January 18, 2007
Real Madrid and Brazilian National Team forward Ronaldo reportedly has agreed to a contract with Serie A giants AC Milan that would pay him $7.7 million per season. The issue now is whether Real Madrid would let Ronaldo move to AC Milan on a free transfer. Real Madrid reportedly turned down an almost $13 million transfer fee from Saudi club Il Ittihad and was asking for closer to $20 million.
But, the climate in Madrid has changed as Ronaldo has joined David Beckham in the dog house of Real Madrid manager Fabio Capello. Madrid president Ramon Calderon has also said that Real Madrid would be better off if Ronaldo were to leave.
The move to AC Milan would push out all of the Ronaldo to the NY Red Bulls rumors that have been flying around for months. Although, Ronaldo's contract would reportedly still run out at the end of the 2007-08 season. So, the rumors would only need to be put on hold for about 12 months.
Personally, I think it would be a good thing for Ronaldo, like Figo, to not come to MLS at this point. I don't see Ronaldo having the drive to be the difference maker on the field and off the field that MLS needs their Designated Players to be.
Preki finally named as the new coach of Chivas USA
In a logical move that took way too long to be made official, Preki was elevated from assistant coach to head coach of Chivas USA yesterday. Preki had been Bob Bradley's top assistant in 2006 and was the most logical choice to replace Bradley when he joined US Soccer.
Preki becomes the seventh former MLS player to be a current head coach in the league. However, Preki is the only member of that group with two MLS MVP awards on his resume, along with 28 caps for the US Men's National Team.
Only in America will you find a coach that was born in Serbia, played for the US Men's National Team, and works for Mexican owners.
I think this is a solid move by Chivas USA and the only question I have is why this move wasn't made official a day or two after Bob Bradley left Chivas USA for his new job with US Soccer.
Rochester in talks to have a team in WUSA version 2.0 starting in 2008
Tonya Antonucci, CEO of San Francisco nonprofit called the Women's Soccer Initiative, is starting to talk about the cities that she's talking to about being a part of a rebirth of the WUSA and Rochester, NY is on her list.
It's been talked about for a while that the Rhinos ownership group was very interested in having a top flight women's pro team playing at PAETEC Park. And now it appears that it may happen within the next 18 months.
Cliff Notes version of the news out of the Rhinos clinic last evening
- Frankie Sanfilippo is gone to the Carolina RailHawks
- The USL should be releasing the USL 1st Division and W-League schedule within the next ten days
- The Rhinos have contract offers out to a variety of players, both new and 2006 Rhinos that are currently out of contract, and the team hopes to be able to announce some signings within the next few weeks
- NY State has yet to release further funding for Phase II of PAETEC Park, but the team expects that it will happen soon and they will be able to get work started on building out the suites, building a commissary to help improve the concessions in 2007, and build a TV studio to help the team provide content to the new Time Warner Sports Network.
The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author, and not necessarily those of the Rochester Rhinos or SoccerSam.com. Feel free to send any comments or complaints to firstname.lastname@example.org. James promises to read (but not to respond) to all of them.