Crew brass provide updates on all the comings and goings
Milovan Mirosevic is still with the Columbus Crew. So is Dilly Duka. But Robbie Rogers and Matías Sánchez aren't on the roster.
That's the news from Crew technical director Brian Bliss and coach Robert Warzycha following phone interviews on Friday afternoon.
They addressed reports of players coming and going as Columbus opened preseason camp with a fitness test on Friday prior to the first full training session on Monday.
In regards to offseason rumors that Mirosevic would return to Chile after one season with the Crew, Warzycha told MLSsoccer.com he talked to the player on Wednesday and was assured of his desire to play for the Crew although the midfielder did not report on Friday.
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"As of now I am expecting him to show up," Warzycha said. "He's going to fly here, if he's not flying already as we speak. He's going to be here over this weekend."
Bliss said Mirosevic's agent also stressed that the midfielder would honor the final season of his contract.
"I anticipate when I get out [to training] Monday or Tuesday that I'll see him," Bliss said to MLSsoccer.com.
Warzycha doesn't see the contract as an issue.
"I don't know whether he's going to honor his contract for the year," he said. "I'm saying that he is coming so I don't know anything else about why he would not."
Meanwhile, Bliss acknowledged that the Chicago Fire are one of three teams Columbus have talked to about Duka. The Fire drafted a left-footed winger, Cameroonian Yazid Atouba Emane, in Thursday's SuperDraft with the No. 30 selection.
"There's nothing completed," Bliss said. "Dilly is still under contract to us."
Like Mirosevic, Duka was not with the team on Friday, but Warzycha expects him at practice on Monday.
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"Nothing is done, so I'm expecting him to be here," the coach said about Duka. "If anything happens between now and Monday it's going to be different, but as of now he's our player."
As far as Rogers is concerned, the Crew still retain the MLS rights to the midfielder, who left English club Leeds United by mutual consent this week. But all indications are that the club is unlikely to re-sign him. Rogers signed with Leeds after the 2011 season and is now looking for a new club.
"We have to know if he's coming back to the league, then we can go from there," Warzycha said when asked if Rogers might return to Columbus. "Robbie's a good player. He can play for any team."
Bliss indicated there was immediate interest from "quite a few teams" upon learning of Rogers' release, adding that "he has value."
Finally, Friday reports that defensive midfielder Sánchez of Argentina's Estudiantes has signed with the Crew are false.
"We put him on our Discovery list and probably early in December we kicked the tire a little bit with him," Bliss revealed. "We didn't really continue to pursue it because we had other things going on and put it on the backburner."
Said Warzycha: "We haven't offered him a contract. We are still searching for some players."
Craig Merz covers the Columbus Crew for MLSsoccer.com