Friday Kicker: Edu Gaining Interest; Possible Dalby Return

Friday Kicker: Edu Gaining Interest; Possible Dalby Return

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On June 6, 2008
  • 0 Comments
  • Greg Dalby, Jorge Flores, Jorge Rojas, Maurice Edu

Happy Friday to one and all, I figured I would get a few news tidbits out of the way before I hammered out those weekend previews/predictions. I’m glad its the end of the week and that there is plenty of soccer to be viewed starting tonight in Boston with New England and Dallas (followed by Brazil of course); then Saturday’s games; and Sunday’s MLS game followed more importantly by the US-Argentina friendly from Giants Stadium.

So on to the news for you Friday afternoon, should anything else happen today you may get another edition of the Friday Kicker.

A lot of talk over the last several months about Toronto FC and US national team midfielder Maurice Edu jumping ship to play in England. Well, according to this article at Tribal Football, both Middlesbrough and Sunderland are interested in the young Toronto FC midfielder.

Let’s be real for a moment, unless the price is right for Mo, he won’t go this summer across the sea. I still see him playing out the rest of the year and possibly even next year in Toronto. It just makes sense really though you could make the case that he is ready to make the move. I however think he is a year or so away from making the move. Its like the kid who wants to go pro from college but really needs a senior season to improve the draft stock, that’s Edu to me right now.

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From the Mile High City. The Rapids are on the verge of signing 2007 second-round draft pick Greg Dalby to fill their vacant roster spot, according to the Denver Post.

Rapids coach Fernando Clavijo said Dalby, 22, has agreed in principle to join the club but may be forced to wait to play until after his contract with Belgian club Royal Charleroi SC expires June 30. Dalby, a 6-foot-1 midfielder/defender, never signed with the Rapids when he was picked 17th overall, choosing to audition in Italy, Scotland and Germany before agreeing to a contract with England’s Preston North End. His work permit, however, was denied, and Dalby joined Charleroi.

I’ve always been a fan of Dalby, from his days at Notre Dame. I’ve seen him play a few times for the Irish so I recall a good bit about him. If is even half the player he was in college he will make a real solid impact for the Rapids this season. He may be just the midfielder they are looking for to pair up with Pablo Mastronei and allow Christian Gomez to do his thing on the offensive side of the ball.

He’s always been a solid midfielder with good defensive skills but don’t sleep on him in the scoring department. He’s got good enough range to score and is one that can sneak up on you on set pieces.

Dalby probably wants a year or two in MLS to try and regain interest in some English clubs like Preston North End or other clubs of that nature. But then again he could just be coming back to the league so he can get some real solid playing time. I guess we will find out more once he gets here.

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Look for New York to iron out the details of a contract with Venezuelan Jorge Rojas today after the friendly between Venezuela and Brazil, according to sources close to Red Bull New York and team officials.

That’s step one for the Red Bulls, get a decent defensive midfielder on the roster. Now if they can just check off a few more items they make really have the roster to make the playoffs and actually make some noise. Thing is, until they get some more defensive help, a striker to replace Jozy Altidore, and another flank player, I think this club is still a ways away from really making any damage here.

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No word yet on the rescheduled date for the washed-out DC United – Houston Dynamo match. We probably won’t find out any details until next week at the very earliest. Chances are the two sides weren’t able to meet with MLS officials yesterday while the Dynamo were still in the DC area (they had a White House visit). From what I’m hearing a Wednesday in early September or a midweek date in late July are the most realistic options.

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A very nice New York Times feature on Jorge Flores, who made the Chivas USA roster through the Sueńo MLS contest last year and has emerged as a goal-scorer this year. The story is very nice but too bad it was already a movie (Goal!).

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So Fernando Clavijo thinks his training pitch and stadium are the best in the world. He’s told reports that ever since the grounds opened a year ago.

Thing is others disagree.

According to a report today, Borussia Moenchengladbach of the German Bundesliga canceled a preseason training camp at the Rapids’ facility because a club representative who visited the grounds determined it was unfit for his team to train there.

Now I think the DSP is as good as any in MLS, but when another club calls it out and says it is unfit you may want to rethink how the things are there. I for one have never been so I wouldn’t know but from what I’ve gathered from those who have been there is that its a big overrated, kind of along the lines (stadium wise at least) of Pizza Hut Park and Crew Stadium. Nothing special but definitely not terrible. I still believe its a nice stadium but I would definitely rank it behind a few others in the SSS-world. That may be a topic for discussion for another day.

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More on the way…

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