Who says you can't go home again?
Former Vancouver Whitecaps DP Mustapha Jarju is returning to the scene of his greatest successes as a footballer: RAEC Mons. The Gambian international scored 34 goals in 99 league matches for the Belgian club between 2008-11. He scored none in 10 appearances for the 'Caps, a record which didn't quite inspire new manager Martin Rennie to keep him around for a second year.
Now that Tim Ream has moved on it's a perfect time to look back at the day the unheralded St. Louis University defender came into the league. Check out this clip from the 2010 edition of Inside the SuperDraft and you'll see exactly what went on at New York's table on the draft floor: former RBNY assistant Richie Williams showing some hesitance to take Ream in the face of Sporting Director Erik Soler's confidence in his choice. Read into that what you will.
Also of note is Sporting KC coach Peter Vermes trying to pull one over Soler, a SuperDraft virgin in 2010, by offering to trade his 3rd pick straight up for Soler's 2nd round pick. Nice try at Pete. This is almost exactly like the time my older brother tried to trade me a nickel for a dime because it was "bigger."
It looks like Jason Kreis & Co. aren't finished making additions to their back line.
Real Salt Lake have brought in a number of trialists for preseason, including one who had an ocean to cross to get to Utah. His name is Terukazu Tanaka, and he's a fullback from Sagan Tosu of the J-League. (KIRSoccer - January 25, 2012)
Earlier today the Red Bulls announced their latest signing, little-known American keeper Jeremy Vuolo. Where did they find him? The Finnish Ykkönen or first division.
So let's recount the membership of Scandinavian-connected contingent currently calling Harrison, NJ home:
- Sporting Director Erik Soler (native of Norway)
- Head Coach Hans Backe (native of Sweden)
- Assistant Coach Jan Halvor Halversen (native of Norway)
Players: under contract
- Markus Holgersson (native of Sweden)
- Jan Gunnar Solli (native of Norway)
- Teemu Tainio (native of Finland)
- Brian Nielsen (native of Denmark)
- Jonathan Barrajo (spent 2010-11 with Hamarkameratene of Norway)
- Joel Lindpere (spent three seasons with Tromso of Norway)
- Roy Miller (spent 2005-09 with clubs in both Norway and Sweden)
- Jeremy Vuolo (spent 2011 with Finnish side AC Oulu)
Players: unsigned, currently in camp
- Willis Forko (spent 2008-10 with FK Bodø/Glimt of Norway)
Players: unsigned, linked to the club
- Victor Pálsson (native of Iceland who claims to be negotiating with the club)
It's a shame this is all happening with the Red Bulls. Not because these are bad players or anything like that. It's just that if there was ever a club screaming out to have "IKEA" slapped on the front of its jersey this is it; I hate to see good kit sponsorship potential go to waste.
It's been well documented that the LA Galaxy won last year's MLS Cup with three designated players in their midst. They were the first DPs to ever lift the trophy.
Sporting KC owner Robb Heineman doesn't care. At least not right now.
He tweeted out on Wednesday that Sporting weren't going to ink any DPs during this transfer window.
Unless something dramatic happens in the next two days, we will not be announcing a DP in this window.#SportingKC
— Robb Heineman (@RobbHeineman) January 25, 2012
Say what you will about the value of DPs -- and I, for one, think they are very valuable -- but I'm with Heineman here. Fans often clamor for a DP, as if a high-profile, high-priced player is the magician who can conjure up a trophy like Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin "growing" fruit on his Marvelous Orange Tree. But it must be the right fit.
I enjoyed watching Omar Bravo last year, but only because he fit into Peter Vermes's ego-less setup. For several reasons, Bravo is gone now. But the roster still has no ego, plenty of depth, experience, size, and speed, and three of the most exciting young attackers in the US national team fold in Zusi, Bunbury, and Sapong. And it only got stronger with the addition of Bobby Convey.
No need to unbalance any of that with a big name unless you're sure he fits. Obviously, Heineman and Vermes weren't sure about anyone at this time.