So now that Landon Donovan has become a BUNDESLIGA SCORING MACHINE, it's not too early for us to look at MLS A.D.
Say what you want about how these goals aren't against top flight competition. You're absolutely right, but that misses the point. Generally speaking you don't get to audition by playing in league games with points at stake. What he's been doing is what you get. And based on results, Landon has done just fine, thanks.
So if we assume that California Klinnsy didn't bring the guy over so he'd have a bridge partner, we have to conclude that a) he was looking for a player and b) he found one.
As for LA, I'm going to go ahead and opine that Arena would just as soon keep the guy - talent like that doesn't grow on trees - but on the other hand he'd be almost as happy to have all that cap space, along with the lovely pile of allocation money the Galaxy will end up with.
In any case, the last thing either the Gals or MLS wants is Landon in LA and unhappy. I'm guessing that LDo isn't going to play the Kenny Cooper "good and loyal soldier" bit. As a diva-cum-drama queen, Cooper isn't in the same league as Donovan.
Much better to strike a deal and get it over with; a long, drawn out fight at this point isn't in anyone's best interests. Everybody is going to want to get it done quickly.
So then the question becomes: how much?
This deal certainly tops the current MLS player transfer price record, which is the $10 million (€7.4) Villareal reportedly coughed up for Jozy Altidore.
(Technically the highest price ever paid for an American is the €10 million Villareal paid ManU for Giuseppe Rossi, but since Rossi doesn't want to be associated with us, he doesn't count. And he wouldn't be caught dead playing in MLS anyway.)
Klinnsman knows that MLS isn't going to let him go on the cheap, but he also knows they don't want a blood-on-the-floor barfight either.
If you're waiting for a prediction from me, well, keep looking. I don't have the foggiest. I'm guessing though that the Galaxy and MLS already have a number in mind and I can't believe it's much south of $20 million, an amount which could have bought you an entire MLS team three years ago.
The point is that there's a whole bunch at stake here, and it'll be fascinating to watch this deal unfold, particularly when you consider that besides being the most valuable player MLS has ever had, he's also - in all probability - the most valuable player they're going to have for a long, long time.
To nobody's surprise, the Earthquakes announced that they have been unable to reach a contract agreement with Ronnie O'Brien and have apparently waived him.
O'Brien was an important piece of San Jose's late season run which fell agonizingly short of landing them in the playoffs, but at $240,000 he was the second highest paid player on the team (after Darren Huckerby) and his production just didn't justify that kind of money, particularly with Arturo Alvarez more than capable of holding down that spot.
You'll recall that the Quakes gave up their first round pick in this year's draft, along with some money, to acquire O'Brien from Toronto. The pick - which turned out to be #2 overall - became highly coveted midfielder Sam Cronin, a guy who would look terrific working out of Frank Yallop's midfield.
As for O'Brien, it's hard to say where he'll end up, or even if he's done in MLS. Arena might like to have him, but as the victim of a 2004 season-ending Dema Kovalenko leg-breaking, it's tough to say how that would work out.
On another item that will shock no one, RedBulls Arena WILL NOT BE OPENING IN 2009 AFTER ALL.
This project has already taken longer than the Pyramids, but surely New Jersey has to run out of ways to delay this thing sometime, don't they?
Meanwhile, in Missouri, the big news is that THEY'VE BEGUN KNOCKING DOWN THE MALL which currently occupies the Kansas City stadium site.
Apparently this doesn't necessarily mean that it's a done deal, but we've all learned at this point that any step at all is a step in the right direction. If nothing else, I'm hoping the Wizards get a stadium sooner rather than later so I can stop reading complaints from ignorant sportswriters and TFC fans complaining about how KC "only draws about 10,000 people per game" to their 10,000 seat temporary home.