Photo by ISIPhotos.com
By MARC SERBER
Barely two weeks onto the job, Columbus Crew head coach Gregg Berhalter is already busy making roster moves.
While other teams are cleaning house, the Columbus Crew announced on Friday afternoon that it exercised the contract options on 14 players from its current roster. At the same time, the club declined options on Costa Rican international Jairo Arrieta and long-time Crew member Danny O’Rourke. The Indiana University product is eligible for the MLS Re-Entry process that will begin on Dec. 7.
“The process of building our 2014 roster is now underway,” Berhalter said in a release. “Unfortunately, as part of that process difficult decisions are required. While we’ve declined options on certain players, we will continue conversations with those individuals to potentially return to the club next season. We look forward to shaping the team in the weeks ahead of preseason training camp.”
In addition to Arrieta and O’Rourke, the Crew also declined options on Drew Beckie, Glauber, Kyle Hyland, and Konrad Warzycha, the son of former coach Robert Warzycha. The club also confirmed it is in talks with goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum, defender Josh Williams, and forward Dominic Oduro, all of whom are out of contract.
Here are some more notes from around MLS:
HAMID TRAINING WITH WEST BROMWICH AHEAD OF INDONESIAN TOUR
D.C. United goalkeeper Bill Hamid is keeping sharp this offseason with a short training stint with Premier League club West Bromwich Albion.
Following his call-up to the U.S. National Team (he did not play in the team’s recent friendlies against Scotland and Austria), Hamid traveled to the West Midlands for a training stint with the Premier League club.
D.C. United was quick to point out that Hamid is not on trial, just gaining valuable experience, and will meet up with his teammates for the squad’s Indonesian tour.
Hamid had a similar training stint with the club in 2011, and multiple sources in the United Kingdom claim that West Brom likes what it is seeing.
While no move is imminent, its possible that Hamid’s future could one day take him to the Hawthorns.
DONOVAN JOINS FOX SPORTS FOR UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
Landon Donovan’s MLS season may be over, but he will still feature prominently on television this week.
The LA Galaxy striker will join Fox Sports’ studio team of Rob Stone, Eric Wynalda, Warren Barton, and Brian McBride as a guest analyst for Match Day 5 of the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday and Wednesday on Fox Sports 1.
Donovan will also appear on Monday’s Fox Sports Live, the network’s news highlights and analysis program that airs at 11 p.m. ET.
The U.S. Men’s National Team’s all-time leading scorer has previously said that he feels he would be a good contributor behind the microphone once his soccer career ends. After showing renewed signs of life on the field after his sabbatical, however, it looks like Donovan will get to enjoy both roles for the time being.
PACO PALENCIA LEAVES CHIVAS USA
In the latest turn of Chivas USA’s revolving door, Paco Palencia is leaving his position as director of soccer, ending speculation that he was a possible candidate to take the coaching reins in Carson, Calif.
The former Mexican international is heading back to parent club Chivas Guadalajara to take over as sporting director there, the club announced Thursday.
According to club president Dennis Te Kloese, Palencia’s new role in Guadalajara will give him total authority over the first team.
What do you think of these notes? Do you see Arrieta and O’Rourke staying in MLS with another team? Do you believe there’s interest in Hamid from West Bromwich? Excited to see Donovan as an analyst on television?
Share your thoughts below.