For most Europeans, the January transfer window is all tease and no touch. Very few moves of true import happen in January, and that is especially true in a World Cup year, where players would rather see if the tournament can up their stock. However, for American soccer stars, the January transfer window, which occurs during the MLS off-season, is their best chance to find a new home. With several moves simmering away or coming to fruition, this is a good chance to recap the current state of play.
Ricardo Clark Signs With Bundesliga Team Eintracht Frankfurt. For a tough tackling player like Clark, this is a great move. The Bundesliga probably suits Clark’s talents more than Premier League and it will give him a greater chance to grow as a player. Interestingly, Clark has been offered and accepted a contract through the end of the season with an option held by Frankfurt to extend it by three years. For Clark to accept this contract represents a real leap of faith on his part, and he will need to prove to Frankfurt that he is worth keeping. You gotta like that type of bottle!
Stuart Holden is not Going to Bolton, So He May be Off to Portugal. Stuart Holden’s trial at Bolton was probably doomed the moment the team fired Gary Megson and hired Owen Coyle as their new manager. Coyle was always unlikely to start chopping heads and hiring new talent in his first week as manager knowing that his main mission is to inspire a demoralized team. Given that, it came as little surprise that Bolton did not opt to pick up Holden, who is now seriously looking at playing for Sporting Braga in Portugal. Let’s hope that Holden does find time on the pitch wherever he goes, because the US could need him this summer if Clint Dempsey is not fully fit. That being said….
Dempsey to avoid Surgery. Fulham released a statement today saying that, “Early indications are positive in that no operation is required. At this stage it is thought that the injury will not prevent him playing prior to the end of the season.” Although another detail or two would be nice (what is the injury, how long is the rehab?!?!?!), this should take a worry line or two away from Bob Bradley’s forehead. Hopefully we can see Dempsey out on the pitch continuing his terrific run of form sometime soon.
Is Carlos Bocanegra on the Move? It seems the rumors are swirling that Bocanegra is moving from Rennes to Saint Etienne. After having a successful season last year, Bocanegra has found himself on the bench for most of this season under new coach Frederic Antonetti, and a loan to League 1 strugglers Saint Etienne will both help him be ready for South Africa and give him a chance to prove his value in a possible summer transfer.
Has Hull Given up on Jozy Altidore? Maybe. By signing Zaki from Egypt and signaling that they may also be making a move for his compatriot Mido, Hull seems to be moving away from Altidore as the solution to their lack of goals. The signing of Zaki, one of the great head-cases in the sporting world, indicates how desperate Hull coach Phil Brown is to find some goals from any source. Altidore has talent, and his size and speed are rare weapons, but he is very far from a finished product at this point. It looks like Jozy will have to either commit himself to developing more on the training pitch or with a different team before he can really get some quality minutes in a major league.