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MLS Ticker: McBride never close to a loan, TFC makes another deal and more

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Remember all that talk about a Brian McBride return to Fulham? The rumor certainly caught Chicago Fire fans off guard, but not as much as it caught the actual Fire by surprise. According to team sources, there were never talks with Fulham about a McBride return to Craven Cottage.

In other MLS news, Toronto FC has traded defender Todd Dunivant to the Los Angeles Galaxy for allocation money. According to sources, the move was as much about clearing a roster spot and cap room as it was about the allocation TFC received in return. Toronto and LA were discussing this very trade as far back as the MLS Draft, finally agreeing to it late last week.

The deal is an interesting one by the Galaxy because Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena happens to be the same man who traded Dunivant to Toronto in the first place. Arena dealt Dunivant and allocation money to TFC for defender Kevin Goldthwaite back in 2007. Now Dunivant joins the Galaxy and should provide Los Angeles with a good attacking threat from the left back position.

Galaxy fans shouldn't give up hope on the possibility of either Bobby Convey or DaMarcus Beasley making their way to MLS, and specifically Los Angeles. While the European transfer window has closed, the MLS window is still open and is the one that would apply if Beasley and Convey (or any other European-based players) make a move to MLS.

So what is Toronto planning to do with the empty roster spot? The club is still in talks to secure the services of Argentine striker Pablo Vitti, and a central defender also remains a target for Mo Johnston's club.

In Red Bulls camp, the club has settled into Bradenton, Florida but not everybody made the trip down. Free agent trialist Aaron King passed on an offer to join the Red Bulls in Florida and will now pursue A-League opportunities. Former Red Bulls draft pick Eric Brunner has returned to Columbus, Ohio and does not appear to be in the Red Bulls plans. Two free agents with local ties that did make the trip to Florida are Mohammed Mashriqi and Jerry Saintil. The Red Bulls play their first pre-season scrimmage of the year against the U.S. Under-17 national team on Wednesday.

Kansas City Wizards midfielder Roger Espinoza has had himself quite a winter. First, he earns a call-up from the Honduran national team for the UNCAF Cup, then he scored his first goal for Honduras in the tournament's third-place match. Now Espinoza has been rewarded for his good showing by being called into Honduras camp for its upcoming World Cup qualifier at Costa Rica.

That's all for now. Are you relieved to know that McBride will be staying put? Surprised to see Dunivant reunited with Arena? Curious to see what Mo Johnston's next move will be?

Share your thoughts on these stories below.


  1. Sorry, Joamiq but I am definitely not an RSL front office guy. I am just a fan that has struggled through a few years of rocky off-seasons for my team and I am finally excited about some of these foreign signings.

    I am simply surprised that they haven’t gotten more attention. Seeing as how this is an “MLS Ticker” I thought it would be appropriate to bring up these new additions as well. I personally think they are bigger than some of the other signing that have had individual posts dedicated to them.

  2. Now the Galaxy can unload Randolph! He’s supposed to be fast, but he constantly gets beat to the ball. Watching the guy is so frustrating! Happy to have Dunavant back.

  3. I heard that since Beckham and Donovan are already associated with Milan and Bayern respectively, they have until the end of their loan deals to sign a contract.

  4. Dunivant serviceable? What the he*l happened? I had such high hopes for this guy. It was a real blow when he got injured before the 2006 World Cup. He was playing great for his club team AND the national team at the time. He was rapidly becoming the best defender in the league. Did he have an injury that permanently affected him, or has he just been unable to regain his original form because he has been injured so much and just hasn’t completely recovered?

  5. RSL is making some great moves and bringing in proven and talented international talent. As an RSL fan, I am even happier that the FO is addressing needs with left sided midfielders and strikers.

    Luis Miguel Escalada (Argentina) – I believe that this kid will be a star and he is still very young (turning 23 this month).

    Rachid El-Khalifi (Netherlands) – I was extremely impressed with the footage I saw of this player and he is a natural left footed winger. He has a lot of experience in the Netherlands but it still on the correct side of 30.

    Jorginho Paulista (Brazil) – He is somewhat of a journeyman but has played at a lot of top clubs. Left footed attacking wide defenders are exciting and rare in MLS.

    Kennedy Owusu-Ansah (Canada) – while the other 3 most likely will contribute right away, this kid is more of a project. However, I think that he is a great young signing and will feed of playing with his friend and fellow Canadian youngster Will Johnson.

    I am really excited about these moves but obviously RSL is my team so I am not objective.

    So what do the rest of you think of these international players joining MLS with RSL?

  6. Dunivant to LA is big news for Gals fans. Dunivant is a servicable MLS full back, He’s not going to set the world on fire, but will make the team better. He plays simply and smart, has the size that Randolph does not and is a good complement to a re-made D.

  7. Ives – Because of the impact of Keller, Friedel, Howard, Hennheman, I think of the US has made a solid case as a “GK producing factory.”

    What are your thoughts on Louis Robles and David Yelldell’s solid perfromances thus far at FCK and TuS Koblenz this season? Yelldell was voted Man of the Hinrunde (first half) for TuS Koblenz, and Robles virutally kept FCK close to top of 2BL.

    GKs, Jon Busch (Chicago Fire), Will Hesmer (Columbus Crew), Troy Perkins (Valerenga IF), Matt Pickens (Colorado Rapids)

    were named to the MNT camp, but these two, Robles and Yelldell, seem to go unnoticed by Bradley after quality GK duties in the 2BL where the quality of play/competition is much higher than the MLS.



  8. I think it’s rather sad that Eric Brunner wasn’t able to latch on to RBNY. That’s all I can say. So TK, that’s all the amount of bitching that I can muster up.

  9. Ives, NOT calling you out at all, but was the McBride thing really on BBC Sport? (Like reported by them?). Cause if it was on BBC Sport, then it definitely was true and I’d say the Fire are lying.

    Sports wise, BBC doesn’t really report anything thats not true…i thought that rumor was only on Sky Sports.

    Obviously it doesn’t REALLY matter, just curious…

  10. Ives,

    I believe even before Arena traded Dunivant to Toronto, he traded to get Dunivant to NY from LA! Now Dunivant comes full circle, how ironic.

  11. Some people need to chill out with all the bashing of my boy Luis.

    As for the McBride story, the story didn’t appear on some rag-tag anonymous site, it was BBC and Sky reporting on an American star in McBride, which is why I posted it. What’s funny is that if I ignore that story I’ll get all sorts of people asking why I didn’t post it, so you can’t win really. I eventually got some sources to confirm that there was never anything to it.

    And Scott47A, I stay away from plenty of bad rumors, but when a story goes international and is carried by legitimate outlets it is my job to let people know about it. Waiting for my own confirmation isn’t going to change the fact that the story is out there. I eventually got some confirmation that there was never anything to it and made that very clear this morning.

  12. i think tfc should bring in richardson and osei telesford. i also think they should trade edwards for gustavson, if they can(if gustavson is any good that is). haven’t seen daniels or vitti play but if they are allowed to bring them in, then yes they should. they should also try to bring in a dp forward and two center backs. with this they are a 20 game winning team.

  13. Joe D- people asked Luis if the BMB-Fulham thing was going to happen, he answered… the Fire were NEVER going to loan him out anyhow… we’ve got 1 good year of him left, perhaps more if he opts to stay… loaning him out for a month when he hasnt been playing/training for nearly 3 months seems farce…

    “…it aint happening” seems pretty self-explanatory to me

  14. As quick and simple as can be: “Brunner does not appear to be in the Red Bulls plans”… that was too easy. Is that it? All the hulabaloo that he was in training and might essential replace Ogunbiyi and then… he whimpers out of the picture.

    We are seriously going to have a problem in the back this year. Last year I trust JCO to bring in the players necessary and he by no means succeeded. Now we’re in a world of hurt, more than last year and I have to trust in “foreign defender to be named later” again?

    Petke, Goldy, Mendes, Leitch…. That’s it?!? Wow we don’t even have any backups this year! Oh, and Traynor but is he really gonna get much PT??

  15. Sky Sports reported that the Fulham loan talks stalled because they didn’t think they could get everything finished by the deadline. That report is the same thing as “McBride to Fulham ain’t happening” So which one is it? Was it a deal that was actually talked about, or was it a deal that was never talked about? The throwaway line in the Red Card doesn’t come close to explaining that. The note in this post makes it pretty clear.

    Nick, lay off Luis. He does what he can.

  16. nick- as others have pointed out, what part of “The Fire says McBride-to-Fulham ain’t happening” dont you understand?? what part of it isnt clear?? the loan is not happening… what is different between that and what Ives posted, “According to team sources, there were never talks with Fulham about a McBride return to Craven Cottage.”????

  17. There was nothing for Luis to report on since the story was nothing more than a rumor picked up by the British press. The overseas football press has a tendency to report rumors as if they are fact as long as “somebody” said it.

    The rumor was picked up here by american soccer web sites and all of a sudden you have mass rumor mongering based on nothing but some tabloid silliness.

  18. nick- quit your whining… Luis does a fine job… Ives and others have been in this business longer then he has… you dont just obtain connections when you become a writer… they come over time… on top of that, Luis writes for the paper first and then on the Fire second… he doesnt have the freedom of Ives…

    stop whining and simply use both sites as a source of information…. i swear my brother’s 4 yr old whines less then the people who CONSTANTLY b*tch about Luis..

  19. Luis, of the tribune had mentioned the rumor. it made it to the “notes section of his feb 2nd post. he stated the fire told him it was completely false.

  20. Ives…I just felt like typing your name, everyone else seems to today as well. By the way, on an earlier post some dude said we should have a qualifier in Alaska or Hawaii. That was probably the most insane thing anyone has said on this blog yet. And it’s so insane (maybe ingenious), that guy deserves both to have a job at the USSF or a t-shirt; I’m willing to start up a collection to pay for either.

  21. I’d bet the farm that TFC starts the season with a back-line of:

    Brennan–Nana Attakora–Marshall–Wynne

    Marco Velez will be cover.

    If TFC adds Vitti I’m not sure they will have the space to make an improvement at the back as well (although they have about $650,000 allocation left).

  22. Ives, I am seconding Ed Ho’s second question: How does the closed European transfer window affect the possible transfers of Beckham and Donovan?

  23. Kinda surprised by the reactions here about “MLS rumor mongering”. This is a blog/open discussion medium, not print or televised media. This format promotes discussion, and is prone to these sorts of issues. Now OTHER media outlets (British press) should definitely be more accountable.

  24. I hope you’re not saying the British press publishes made up news Ives. They would NEVER do that. Oh wait, I mean they do that daily.

    Still amazes me, “journalists” over there literally make up information and publish it. Not in the Enquirer, but in national newspapers. Unreal.

  25. Ives, two Galaxy questions:

    1) What is your opening day lineup projection for LA?

    2) How does the transfer deadline closing relate to a potential Beckham move to AC Milan? couldn’t they just extend the loan thru the end of the season and then transfer him?

  26. Has anyone brought in more talent than RSL?

    Here are their non draft pick players that are in training camp:

    Luis Miguel Escalada – Coming in after stints with Argentine powers Boca Juniors and Ecuadorian sides LDU Quito and Club Sport Emelec, Escalada is a 22-year-old striker from Ceres, Santa Fe, Argentina. He has scored 47 goals over 93 professional appearances.

    Rachid El-Khalifi – A veteran left-sided midfielder El Khalifi has spent his entire career in his native Netherlands, scoring 29 goals over 9 professional seasons.

    Steve Clark – A 6′2″ goalkeeper out of Oakland University (that’s Oakland University in Michigan for those who are interested) Clark spent four years, including three as a starter, at Oakland. Led the Grizzlies to a pair of Summit League championships and NCAA tournament appearances while garnering back-to-back all-league honors and a 2008 Defensive Player of the Year award.

    Jorginho Paulista – Coming to RSL with an impressive resume that includes stints in Italy’s Serie A (Udinese), Dutch power PSV Eindhoven, Boca Juniors, and Brazilian powers Vasco da Gama and Sao Paulo, the 28-year-old Paulista is a talented left-sided player who can play on both the backline and in the midfield.

    Kennedy Owusu-Ansah – 19-year-old native of Canada, Kennedy Owusu-Ansah joins RSL from German side Hertha Berlin. He is a talented defender who has an interesting connection to RSL’s current roster – he joined midfielder Will Johnson in representing Canada at the 2007 U-20 World Cup.

  27. So are all of the MLS stars except for Beckham and Donovan basically set to come back now? Considering there were concerns about losing Kljestan, Angel, Wynne, Razov, Marshall, Soumare, Boswell, Buddle, Cannon, Schelotto, Cooper, etc., but they’re all still with their clubs and/or have signed new contracts.

  28. The reason the Fire’s beat writer had nothing on McBride is because there never was anything.

    C’mon Ives, try to stay above the fray with the rumors stuff unless you can confirm it. There is way too much bad information going around in the soccer world these days.

  29. Ideally thisll be a good week for TFC fans.
    Mo has said that he was looking abroad but is currently looking at MLS defenders in a couple interviews during the draft. Its a matter of which teams have a surplus of CBs and what they are looking for. I hope this Vitti signing gets wrapped up soon, his name has been thrown around long enough that its a concern he wont sign. Pretty psyched about this up coming season, especially if we can sort out our defense. Also psyched about the potential of Vitti and our other new candidates (apparently Gregory Richardson of Joe Public is on trial with us and Keon Daniel might be there too… fingers crossed)

  30. Eric, I’m not sure what kind of news you expected your beat writer to have. There wasn’t a story. The whole thing was internet rumors. I don’t think he should be chasing down stories that aren’t even remotely true, do you?

  31. Jerry Saintil was the best college player in the country last year. I did not see anyone in the Big East or any other conference match his skill level. If this kid is given an honest opportunity he will make
    the Redbull squad. Remember this comment!!!!!!!!!!!!


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