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Evening Ticker: Raul rumored to join NY, Sven out at Notts County and more



Add Raul to the list of European stars rumored to be joining the New York Red Bulls.

According to two major Madrid news outlets, the Red Bulls are planning on holding talks with the 32-year-old Real Madrid veteran for a move that would bring him to Major League Soccer after the end of the Real Madrid season. 

Red Bull and Major League Soccer fans have heard this story before. Thierry Henry has been long rumored to be coming to New York, and 41-year-old Paolo Maldini's name has surfaced recently as well. Raul could be a Plan B if the team cannot lure Henry from Barcelona.

More often than not such rumors are fabricated by agents with agendas or media outlets, but it is becoming clear that New York is actively pursuing players to fill its vacant Designated Player spot.

Raul has spent his entire senior career with Real Madrid and is the team's all-time leading scorer.

Here are some other stories to talk about tonight:


Former England manager Sven Goran-Erickson is out as director of football at Notts County, despite having four years remaining on his contract. He will remain with the club in less of a hands-on role.

The team is in financial crisis, having been sold for £1 to a crew of investors led by businessman Ray Trew. Notts has a debt of £1.5 million and has a Feb. 24 date with the high court to face a winding-up petition, much like Portsmouth, Cardiff and Southend.


Manchester United's Ryan Giggs fractured his right arm Wednesday against Aston Villa and will be out for four crucial weeks. United is in a tight race for the Premier League crown, Champions League play resumes next week, and the Red Devils face Villa in the Carling Cup final on Feb. 28.


Arlo White will be the voice of Seattle Sounders F.C. this season, replacing Seattle sports media personality Kevin Calabro.

White, formerly with the BBC, has called English Premier League games for the last nine years and has also announced five Super Bowls.


The Kansas City Wizards have made a move to acquire Danish Goalie Jimmy Nielsen. The 32-year-old keeper was with Denmark's first-division club Vejle Boldklub. The team released a statement saying that Nielsen will join MLS pending a physical.

The Wizards have not been able to come to terms with incumbent keeper Kevin Hartman, and the team has four other goalies at training camp competing for the starting job including former D.C. United goalie Louis Crayton.


Do you really expect Raul to leave Madrid for the Red Bulls? Think Manchester United can overcome the loss of Giggs? Seattle fans, happy with your new broadcaster? Who do you think will be Kansas City's starting keeper?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. I like how you just assume that the midfield that the Red Bulls had is going to be the one they will have this year. Already the team signed a midfielder and is looking to bring more midfielders.

    To make assumptions during pre-season is the funniest. And more than anything, I really believe that last years crap team had nothing more to do then with Osorio’s lack of having a specific playing style. The team using most of the same players under Ritchie played much better.

  2. NY loves its Spanish league and Raul would pull more people than Henry…

    Raul has said before he wouldn’t mind playing in the US …. as did Fat Ronaldo …. and Beckham …. 1 out of 3 isn’t too bad. ….

    If NY want to do better as a team they should be going after a midfielder like Pavel Nedved, still has another 2-3 years in him at a lesser league, and Sven was trying to pull him into Notts.

  3. I think Hartman has enough in the tank for a couple of years. I wonder what the “negotiation” issues were?

    Probably lowballing him. He doesn’t make $300 K or anything. A good goalie should be worth at least $150 and he is a good goalie.

  4. You are right about Raul not being a name non soccer fans would come to see. I would not even put Henry or Zidane in that category. There is no other David Beckham. He is a crossover media phenom. However, I don’t believe we need to worry about non soccer fans. There are enough soccer fans and I imagine enough RM fan’s in the New York area that bringing Raul would make sense. Even if they did still suck because they have no back line and horrible service to the forwards.

  5. He might help the team out. But Raul would not bring in a significant number of curious, non-soccer fanatics into the arena’s seats. He might be a legend for one of the world’s great teams, but he just doesn’t have the name recognition of Beckham, Zidane, or Henry. To be honest, there are very few names that non-soccer fans would recognize.

  6. So about half the salary cap in NY would be going to only strikers and attacking midfielders/wingers. Meanwhile, their defense is dreadful horrific and they have an inconsistent goalkeeper situation. I just don’t why everyone keeps assuming that spending money=success in MLS. Its also quite frankly amazing that NY continues to make the same errors they have made from year 1. This whole situation reeks of another LA in 2008 situation.

  7. What? The guy is a legend and still has few years of good football in him. I’ll be pleasantly surprised if he comes. Most likely he’ll go to the EPL. If he comes to RB after an EPL stint your comment would be valid.

  8. as a 2nd Dp, about 335k of his salary will go towards the cap. The rest is an unlimited out of pocket expense for RB. They just have to decide how much they want to spend.

    Now the earliest Raul can come(or any other DP that plays in Europe currently) is July 15 which means that 335k cap hit will be prorated per diem. So it will be just under 200k cap hit in 2010 since he’ll miss the first 4 months of the season.

    NY has 1 DP slot empty..vacated(acquired from Chivas for Amado back in 07). Angel occupies the other.

  9. Raul would almost certainly require a DP slot, I’m not sure on the numbers but I don’t think his salary would fit in the salary cap.

  10. Is it possible for the Red Bulls to get both Henry and Raul? If Real Madrid releases Raul would he still take up a DP slot for the Red Bulls?

    Imagine that: Angel, Henry, and Raul all on the same team. Sick.

  11. when DC is in shambles and poised to move to Baltimore and NY has built the sickest stadium + shopping for super stars who still have gas left in the tank you know life is good. 🙂

  12. I think Raul would be a bad move. MLS teams imo should start moving away from mega star players, and going after the lesser known, younger, cheaper foreign players that can still be stars in the league, but can also be flipped for some cash if necessary. I think this is definitely the trend in the league, I just hope NY follows suit

    Juan Toja, Joseph Ngueyna, Christian Gomez, Freddy Montero, the Nyassi family, Marco Pappa, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, and Javier Morales are all guys who came into the league for relatively cheap costs, and became bigger starts than most big name guys that take up salary and space, and don’t do much else

  13. Raul can still play and would be a force. And that said, unless NYRB intend to dump Angel, it would be a really dumb move to acquire him.

    1. The team has a number of issues to address. Having 2 incredible, world-class or near world-class strikers is a way to initially sell tickets. But it’s not a formula for a winning team. If anything, it makes it harder. Unless the new CBA ups the salary cap significantly (unlikely is my guess, I think the players would trade expanded free agency for a cap increase), this means that you plan on having a backline and midfield of guys like Joe Vide. If there’s a lesson from the Houstons of the MLS, it’s that it’s real hard to be successful with 1-2 great players and that it’s really about have a team of mid-salaried guys who are really good, solid players with a couple of young bargains thrown in. It’s hard to win in this league without 16-18 guys who are either starting caliber or capable of starting without lowering the quality of player. And when you devote about a third of your salary cap to just two players, than that means you’re building a really good team just got harder.

    2. Okay, if true, than he wouldn’t be coming until midseason. LAG proved last year that doesn’t have to be a major obstacle to success. But LAG proved the year before that integrating a star player in midseason is tough. Would NYRB be given a partial cap break (I seem to recall LAG was but my memory on that is fuzzy).

    Overall, NYRB would be better off taking the $350K hit by Raul (or would it be $400k?) and devoting it to 3 or 4 solid, proven, MLS players on the backline or midfield. For that kind of money, the team could probably pay for 4 starters (and good, proven starters) at positions where the team has been horrendous. Or they can sign Raul…and then move Kandji to outside mid–yep, that’s the ticket!

  14. I must be missing something. Is JPA out, or does NY have 2 DP slots? Or is the secret about the new CBA is each team gets an extra slot?

  15. Depends on where the break is. While DCU has had a handful of guys play in half casts(Gros,Quaranta) some breaks, even in the wrist require a full cast up above the elbow, making it pretty much impossible to play at the highest level. Another DCU player(Boyzzz) suffered just that fate last year, and couldn’t get back into the mix until he graduated to a half cast.

  16. I see this article says he has a contract through 2011 although I thought I read a while back that Raul has one of those “lifetime contracts” where the following season doesn’t vest unless he plays a certain # of matches in the current season. I may be wrong or maybe next season’s already vested. Not sure

  17. I’d be shocked if Raul came to New York. Isn’t the DP maximum $2 million? That’s only 38,000 a week. That’d be a huge pay cut from what he’s making at Madrid. I just don’t see it happening.

  18. Your not exactly allowed to play if you have a cast on. If it was just a brace it would be fine. But you can’t play with a cast or any kind of metal brace. At least you aren’t suppose to.

  19. Would be great to watch Raul play week in and week out, but like most star play to New York rumors, I won’t believe it until I see him at the press conference holding a Red Bulls jersey.

  20. I’m no medical expert, but why does an outfield player need to miss 4 weeks with a fractured arm? I can see it if Giggs actually needed surgery, but otherwise put a cast on there and play. I usually try to avoid the whole “soccer players are wusses” argument because I think in general they’re pretty tough, but this seems like overkill to me. If a college football player can put a cast on his arm and still play the full game (while actually being REQUIRED to use the arm for tackling) I don’t see the big deal. I assume I must be missing something.

  21. Chelsea was sold a few years back for $1.Of course their debts were in the millions. Bat It is the 1.5 million debt that is the true cost of Notts County.

  22. Maybe, but he only has 1 more year on his contract I believe, and unlike Henry, he is being featured less and less.

    And there may be something to be said for player appreciation on RM’s part.

    Still pretty unlikely though

  23. If you don’t think Raul will leave RM, just look at his playing time. He surely isn’t staying with RM.

    Raul likes the US, and NYC. This makes sense, and RM will not ask for a single dollar for the transfer because Raul has been with them forever. Think of it as respect.

  24. Raul is still under contract. This is pure BS. No way MLS is gonna pay a significant transfer fee and I can’t see him leaving Madrid.

  25. Raul can still play. I wonder if this is just b.s. or if it’s actually true. He could step in and start in any of the top 3 leagues for most of the teams in them. I don’t know whether to believe it yet but it would be a pretty damn good move.


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