Thursday, August 28, 2008

Silly season (Marvel edition)

I decided to extract this entire portion from the previous post as it continues to grow and grow...

With less than four days left in the silly season, I guess it's time I put my money where my mouth is concerning my personal thought on the likelihood of a move for several recent American transfer topics.

Again, bear in mind, this is my own read of the next few days based on what I know - there are a few things I can't mention, so read between the lines a tad at your own risk. The players whose names are hot-linked have corresponding news stories over at Soccer365.

Oguchi Onyewu - Standard Liège

A stellar performance against Liverpool gave Gooch just the momentum he'll need to clinch a move before the deadline. I'm still betting on a Ligue 1 switch, though supposed suitor Espanyol also provides an interesting challenge.

This move could happen fast as Standard has reportedly already received one bid since last night, with others sure to follow. I'm also thinking his showing last night might just have awakened interest from some Prem clubs that were formerly interested. This looks set to get a bit wild.

UPDATE: As I expected, A Prem club jumped immediately into the fray after last night - but it was the 'big' Spanish club that moved first.

Using only deductive reasoning, it seems the English club could be anyone from previously linked Bolton and Fulham to mystery candidates Aston Villa, Manchester City and West Ham.

As for the Spanish process of elimination, I'm kinda stumped. Sure, it could be Real Madrid again, but it seems not. Villarreal don't seem to have the glaring need, Barcelona surely don't and the idea of Deportivo as a topper is far-fetched. Atlético Madrid just bought Johnny Heitinga and Tomáš Ujfaluši - though either can be used wide right, a distinct possibility with Gourkas Setiaridis seemingly half out the door.

My best guess would be either Sevilla or Valencia, who each could use a strong arm partner for their established star (Sébastien Squillaci and Carlos Marchena, respectively).

I stand by my prior thought that the French team is either Lyon, Marseille or Monaco.

UPDATE UPDATE: I now have reason to believe that the Prem team making an offer may be Aston Villa.

UPDATE³: Despite a recent denial of contact from Onyewu's agent, French sources are continuing to push Paris St. Germain as a possibility. Though wary of this rumour, I think the rebuilding club would be another nice landing spot.

Spidey Sensometer = 95%

Michael Bradley - Heerenveen

With teams continuing to come for Pranjic, his chance for a move has dropped a bit the last few days. Revived Monaco talk appears to have been a bit bunk as the team are close to landing Tiago from Juventus. Hamburg also appear to have turned to other targets, but the HSV message board fans all seem to agree that a Bradley bid should only be expected if David Jarolim leaves. What's more, Everton's loan move for Red Star Belgrade's Segundo Castillo would appear to at least heavily dampen their interest... then again, they look set to miss out on Stephane M'Bia of Rennes.

Bad news aside, teams like Celtic and Middlesbrough are still looking for a similar player, and one bid could bring others out of the woodwork. I don't know if €4.5 million would seal the deal, but it would certainly get the ball rolling. At this point, no outcome would surprise me much, but I still sense he could move by Monday (provided Danijel Pranjić stays put).

Then again, with new boss Trond Sollied apparently switching H'veen back to a 4-3-3, staying might not be so bad for Bradley after all.

UPDATE: Synchronized word out of England and the Netherlands says Middlesbrough either now have or are about to table an offer for Bradley, which will seemingly land in the €3.5-4.5 million neighborhood.

Whether it will be enough, I don't know, but I still believe such an action would prompt at least two other bids, with Everton a potential player after seemingly missing out on Stephan M'Bia of Rennes - but Galatasaray's Turkey midfielder Mehmet Topal is another similar fallback option for Davie Moyes.

The names Blackburn and Borussia
Mönchengladbach also pop up now and then in their respective countries. I also would be thoroughly unsurprised if Celtic jump in.

I will try to get a hold of H'veen exec Yme Kuiper at the UEFA Cup draw in Monaco, but no promises.

Spidey Sensometer = 70%

Heath Pearce - Hansa Rostock

Just when he looked like a hot item, three admirers went another way, including Borussia Dortmund and FC Utrecht. Now, he's probably in the odd position of waiting for interested teams to make set-up moves. The Bundesliga and Eredivisie are still calling, but his transfer hopes need a late rally.

The good news is a lot will shake loose in an extremely busy left back Euro-market in a short period of time. Like Bradley, Pearce looks set to be a last puzzle piece type rather than the prime target for interested teams. Patience will win these games.

UPDATE: I am going to carefully choose my words here because I know much more than I can say. Of the four teams in for Pearce right now, we have a remaining Dutch team (one of the names I've mentioned previously) and a Bundesliga club (difficult to say who, as several have called at one point).

As for England, I have a sneaking suspicion on the Prem outfit and will stay mum for now on the Cola side's identity. There also may be two other bidders near the deadline, depending on possible sales by those teams.

I know I didn't give much of anything away, so I'll drop a tantalizing hint for you all: at least two of the six potential landing spots I've referred to in this update already have a USMNT presence on their roster.

Spidey Sensometer = 50% now, 100% in January

Marvell Wynne - Toronto FC

The U.S. Olympic ace is being courted by at least two teams on the continent. Seeing as how Wynne excelled against the Netherlands recently and at least three top 10 Dutch teams need a right back (FC Twente, NAC Breda & NEC Nijmegen), it would stand to reason that someone there is talking with his agent.

Of course, TFC also just lost Maurice Edu, and the potential flak from selling another U.S. international would require a lot of financial soothing. It also doesn't help that MLS teams are now at diminished capacity to bring in replacements.

UPDATE: The idea that everyone is thinking January, takes the lid off of possible Eredivisie suitors - could be anyone now. And if a team like Ajax or PSV gets a hold of him, there's no telling how good he could end up being.

The Scandinavian team is surely one of the power names up there (for instance, FC Copenhagen). If a Dutch team is in, most clubs in the Nordic region would be out-muscled financially.

UPDATE³: Ajax look set to shed back-up right back George Ogararu... I'm just sayin'.

Spidey Sensometer = 10% now, 60% in January

Sacha Kljestan - Chivas USA

We've heard of possible interest from Monaco, which now appears unlikely. More likely is the report that has an Eredivisie team intrigued. Still, with the Goats injury-racked and struggling, this seems much more like a January topic. It would probably take a nice, big bid to land either of the last two players, and it seems to me Wynne is the most likely to draw that sort of "Wow!" offer at this time.

UPDATE: Soccer By Ives reports that FC Twente are the Dutch team pondering a bid. While there has not been a peep about that among Tukkers, three central midfielders were added over the summer and the club signed attacking midfielder Kenneth Perez today, I will manually make a slight uptick.

Spidey Sensometer = 15%

Preston Zimmerman - Hamburg

Yep, it appears Zimm is heading out in search of a game, one way or the other. I have no idea who the interested teams are, but my ideal situation would be to see him get a loan chance on an SAS Liga team fighting for something.

Ya know who might need a striker if their top gun leaves by Monday? League leaders Odense BK. I also understand Brøndby are unhappy with their stable of forwards at the moment.

UPDATE: Zimmerman has been sold to promoted Austrian side Kapfenberg, who are the early
T-Mobile Bundesliga cellar dwellers. There, he will join fellow American forward Damon Wilson.

Side note: On Friday night, Kapfenburg (KSV Superfund as they are officially known) climbed from the bottom with a 3-2 home win over Altach. Neither American was in uniform.

Spidey Sensometer = 98%

Kamani Hill - Wolfsburg

A casualty of new coach Felix Magath's big spending arrival, the right-sider looks set to move - the questions are "To where?" and "Now or in January?".

With longtime interest in the player and bidders from Belgium, France, Germany and Scandinavia, I say he probably goes now. The other question I cannot help with, though Aarhus GF did recently take a look at Hill.

Spidey Sensometer = 80%

- Greg Seltzer


Anonymous said...

Being a guy who doesn't seem to have a huge fanbase of people following MLS, but more European leagues, what do you make of Bob Bradley and his roster decisions? I've become quite fed up with Bradley's choices of guys like Eddie Lewis, Sacha Kljestan, Eddie Johnson, and Brian Ching.

Also, what do you know about the rumblings that there is more to Altidore not getting picked than just fitting into his new club?

Thanks as always!


Greg Seltzer said...

At this point, I find far less quibble with his selections than his use of those called. That being said, I was most displeased with his selection of Michael Orozco over Danny Califf.

As for those you mentioned, I think Lewis is now merely a late offensive super sub, Kljestan is a work in progress, Johnson deserves some slack from observers and Ching is useful in CONCACAF play.

As for these Jozy rumblings, I have no idea. Some people seem to think it means he's being loaned out, but I don't buy that. Villarreal are mighty light up front at the moment and I believe Altidore will get immediate playing time.

If by some turn it ends up being a personality grudge, I would be heavily dismayed with the coach... again.

Anonymous said...

I like Johnson and want to see his confidence get back up, but I have a big issue in picking him if he's not going to be used over Brian Ching.

As for Orozco, wasn't Califf called in as well? I know there are 20 called (though Cherundolo isn't available for the first one).
Does Califf play centrally at FCM? Or does he get pushed wide?

I'd be somewhat ok with the Lewis "super-sub" stuff if that were how he's been used. But with Convey now fit, I don't see why we're playing a 35yr old who won't likely be able to offer us anything in 2010.



Peter said...

heath to reading?

Greg Seltzer said...

You're right, Califf was called. Danny plays centrally for FCM, he's one of the most respected center backs in Denmark.

I agree with giving Bobby a little longer to enjoy his fitness before calling him. I wish Bradley would use similar caution with DaMarcus Beasley.

shoegirl11 said...

I, like alot of people, am dismayed about the lack of Kenny Cooper! There have been whispers about his supposed poor attitude, but I think Cooper is a much better option than Brian Ching.

I know Brian Ching works hard, but the guy just can't create.

the dude over at Yanked Around also lamented the US roster.