Friday, February 09, 2007

Zinedine Zidane Update: The New York Red Bulls technical director Jeff Agoos said this to a reporter about Zidane: ""We haven't spoken with him, and I don't have any plans to do so at this point in the near future." Agoos did say "I'd love to go out with him though, if he's coming here, and we'd certainly be interested in having him." I having a feeling we haven't heard the last word on this story, but Agoos' comments lend more credence to the Times' piece on the Red Bulls' pursuit of Augustin Delgado.

Other MLS tidbits: The Utah House voted to approve a pan to contribute $35 million to Real Salt Lake's stadium project in the Salt Lake suburb of Sandy. This would seem to put to rest all the drama surrounding the franchie's future in Utah.

Conor Casey will be coming home. The U.S. international, who has been riding the pines this year in Mainz, has agreed to an early termination of his contract. Look for him to appear in an MLS uniform in short order. ALthough Casey would prefer to play for the Colorado Rapids, Yanks Abroad predicts that he is headed to TOronto, which has the first dibs to use an allocation. Don't expect Colorado to abandon hope of getting Casey, so a trade is always a possibility.

Finally, Fox's Jamie Trecker has a really insightful critique on the selection for last night's game against Mexico. Trecker makes a compelling case that Coach Bradley should have brought in some fresh faces, such as Jonathan Spector and Jay DeMerit. Though the U.S did win, the weaknesses were readily apparent. Most glaring was the failure of the right side of the defense (and for that matter, of the offense, as well). The U.S. will have to take a look at some other options on defense, and DeMerit is probably the best one. Spector may also be a good option. Another option might be Frank Simek, who pays right back for Sheffield Wednesday, a team in contention for promotion to the E.P.L. next season.

Of course, there are other more established options on defense. One such option on defense remains Steve Cherundolo, who is getting really positive notices for his play in the Bundesliga this season. Oguchi Onyewu will anchor the U.S. defense for years to come, when he is available. The dream defense would be Bornstein on the left side -- he has won me over in very short order. Onyewu and Bocanegra would play centrally, though Conrad proved last night that he deserves a regular spot. I'd like to see if DeMerit can play on the right flank, but Spector might be a more natural presence there. Eddie Lewis may still hold that spot, when healthy, but the team would do better to have a more defensive-minded player there. Lewis is more of a midfielder. As for the midfield, and the attack, there are far more questions that will have to be answered over the next three years, as the U.S. prepares for the 2010 World Cup.

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