Category Archives: Rumor Mill

The National is as impatient as me with Clint Dempsey’s possible transfer

By Kevin Koczwara

Can we all agree that Clint Dempsey, Fulham and whoever else is involved in transfer rumors end this long, over done, holy crap it should have happened already saga? There have been reports that he could go to Liverpool, and probably will, before the summer is over. But things aren’t progressing on any front outside of transfer price tags being tossed out there. More speculation was recently created because Dempsey decided to stay home with his dog and family instead of going with the rest of the team to preseason training in Switzerland.

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Darren Bent move to Aston Villa could leave Sunderland lacking attacking punch

Darren Bent's proposed move to Astonv Villa would be his fourth transfer in England. (Courtesy Vic. T.)

By Ryan Fleming

If rumors of Sunderland’s and Darren Bent’s demise … I mean, change of paths are true, then I am utterly confused – sort of. After handing in a written request to manager Steven Bruce, Bent showed his desire at moving away from the Stadium of Light and on to bigger and better things. Really? Not quite.

Aston Villa have reported offered somewhere between £18 million and £24 million for the England international. The move makes complete sense for Villa, a team struggling against relegation zone and are as inconsistent as weather in New England. With the move for Bent, Villa are showing, to its supporters at least, that the team’s dedication to success can no longer be questioned and the fight not only against relegation, but to make an impression in the second half of the season, is on.

In regards to Sunderland, the move really doesn’t make much sense at least in the short term. Despite being managed by one of the best in the English Premier League, Bruce’s side has also struggled with inconsistency, especially as of late. Sunderland were embarrassingly shown the door out of the FA Cup by League One side, Notts County, after defeating Blackburn 3-0 and Villa 1-0.

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Omar Cummings deserves chance at Aston Villa on loan to prove himself

Aston Villa is in search of a dynamic player that can ease the pain off of Gerard Houllier's injury plagued squad for the second half of the season. Omar Cummings of the Colorado Rapids could be just the type of player Houllier is looking for. (Courtesy Ben Sutherland)

By Kevin Koczwara

Aston Villa fans haven’t had much to cheer for this season. Former boss Martin O’Neil resigned a few weeks before the season started. James Milner sold his soul to the devil, Manchester City, after being the team’s brightest spark last year. Injuries have rampaged through the squad and tested a young and inexperienced bench from the start. Now, Villa sits just two points from the drop zone and a desperate need to turn things around.

With a desperate need for goals, Villa boss Gerard Houllier may look to Major League Soccer for a short-term answer if transfer funds are tight this January. It is believed that Houllier is interested in signing a short-term loan deal for Colorado Rapids forward Omar Cummings if the two teams can agree on a deal. Houllier will look for Cummings to bring some pace into his slogging squad that has been hampered by injuries to players like Ashley Young.

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Anelka and Ibrahimovic arrivals would boost MLS reputation

By Kevin Koczwara

Nicolas Anelka said he would like to play in the MLS once his contract expires at Chelsea in 2012. (Courtesy Jay Meydad)

By Kevin Koczwara

Nicolas Anelka and Zlatan Ibrahimovic won’t be the youngest studs on the ranch when they decide to move the Major League Soccer. Anelka will be 33 in 2012, when his contract at Chelsea expires, and he expects there to be suitors in America to pick up his big salary desire and a more competitive league in the MLS by then. Ibrahimovic will be 33 as well when his contract expires with AC Milan – his sixth club –and he decides to plunge into the American soccer market.

With all the rumors swirling about layers like Ibrahimovic and Anelka moving to the MLS one has to wonder: is the MLS becoming a last stop on the professional soccer express? Yes. Is that a bad thing? No.

Americans want brand name everything — that’s not a secret — and as of right now, the MLS can’t afford brand name soccer players with its narrow budget. It just isn’t possible. So, we will have to live with the alternative: soccer stars in the dwindling pinnacle of their careers.

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Ljundberg signing exemplifies Celtic's recent struggles

Freddie Ljundberg could find his way out of the MLS after two forgettable seasons with a move to Scottish Premier League team Celtic. (Courtesy John Goodwin)

By Ryan Fleming

For the last two years things around Parkhead, in Glasgow, Scotland, have been a period to forget for the Celtic faithful – save for the loan spell of Robbie Keane.

An utterly dismal time during the reign of Tony Mowbray, capitalized by a boatload of useless signings that his successor, Neil Lennon, shipped out were of the lowest points.

Lennon followed up by picking up some “talent” whose purpose was to ascertain the team’s place in the Champions League or Europa League. Well, guess not. Celtic crashed, fumbled, or however you want to describe it, out of all European play.

Now with less than a week before the opening of the January transfer window, and Celtic are on the path again for more pointless signings. Signs, at least to the fans stand points are all pointing down.

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Ronaldinho to MLS Makes Sense, But Why Not New York

Ronaldinho was one of the 2000's most famous player. The Brazilian winger set crowds into a frenzy with his foot-skill and ability, but he hasn't been in the limelight for a while now and a move to the Los Angeles Galaxy has been rumored. (Courtesy Reto Stauffer)

By Kevin Koczwara

The Los Angeles Galaxy have come close to winning the MLS Cup the last two years. In 2009, the Galaxy lost in a shootout in the MLS Cup Final to Real Salt Lake. In 2010, the Galaxy were upset by FC Dallas in the quarter-finals of the Cup playoffs after dominating the regular season and winning the Community Shield – given out to the team with the best regular season record in Major League Soccer.

Los Angeles claimed much of, if not all of, the prime-time television slots the MLS owned this year because the team has the league’s most recognizable faces, David Beckham and Landon Donovan and one of best overall attendance record of any team. The Galaxy had the away average attendance and second best home attendance numbers, (Home: 21,436; Away 18,522) thanks to the team’s high profile players and its winning ways.

Galaxy owner Philip Anschutz and his holding company AEG, Anschutz Entertainment Group, have not shied away from splashing cash around for big-name players and top of the line talent. Anschutz wanted Landon Donovan, he got him. Anshutz wanted to bring in Beckham to boost ticket sales and make the Galaxy the most dominant brand in the MLS. He did it immediately after the MLS introduced the Designated Player rule, aka the “Beckham Rule.”

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Top Transfers of the Summer, So Far

By Kevin Koczwara

David Villa — Before the World Cup Barcelona made one of the biggest splashes in the transfer market of the summer. Villa’s move to Barcelona could be the best deal of the summer for both player and club. Villa’s asking price would have sky-rocketed after he helped Spain win the World Cup with his team leading and competition-tying five goals, but the Catalans got him for a fair price from Valencia. Villa will fit into the Barcelona squad with ease — I mean it consists mostly of Spain’s World Cup and Euro 2008 winning side that he helped lead.

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The Mighty Mourinho

By Kevin Koczwara

Jose Mourinho’s teams win. That’s just what they do. You can’t say they are always the most entertaining side, or the best team on the field. But they score timely goals, come together in tough matches, and win. It’s that simple.

Mourinho won every trophy he could when he was in charge of FC Porto in Portugal, including the UEFA Champions League. He was introduced to the world during Porto’s amazing run through Europe. Mourinho’s men held off the marauding Manchester United and went on to win the trophy in 2004.

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Revs Lace Up Against Portuguese Champions Benfica

Courtesy Revolutionsoccer.net

By Kevin Koczwara

The New England Revolution could not have found a worst time to have an exhibition game against Portuguese side S.L. Benfica. Nevermind that the game has no bearing towards the outcome of the season, and that it is against one of the top clubs in Europe.

Let’s look at the timing of the game.

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England's Players Got A Bugging Problem

Courtesy Mike Towers, Editor of  World Cup Bafana Bafana Blog

Since we are all still in the dark about the actual contents of these tapes I called on my underground sources Big Jim and Big Jim’s Scary Half-Brother to track them down.

My instructions were clear – get those tapes before the press splash them all over the front pages. And so, after several hours of sitting in pubs near Tottenham Court Road gazing wistfully at passing foreign students, my boys finally sprang into action.

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