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Has the Dragon left his lair? USWNT cruise past Canada. More news.

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Philadelphia Union

The silly season got sillier for the Philadelphia Union over the weekend. Following word from England that Sebastien Le Toux reportedly did not sufficiently impress while on trial with Bolton, and the news that Danny Mwanga is training for two weeks with Aston Villa, the Union transfer rumor well still wasn’t dry.

On Saturday, a report from Colombian said that Faryd Mondragon was ready to make a move to Deportivo Cali, the club at which he began his career some 20 years ago. In the report, Deportivo vice president Maria Clara Naranjo says that a deal is “99%” done and that Mondragon is the one “making arrangements to withdraw from the Philadelphia Union.” (Crappy translation here.)

On Sunday, PSP posted a article in which a Union official said that the club had not been in communication with Deportivo about a transfer and that Mondragon was at the club’s training camp.

Another article out of Colombia on Sunday suggested that a deal for Mondragon’s return to Deportivo was practically complete with Deportivo manager Luis Fernando Lenis saying what remains to be negotiated to finalize the deal is “almost nothing.” Mondragon is quoted as saying he is happy that a deal is being done and that he will “immediately travel to Cali this week.” (Crappy translation here.)

Also on Sunday, “Sport transfer gossip specialist” Alan Nixon kept the Le Toux rumors fires burning when he reported that a Bolton move for Le Toux could still happen “If there are any funds left.”

Late on Sunday night, the Union canceled press access to today’s opening of training at YSC Sports in Wayne. Access on Tuesday, when the transfer window closes in England, had previously been scheduled to be unavailable.

On Monday morning, a story appeared on ligapostobon.com, the official website of the Colombian first division, saying Mondragon would return to Cali early this week. (Crappy translation here.)

Also on Monday, The Bolton News reported Le Toux is still an option for Wanderers “with his club Philadelphia Union ready to sell for a fair price.”

All of which begs two questions:

  1. What the f’ is going on?
  2. Is it March 12 yet?

Philadelphia Independence

The Independence will reportedly play their 2012 home opener at PPL Park, where they hope to play as many as four games there this season.

CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying

The USWNT handily defeated Canada 4–0 in the final of the 2012 CONCACAF Olympic Qualifiers. All told, the team defeated its five opponents in the tournament by the score of 38–0.

Finding a replacement for right back Ali Krieger, injured in the first game of the tournament, will be a prime task for the team, who have a friendly with New Zealand on Feb. 12 before heading to Portugal for the Algarve Cup tournament in the beginning of March.

The New York Times has two articles on Canadian-born Sydney Leroux, one which profiles her history and decision to play for the US, the other looking at how her playing for the US reflects similar moves around the world by players with dual citizenship.

MLS

Tim Ream says MLS needs to raise its salary cap if it wants to keep young American talent in the league. “The biggest thing to keep us here is to give us competitive salaries with teams from overseas. It’s hard to do with the way the league is currently set up.”

The Guardian wonders if we are witnessing a brave new dawn for the league.

US

Steve Davis writes at SI that, while Jurgen Klinsmann will be pleased with two victories in January, he will not be pleased that only two players—Jermaine Jones and Geoff Cameron—stood out in those games.

Elsewhere

Liverpool chairman Tom Werner has denied rumors that the club signed Stuart Downing on the basis of a fake YouTube highlight reel.

10 Comments

  1. I hope I’m not the only one who feels quite a bit of anxiety over having a 20yr old #1 with no back-up on the roster should El Capitan head for his homeland. Zac MacMath is our future, but I not sure if he’s quite ready for primetime yet. Taking into account time missed for the London Olympics and qualifying, ZM18 will be gone for a good chunk of our season. Who will be MacMath’s deputy? Mondragon’s departure could be devastating for the 2012 season.

  2. Thanks for everything Dragon but I’m happy with Zac Macmath. At least he doesn’t get beat from distance once a game.

  3. I’m just saying, but if we are going to give up Mondragon to Cali I want Diego Restrepo even if it costs us a good bit of bimbo bucks. He’s an American, so no international spot taken up, and he has as much potential as Zac Macmath. It makes no sense to me why Cali would want Mondragon when they have Restrepo already.

  4. All this Le Toux and Dragon talk is great, but where is the Torres news!?! Honestly Torres is the only player I would be upset with losing.

  5. Wow, this article is already out of date. With WPS suspending play, I guess the Independence will have to open against a local high school team like Archbishop Prendergast or St. Hubert’s… o crap, that won’t work, either! What’s the world coming to?

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