American Soccer Beat

By Gregory Burud — 02/16/2010
Calling it the MLS pre-“season” may be a bit premature, as the regular season is still in doubt since no collective bargaining agreement has yet been reached. While the CBA was supposed to expire at the beginning of the month, the league and its players have agreed to extend the deadline to Feb. 12. On Wednesday, two days before the deadline, a major snowstorm led to the postponement of talks, just as negotiations are getting down to the wire. The lack of guaranteed contracts and restrictions on player movement reportedly remain major sticking points.
MLS executives aren’t the only ones hashing out agreements. The MLS First Kick is just over a month away. So teams are in the midst of signing fresh blood for the new season. In a move sure to intrigue fans of the U.S. national team, expansion side Philadelphia Union has acquired Michael Orozco on loan from Mexican club San Luis. Orozco is a versatile defender who is best known for his third-minute ejection two years ago in the Olympics where he had intentionally elbowed an opponent in the chest. U.S. manager Bob Bradley has called in Orozco for the squad’s February camp.
The departure of Luciano Emilio to Brazil has left D.C. United needing a body to replace the 2007 league MVP. The Black and Red has signed Australian forward Danny Allsopp as the team’s second recent Australian league import (Fred). Allsopp formerly plied his trade at Manchester City and Hull City in England, and led Australia’s A-League in goals for the 2006-07 season. San Jose also bolstered its attack, winning the signature of Brazilian forward Eduardo. Coming from Switzerland’s FC Basel, Eduardo has an opportunity to inspire an offense that finished in the bottom third in goals scored last season. The 30-year-old has also played in France and Belgium.
Wednesday USA midfielder Landon Donovan assisted on Everton’s equalizing goal in its 2-1 victory over Chelsea. Donovan also drew a penalty kick, but Louis Saha failed to convert. Since making his Premier League debut, Donovan has one goal and two assists in seven appearances. Despite earlier comments that he would be returning to Los Angeles for the start of the MLS season, he has come out and said that he would be open to staying with Everton. Since Everton has money troubles, it is questionable if the club would be willing to pay the likely ten million dollar transfer fee needed to keep him. However, if Donovan continues playing as he has against the top Premier League opposition like Chelsea and Liverpool then other clubs may come calling.