Top Stories

Mid-day Ticker: Lichaj signs new Villa deal, Salgado joins Vancouver and more

EricLichaj (AstonVilla) 


American defender Eric Lichaj extended his Aston Villa career on Wednesday, agreeing to a new three-year deal with the Premier League club.

The right back has yet to make an appearance for the first team, completing loan stints with League Two side Lincoln City and League One side Leyton Orient last season. The 21-year-old will hope to impress Villa's interim manager Kevin MacDonald and make his debut for the club when the new season starts this weekend.

Lichaj first signed with Villa in 2007 after his freshman year at UNC.

Here are a few other stories for Wednesday:


For the next three months, recently signed MLS forward Omar Salgado will join USSF D-2 side Vancouver Whitecaps on loan. The Whitecaps, along with the Portland Timbers, are making the transition to MLS in 2011, essentially making this an extended tryout for Salgado. He signed a deal with the league a few weeks ago, and will be available in the 2011 SuperDraft in January — in which the Whitecaps will either pick first or second.

In the meantime, Salgado will get a chance to train and help the Whitecaps finish their second division season in style.


John Rooney, Wayne's younger brother and former League Two player, was in Seattle Tuesday on trial with Sounders FC. The 19-year-old last played for Macclesfield Town FC for the past two seasons.

"He's on trial, we want to see where he's at and what he's like as a player," Schmid told the Seattle times. "He's a player that was brought to our attention and so it seemed like this was a good week because we have a week of training to be able to look at him, and some other guys as well."

Schmid indicated that if Rooney were to impress with Seattle, he would likely go on trial elsewhere, and if the league decided to sign him, he'd could possibly be made available in next year's SuperDraft.


The Socceroos have named their new head coach, grabbing unknown German Holger Osieck as their top man. Osieck was an assistant coach to Franz Beckenbauer when West Germany lifted the World Cup back in 1990. Having previously coached at Urawa Red Diamonds in Japan's J-League, Osieck has the requisite familiarity with the AFC needed to guide Australia. He has also coached the Canadian international team, Fenerbahçe and Vfl Bochum.


Glad to see Lichaj sign a new deal? Think Salgado will stick in Vancouver? Will John Rooney end up in MLS? Heard of Australia's new coach?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Holger Osieck was very successful with Canada, steering the men’s national team to the Gold Cup win in 2000. Wore my “Holger’s Heroes” shirt into rags 🙂 Was very involved in the technical side with the German national team. The Aussies could do worse….

  2. “Unknown Holgier Osieck. Yeah, guy has won the GOld Cup, the Turkish league title, the Japanese league title and was a FIFA technical director for a good part of the last decade.

    Real unknown, there.

  3. Yet somehow Travis seems to think a Gold Cup-winning coach should be considered unknown to a US-based soccer journalist. That’s Grahame Jones lazy…

  4. That being said, I think the guy should go into some sort of lottery if teams want to sign him rather than waiting for the draft.

  5. So I think the issue was the MLS found him, or at least none of the MLS teams put a discovery claim on him, since only a few MLS teams employ international scouts. Anyways, from what I’ve heard the MLS is doing it this way since they scouted him and not some individual team.

  6. Ives don’t you contribute to the gun jumping? You’ve done articles on players and at the end of the article said “think so and so derserves a call up”. You do it even though you think they are underqualified.

    When Franco did the article on Yura and Pittman and their goal scoring at then end put “do you see either having a future with the USMNT”. I know its not you or your staff coming out and saying it but you do put the question out there.

    (SBI-There’s a difference between asking people if they think these guys merit a look some day and other people saying “It’s a crime that Joe Schmoe from England Division Three isn’t already a pool player.” Not sure how asking a question suddenly becomes us convincing people these ultra fringe and off the fringe guys should get looks.

    And if we’re going to ask the question, I’d say YOU have more of a role than anybody because you are the president of the Pittman fan club, providing constant updates about him on SBI’s AA updates even before we did. You seem to love players on the furthest fringest. That’s all well and good, but that also makes it funny to have you of all people say I’m to blame for putting this stuff in people’s heads.)

  7. From the Lichaj article:

    ‘ “Hopefully when I start playing here I can get into the USA team. That would be nice,” Lichaj said.’

    Weird. He understands that if he isn’t playing first team football somewhere he isn’t part of the national team picture.

    I wonder what all the internet ruh-tards (that call for every player under the sun to be starting in the World Cup) know that he doesn’t?

  8. “Because it is almost as bad as the fact that Bradley already calls up underqualified players.”

    Newsflash, skippy…

    93.8% (at least) of our players are “underqualified” for international play.

    The sooner people realize that this isn’t Brazil, Argentina or Spain and we didn’t leave a Cambiasso, Diego or Marco Senna at home, the better off our fanbase will be.

  9. I think they’re wrong about Rooney being drafted.

    Why would John Rooney have to go through the Superdraft when he is a previous professional? Henry and Marquez didn’t get drafted. Why will this kid?

  10. Because it is almost as bad as the fact that Bradley already calls up underqualified players. Just feels like a slap in the face or a cheap shot if you will, especially since you are not even a fan of the team.

  11. This is one big aspect of Don Garber’s plans that is just backwards.

    The rules, as they currently are, actually discourage teams from international scouting and youth academy development.

    Come on, get with the picture. The salary cap will always do its job of keeping parity. Rules like this will do nothing of sort.

  12. I swear info came out that you, Ives, were not a USNats supporter. If I am remembering incorrectly, I am sorry.

    (SBI-Oh, I see what you’re saying, and it’s true I’m not a USA fan (or a fan of any national team, I like to consider myself an impartial journalist) but how does that disqualify me from making a joke about how some people love to jump the gun about calling up underqualified players?)

  13. I have to confess to not fully understanding the MLS’s rules regarding player acquisition, but in terms of incentives, we should WANT teams scouring the globe for suitable and affordable talent. Why invest resources to find an undervalued player, only to have another MLS team scoop him up under some arcane allocation rule or draft him ahead of you in the next SuperDraft. I understand the rationales for many MLS rules – parity and keeping league economics viable by limiting salaries. But I do think the overall quality of the league needs to continue to climb higher in order to drive increasing interest, and to do that MLS needs to attract not only high profile DPs, and develop American players, but also attract good quality non-DP foreigners. Much easier to do that if teams have a strong incentive to root out hidden gems.

  14. It counts against the cap, the advantage is those players aren’t put in a draft or lottery where they can steal away the talent you’ve been working years to develop.

  15. But we don’t work within the confines of the NFL for talent. Football players’ only real options are in NFL. Our real talent have 100s of choices. In order to keep a league competitive and profitable through a good product on the field, you must have good players. And that needs to come from the teams themselves, not the league if we expect any real growth.

    Apples and oranges to the max.

  16. Ives, first, you do not even support the Nats. Secondly, he would only be called up if he played in MLS and had those stats.

    (SBI-Not sure what your first comment means. As for your second comment, I’m pretty sure every MLS striker ever given time has had a decent scoring rate in MLS so even as a joke that one fails.)

  17. My bias is showing, but with the famous Rooney temper and other EPL players with family criminal issues, I first thought from the heading that the younger Rooney was on trial for some crime.

  18. Ives or anyone at SBI have you heard anything about Jemal Johnson’s trial with DC? The guy needs a fresh start but the international signing period ends on Sunday. Is that enough time for him to impress?

    I would love to see him in MLS. The guy has really stagnated in England and IMO stayed there way too long.

  19. lets see, the NFL uses the same system, and has revenues of the EPL, la Liga and Bundesliga combined, and (for the most part) has no bankruptcy problems.
    Players want money and to play for championships that matter. MLS will never have the latter, and will get the former only when revenues grow.

    To grow soccer in the US, you need parity, otherwise you get soccer fans in New York and LA.

  20. Do players brought up from your youth team count against the cap? If not, is the only advantage to having a youth team that you get to reap the benifits without the player going to a draft and potentially another team? If we made it where players brought through your youth set-up didn’t cost against the cap we could have the way out of this salary cap nonsense.

  21. John Rooney scored 3 times in 44 games for a League Two side. That is pathetic, we have YA’s doing better than him.

    (SBI-But if he were American some people would be asking for him to be called up. LOL)

  22. Osciek? Really? Urawa have been pretty mediocre since he took over. He guided them to some good finishes, but their team was stacked and should have at least won a title.

  23. I think he meant rooney ives, and i think he has a point here. How can we get real talent to come over if they could end up anywhere. I don’t think ronaldo would’ve forced his way out of man u if they told him he was just going to be signed by la liga. Point is players need to know exactly where theyll be before they make a decision.

  24. SBI,

    Isn’t he referring to John Rooney and not Salgado?

    (SBI-Yeah, he threw me off when he called Rooney a kid, I saw that and thought he was referring to the Salgado situation.)

  25. It’s about the rich using their resources to uncover talent for the poor.

    It is archaic at this point. It’s not like a rich team can purchase him at any price and give him $1,000,000 a year in salary costs, outside being a DP.

    It’s a terrible system that the league has gotten beyond. It’s a way to keep power in the league and not in the teams. It’s communism baby : )

  26. Oh well, Patrick is tired of it. Let’s make some changes…

    Parity, Patrick. The whole system is built to keep rich teams from buying up the talent and dominating the poor teams. That is the difference between MLS and many other leagues worldwide.

    Who is your MLS team, by the way?

  27. I’m really getting tired of the MLS and their ridiculous allocations, draft, lotteries etc. If Seattle brough him in for a trial, and likes him, why can’t they sign him? Why not put a discovery claim in on the kid, or some other archaic process MLS has in place. I don’t understand how he is any different than say, anyone else brought into the MLS this year. No wonder talent doesn’t want to come here, they won’t even have a say in where they go! And we expect the kid to hang around with no contract until NEXT season?

    (SBI-My bad Patrick, when you called Rooney a “kid” it made me think you were referring to Salgado. In that case, I agree with you completely.)

  28. Thank you Jesus! Right when it looked like Spector may not be salvagable any more at RB, we have a quality up and comer making his way through the ranks.


Leave a Comment