Thursday, February 9, 2012
Reports say L.A. nixes Keane extension
By Scott French
Aston Villa's request to extend Robbie Keane's loan deal beyond Feb. 25 has been turned down by the Galaxy, according to reports Thursday in England.
The Birmingham-based club, which acquired Keane in mid-January on a 6 ½-week loan, asked the Galaxy to allow the Irish striker to remain in England through Villa's March 3 game at Blackburn, English wire service The Press Association and West Midlands daily Express & Star reported without sourcing.
Keane will join the Galaxy following Ireland's European Championship prep Feb. 29 in Dublin against the Czech Republic. The Galaxy plays March 7 in a CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal first leg at Toronto FC and March 10 in their Major League Soccer opener at Home Depot Center against Real Salt Lake.
Keane has been superb for Aston Villa, anchoring the English Premier League club's attack and scoring three goals in four starts. The club is spending a reported $775,000 for the fee and Keane's salary during the loan.
His final game with Villa will be Feb. 25 at Wigan Athletic.
WORTH NOTING: Midfielder Dan Keat has been called in for New Zealand's Feb. 29 friendly against Jamaica in Auckland, his first call-up to the full national team. He played for the All Whites' U-20 and U-23 teams. ... A lot of buzz that Chad Barrett, rehabbing his end-of-season ankle injury, could be headed out. Edson Buddle's return and Pat Noonan's arrival provides solid depth at forward, and the former UCLA star's salary ($192,000 in 2011) might be needed to make other moves and fit under the cap. ... How are the Galaxy affording all these additions to what already was the league's most expensive roster in a league with a $2.81 million cap? Fox Soccer's Ives Galarcep reports that the club had about $1.385 million to play with, thanks to allocation money, salary dumps and existing assets, enough to bring back Buddle and Juninho, take on Keane's full-season salary and acquire Marcelo Sarvas, Noonan, Kyle Nakazawa and a few others. ... Fox Soccer reports that Cal State Bakersfield All-America forward Gyasi Zardes (Hawthorne/Leuzinger HS) turned down a Home Grown Player contract offer worth $100,000 annually from the Galaxy.
ELSEWHERE: In other MLS (and American) news ...
Houston acquired forward Macoumba Kandji from Colorado for a conditional draft pick. Dynamo president Chris Canetti reported talks with Honduran forward Carlo Costly have broken off, but head coach Dominic Kinnear said there remains contact.
Philadelphia signed Colombian forward Lionard Pajoy from Itagüi.
Colombian striker Jose Moreno's loan deal to New England could collapse after he expressed a desire to remain at Once Caldas.
San Jose rewarded star forward Chris Wondolowski, who has scored 34 goals the past two seasons, with an upgraded contract for the second year in a row.
New York coach Hans Backe said Thierry Henry would return from the Arsenal loan on Feb. 17.
English midfielder Jason Banton, who trialed last year with Chivas USA, posted on his Twitter feed that he's been released from Seattle's camp. The Sounders acquired him in the supplemental draft.
The U.S. will face Brazil on May 30 in Landover, Md. ESPN2 and Univision (KMEX/Channel 34) will televise, with kickoff 5 p.m. PT. The Yanks also face Canada, on June 3 in Toronto, in another World Cup qualifying prep, and a match against Antigua & Barbuda will be announced next week. The U.S. under-23s, preparing for Olympic qualifying, will face Mexico's U-23s on Feb. 29 in Frisco, Texas.
CONMEBOL has approached CONCACAF with a proposal to combine Copa America, South America's nations championship, and the CONCACAF Gold Cup into one 18-nation event, Medio Tiempo reported. The tournament would be played in the U.S. in 2016, the 100th anniversary of Copa America.