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Mid-Day Ticker: MLS teams to compete in Disney Tourney, Agudelo fielding offers and more

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 The New York Red Bulls, Houston Dynamo, FC Dallas and Toronto FC will compete in the inaugural Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic on Feb. 25-27 at the ESPN Wide World of Sport complex outside Orlando.

The Red Bulls will face the Houston Dynamo in one semifinal, with TFC and FC Dallas playing in the other semifinal, both on Feb. 25. The winners of those matches will meet in the final on Feb. 27, while the semifinal losers will face off in a third-place match.


U.S. Under-17 national team striker John Agudelo is in Colombia in training camp with Colombian side Millonarios and could sign with the club after receiving a contract offer, sources close to Agudelo told SBI on Thursday.

A member of the New York Red Bulls Youth Academy, Agudelo has already been given a contract offer by the Red Bulls, but the team's delay in hiring a head coach led Agudelo to pursue other options. He has landed in Colombia, where he has impressed after playing in a recent friendly with Millonarios.

Red Bulls general manager Erik Soler confirmed on Tuesday that the club has made an offer and is continuing to pursue the young forward, regarded as one of the top players in the Red Bulls academy.


Just when you thought David Beckham and Landon Donovan would be the only MLS stars to go on loans this winter, now comes word from Italy that Livorno is trying to lure Seattle Sounders sensation Freddie Ljungberg to Serie A on a short loan.

There has been no word yet from Seattle on the likelihood of such a move, but Livorno has been very public with its courtship of the Swedish playmaker. Under current transfer window guidelines, Ljungberg could join Livorno in January and return to the Sounders in March, much like Landon Donovan is set to do with Everton.


Chad Ashton was named DC United's technical director on Thursday, as the team will tap his ability to scout talent in hopes of returning to the MLS playoffs.

A former star at the University of North Carolina, former coach at Denver University and charter member of the Dallas Burn, Ashton was an assistant coach to Tom Soehn for the last three years and helped guide DCU to the Supporter's Shield in 2007 and the U.S. Open Cup title in 2008.

The announcement was the third of its kind this week, as 2011 expansion teams Vancouver and Portland have solidified their technical director spots as well. The Whitecaps have brought Soehn on board and the Timbers will rely on Gavin Wilkinson, current coach and general manager of the Division 2 USL Conference team.


What do you think of the new Disney Tournament? Going to plan a trip down to Orlando? Like the idea of Ljundberg going to Livorno?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. whether or not it’s b/c he was left of the U17’s or if he truly feels he closer towards el salvador or even if he’s simply looking where he stands a better chance of making the squad, im not sure.

    hopefully he picks US, but he seems pretty set with ES. Who knows.

  2. A $1000 a month in Colombia is alot. Lawyers, Engineers and Accountants average only about $10k a year in Colombia nd live very well. At $12k a year, a 17 yr old would have to make over $100k here. Not a bad decision.

  3. How is it a “World” classic when it only has teams from the United States and Canada?

    (SBI-It’s a small world, after all. Okay, that was bad, but I couldn’t help it. LOL)

  4. Another reason may be the field conditions in MLS. Freddy was livid in his dislike for the pitches here, including the turf at Qwest Field. Before management gagged him he claimed that the poor field conditions made MLS second rate, unable to attract top players. Paraphrased, from my poor memory.

  5. Chucky, did you forget that Freddie Ljungberg played for Arsenal for years,winning several trophies before moving to West Ham and then Seattle? I don’t know why you’re asking if he’s good enough to play at that level.

  6. Ljungberg ( spelled correctly ) has reportedly rejected Livorno, saying he would do it for a bigger team.

    Man, I am good ( see above )

    I do think that Henry and others like him will come to MLS if they expand the DP slots. It just doesn’t make sense for those guys with a lot of money to play for a losing team in a league they will never win after playing for the big boys.

    (Also, I think Ljungberg wants a bigger slice of that Sounder’s money)

  7. He should be concerned with playing at the highest level in an environment that nurtures his growth as a professional. The Colombian league almost certainly pays more for young talent than MLS and their wimpy contracts. I’d like to see more US players find their way into South American Leagues and the big Colombian clubs – Millonarios, Santa Fe, Deportivo Cali, could be great inroads. Check your spelling on the nation of Colombia, folks, its not a city in South Carolina.

  8. Well said, at 17 years old, he should be concerned with playing at the highest level in an environment that nurtures his growth as a professional. While you may not have Colombian(spelled with an “o”, by the way)matches in your American TV library, it does not negate the fact that the Colombian league is a good destination with probably more following and more visibility, locally, than MLS. Die-hard fans, intense rivalries, and more creative soccer = great for development.

  9. Especially when you consider that the USMNT will be playing El Salvador on Wed 2/24 in Tampa…Short drive on I-4 to the Disney Complex

  10. “Don’t you think that Ljundberg ( injury free ) is good enough to play at that level ?”

    I know that question wasn’t addressed to me, but hell yes.

    One sad fact is that there’s a whole tactical aspect to experienced MLS imports that the US league doesn’t take advantage of. I think Seattle plays very well as a team, and Ljundberg’s technical ability and vision make them better, but there’s a lack of tactical sense that more experienced teams have, demonstrated by an ability to adjust tactics on the fly, control tempo, and exploit weaknesses. And that’s the case with all MLS teams. American players have a lot of technical skill nowadays, and their fitness is second to none, but they just don’t play systematically, and Ljundberg can’t take advantage of that part of his abilities. A loan would do him good.

  11. It’s Ljungberg everyone. With a “g.”

    There is no “d” anywhere in the man’s name.

    (And that goes for you too, Ives)

  12. i suspect he’ll get quite a bit of development, especially as a forward in Colombia.

    Unless Redbulls was willing to offer a GA contract (which i doubt, given their history) i doubt he’d make much more in NJRB and im certain the cost of living in Colombia is below that of NY/NJ

    MLS is simply not developed to incorporate youth and develop them, especially with our Reserves league gone

  13. I have to wonder and I dont know how it all works, but if Ljunberg, LD, Beckh, etc are free agents if MLS doesn’t sign the CBA, wouldn’t you want them already on “loan” to you ?

    Gotta be easier to sign after you have been kissing their part where the sun don’t shine for a few months.

  14. perhaps he’s looking at a developing aspect of his game??

    i suspect if he continues to work hard his development will be greater there then with the redbulls, unless he needs to work on humility :-/

  15. Ives what have you heard about the us u-17 national team striker that wants to play for el salvador? Apparently he has offers from mexico and is getting some serious interest from some clubs in europe as well

  16. Go Sounders.


    Don’t you think that Ljundberg ( injury free ) is good enough to play at that level ?

    I think he can play in EPL, I just don’t think he is going to play for the ManUs of the world, so why ?

    He has his money, why finish your career losing all the time ?

    Get a couple mil for the Sounders and compete for a championship not available in EPL.

  17. I’m torn on this loan thing. It hasn’t happened to my team so I don’t know how to feel. On the one hand, I don’t like the idea that a short offseason loan to a European club could end up with MLS losing the player completely in a transfer.

    On the other hand, maybe the idea of a guy making a couple million in MLS and spending part of the offseason playing at a big club in Europe on loan could attract more big name players to the league. Guess we’ll just wait and see.

  18. I can’t see Agudelo getting any better in Columbia. That should be his concern right now, not getting paid. He’s just a kid.

  19. A typical 17 year old in columbia might make $1000 a month. I am sure MLS is offering this kid more. Sounds like he is getting bad advice from his agent

  20. I am a Seattle fan and hope that Ljundberg gets a loan deal. Good for his fitness, but also really good for the MLS. With this, you have three players from the league that are obviously quality enough to be wanted in the top flight. Takes a little sting out of the idea that players come here to finish a dying career.

  21. According to the news article in the Millonarios website, Agudelo is practically signed. He is talking as if he is already part of that team



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