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Former U.S. Olympic team midfielder Danny Szetela is on his way back to Major League Soccer, but he won't be coming back to Columbus or heading home to New Jersey.
According to multiple sources, Szetela has agreed to a new contract with MLS after having his deal with Spanish club Racing Santander finish. Szetela spent the past season and a half on loan to Italian club Brescia, but is now a free agent set to return to MLS two years after leaving the Columbus Crew for Europe.
As a former youth international with three appearances for the U.S. senior national team, Szetela would have to go through the MLS allocation process. FC Dallas is currently holding the top spot in the allocation order, but already has a roster full of young players and is expected to pass on him. That would leave Szetela to fall to D.C. United. Sources tell SBI that Szetela was in Washington D.C. on Tuesday and met with D.C. United officials, who are very interested in the 22-year-old midfielder.
D.C. already boasts Clyde Simms, Andrew Jacobson and Ben Olsen as defensive midfield options, but the club did just lose rookie midfielder Brandon Barklage for the season with a torn ACL.
Szetela has struggled for playing time with Brescia, failing to make any appearances in the final month of the Serie B season after seeing a good share of playing time in the first half of the season. He moved from the Crew to Racing Santander after the 2007 Under-20 World Championships, but never played in a League match for the La Liga club before being sent out on loan to Italy.
If D.C. United acquires him, Szetela could provide cover both in central midfield and on the right flank, and could provide some long-term cover for veteran Ben Olsen.
Whether Szetela actually goes to D.C. United will be determined by FC Dallas, which could choose to select him in order try to secure a deal for his services, but doing so would also cost FC Dallas the top spot in the allocation order. Szetela did play for current FC Dallas assistant coach John Ellinger when Ellinger was the U.S. Under-17 national team coach, but FC Dallas is still expected to pass. Szetela had previously expressed a desire to play for the New York Red Bulls (he was born and raised just minutes from Giants Stadium), but the Red Bulls are not currently in the mix for his services.
What do you think of Szetela returning to MLS? Hoping he comes back and finds a starting role? Wishing he had given Europe another try? Think he can help D.C. United? Hoping FC Dallas adds him to its youth movement?
Share your thoughts below.
Was his Racing contract terminated early? I’ve read that he had another year remaining.
Instead of signing a 29 year old, why arent RBNY in the mix for this. A local kid who actually wants to play for the sham of a club. This is pure stupidty, there is no hope
hmm, I think I want FCD to keep him to avoid the front office being stupid and taking Beasley! Besides we will lose Cooper soon enough and if Szetela comes maybe we can drop Rocha.
Of course the Red Bulls aren’t in the mix. Osorio doesn’t do quality. If Szetela was a 30 year old lefty,has-been from Venezuela then RBNY would trade big to land his rights…
Ben Olson is done. DC United should release him (kind of like what the 49ers did with Jerry Rice, Joe Montana, etc.) Danny would be an upgrade from the current Ben Olson. Maybe not the Ben Olson from 5 years ago.
Hmmm. I remember his play being very up and down. Had a good youth world cup, then didn’t he come back and dog it with Columbus for a bit?
Hoping that his return to MLS goes well (really surprised that people still get up in arms about the allocation process…). Maybe he will follow Robbie Rogers’ path.
Red Bulls could use him,…but that would make too much sense. Besides, if I am not mistaken Shepp Messing is his agent and is probably stearing him away from the toxic waste dump that is Red Bulls.
Speaking of Red Bulls did anyone hear that Grant Wahl is working on a new book? It is called “The Leo Krupnick Experiment.”
Great pick for DC – he’s an excellent young player.
I hope United passes and holds out for someone better. We need a good winger or two and a left back. I think we can do better in the allocation process than Danny.
Oh cool, the league forces him to Columbus against his will, now he’s going to head to his hometown’s most heated rival. Yippee.
Posted by: kpugs | July 14, 2009 at 09:46 PM
Welcome to MLS!
I get the idea of the allocation system for US Internationals coming back from overseas for cases like McBride, who spent over 5 years out there. Szetela was barely gone a year and half. The old team ought to retain the rights for 2 years – so RBNY would be first in line to get Jozy back if he came home tomorrow – and players won’t jump overseas for 6 months, play half a season and decide they don’t like it, and come home to a different team.
MLS is a joke.
But, if he comes to DC, I am looking forward to having him on our team. He is a creative midfielder, who could eventually replace Gomez and Olsen, although that’s a lot to live up to.
“Szetela had previously expressed a desire to play for the New York Red Bulls”
So naturally, he will play for DC instead.
I’m a DC fan, and not that excited about Szetela coming here. I still remember him acting like a petulant little bitch when he was drafted by Columbus and he made it quite clear that he didn’t want to be there.
I hope he’s grown up, and that his experience in Europe has knocked him down a couple of pegs. If so, he might be willing to put in the work to become a useful midfielder.
Luis: Charlie Davies wasn’t a part of that age group. He was 21 that year.
And maybe you are forgetting a little player named Michael Bradley?
I wonder when he will get another cap.
He’s a good player, very good for U20’s, but probably jumped to Spain too soon, Serie B was good, but I agree that there’s something weird about the second half of the season there were he wasn’t appearing on the stat sheets. I think coming back to the MLS is a good thing, get regular playing time, and then make a strong run as a more mature player to Europe in 2-3 years. Definitely a candidate for the 2014 team pool even with the pool there being packed for the DCM, a little late for 2010 though I wish someone from the U20 class besides Davies and Altidore would jump in the mix.
Crew got much better after he left. thank goodness he isnt coming bacck.
He sucked In Spain and now hell come back and suck in MLS again. Did nothing his first time around.
Expect more of the same.
A shame he couldnt hack Europe but his play in MLS never justified a move overseas
Can’t hack it in Europe, it’s time to come home.
He made the move to Europe to soon…And speaking of soon I think we might soon see some players follow in his path back to MLS…I hear some good young players named Adu and Alitdore aren’t getting much playing time in Europe
Of course he’s not in the mix for the Red Bulls. That would mean they were trying to improve the team.
I agree with those folks that think that Szetela is trying to get back into the national team picture, whether for 2010 or beyond. He was a prominant part of the Olympic team, and riding the bench in Serie B isn’t the path into the USMNT depth chart. He’s shown some quality and promise in the past, and while the midfield is pretty deep in the national team pool, it’s not outrageously beyond his level. Given current and potential injuries, and the vagaries of form, it wouldn’t shock me to see Szetela get a call up for qualifiers if he shows well in MLS over the balance of the season. He’s aggressive and he’s got a high work rate, which are qualities that BB looks for (witness BB’s preference for guys like Junior, Clark and Klejstan over Torres).
I don’t know if anyone knew this but apparently Everton and Aston Villa are interested in Michael Bradley.
Very overrated player. Not that good.
I hope he goes to DC United.
I’d say that Szetela will have some work to do, to crack the regular DCU starting XI — but he would see action in the Open Cup and Champions League, and spot starts and substitute time in MLS. When he plays, it would give United more attacking options, as they could move Gomez, Pontius or Quaranta up top.
If he shows well, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him be a regular, either by season’s end, or from the get-go next year. DCU has got some older players (Olsen, Moreno, Gomez), and a DP they probably won’t resign (Emilio). So, Quaranta or Pontius will move permanently to a striker position next year, opening up hte right flank and/or a central midfield slot for Szetela. It’s actually a really good place for him to land. And not that far from his native haunts.
why does the mls have such odd rules?? they really kick themselves in the foot with the over regulation. i bet more players would want to stay or venture over to the mls if it wasn’t such a bureaucratic mess. Let him play for the Bulls! and rid the league of allocation crap, the draft and other ridiculousness.
Matt thanks for the laugh. Szetela isn’t making any world cup rosters. His position is stacked and will be for a long time. Maybe if he was a forward or a wing back he would have a future.
Olsen is injury prone and not guaranteed to play every game at this point of his career. I believe he’d be an upgrade over Simms. DC plays in multiple competitions and I think he could be the future at center mid for DC.
If I was the Red Bulls, I would make a trade to get Szetela, and then do what they can to get Beasley. This team needs to start making who sale changes, and these would be two guys to start with. Then maybe some how get Eddie Johnson to partner Angel and we could maybe see a winning team.
this whole thing with the player not being able to choose is awful. come on MLS.
Good for him. Playing in the MLS is better than riding the bench in Serie B, and I haven’t watched any Serie B lately, but is it really the better in play to MLS? Probably not.
The irony is that if MLS are going to raise their standard of play without overpaying for old superstars, young guys like Szetela need to come back home. I like it.
PLLLEAAAASSSEEEE come to the Galaxy, PLZ!!!
Felix – they have two more US Open Cup matches, Champions League, and the rest of the MLS season. There are plenty of matches to rotate players and give him plenty of playing time.
I can’t see this as a move for the 2010 World Cup roster. As Clark and Edu have improved, as well as Jones declaring for the US, Szetela is probably too far down the pecking order. He is most likely returning to MLS to get playing time so he can start working for a spot on the 2014 squad.
Rumors are circulating that another player’s likely to come back this summer: DaMarcus Beasley. I can imagine some teams not wanting to make a move for Dallas’ allocation because they’re hoping to deal with Dallas for Beasley later.
I would LOVE to see him @ Philly under Nowak!
Good for Szetela, beats sitting on the bench. Hopefully after a few good years here he can try again in Europe. I really haven’t had the chance to see him play much yet. Like what I hear.
My guess he is coming back because he wants to make the world cup roster in 2010 and he needs to play. Being a dc fan I would be happy to have him, however my guess it is time to use some of that salzburg money otherwise this would be the second jersey player missed that could have helped that joke of team as Jemal Johnson resigned with MKDons today.
For right midfield and defensive midfield, DC United has Ben Olsen, Clyde Simms, Chris Pontius (I think) and Santino Quaranta – this move makes no sense to me for Szetela. I’m sure there are some other teams in the league that could use someone with his particular skill set (his old team Columbus for one), to head to DC makes no sense to me.
Good for Danny.
Never really saw much out of him that I disliked.
You know who could really use him, and where he’d get instant playing time?
Worked for Landon Donovan.
I guess Racing and Brescia weren’t as high on him as the rest of us. A little surprising that he would come back. Usually, a guy like that would try to latch on to another european squad, perhaps in a lesser league. Seems like there is a lot more to this story.
LMAO @ Jordan. Nominated for comment of the day. Hilarious.
If I were FCD, I’d still take him. I’d trade someone or something, but why let a good player slide by? Who knows when another player will come back ? My biggest question is why would he come back to MLS so quickly? There had to be someone in Europe who wanted him. FCD needs some pieces to their puzzle, though, so I’m sure they’ll be contemplating what to do pretty seriously.
He really showed his goods in the U-20 tournament and I thought he was on his way when he scored that goal in Italy. I’d like to see him play as a right midfielder. He seems pretty skillful and creative from what I’ve seen but is also capable of being the destroyer midfield presence. We could use some depth at on the flanks though.
Yeah, this is awesome. I mean why should anyone in MLS have the ability to sign for the club of their choice.
Apparently the guido word for Bobby Convey is Danny Szetela
whats to say FCD dosent sell the top allocation spot to the highest bidder, he could end up anywhere in MLS.
Oh cool, the league forces him to Columbus against his will, now he’s going to head to his hometown’s most heated rival. Yippee.