BEAS BUZZ.With Claudio Reyna joining the New York Red Bulls, the question becomes: are there any other U.S. internationals bound for these shores?
Real Salt Lake would take DaMarcus Beasley yesterday, of course. Yet since he's on loan from PSV Eindhoven to Manchester City, which just terminated Reyna's contract so he could join MLS, any transfer is complicated by the FIFA transfer windows.
PSV would have to take Beasley back from Manchester City before January 31, when the European transfer window closes, and then transfer him to MLS. Not impossible, but very complicated
In the eyes of FIFA, loans between countries are treated the same as transfers for the purposes of player movement. No player can make more than three moves in a 12-month period, and a player going on loan and then returning to his original club counts for two moves.
Manchester United, not pleased with the scant playing time being granted to Italian-American Giuseppe Rossi, brought him back from his loan at Newcastle and has re-loaned him to Serie A club Parma, where he will stay until the end of the season. Rossi scored a sweet left-footed goal last weekend as Parma beat Torino, 1-0.
FIFA has not regulated domestic loans so stringently, although technically the same rules should apply. This interpretation allows short-term loans and also, in the case of MLS, trades. Leagues have their own domestic deadlines after which players may not be loaned.
LOWDOWN ON LEWIS. Leeds United, which lost a playoff game to Watford last May - on a Jay DeMerit goal, in case you've forgotten - that would have boosted it into the Premiership, is mired in the relegation zone. Thus, the name of Eddie Lewis has resurfaced as a possible re-import and a team with sufficient cap room and allocation money could get him without using the DP option.
Lewis, who turns 33 in May, was raised in Southern California but according to sources the Galaxy has not inquired about him despite what appears to be a gaping hole on the left side of midfield. The only team connected with Lewis so far is Houston, which received good production from Brad Davis last season out of the left midfield slot and reportedly has been approached by several teams seeking a trade.
Davis is only 25, so there's a huge trade-off in age between him and Lewis, who is facing the prospect of a drop down to League One, which is really the third division, next season with a team that six years ago reached the semifinals of the Champions' League. Lewis went to Leeds from Preston North End two years ago on a free transfer.
If Leeds lets Lewis go on a free transfer upon being relegated, an MLS team might be willing to pay him something close to the maximum salary of $350,000 without using allocation money.
BRIAN'S SONG. Fulham may offering even more than the $2 million salary cited by Crew general manager Mark McCullers, according to a source.
Columbus had inquired about McBride, who signed a one-year extension last year that bumped him up from his original salary of approximately $1.4 million. According to the source, the Fulham offer is around $2.25 million, which is probably more than any MLS team is willing to pay McBride, as popular and prolific as he is. That's a lot of coin, but a rugged all-American guy who can score goals and draw fans isn't a bad investment.
BLAME IT ON BECKHAM. Midfielder Edgar Davids and FC Dallas aren't close to agreeing on a salary. FC Dallas has supposedly offered about $800,000; Davids is asking for at lot more. Not Beckham money, but a lot, like three times as much.
MLS teams shopping in Europe, especially England and a few other countries, are facing the sobering realities that most starters in the top leagues earn two or three million dollars a year. The stars cost a lot more.
Reyna, according to a source, will be paid $1 million to play in MLS and is taking a big pay cut. He will count for $400,000 against the salary cap. Unknown is whether Red Bull New York paid anything that "encouraged" Manchester City to terminate his contract.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGH. MLS is announcing Thursday its All-Star Game will be staged at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Denver against Glasgow Celtic, with decisions regarding television coverage to determine which date in mid-July it will be played.
Which begs the question: What about Chelsea, last year's opponent?
The rumor mill had Chelsea returning during the summer to play the Galaxy at Home Depot Center, but the Galaxy's participation in SuperLiga has jammed up the schedule in late July and August.
Chelsea's relatively poor season so far in the Premiership has management searching for excuses, and rather than blame the $100 million or so spent on acquiring and paying Andriy Shevchenko, Michael Ballack and Khalid Boularouz rather than players who could actually contribute, the team's summer jaunt across the Atlantic has drawn criticism. Blame it on the Yanks!