The New Year may bring another much-needed move for Maurice Edu, the former Toronto FC No. 1 pick and 2007 MLS Rookie of the Year .
In August, Edu jumped from Rangers to Stoke City in hopes of gaining valuable Premier League experience. Unfortunately, he’s only seen 10 minutes of playing time with the club.
With World Cup qualifiers inching closer and closer, Edu simply can’t afford to be sitting on the bench. But sources are reporting that Edu may be in luck – Stoke City are open to loaning him out by the end of January, so the versatile defensive midfielder doesn’t jeopardize a spot on Jurgen Klinsmann's World Cup qualifying roster.
Where exactly Edu would end up is still up in the air, but there has been chatter suggesting he could join up with EPL sides poised to lose players to the African Cup of Nations as well as several Ligue 1 clubs.
If you were Edu, where would you want to end up on loan?
Les nouvelles de ces derniers jours, souvent liées aux transferts, peuvent, comme les épisodes de la série Friends, avoir un titre qui commence par « Celui qui… » Tour d’horizon.
Celui qui a déjà signé : Carlo Cudicini au LA Galaxy et José Goncalves à New England, les deux nouveaux venus les plus récents, titulaires plus que potentiels.
Celui qui se tâte : Il y a toujours ces joueurs importants pour l’équipe qui ne savent pas trop s’ils vont tenter une nouvelle aventure. Le champion de la catégorie cet hiver s’appelle Landon Donvan, sur qui le LA Galaxy compte cependant déjà pour 2013.
Celui qui se fait attendre : À un peu plus de deux semaines de la reprise, deux équipes n’ont toujours pas d’entraîneur, Montréal et New York. Gary McAllister, souvent cité autour de la Red Bull Arena, n’aurait cependant pas reçu d’offre du club au taureau ailé.
Celui qui envisage l’aller-retour : L’hiver en MLS, c’est aussi l’occasion pour certains joueurs de décrocher un contrat de quelques mois en Europe. Ce ne sera pas le cas de Thierry Henry à Arsenal. « Il n’est pas prêt », estime Arsène Wenger. Tim Cahill, en revanche, pourrait être prêté à Sunderland.
Celui qui viendra peut-être, mais peut-être pas tout de suite : « J’aimerais, un jour, jouer en MLS ». Le refrain est connu, qu’il soit chanté par Kaka ou Olivier Occean. Dernier interprète en date : l’international polonais Ludovic Obraniak.
Celui qui est bien où il est : Pas question de traverser l’Atlantique pour les Canadiens et Américains dont la carrière tourne à plein régime en Europe. Parmi eux, Sacha Kljestan, qui préfère même Anderlecht à l’Espagne ou à la France.
Celui qui ne prend pas encore sa retraite : Il y a de ces joueurs éternels qui déjouent chaque année les pronostics prévoyant la fin de leur carrière. Montréal a eu Eduardo Sebrango, Houston a Brian Ching.
Celui qui est attendu de pied ferme : Cette entrevue de Sepp Blatter, président de la Fifa, date bien d’il y a quelques jours et non d’il y a plus de 6 ans. Le commissaire Don Garber l’a donc invité au Coup d’envoi de la saison pour qu’il constate les progrès de la MLS de ses propres yeux.
Rest assured, the flood of Honduran players to Major League Soccer hasn't reached the high-water mark just yet.
According to comments from the player himself, the Seattle Sounders are closing in on the signing of CD Victoria defender Wilmer Crisanto, who they've been pursuing for some time if the reports are to be believed.
Here's what the right back (above) had to say to Cronometro: "It is a matter of my salary, they already told me what I was going to earn in Seattle. I asked my agent to try to get a little more but if he's not able to, I'll have to settle for what they offered me, I'm not asking for much."
Of course, nothing is official until the final shoe drops, but the 23-year-old sounds pretty confident that he'll be the latest Catracho to land in MLS.
The other tidbit to come out of the article concerns Crisanto's teammate at Victoria and with the Honduran Olympic team, José Velásquez Colón. According to the story, the center back is preparing to embark on a trial with the Sounders after a successful year for both club and country.
What do you think? Have Hondurans taken over from Colombians as MLS' biggest import?
In his first season in MLS, Honduran international Victor Bernardez helped lead the San Jose Earthquakes to the Supporters Shield, and, on a personal level, he was named to the MLS Best XI.
Now, it looks like he might be doing things off the field to help the club. In this Q&A with Honduran side Diez.hn, Bernardez revealed that, at the request of the Quakes' technical staff, he has networked to try to bring two more Honduran internationals to San Jose.
"I played in the national team with them," Bernardez said. "The important thing is that they are good people. That's what the president of San Jose wants: harmony in the dressing room."
Bernardez cited sensitivities around the contract negotiations and declined to reveal the names of his two potential new teammates.
More and more Hondurans have joined MLS in recent years, including Houston's Boniek Garcia, New England's Jerry Bengtson, Colorado's Henry Thomas, and Seattle's Mario Martinez, among others.
This offseason has seen several of Martinez's 2012 Olympic teammates linked to MLS. Seattle have reportedly been chasing CD Victoria defender Wilmer Crisanto for a while, while Olimpia defender Johnny Leveron, Victoria defender Jose David Velasquez, and Olimpia attacking midfielder Alex "the Honduran Maradona" Lopez have popped up on various radars.
"I'm proud because managers are becoming interested in the quality of Honduran footballer," Bernardez said.
After some haggling in the press – read failure to budge by the Union – it appears a loan deal proposed by Santa Fe for the services of Carlos Valdes is finally kaput. That sound you hear is the collective sighs of relief emanating out of The City of Brotherly Love, as the Sons of Ben avoid the exit of one of the lynchpins of their team ahead of a promising 2013 campaign.
Except that might not be the end of it (key word: might). Now it seems Colombia head coach Jose Pekerman has taken it upon himself to recommend Valdes to an even bigger South American power – Boca Juniors.
Count me among those that take Pekerman's words as simple praise rather than a true indication of interest from the Argentine giants, but you never know. It could be an interesting few months in Philly as John Hackworth looks to keep hold of one of the league's top center back from a year ago.
Moins animée que les précédentes, cette semaine a vu la scène des transferts s'activer sur trois fronts : les arrivées d’Amérique du Sud, les loteries pondérées et les signatures de jeunes joueurs.
Beckham parti, la MLS pourrait avoir trouvé son nouveau roi des coups francs : l’ancien Lyonnais Juninho, qui a signé à New York. Âgé de 37 ans, il évoluait ces dernières saisons à Vasco De Gama, où se produisait aussi Pipico, nouvel avant du FC Dallas. Autre recrue dont on attend beaucoup : le nouveau joueur désigné du Sporting Kansas City, l’attaquant argentin Claudio Bieler, finaliste de la Coupe du monde des clubs 2009.
Deux jeunes espoirs américains qui ont tenté leur chance à l’étranger sont revenus au bercail. Ex-internationaux en équipes de jeunes, ils ont trouvé acquéreur via le système de loterie pondérée (voir point I ici pour le règlement). Ainsi, le défenseur Mobi Fehr a pris la direction de Portland alors que l’arrière central Gale Agbossoumonde défendra les couleurs du Toronto FC.
Par ailleurs, plusieurs clubs offrent une promotion à leurs propres jeunes. Cette semaine, Bradlee Baladez (Dallas) et Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy) ont ainsi obtenu une place dans l’effectif de MLS de leur club respectif.
A Roger Espinoza move to the English Premier League has seemed like a fait accompli ever since Honduras' impressive run in the London Olympics — one that ended with the Sporting KC midfielder receiving a standing ovation from the fans at St. James' Park after earning a controversial second yellow against Brazil in the quarterfinals.
Among those singing his praises the loudest was Wigan Athletic manager Roberto Martinez. And now it looks like the outspoken Spaniard will get his man, as according to The Daily Mail, Espinoza is heading to Wigan once the winter transfer window opens.
Espinoza, who's spent his entire professional career with Sporting, is currently nursing a sprained ankle and is expected to miss this weekend's showdown with New York.
Is Roger Espinoza Wigan's next Honduran hard man?
The Mirror seems to think so, reporting that the Sporting KC midfielder has caught the eye of Latics manager Roberto Martinez. If Wigan want to secure the services of the Honduran international before January, they'll have to move quickly as the international transfer window closes on Aug. 31.
Espinoza impressed for his country in the London Olympics, scoring against Brazil in the quarterfinals before receiving a standing ovation after being sent off in the final minutes. He's been a starter for Peter Vermes in Kansas City since 2010, gradually working his way onto the list of the best box-to-box midfielders in MLS.
What do you think? Would Espinoza fit at Wigan? Can Sporting afford to lose him after Teal Bunbury was lost for the season with a torn ACL?
It turns out the duo that helped the US earn their first-ever victory at Estadio Azteca may yet be reunited at club level.
Maurice Edu has been looking for a destination away from fourth-division Rangers for much of the summer, and manager Ally McCoist revealed on Tuesday that a suitable club may have gotten the process started by contacting the American's representatives.
Of course, that's no indication of a done deal -- or even the beginning of earnest negotiations -- but it does seem to be a good sign for a player desperately in need of a new home.
Would Stoke City be a good move for Edu? Let us know in the comments sections below.
Last week it was Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal that were rumored to have interest in D.C. midfielder Andy Najar, this week it's Wigan Athletic, Norwich City and West Bromwich Albion.
That list might grow even larger now that Honduras are into the quarterfinals with a date against Brazil and Neymar, a group that's sure to have a few interested eyes monitoring their progress in London.
Najar may not be having his best season in black and red in 2012 – contributing two assists in 13 games, 10 of which were starts – but he's still just 19 years old and one of the most promising prospects in Major League Soccer. And, of course, success on an international stage certainly can't hurt his stock.
Is he ready for an overseas move? If so, what would the best fit? Let us know in the comments section below.