Thursday, August 14, 2008

Gooch, Pearce in transfer play

Okay, I've posted some Gooch transfer news at S365, as well as some more pressing Heath Pearce transfer news.

On Friday, French sources identified Paris St. Germain as the French club chasing Gooch. This could be a terrific move for him because 1) rebuilding PSG have splashed a lot of cash this summer, adding solid veteran names like Giuly, Kezman and Makalele, 2) Onyewu already speaks French & 3) this is a big club that never fails to draw glamour club scouts.

At the same time, if Inter Milan boss Jose Mourinho still has a Gooch crush (he tried to buy him at Chelsea but the transfer kitty had apparently been used up), my good buddy Chris Courtney may have hit the bullseye a couple weeks back when he offered up the theory that the U.S. star could be a cure to San Siro injury woes.

As for Pearce, it's hard to say which Bundesliga team is after him. Both Hamburg and Wolfsburg have been looking for a left back, but his has not been among the many names linked to that pair as of yet.

Short of an offer from a club the stature of HSV or with Wolfsburg's ambition, I believe he will find his way to the Eredivisie. It's a dream league for wingbacks as any landing spot is sure to give him a green light for flank raids and he will face some of the trickiest wing threats around on defense.

Who would be after him there? It probably isn't Ajax or FC Twente, who have each expressed interst in the past. Of the top half dozen sides or so, AZ Alkmaar is the one most in need because Belgium Olympic ace Sebatien Pocognoli is as good as out the door.

The obvious candidate is FC Utrecht, who need to replace PSV transplant Erik Pieters and have made offers to Pearce before. They also count former FC Nordsjælland backline pal Francis Dickoh on their roster. Here, he would complete a solid backline on a team with strong midfielders.

Beyond that, the best bets would seem to be Earnie Stewart's NAC Breda and Vitesse, though I'm not sure either would want to spend much on the transfer seeing as how Pearce must be paid at least $700,000 per season as a non-EU player.

On a related note, each was selected by U.S. boss Bob Bradley for next Wednesday's CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying semifinal round opener at Guatemala. The full roster is here.

I have also posted some news about Hamburg youngster Preston Zimmerman, who is looking to find a loan club.

- Greg Seltzer

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