Postcard from Europe: Open silly season
AMSTERDAM — With the transfer window set to open in just more than two weeks, the silly season is already well underway. As always, we are here to sort out the prospects of former, current or potential US internationals who ply their trade in Europe.
And though you may feel more prepared for what's to come having read our case files, you will be forced to do what everyone must do plenty of over the coming weeks: Wait to see what happens.
Freddy Adu – Your guess may well be as good as ours when it comes figuring when and how his situation will turn positive. Until his legal wrangle with Aris FC and the Greek federation is resolved, we will all wait and hope the 21-year-old can land somewhere he can get playing time. Nobody connected with this is talking. We've asked.
Jozy Altidore – There will be plenty of reports linking big name European clubs with the Villarreal forward for intriguing loan and purchase offers. But Altidore isn't interested in moving for any reason right now. Nothing to see here, move along.
Alejandro Bedoya – The Örebro workhorse (he led the Allsvenskan in distance covered at speeds greater than 12 mph by a whopping 12 percent) seems among the most likely on our list to be moved this January. Over past months, there have been faint whispers here and there about interest from places like the Netherlands, Scandinavia and Spain. But his agent, Patrick McCabe, probably summed it up best when he told MLSsoccer.com: "[Alejandro] is entering the last year of his contract and he is seeking a new challenge. Certainly we are looking at a positive next step for him. There have been many inquiries, but no offers as of yet."
Edson Buddle – On Wednesday, ESPN's Alexi Lalas tweeted (of all things) that the out-of-contract LA Galaxy star was going to audition at Birmingham City. Buddle's agent, Richard Motzkin, has since confirmed that his client is currently training with the Brums with an eye to impress.
Ricardo Clark – There have been certain localized murmurs and message-board theories that the Eintracht Frankfurt midfielder had tired of sitting the bench and was ready to move on, perhaps back to MLS. However, a source confided to MLSsoccer.com that Clark has every intention of fighting for his place in Germany.
Clint Dempsey – Though his agent already knocked down the first two big Deuce rumors of the winter (Liverpool and Wolfsburg), he did divulge that teams had again been calling about his client, as they tend to do. At the moment, Dempsey seems to have no desire to leave Fulham, but there are still seven weeks left for a club he can't turn down to enter the picture. Though it would not be at all shocking if one did, he will most likely remain cozy at the Cottage this winter.
Mikkel Diskerud – Though we're not at liberty to say much about this situation right now, do not be surprised if the budding Stabæk playmaker heads off to Denmark or the Netherlands in 2011, perhaps even in January.
Landon Donovan – The annual question of whether Donovan will go out on another short loan has been seemingly complicated this time by several factors: First, there is actual competition for his signature, with perpetual suitors Everton now reportedly joined by Fulham and Newcastle. Donovan has already said he would not like to play for any EPL club but Everton. Plus, the Galaxy captain has said more than once that he would like to get some rest, which points to his not going anywhere but Manhattan Beach this winter.
Benny Feilhaber – Agent Lyle Yorks has revealed interest from Denmark, the Netherlands and from a "big club" in Mexico. Beyond that, MLSsoccer.com has learned that Feilhaber – whose contract with Danish second-flight leaders Aarhus GF runs out this coming summer – currently has one offer on the table. From where did it come? Is it a bid to move in January? Stay tuned.
Robbie Findley – The former Real Salt Lake forward is out of contract with MLS (though the Portland Timbers grabbed his rights in the Expansion Draft nevertheless). He has already weighed interest in Scandinavia and from Tecos in Mexico. Even if he does not end up in one of those places, expect him to try his luck in Europe. Still ... everything on this front is oddly quiet.
Brad Friedel – Aston Villa slammed reports that Friedel was lining up a move back home to the Columbus Crew. Even if the recent reports were untrue, such discussions have occurred before. Friedel is also set to be a summer free agent. But there is also the presence of Will Hesmer currently dampening any Crew talk. A poor season and a managerial switch at Villa may accelerate a move home.
Marcus Hahnemann – Like Friedel, Hahnemann has had a bit of a rough season to endure and is running out of contract this summer. Sadly for the big guy, some guy named Kasey Keller holds down the starting job with Hahnemann's hometown Seattle Sounders. Add in that the US netminder was recently demoted to the bench and it becomes a very interesting wait for this resolution.
Oguchi Onyewu – We should all know before too long whether Gooch will finally take up some of the volumes of loan interest he's had over the last year. Agent Lyle Yorks won't discuss whether Onyewu has changed his mind about sticking it out at AC Milan, but did say his client would prefer to stay in Italy. If a Serie A loan is his best option, and it sure seems to be considering manager Massimiliano Allegri's overt indifference, the likes of Bari, Bologna, Chievo, Fiorentina and Palermo are ready to serve it right now.
Jonathan Spector – A few weeks ago, it was starting to look like Spector's time at Upton Park would run out six months early. Despite a recent run of games and form in midfield, it still could, but it does seem a little less likely at the moment. Check back in mid-January.
Eugene Starikov – One Russian outlet prematurely reported that the erstwhile Tom Tomsk loan striker has sealed a permanent move from Zenit St. Petersburg. The recently crowned champs did admit that they were in transfer talks with Tomsk, but also that they have not yet decided what to do with Starikov. It seems like another loan season in Siberia may be the best bet, depending on how convincing Tomsk can be.