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Heard and overheard at MLS Cup 2012

Dec 3, 2012, 3:45 PM EDT

(FILES) In this photo taken on March 26,

Frank Lampard to the Galaxy? Not so much

Word from those who know say any media types still peddling the Frank Lampard to Galaxy story need to tap the brakes.

The Galaxy, says one source, has very little interest.

Kaka? Yes, for sure. AEG president Tim Leiweke is on the record about that one. But the Lampard thing seems to have grown a pair of false legs.

They clubs was, on the other hand, very interested earlier this year in Giovani dos Santos and Didier Drogba, the source said, as MLS held substantive talks with representatives of both.

The Galaxy was willing to go up to $9 million a year for Drogba … which just wasn’t going to trump the ridiculous $15 million he’s earning in China.

Josh Saunders out at Galaxy?

We all saw Galaxy goalkeeper Josh Saunders more or less evaporate on the goal line Saturday as Calen Carr slammed the Houston Dynamo into the lead. It was hardly Saunders’ best moment, and it probably will drive home the final, proverbial nail. Word is that the Galaxy are finished with Saunders, who missed time this year while in the league’s substance abuse treatment program.

Word is that the Galaxy would really like to find a way to grab Dan Kennedy from down the Home Depot Center hall. Chivas USA’s besieged goalkeeper may not fit the new profile for the Goats. Or maybe he will – who really knows with that mess of a club? This much is certain: if the Galaxy could pull off this one, it would be a true coup. (And a pretty doggone good deal for Kennedy, too, who would fall break ties with the league’s wackiest, most unstable team for a spot with the two-time defending champs.)

“One … million … dollars”

We all raised eyebrows at the thought of Chris Wondolowski’s seemingly out-sized demands of $1 million.

Word is that it never happened. Not even close.

Wondolowski made $300,000 last year, certainly underpaid for a league MVP, and a record-setting one at that. But credit the man for more awareness; he may want to be a Designated Player, but he understands that he would be more in line with a Fredy Montero or Eric Hassli, DP forwards earning base salaries of somewhere north of $500,000.

(MORE: Will MLS add a little more Designated Player money?)

Bruce Arena showed up … where?

I have never quite decided if Bruce Arena loves to hate the media … or if he just enjoys poking the media bear, and also enjoys a good joust.

Either way, Arena has never seemed to embrace that part of the American soccer coaching experience. He never seems to relish speaking to the media (which isn’t hard to understand considering all of the silly questions the man has endured through the years, especially a few years back before the media world evolved into a better place for soccer.)

Any-whose, it was downright shocking to see Arena show up Thursday at a media happy hour. He was jovial and seemed quite happy to be there.

The Galaxy will be going somewhere … soon

The Los Angeles Galaxy will not be sitting still. Very soon – by the end of the week, perhaps – they will be off on another check-cashing tour to some far-flung land. Not that this is a shocker; the Galaxy have done the same over the last couple of years. The surprise is why the club seems ever intent on making it a surprise. Look for an announcement in the next couple of days.

Red Bulls looking to “buy domestic”

The Red Bulls are moving and grooving on the personnel front. As I mentioned before, that’s dangerous, because they don’t have a coach. When player personnel strokes flow against the coaching grain, chances of success can fall dramatically.

At least the new sheriffs in town around Red Bull Arena seem to recognize their area of weakness – which is a deeper knowledge of where to find domestic talent, and a solid understanding of the MLS player personnel nitty-gritty. Word is that they truly are determined to hire someone that fits the bill – so previous reports to that effect weren’t just talk or misdirection. That’s encouraging if you’re a Red Bulls fan, that this administration may not face the same long learning curve the last one did.

That could be an American coach, and American assistant or it could be in the creation of position in between the manager and GM Andy Roxburgh.

  1. sluggo271 - Dec 3, 2012 at 4:04 PM

    Wondo should really seek greener pasteurs in Europe or perhaps, Mexico. In the end, he deserves to be paid. And I am not talking about MLS wages. Millions await outside our borders.

    • joeyt360 - Dec 3, 2012 at 5:00 PM

      Wondo has never been hard done by in MLS. He’s gotten a major salary increase every year since he started producing–even though he had a contract, the team has been willing to tear it up every off-season for a bigger one, and from what I hear they are willing to do so again.

  2. danielofthedale - Dec 3, 2012 at 5:28 PM

    I know Chivas has never meet a bad choice they did not make, but even they would not be so stupid to get rid of their best player in Dan Kennedy and send him to the cross town rivals right?

    I have two names that I think would be interesting if the Galaxy are going to go in a new direction at GK. One would be Brad Friedel. I think this Hugo will be the new number one full time for Spurs next season for the money they paid and I think Brad wants to be number one. LA could have two DP spots open depending on what Landon does so why not bring Brad back to MLS. I think LA’s winning streak could intrigue him and they could pay him.

    A more realistic option though would be Joe Willis, assuming Bill Hamid does not go to Europe. I think he is the best number two GK in the league is still a young guy that could be the keeper for years to come. I United see him as the heir to Hamid but that passing of the torch could still be a few years away. I think a package of Saunders, cash, and maybe Edson Buddle could get it done.

    • tylerbetts - Dec 3, 2012 at 6:11 PM

      Will Hesmer could be a real option for the Galaxy, too.

      I don’t see Friedel, just because it doesn’t make a lot of sense to spend one of three DP slots on him, and it’s doubtful he’d go for less than DP money.

  3. randomhandle1 - Dec 3, 2012 at 6:01 PM

    Good stuff, Steve. Love this kind of MLS reporting.

    One thing: Wasn’t it determined that Josh Saunders actually checked in to the MLS program because of anxiety or personal issues — not substance abuse? I mean, I realize MLS calls it “the substance abuse treatment program,” and if that’s the name, that’s the name. But it seems a bit unfair to Saunders that everyone continues to imply he had a drug or drink problem.

    (If my initial premise is incorrect — if it really was substance abuse — then just ignore me…)

    • mvktr2 - Dec 3, 2012 at 11:08 PM

      Agreed, thanks for this Steve!

  4. mvktr2 - Dec 3, 2012 at 11:34 PM

    Lampard a no show = GOOD!

    Saunders out, where to go? Not a DP position. Fwiw this reminds me of Dallas’ Hartman who still has some, not a lot, left in the tank. I personally think he’s a better fit to be a mentor to a younger keeper like MacMath.

    Wondo a half-millionaire = good, deserves every penny, also one of the most marketable players in the league just plain likable!
    On this note how many other MLS players have come through the ranks to become DPs other than Landon Donovan?

    Good and bad to hear NYRB may be getting a grasp on the fact that they don’t exist in a bubble and must function within the construct of this league.

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