MLS Ticker: Socceroos captain closing in on MLS move; Red Bulls part ways with Digao; and more

LucasNeillGoal1Australia (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

Tim Cahill might soon not be the only Australian in Major League Soccer.

According to reports, Australian National Team captain Lucas Neill is on his way to North America, finalizing a deal with MLS. The reports state that the 35-year-old defender is in talks with two teams, one of them rumored to be Toronto FC, where Neill can count head coach Ryan Nelsen as a former teammate.

The news of Neill’s potential signing in MLS was revealed by his national team head coach Holger Osieck as he spoke about his squad for the EAFF East Asian Cup that begins on Saturday.

Currently a free agent, Neill’s career has from Millwall to Blackburn, West Ham, and Everton, during a 15-year stay in England, to Galatasaray in Turkey and two clubs in the United Arab Emirates the past two seasons He played in three matches this past spring for Sydney FC, missing a large amount of time with injury.

For the Socceroos, Neill has appeared 92 times and scored his first international goal last month in a 4-0 victory over Iraq.

Here are some more stories to catch you up around the league:

RED BULLS WAVE GOODBYE TO DIGAO

One of the biggest head-scratching decisions in recent memory has been atoned for.

The New York Red Bulls announced on Friday that they had parted ways with Brazilian defender Digao, mutually terminating his contract. According to figures released by the MLS Players Association earlier this year, Digao was due to make $200,000 this season, an amazing number for someone who had only played one minute of one game for the club last season.

Many believe that Digao was signed to help enable the Red Bulls to sign his brother, Ricardo Kaka, of Real Madrid. However, the latest reports state that Kaka has no interest in coming to the Red Bulls in the future.

Digao made just three appearances this season for the Red Bulls reserves. He made no appearances for the first team.

DI VAIO STILL AWAY FROM TEAM

Earlier this week, Montreal Impact forward Marco Di Vaio returned to Italy for what the team says was “family reasons.”

Though he was expected to return to Montreal on Thursday, the Italian forward didn’t show up for practice, leaving his status for this Saturday’s match against FC Dallas highly in doubt.

“You never know, but I spoke to him [Wednesday] and, you know, there are more important things than football,” Schällibaum told ImpactMontreal.com. “I extend my thoughts to him. I understand this situation. We won’t force anything. He has more important things to do. We’ll miss him on the field if the situation stands, but we have to work along with this.”

If Di Vaio isn’t available to go, Andrew Wenger will likely start alongside Daniele Paponi up top.

CHIVAS USA, MACMATH, FINED BY MLS

One week after the 3-1 victory for the Philadelphia Union over Chivas USA, Major League Soccer has come down with three disciplinary fines.

Union goalkeeper Zac MacMath was fined an undisclosed amount for “hands to the face/head of an opponent,” stemming from an incident between MacMath and Chivas USA defender Walter Vilchez.

Chivas USA as a club have been fined $5,000 for what the MLS Disciplinary Committee calls a “violation of the League’s policy on mass confrontation.” Manager Jose Luis Real was also issued a fine of $1,000.

The second incident was after Josue Soto was shown a red card in the 79th minute, which saw nearly half of the Chivas USA players surround the referee to argue the decision.

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What do you think of these reports? Do you see Neill being successful in MLS? Do you agree with the Red Bulls move to part ways with Digao? Do you believe the Impact can win on Saturday potentially without Di Vaio?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in Featured, Major League Soccer, MLS- Chivas USA, MLS- Montreal Impact, MLS- New York Red Bulls, MLS- Philadelphia Union. Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to MLS Ticker: Socceroos captain closing in on MLS move; Red Bulls part ways with Digao; and more

  1. slowleftarm says:

    As a Blackburn supporter I can tell you that Lucas Neill was an excellent right back – about 6-8 years ago.

  2. Brain Guy says:

    Between Pearce’s injury, Juninho’s departure, and now Digao’s departure, RBNY has surely opened up some cap space and some roster space (even net of the addition of the new defender). Can we expect an announcement soon?

  3. Pepe says:

    The Red Bulls are such a circus. I can’t imagine trying to be a fan of that team.

  4. beto says:

    do the kiwi’s and soccoros have any rivalry between them?

    and why don’t these soccoros/kiwi legends; cahill, nelsen, neill, etc ever seem to go to the A-League? glad to have them, esp Cahill.

    • ben says:

      Yes, they do have a rivalry, but honestly it’s pretty one sided and other sports (rugby, cricket) are bigger affairs. But NZ and Aus are rivals at about everything.

      As for the other q, a lot of them don’t hit the A-League, but a lot do. Emerton is there now, Kewell has decided to go back to the league for a second time this year. They are a lot like MLS-salary caps, teams losing money, etc. but they also don’t have many (any?) soccer specific stadiums so that hurts the pocketbooks as well. So basically they don’t come back for the same reason our guys don’t: $.

      Anyway, Neill “played” for Sydney FC last year. Actually, let me rephrase that: Neill got repeatedly injured for SFC after coming in hurt. I wouldn’t expect much at all from him in MLS. He didn’t show much in his few appearances in Oz last season.

  5. ChrisTheLSUTiger says:

    lol @ Chivas
    lol @ Red Bulls
    lol @ repetitive themes
    and lol @ TFC if they sign another aging player with a shady injury history

    • Cavan says:

      and lol@TFC if they sign another defender when they really, really need a few good center mids. They have nobody to do any distribution and provide multiple passing options on attack and clog up the middle on defense. Other teams are free to distribute out of a deep center mid spot AND also do dribble at the TFC center backs all game long.

      As bad form as my beloved DC United is showing, at least they’re trying to improve their center mid depth, both attacking and defensive.

    • Charles says:

      lol @ a great and spot on post