The Galaxy's roster for next season is slowly becoming clearer, it appears, and that's not necessarily a good thing. David Beckham might be off for Paris Saint-Germain -- nothing concrete on that yet -- but might L.A. also have to do without Juninho and Omar Gonzalez?
Sambafoot, a website covering Brazilian soccer, reports that Juninho, Beckham's midfield partner for the Galaxy, has signed a three-year contract extension with Sao Paulo FC.
Juninho, 22, spent the past two seasons with the Galaxy on loan from Sao Paulo, and there's no indication that another loan deal can't be done. The Galaxy had been seeking to purchase his contract, and Juninho last month expressed a desire to return to L.A.
“I'm very happy here,” he said a few days after the Galaxy's MLS Cup triumph over Houston. “This is a family right now, and after winning the cup, everybody is happy. I'm very secure here. I have my wife here and a lot of friends.”
Sao Paulo has not announced a deal on its website, and Galaxy coach/general manager Bruce Arena was not available for comment Tuesday.
Gonzalez, 23, the MLS Defender of the Year, has attracted attention in Mexico and in Europe, and Britain's Sky Sports reports that there “is major interest from the [English] Premier League.” Beckham, the report said, has helped, giving rave reviews of the defender in discussions with his contacts in the English game.
The tall Texan also has been linked with moves to Mexican giant Club America -- his Mexican heritage means he would not count as a foreigner -- and with unidentified clubs in France, Germany and Italy.
The Galaxy already has lost one center back, with Gregg Berhalter's retirement and appointment as manager at Swedish club Hammarby, and right back/midfielder Sean Franklin is out of contract, so Arena could be left retooling his defense if a significant offer materializes for Gonzalez.
Brazilian Leonardo, another Sao Paulo loaner who missed almost all of the 2011 season after tearing knee ligaments, and A.J. DeLaGarza could be the starting tandem in central defense if Gonzalez were to depart. DeLaGarza is the Galaxy's most versatile defender and could be employed at right back if Franklin were to move permanently into midfield or sign elsewhere.
Arena last week said the Galaxy had made an offer to Franklin (Palmdale/Highland HS and Cal State Northridge), the 2008 MLS Rookie of the Year.
“It's his prerogative whether to accept the offer or not,” Arena said. “It it doesn't happen, it doesn't happen, and we have to move on. ... Hopefully, we can get something done this week.”
Juninho has a massive impact in his second season with the Galaxy, teaming with Beckham to provide a midfield foundation and contributing mightily to the attack. He scored several big goals, including the stoppage-time winner against Morelia and the lone goal a Motagua in L.A.'s final two group games in the CONCACAF Champions League to lift the team into next year's knockout stage.
The Galaxy already have made a move to strengthen their midfield, signing Brazilian Marcelo Sarvas from Costa Rican champ Alajuelense. He likely will slide into Beckham's or Juninho's slots should they depart.
ELSEWHERE: In other MLS news ...
England's Daily Mail reports that Leeds United are about to sign midfielder Robbie Rogers (Huntington Beach and Palos Verdes/Mater Dei HS), 24, whose contract with Columbus expires at the end of the month. Rogers, who recently trialed at Leeds, spent six months in Holland with Heerenveen before joining the Crew in 2007.
Fox Soccer reports that Akron's Darren Mattocks and Duke's Andrew Wenger have joined UC Santa Barbara's Sam Garza in the Generation adidas class. Mattocks and Wenger are considered potential No. 1 draft picks.
MLS announced that teams may open preseason camps on Jan. 15.