Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America ClassifiedsGame Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Hartman left in limbo
by Ridge Mahoney, February 16th, 2010 1:41AM

MOST READ
TAGS:  kansas city wizards, men's national team, mls, soccer business

MOST COMMENTED

[MLS] If not for a strained hip flexor suffered by goalkeeper Zach Thornton, counterpart Kevin Hartman would truly be marooned. The veteran Hartman, a native of Southern California, came into the U.S. national team camp last week at Home Depot Center to replace Thornton, ending several weeks of anxious inactivity. Despite him playing every minute in goal during the past three seasons, Kansas City didn't pick up the option on his contract and at the team's request he did not report to training camp.

As it turns out, Hartman, 35, is a man without a club. Under the rules of MLS, Kansas City retains his rights even though he isn’t under contract, isn't with the team, and isn’t going to be. Coach Peter Vermes, speaking by phone Monday night after returning to Kansas City from a Wizards’ preseason stint in Phoenix, Ariz., said negotiations had dragged on so long he went looking for alternatives.

“At some point you have make a decision and I didn’t want for our team to be without a player in a very important position,” said Vermes of the decision to replace the league’s all-time leader in shutouts (84), wins (146), and saves (1,235) with a player new to MLS.

The signing of Danish goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen, 32, was officially announced Monday. Kansas City auditioned several goalkeepers in Arizona, including former D.C. keeper Louis Crayton, and expects to have Nielsen (6-foot-3, 185 pounds) on hand when it returns to Phoenix at the end of the week for another two-week stint.

"It just seemed to take forever from the time we made our initial offer," said Vermes, who stated the team began negotiations on a new deal for Hartman before Christmas. "The salary really wasn’t the problem, there were other things that we couldn’t agree upon, and so we started looking around for other options. It was frustrating in that we kept trying, trying and trying and couldn’t seem to get it done.”

Hartman’s agent, Ron Waxman, declined to comment and wouldn’t speculate as to when Kansas City might waive Hartman if it cannot trade him. Teams must be roster- and salary-cap compliant as of March 1, assuming CBA negotiations don’t stall and there’s a strike/lockout imposed before that date. Vermes says the Wizards are operating under the assumption the salary cap and roster limit will be set somewhere near the 2009 figures of $2.3 million and 24 players (including four on developmental contracts), respectively.

"We’ve talked to a few teams but there don’t seem to be any opportunities out there,” said Vermes. “In our league at least, nobody is looking for goalkeepers. At some point, somebody is going to be looking for a player, so we’ll see how things go.”

Vermes said Nielsen's club, Vejle, off-loaded the goalkeeper for a small transfer fee even though he had a year remaining on his contract. His MLS salary will be slightly less than the $165,000 Hartman earned as base salary in 2009.

Nielsen played 338 first division games for Aalbor g and won one league title before moving to English League Championship (second division) club Leicester City, which released him in January, 2008, following a tumultuous period of coaching changes. He played 46 matches during the past two seasons for Vejle, which was relegated last May and finished eighth in the 16-team second division in November.

“Getting back to the leadership I want to point out that during his last four seasons [with Aalborg], Nielsen was the captain of his team, so that was an important consideration also,” said Vermes.



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
Report | Brad Evans on CBA: 'We handcuffed ourselves'    
Five months after the MLS Players Union and MLS reached an agreement on a new Collective ...
CCL: Brutal road trip takes RSL to Guatemala City    
The good news is Real Salt Lake is battling on three fronts. The bad news is ...
Milestone victory is well-timed for busy Whitecaps    
Vancouver climbed back on top of the Western Conference by thumping archrival Seattle, 3-0, in its ...
Crowd Count: Sounders suffer rare loss before big crowd    
The crowd of 53,125 for the Seattle-Vancouver match was the Sounders' largest home crowd of the ...
Timbers say adios to 'La Gata' Fernandez    
The Portland Timbers and 31-year-old Argentine Gaston Fernandez have mutually agreed to parted ways, allowing the ...
What They're Saying: Abby Wambach    
"Look, we're not talking about wanting to be paid just like the men. We understand their ...
What They're Saying: Cristiano Ronaldo    
"Do you want me to be honest? It doesn't worry me at all. I do my ...
What They're Saying: Pep Guardiola    
"When he does not have injury problems, I am completely convinced he will do very well ...
Video Pick: A double nutmeg by Kaka    
Orlando City's Brazilian superstar Kaka nutmegged two Columbus Crew foes in a row during his team's ...
MLS Power Rankings: Lots of goals but not much change    
Four road teams emerged victorious during a high-scoring week of MLS action, and FC Dallas held ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives