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MLS Ticker: Cahill linked to UAE’s Al Wahda; D.C. United could loan players from Inter Milan; and more

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Photo by Denny Medley/USA Today Sports


Tim Cahill is currently representing Australia on the international stage, but the New York Red Bulls Designated Player is reportedly close to making a change on the club level.

The National reported on Monday that the Australian forward has agreed to a tentative deal with United Arab Emirates club Al Wahda, with the two sides hoping to reach a formal agreement at the conclusion of the Asia Cup.

Cahill made 29 total appearances in 2014 for the Red Bulls, although the 35-year-old was used mostly as a substitute toward the end of the season. Currently in Australia for the Asia Cup, Cahill, who has scored three goals in the competition, is set to lead the Socceroos against UAE on Monday in the competition’s second semifinal matchup.

Here are some more of of Monday’s MLS news and notes:


Erik Thohir maintains an ownership stake in both D.C. United and Inter Milan, and the Indonesian businessman is hoping to use that power to bring some of the Italian club’s best prospects stateside.

As majority owner of both clubs, Thohir, expecting a raise in the MLS salary cap, is hoping to bolster D.C. United’s squad with a few Inter imports in a move that the owner believes will benefit both clubs.

“There are possibilities to send Inter players to help D.C., maybe some hot prospect youngsters to help them get minutes,” Thohir said, according to Goal. “It will be a great opportunity to play in a big league like MLS.

“I think this year the salary cap will be raised, while Designated Players will remain the same,” Thohir said. “MLS is getting better day by day, with many major European clubs investing, like Manchester City with New York.”

While Thohir hopes to add some Serie A talent to D.C. United’s roster, the owner also believes in his current group and is excited to see the squad’s development in 2015.

“It’s not like in Europe because we have a salary cap,” Thohir said. “We have a solid team, and three of our players received call-ups from the U.S. national team: Bill Hamid, Steve Birnbaum and Perry Kitchen. We also have great players like Fabian Espindola, Sean Franklin, Bobby Boswell. Now it’s all about how to improve them, because they are solid.”


Toronto FC has taken major steps to improve the team’s attack through the signings of Jozy Altidore and Sebastian Giovinco. With the prospect of scoring goals apparently sorted out, TFC took the opportunity to bolster the backline with a defensive signing.

The club announced the addition of the Polish international defender Damien Perquison on Monday. The 30-year-old center back joins TFC after two-and-a-half seasons with Spain’s Real Betis, for whom he made 47 appearances and scored two goals.

“Damien’s signing addresses an area we wanted to improve upon this offseason. His experience and leadership both at club and international level will be a welcomed addition to our team,” said TFC general manager Tim Bezbatchenko. “Damien has a great defensive sense and will provide an upside on the ball with his strong distribution from the back. We are very excited to bring him to Toronto FC.”

Perquis, who represented France on the youth level, has earned 13 caps for the Polish national team, including three at Euro 2012. Prior to joining Real Betis in 2012, Perquis featured for French clubs AS Saint-Etienne and Sochaux.


Matt Miazga’s travels will see the New York Red Bulls center back make a quick pit stop in Qatar

Miazga is reportedly headed to Qatar for a training stint with the Red Bulls’ sister club, RB Leipzig. Miazaga will reportedly train with the 2. Bundesliga club for a few days and has not been loaned in or bought by the German club.

Miazga is coming off a successful U-20 World Cup qualifying campaign in Jamaica with the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team, anchoring the U.S. defense on the way to a playoff victory over El Salvador. On the club level, Miazga made seven appearances for the Red Bulls last season, his first full-time campaign in MLS.


What do you think of the potential move for Cahill? What players would you like to see D.C. United add from Inter? How will Perquis fit in with TFC?

Share your thoughts below.


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  2. what is ‘major league’?

    To me, major league means “i can quit my full time job and support myself and my family playing soccer in this league.” To me, “minor league” means “i earn some money, but not enough to suit my full time job. I’m semi-pro.”

    To me, has nothing to do with quality, strictly speaking, although of course quality is implied.

    • the last thing i’ll say. and that’s why i don’t like to hear this crap come CBA time about players in mls earning $15,000 a year. that’s crap. you can’t support yourself on that money, let alone support a family. it doesn’t fit the definition of major league if players are paid so low; it’s semi-pro (the player will need another source of income to survive)

  3. dcu /inter loans: +1
    mls 2022 top league: losers complain; people i respect set has set some goals so +1
    miazga: it’s not important. not a league-wide trend, just rb doing their thing.

  4. Perhaps I am stuck in the past, but I still believe that MLS’s best plan is to be about building soccer in the USA, expanding the market for professional soccer, providing playing opportunities for American players and contributing to a better US national team. In most countries, the national association sets such goals and has been able, more or less, to get the principal national league to aim at them. (The English FA is a major exception, which is unfortunate since the Premiership is the foreign league most Americans are familiar with. Then again, the English FA has announced plans to have the Premiership and the Football League try harder in these areas.)
    From my perspective, therefore, importing a lot of foreigners, paying a few players a lot more money (i.e. designated players) and now it appears borrowing lots of players from European clubs detract from MLS’s real goals. MLS ought to adopt rules that count everyone not eligible for the US national team as a foreigner and that limit the number of foreigners on MLS teams. It ought to raise the salary cap and minimum salaries, but apply the salary cap to all players (that is no more designated players). USSF should push harder to organize the lower divisions properly and build meaningful relationships between MLS and the other divisions — if for no other reason than to provide more playing opportunities for American players.
    Finally, if anyone thinks that borrowing lots of players from a bigger foreign club is the path to fame and fortune, they should consider the experience of Watford.

  5. Red bull will be sold in less than 5 years, but they have to increase their value then sell 🙂 (we all know that’s how it works) I’m surprised SBI hasn’t mention that chivas Mexico is for sale and asking for 900 million dollars, compared to nyrb is asking for 250 million.
    For Cahill, get the F out if MLS,you were just here to play along Henry and not be a team leader. Hopefully red bull is sold and gets the name New York empire or empire metro stars before Atlanta chooses empire for their team name.
    Oh and dc united, you guys deserve a top notch owner, who will buy you dps and not get top talent loan players. Ridiculous that dc united doesn’t get top dps, they should be the galaxy of the west coast.

      • I meant to say, dc united should and has to be he galaxy of the east coast. Hopefully with their new stadium and more money and a USLPro team, dc united can be the east coast galaxy.

    • For Cahill, get the F out if MLS,you were just here to play along Henry and not be a team leader.

      That’s a bit harsh. From what I recall, Cahill came in and had a good attitude throughout his tenure here. Results were questionable but effort was never question.

      • Cahill is another jozy but jozy understands what he’s here for and he will have to score no matter what. You can also say, Cahill is another chicharito which they just run after the ball like a kid.
        So if Cahill played in MLS, and jozy is back, why wouldn’t chicharito come to MLS like nycfc or red bull.

    • Huh? Garber has always spoken on behalf of the owners (the big money; the ones who actually make the decisions). Garber is basically a figurehead, so why he would be “jumping the shark”, as you say, is beyond me.

  6. Why would a European team loan a player to DCU in order to get minutes? No one in Europe thinks MLS is a quality alternative to any of the major European leagues, first or second division. Until that perception changes, Thorir is just dreaming. Maybe they send a guy over to play minutes in the summer (like the Caribbean and Mexican baseball leagues for borderline MLB players), but that’s the extent of it.

    • “No one in Europe thinks MLS is a quality alternative to any of the major European leagues, first or second division.”

      strong take. source for that?

      also, you may be surprised to hear this, but sometimes money comes into play here.

      for instance, if inter were to loan dcu a player, and that player was a good contributor, i would bet that dc fans might follow inter a little more closely than before, increasing inter’s marketability.

      likewise, if that player, along with others, went back to inter and was successful there, and dcu showed a pattern of developing players for inter, i’d be willing to bet that inter fans would show a little more interest in dcu, increasing dcu’s marketability.

      it only helps that thohir is the man with the money on both sides.

    • “No one in Europe thinks MLS is a quality alternative to any of the major European leagues, first or second division.” I’m afraid that may be true pre-Beckham era, but this 2015 MLS offseason has defeated that notion for good. You have Sebastian Giovinco’s agent defending the move to Toronto. Not only that, but take a look at Shaun Maloney’s move to Chicago. Maloney is a starting player for Scotland. Scotland’s assistant coach Mark McGhee has stated MLS is the same level as the Championship and it will not change Maloney’s standing in the national team.

      • and to expand on that…

        Conte has publicly supported Giovinco’s move to MLS and Ciman said MLS is no weaker than the league in Belgium and so he does not expect his international role change.

  7. So RB Leipzig is going to fly Miazga halfway around the world, fatigued after a 3-week long tournament, for roughly 3 days of training – at the same time that RBNY is also training, but it’s just a “training stint?” Huh?

    How come the “farm team” trolls aren’t all over RB Leipzig calling up a player from the RBNY farm team? Or are they too tired from beating the drum about City?

  8. So how about this situation-
    Sunderland gets relegated and sends a few of their better players to DC, in an attempt to keep them on the roster until promotion.
    Inter loans out some fringe players to stay game fit in case of 1st team injuries.
    With our current roster and the depth and quality these moves could provide, Id think it would provide for two very positive relationships, if these are even possible/legal.

  9. Did I miss something? Isn’t Cahill still under contract with RBNY, or MLS, or whomever?

    I’m also puzzled, and nervous, about Miazga’s training with RB Leipzig. Wouldn’t his time be better spent with his own teammates? Is this just a “look-see” that will lead to a transfer?

    Is all this part of Ali Curtis’s super-sophisticated master plan?

    • no matter the spin, there is no doubt this is a trial that could lead to a transfer. otherwise i don’t see the point to do it.

      • I agree. He just finished up with the U-20s and training camp is about to start. Makes no sense for him to jet off to Qatar to train.

    • Cahill has a year left on his deal but I think they are working out a move for him. I doubt we’ll see him in a Red Bulls uniform again. The Miazga thing is weird, considering RBNY is kicking off preseason training today or tomorrow. He had a decent U-20 tournament but last year he didn’t exactly look 2.Bundesliga ready. However, just like NYCFC ownership will always act in the best interest of Man City first, RB ownership will act in the best interest of Leipzig because that team is now the priority.

  10. Erik Thohir maintains an ownership stake in both D.C. United and Inter Milan, and the Indonesian businessman is hoping to use that power to bring some of the Italian club’s best prospects stateside.

    When these partnerships started popping up (Colorado/Arsenal, San Jose/Tottenham, RSL/Real Madrid) I had wondered if/when this would start happening. Personally, I’m glad to see it and hope it becomes a trend but I’m wondering if Garber is a fan of clubs signing temporary players on loan without the opportunity to purchase.

    • I thought that DCU also had a formal partnership recently established with Sunderland (not just club owners between multiple teams). This type of partnership seems more beneficial than a shallow PR move with an EPL team. More marketable to be bringing in fashoinable Euro prospects than training techniques or whatever the heck the partnership with Sunderland is supposed to bring. Any other insight on this stuff?

      • the partnership with sunderland is mostly about cross-marketing, and yeah, i don’t know how well that will work out for dcu. not sure there’s too many sunderland fans who will watch mls games just because their team is financially associated.

        however, there are reports (just today) that sunderland’s leadership is looking into ways to help dcu finance their proposed stadium. that seems like a tangible benefit i can get behind.

      • hell, if they paid for the whole thing, they could name it the “we hate you jozy” stadium, and i wouldn’t care.

    • Personally, I think MLS can and should aspire to be more than a minor league for European teams. The goal should be to make MLS as good as those leagues, if not better. I’m talking as a long-term, way down the road goal. I’m not sure where providing a development opportunity for European teams’ young players fits in that process.

      • I think this will be Garber’s assessment as well, and I do understand it. However, I do think it has merit on improving the league, it’s relationships within the soccer community and it’s growth as a destination for players.

        It’s an “if”, but if these players being brought in on loan are of high quality that only improves practice sessions, matches and product quality on the pitch. If…of course these players are worth it.

      • It seems to me that MLS has become THE premier showcase/retirement league already as well as a suction pump for American talent. If it also becomes a developmental league for top European sides, than you have to say the talent level will start approaching that of teams where these guys are otherwise loaned out – like lesser European sides in the top leagues…

        I think this is all very positive. We have seen some MLS players go to Europe and do well, we have seen top quality foreign talent come into MLS and tank miserably. We have also seen the opposite effect in both cases.

      • i don’t see it as being much different than a team like Real Madrid loaning youth players across many Europeans teams. Casemiro on loan to Porto and Cheryshev on loan to Villarreal being examples…among others. those teams benefit from having elite youth players and are strong teams, in strong leagues. Villarreal certainly isn’t complaining about having Cheryshev.

        i think the trend shows these European teams are finally realizing MLS is a solid league and that their players would be smart to come on loan. it might also help change any perceptions the players themselves have about MLS. they may be more open to a transfer to MLS after a successful loan. it’s tough to say, and i think we’ll see negatives and positives, but as a whole, i think it’s an ok thing.

      • I find it curious that so many are against so much that happens in MLS, because they think we should be the best. Very little in life goes from worst to first without some steps in between. The fact that the “big leagues” now think that MLS can help develop their young talent is a step in the right direction. The next step is that young talent stays in MLS as it matures.

    • “I’m wondering if Garber is a fan of clubs signing temporary players on loan without the opportunity to purchase.”

      yeah, i was pretty sure mls didn’t allow any ‘import’ loans without an option to sign, which is probably why what thohir is proposing hasn’t happened yet.

      pretty sure garber and slowleftarm agree that top teams using mls as a minor league system isn’t the way forward.

      • I think that’s a complex Americans need to get past and something we shot ourselves in the foot calling the league “Major” League Soccer. Whether defined as “minor league” or “major league” we have to be realistic about our place in this game. It’s not to say we can’t have aspirations, but declarations that we’re going to be a top league by 2022, with our current structure, appears to be is naive if I’m being polite.

        We’re a growing league and as a layman, one of the ways forward is by improving the product. Better players playing in MLS is a way forward for my money. I understand the other side of the debate, but I disagree with it vehemently.

      • a lot of good comments about a tricky situation here. just got to say that its not something to aspire to or something that will ultimately make soccer a top sport in the U.S. but for the time being playing a development affiliate for Man City, Inter, etc. isn’t a bad place to be.

        Imagine the entire club football food chain here; we are leagues below these guys in terms of coaching, development and talent. Brushing with these players, coaches, etc can only be a good thing.

        id repeal the “loan with option to purchase” rule and enjoy the fact that the world’s future superstars might be playing a year or two in MLS.

      • It’s a very common complex for us Americans – we’re so used to having the top echelon in many sports. But I believe “Major” is there not because of the quality (many Internet trolls, “get off my lawn” boomers, and Ann Coulters point this out), but because it’s the top division of soccer in the United States.

        I agree – top league by 2022 is incredibly naive and a victim of tunnel vision. MLS is not even in the top 10 right now. I can’t imagine in 7 years that MLS is primary league of choice. Not because the quality won’t be there – but because it’s common of soccer fans all over the world to be a fan of more than one league (unless you’re English living in England and never having stepping outside of England either literally or figuratively). Instead of top league, why not aspire to be on the same level as J-League, Liga MX, or even Ligue 1 by 2022?

      • I think “top league” is a little vague and I don’t think Garber means “the best league in the world” by 2022. That’s obviously not happening. But if MLS could get to Ligue 1’s level by that time that would be amazing. I actually don’t think that’s realistic, considering Ligue 1 is probably the fifth best league in the world at the moment, but there’s no problem with having ambitious goals. More realistic is to eventually become the best league in the world outside of Europe. That can be done sooner I think though there’s still a long way to go.

        I think anything that increases the quality of play in MLS is generally a good thing though.

      • It’s not going to happen by 2022 – we are still two CBA’s and another big bump in TV revenue away from making the next step.

        I could see it happen after the TV contract runs out and gets sold for at least $400mil/yr. from the $70mil/yr. this time around (current EPL is $1.5bil/year, NFL $3bil/yr).

        With this the CBA’s need to grow the salary cap to $20mil while still holding on to DP’s so that teams can still have the option of getting a $20mil player.

      • no, i agree with you:

        if mls was already where garber wanted it to be in terms of exposure (both domestic and internationally), then yeah, i can see being worried about possibly exchanging long-term stability for the short-term boosts that loaned players would provide.

        but mls, while growing, isn’t even close to that point yet. improving the product will help us get there, though.

      • Yup. The main thing – the biggest thing – that MLS is trying to do, which is new, is to become a parity-driven league. Nobody else in the world has achieved – or really even aspired – to that, and IMHO they’ve paid a steep price.

        I don’t think it does the Spanish league any good whatsoever to have Real Madrid and Barca dominate year in and year out and buy everyone else’s elite players. Once you get past those teams, and maybe the next 2-3 after that, how good is La Liga really? Or the EPL once you get past the top 7-8 teams? The bottom half of the EPL is just glorified Championship teams that drop in and out of the table but ultimately can’t compete – either because they way overspent to get there and couldn’t sustain it, or because they had a bunch of good young players that the big dogs then buy…and see ya in another fifteen years, back to the minors for you, Burnley or Nottingham…and God help you, Pompey, because you’re so leveraged even double administration couldn’t save your club.

        We’re trying to bring an NFL mentality to MLS, and raising the tide for all boats is much harder than just letting LA Galaxy, New York, and Seattle bring in 20 foreign mercenaries at a $50+ million payroll and curb-stomping the smaller-market teams. We could have teams already that were as good as the top EPL teams…but would we have a healthy league? The old NASL tried that and imploded.

        MLS will succeed not just because the big-money teams are drawing fans, but because Columbus and Salt Lake City and Portland and Kansas City are drawing fans…and it’ll keep growing because prospective owners in San Antonio and St. Louis and Minneapolis and a dozen other cities see that they can field profitable, competitive franchises that can’t be simply outspent by the big-market teams.

        Over the short term it hamstrings us. Over the long term I think every league in Europe will peer enviously at our competitive balance and overall level of play – and profitability – and wonder how they can achieve that themselves. And they can’t – because their leagues weren’t built that way to begin with.

    • Fear not. It’s hard to see how DC United can make this happen. They have 2 open international slots and are looking at Sean St. Ledger for CB, while 2 of 3 trialists for the 3rd goalie slot are from abroad.


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