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Tuesday Kickoff: Drogba turns down deal, Zambrano to coach in Colombia & more

Drogba (Getty Images)

Let the Didier Drobga sweepstakes begin.

Drogba's agent said that the player has rejected a one-year contract extension from Chelsea and is prepared to go wherever he is offered the most money. Drogba's contract with Chelsea expires this summer, when he would be able to leave on a free transfer.

Drogba's name has been floated around in MLS circles for the last year as a potential Designated Player signing, and his agent, Thierno Seydi, singled out the Los Angeles Galaxy as a potential destination (which would be possible if David Beckham does not return) while also adding that clubs in Russia and Qatar are possibilities as well.

Here are a few more stories to get your Tuesday going:


Octavio Zambrano appears to be returning to the sidelines as a head coach.

Zambrano, the former Los Angeles Galaxy and New York/New Jersey MetroStars head coach, will be the new head coach at Deportivo Pereira in Colombia, according to multiple reports.

The 53-year-old Zambrano was most recently an assistant to Peter Vermes at Sporting Kansas City.


Sporting Kansas City made headlines Monday for dealing Davy Arnaud to Montreal to bring back defender Seth Sinovic, but the club made another move to reinforce its defense by locking up goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen for the long haul.

Nielsen signed an extension with SKC that will keep him between the posts at Livestrong Sporting Park through 2013. The deal also has an option for 2014.

Nielsen has proven to be one of the better shot-stoppers in MLS since coming to the league in 2010 after leaving Vejle BK in his native Denmark.


Veteran MLS defender Kevin Goldthwaite retired on Monday, calling it quits on a seven-year career.

The 28-year-old Goldthwaite endured a number of injuries over the last few years, including a season-ending knee injury this past July. The centerback spent time with the San Jose Earthquakes/Houston Dynamo franchise, Toronto FC, New York and Portland in his MLS career.

Goldthwaite was one of seven players to have contract options declined by the Timbers, joining Adin Brown, Brian Umony, Spencer Thompson, Peter Lowry, Ryan Pore and Rodrigo Lopez.


Where do you see Drobga ending up? Think his agent is just trying to manufacture a big payday? What do you make of Zambrano leaving SKC? Like that Nielsen is staying put? What do you make of the Timbers' moves?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. thèse Argentine and brazilian players land here because lack of playing time or other reasons, a guy in his 30’s like javier morales was average in argentina’s league and juninho from the galaxy just dint make the roster for sau paulo. most of these foreign players are average at best in their domestic leagues.and their isn’t that much young talent in the USA, only a handful of decent prospects.Well, i’ll prove my point when Mexico’s much more talented U-23 side beats us to pieces in Olympic qualifying next year, heck our U-20 side couldn’t even beat Gauatemala

  2. mediocre retirement league?

    It’s not the same league it was 6 yrs ago. Brazilians and Argentines are now coming here to play. Mexico has benefited from these types as well. There are plenty of good, young players in the league that are learning from the experienced DP’s…..
    See LA Galaxy

  3. wrong, we need to develop players with those million that are being wasted on DPs…I guess you like seeing old close to retirement players dominating a mediocre retirement league league…just look at Brazil and Argentina, hell Mexico gave it a shot and they got two u-17 world cups and a 3rd place finish in the u-20 WC and a very good generation of players coming up thanks to development.

  4. It may be that MLS scouts can spot talent but can’t compete with European clubs.

    Why would the best of the young South American players come to MLS?

    Does MLS have a tradition of developing young South American talent and then sending them on to big money Euro clubs like the leagues in France, Holland and Belgium do? Yes or no? If you are the next Messi, Forlan or Suarez what earthly reason do you have to delay your development by playing for a league with a different schedule and a comparativley low profile in Europe that may not pay you all that much?

  5. Using your example, if Drogba played two years in Russia (for example) that’s $12 million he would be leaving on the table.

    I’ll bet most people would risk those six factors you cited for two years of their life, if 12 million was the reward.

    If he is as smart as I think he is that 12 million difference alone could last him the rest of his life. And of course, it’s not like he has to be in Russia for every day of the two years. 12 million buys you a lot of plane tickets.

    And, as other people have pointed out, he may have another reason for that extra money besides lining his pockets or buying SBI t- shirts.

  6. Fabian Espindola got 10 goals and apparently cost $75k, so Drogba probably isn’t the only source for 10 goals in a season, nor the most cost effective.

    Drogba has been a hell of a player, but effectively saying, “I’ve got nothing left to play for or proven” isn’t someone I’d want on my team.

  7. Things must be rough in your town if you’d rather live in Russia.

    I don’t mean to paint with a broad brush – Russia’s big and I’m sure there are some idyllic spots – but Dagestan ain’t no Shangri-La.

  8. Oh Poo, you’ve done it again.

    “worth as much in LA as Robbie Keane is, and he got a good paycheck.”

    so you actually think Drogba’s definition of “available to the highest bidder” and the definition of “acceptable to Robbie Keane’s bankbook” are hat close, eh?

    “I would have to believe that LA is a more desirable destination than Russia or Qatar…”

    Clearly you’ve never been to Dubai or Moscow. Different strokes for different folks. But the living is as easy there as it is in LA.

  9. 30+ Drogba to MLS…why? no more old players please MLS…It says a lot when a team wins a championship with two over 30(age) DPs leading the way. We need young talent to gain credibility, not old wash-up players.

  10. my guess is that a lot of top latin players would hold out for a european team instead of jump to MLS. If players like Freddy Montero, Juninho or Rosales consistantly got big transfers into Euro clubs after spending a year or 2 here then it would be a different story

  11. Drogba’s agent is just doing his job, shaking the trees to see what kind of offers he will get. Could be he just wants more than a one year deal from Chelsea (if he doesn’t need to prove anything more as a player, Chelsea may turn out to be a fine option). Agents love to play the Oil Money and MLS cards. Best thing to ever happen to them.

  12. And hands down, LA is a better place to live than Russia or Qatar. Hmm, beaches and freedom vs. sh!t weather and corrupt government. Tough one.

  13. The Keane comparison is problematic because Keano didn’t have rich @$$ clubs knocking at his door to inflate his price. He’s among the highest paid in MLS, but he wouldn’t fetch much outside North America. Drogba, on the other hand, is still very much in demand.

    You’re probably right about Drogba having more name recognition than Keane. I guess it’s a cost-benefit analysis like anything else. Would the value added by Drogba’s presence be worth his pay?

  14. i disagree, i see a lot of drogba jerseys around and i feel like he would be a “must see” in MLS, at least as much as Robbie Keene is.

    LA, Chicago, NY whoever has the money it would be great signing!

  15. My guess is they do. But how can they compete with EPL scouts? It’s also probable that they (the player and agent) know how good they are and hold out for a bigger league.

    Either way, I agree with the overall idea that MLS teams need to focus more on finding this kind of talent.

  16. I doubt he ends up in LA because Beckham isn’t going anywhere. I think the only other real option is Montreal, but who knows if they can offer him the money he wants. Especially when they are entertaining Anelka and Materazzi.

    Drogba, Anelka, Materazzi, Del Piero and Seedorf are real possibilities for next season. Even Ronaldinho rumors are surfacing again, although I think the reports that he is staying at Flamengo are true.

  17. Selfishly, this disappoints me big time – I think Drogba still has a good amount of top flight soccer left in him (the takedown/touch in the build of to the Mata goal vs. Wolves last sat, was absolutely outrageous)

    I think the Torres presence in the squad has hurt Drogba – the fact that they do not feature together/the pressure for Torres to appear and “get going” . . . when Drogba is on, and battling in a big game, there is no better mix of brute force and technical detail for me.

    Disappointed that he will end things with a money grab in the desert.

  18. When you are already loaded, it sounds bad for the size of the paycheck to be the only factor in your decision. There are many reasons to accept a $6 million/yr deal in the U.S. over a $12 million/yr deal in Russia (for example).

    Just in case you ask:

    1. Security
    2. Less racial abuse
    3. Much better weather
    4. More jersey sales
    5. Infrastructure
    6. Less corruption

  19. agreed. wanting to get paid and having a work ethic are not mutually exclusive. it confuses me sometimes when people think that when athletes want to get paid it is somehow evidence of a character flaw.

  20. It would seem to me that if Beckham leaves, LA would be better off investing in a playmaking midfielder, since they would still have Keane and Donovan as attacking players.

    However, if Drogba is just looking for the highest bidder, regardless of league or location, he probably won’t end up in MLS anyhow. I don’t think MLS could or should compete with some of the money likely to be offered elsewhere.

  21. I just hope MLS put priority in getting young talent from South America. Stop bringing has been players . Not saying this about Drogba, he would be great, But Del Piero? we need young talent from S America, For Example; guys like Franco Di Santo a relatively unknown Argentinean forward who was playing in Audax Italiano of the Chilean league (mid table team) got picked by Wigan, he’s in his early twenties and scoring a lot of goals in the Prem League. Why doesn’t MLS have guys who can spot talent like this????

  22. I’d Disagree. I would say his name recall is worth as much in LA as Robbie Keane is, and he got a good paycheck.

    Lets not forget, Drogba has been getting very high exposure over the last several years here in the US – chelsea PL games are on all the time, plus champions league.

    I would have to believe that LA is a more desirable destination than Russia or Qatar…Drogba has spent time in LA before with Chelsea in preseason.

  23. He’s following the Samuel Eto’O model and I don’t blame him one bit. Actually, if he played for Anzhi, he could still end up at the Galaxy in the summer on a loan deal when the Russian season is on their brief summer break and yes if I ran the Galaxy, I’d take that deal in a heartbeat. Biz side is he’d help put lots of asses in seats and sell more than a few strips not to mention finally help pull in more Ex-Pats from various African countries. No brainer but I’d be shocked and happy to see him wearing an MLS strip next summer. Anzhi has GDP money.

  24. I can’t believe Seedorf is only 35. Figured he was near 40 by now he’s been around so long.

    I can’t see him lasting more than a year in MLS though even how good of shape he’s in. His legs will be pretty heavy after a year here

  25. I was hoping we’d deal you Ricketts and take Agudelo off your hands. Rost isn’t coming back, right? And Agudelo is keeping the bench warm.

    Wishful thinking.

  26. Hi, this is the reality police speaking. The only way any of us will see Droba on a North American pitch in 2012 is if Anzhi or some Qatari upstart visits on an American preseason tour.

    AEG has deep pockets, but not oil magnate-deep. In all likelihood, Drogba will go to a club that pays him MORE than his current 130,000 GBP per week salary because Didier Drogba is a brand that sells in Europe, Asia, Africa, maybe even South America, but not North America. He simply lacks the name recognition in this market to be worth the prohibitively high investment.

  27. I’ve never understood this criticism. What evidence is there that drogba (or any other so-called mercenary) doesn’t have a tremendous work ethic?

    You don’t get to be a top goal scorer in the world without investing an absurd amount of time and effort in your craft.

  28. +1 I laughed at this one too: “Once you are well into your thirties you have to go to a club where you can be certain you’ll be able to pay your bills.” ?!

    WTF does that mean? Is Didier broke or something? I like him as a player but I want a player with work ethic, and pride for the team. I am happy with what I have seen with Robbie Keane. He didn’t just come to get a check.

  29. “At Didier’s age, he has nothing left to prove as a player. He will go where he is offered the most money.” Yeah, that’s a player I want on my team…


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