David Beckham will be headed home this summer for the London Olympics, just not for the reason he had hoped.
According to reports in England, confirmed by the player himself, Beckham has not been selected by Team Great Britain manager Stuart Pearce as one of three overage players for the tournament. Pearce watched Beckham play last week, and it was widely believed the midfielder would be selected. But it appears now that Craig Bellamy, Ryan Giggs and Micah Richards will be the three elder statesmen in the squad.
"Everyone knows how much playing for my country has always meant to me," Beckham said. "So I would have been honored to have been part of this unique Team GB squad. Naturally, I am very disappointed, but there will be no bigger supporter of the team than me. And like everyone, I will be hoping they can win the gold."
One player familiar with Beckham from his AC Milan days could join him in MLS in the coming days. Center back Alessandro Nesta was spotted at Stade Saputo last night, and this report claims that negotiations between the Italian defender and Toronto FC are heating up and could be completed in the next week or so.
If Nesta is on his way to Toronto, he was fortunate to see the very best his suitors had to offer on Wednesday night, as the Reds dispatched the Impact 3-0 with goals from Torsten Frings, Ryan Johnson and Danny Koevermans. (HIGHLIGHTS)
The Impact's new DP, Marco Di Vaio, played 55 minutes, but couldn't help his new team keep the visitors from spoiling his MLS debut. The former Italian international said afterward that he had hoped to have more chemistry with his teammates: "It's hard to play with the other guys in attack because we've had very few practices together," he said. "We'll get better, but I was hoping our chemistry would be more advanced than it was."
The win was Toronto's first road win of the season and first three points under manager Paul Mariner. He was understandably delighted, but acknowledged it is just the beginning of the progress: “I said to the players, ‘Superb performance, thanks very much, but we’ve got a lot of work to do,'" he told.
The Reds remain in last place in the Eastern Conference, but are unbeaten in three under Mariner and hold games in hand on their closest competitors.
While Nesta ponders his next move, one of his former teammates in Italy is doing the same, and the LA Galaxy are reportedly a possible final destination. According to his agent, Clarence Seedorf is close to choosing his next club and considering the Galaxy after training with Bruce Arena's side for over the past few weeks.
In other Designated Player news, the Columbus Crew appear to be clearing the path for a high-profile signing. The team waived three players – defenders Shaun Francis, Korey Veeder and Aubrey Perry – clearing cap space for a potential signing one day after head coach Robert Warzycha said the Crew had "offered a contract to an unnamed player: “We have to position ourselves for the possibility that we’re going to sign another international player,” Columbus president and GM Mark McCullers said.
The Chicago Fire are also doing some maneuvering as the transfer window opens. With Kheli Dube released, Kwame Watson-Siriboe traded to Real Salt Lake and Sebastián Grazzini's status still up in the air, Fire manager Frank Klopas confirmed Chicago have targets, specifically mentioning Dutch striker Sherjill MacDonald: "He's one of four or five candidates we're looking at," Klopas said. "It's a short list of guys that we've done a lot of work on. We're looking to add another striker."
There is also some news on the business side of things. First, FC Dallas announced a multimillion-dollar jersey sponsorship on Wednesday.
Second, the San Diego Flash, currently playing in the NPSL, could make the jump to the North American Soccer League (NASL).
At the Euro 2012 semifinals, Spain defeated Portugal on penalties on Wednesday to reach Sunday's final. Germany will take on Italy on ESPN at 2:45 pm ET to decide who will attempt to wrest the title from the defending champions.
On a related note, Soccernomics author Simon Kuper details how Germany's economics reflect its soccer ahead of today's match.
And finally, although it may not be quite the same world-class level as the Euro tournament, Steve Nash's Showdown in Chinatown 2012 took place in New York City on Wednesday evening. Check out some of the highlights, including basketball star Elton Brand's sad whiff after he was set up by Chelsea's Salomon Kalou.
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