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Three's company at Rangers
by Ridge Mahoney, August 18th, 2011 12:31AM
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[AMERICANS ABROAD] Now that U.S. captain Carlos Bocanegra has joined Alejandro Bedoya at Glasgow Rangers, will the third member of the recently formed American triumvirate, Maurice Edu, stay or go?

Agent Lyle Yorks confirmed the deals via Twitter and on his Facebook page. Bedoya had already signed a pre-contract with Rangers. Rather than on holding onto him until the end of the Swedish season and losing him for nothing when his contract was due to expire at the end of the year, Orebro cut a deal to transfer Bedoya before the summer window closes in two weeks.

Bocanegra, 32, leaves French club St. Etienne just about a week after being named its captain and against the wishes of Coach Christophe Galtier. The French club paid $650,000 to buy Bocanegra from Rennes a year ago.

His leadership skills and versatility -- he can play at center back or left back -- made him valuable for the Verts, who have a very young backline.

After scraping up the money to buy Bocanegra -- the transfer fee has not been disclosed -- Rangers manager Ally McCoist arranged for the defender to be flown to Slovenia in case paperwork can be completed before Rangers plays a Europa League qualifier against NK Maribor Thursday.

Bocanegra signed a three-year contract with Rangers, his fourth European team since leaving MLS and Chicago Fire in 2004 to start his overseas career with Fulham.

Though Rangers long ago fell from the ranks of elite European teams, it is always in contention for the Scottish League title, and thus a candidate for the Champions League. By losing a playoff two weeks ago to Swedish club Malmo, it landed in the Europa League.

Bedoya, 24, cleared an important hurdle last week when his appeal for a UK work permit was approved despite his not meeting the 75 percent threshold of competitive international matches played for the U.S. Once the permit approval came through, negotiations were initiated to transfer Bedoya, who signed a three-year contract at undisclosed terms.

Edu, who signed with Rangers in a $5 million deal in August 2008 after playing one and a half seasons in MLS with Toronto, has been the subject of transfer rumors since joining the club for preseason training. He is in the final year of his contract.

The club has signed veterans David Weir, David Healy and Sasa Papac to new contracts or contract extensions since May.



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