the key to more US success in soccer would be to convince basketball prospects to take up soccer. You’re never going to convince someone like Garnett or Lebron to switch sports, but for the athletes who are tweeners (with inadequate size to play their chosen position), they would only make negligible pros in Europe if they continue playing basketball. If they applied their athletic talents to soccer, their size would be prized and they would have a chance to become stars.

  5. it would be kind of cool if liverpool sold alsonso to liverpool. you could honestly say no one saw that coming. aresenal should after alou diarra. they shouldve never let lassa diara go and should have offered falmini an extension at teh beggining of last year.

  6. Please, Alonso is one of the most overrated midfielders in the Prem. To all the Pool fans, I’m glad they wouldn’t think of selling him. It would be sad to see his slow ass in an Arsenal kit trying to play beautiful, flowing football instead of that methodical machine he plays in at Liverpool.

    And to those Gooners that reject the idea of going for Arshavin… are you mental? He is a proven world class player that would fit perfectly in to the system, and there is no time for Arsene to find some no names and develop them into top class players. Cesc is gone for 3-4 months. If Arsenal don’t stop the bleeding immediately, they will be lucky to be in a dogfight for a UEFA Cup spot at the end of the season. Champions League will almost certainly be out of the question as well.

    How has the youth strategy of Arsene worked out for them the last few years, anyway?

  7. arsenal should get veloso before he goes to fiorentina….i just hope sporting can keep veloso till next year because we finally made it to final 16 of CL. Veloso = perfect

  8. As a liverpool fan I would hate to see Xabi sold to Arsenal; I think he would fit into their system perfectly, especially when Fabregas comes back. Until then, go Villa for fourth place!

  9. I’m definitely glad Altidore didn’t follow his first love and become a basketball player; I didn’t realize that basketball was his first love.

    Ricketts should help improve the Galaxy but I would always try to sign US goalkeepers first.

    I do not think Liverpool would actually sell Alonso to Arsenal.

  10. No way that were getting Alonso, Veloso seems much more likely. I would definitely like to see the Ramsey/Merida/Wilshere crew get some minutes, but at the same time we definitely need some fresh blood. Arshavin will cost too much for Wenger I think. I’m hoping we can somehow snag Yaya Toure, or possibly use Gallas as some kind of trade bait for another player.

  11. no way cesc leaves this summer. He will be coming off surgery and wont get what he is worth money wise for Arsenal to sell him. Hes the captain and is not going to leave. I think we need to go into the market and find a defensive mid. Song is not doing the job. Maybe try Kolo there when he gets healthy and leave DJorou in the back with Gallas.

  12. Arsenal fans, you are fooling yourself if you think Alonso will be sold to the Emirates, especially with Liverpool on top of the league and mounting its strongest title challenge since 2001-2002. Nothing but a baseless rumor…

  13. i think the perfect replacement for Cesc is Alexis Sanchex who is a teammate of another Arsenal target Inler at Udinese. Inler seems unlikely because he rejected a summer move to Arsenal. Alexis and Cesc are pretty much the same player and with Cesc set to leave in the summer, its probably in the Gunners best interest to lock up his replacement for next year now. Gooner fans, how do you feel about this

  14. I hope Ricketts is awesome for the Galaxy. I don’t see Xabi being sold to anyone. Heck yes I’m glad Altidore didn’t become a basketball player!!!!!! I’m sure he would be good at it, he is built for it also.

  15. As a Liverpool Fan i would hate to see Alonso go. If Arsenal want him, Hicks should set the price at 25 million and not a penny less. Arsenal are a desperate team and are in a position they have never found themselves in. Which is they HAVE to buy. So why not make them pay out of the culo for Alonso? Or, Alonso to Arsenal with Vela and 7-10 million in return. I could live with that

  16. No way does Alonso go to Arsenal. After nearly leaving in the summer, he has been arguably Liverpool’s top player this season. With Liverpool sitting top of the table at Christmas, why would they want to lose him now?

  17. I am a huge Arsenal fan. I think Arshavin would be a complete waste. I would much rather see Arsene stick to his policy of finding the no names then splashing cash. Inler or Veloso would be ideal in my opinion. I think we should just toss Ramsey out there and see what he can do. That’s how we found Cesc.


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