The MLS Draft is mostly for drafting, of course. But it’s also a chance for discovery, since every coach is there. (Well, unless you’re coaching Toronto FC … but let’s not go there right now. And, well, unless you may or may not be taking that dusty, vacant coaching seat in New York … but let’s not go there right now.)
Back on point … is there a Landon Donovan resolution coming soon? And what of Omar Gonzalez, who is out of contract after this season with the Galaxy?
During today’s draft, ESPN’s Monica Gonzalez asked Galaxy manager Bruce Arena about both players.
On Omar Gonzalez (pictured), the best player at MLS Cup 2012, Arena said the club would “let this year play out,” apparently indicating that they either will not or cannot bind Gonzalez to a longer deal.
Arena acknowledged that his big center back will have “lots of options” going forward. Indeed.
The guess here is that Arena and the Galaxy aren’t so much letting “this year play out” as much they are making the best of a lesser situation. That is, Gonzalez’s representation arm has probably told MLS and the Galaxy that their client will not sign a new deal. That means he’s heading overseas as soon as possible.
That leaves the Galaxy with two choices (assuming they don’t sell Gonzalez now at top value, which remains technically possible during the ongoing international transfer window):
They could sell him in the summer at a sharply reduced price (because Gonzalez could also sign a pre-contract, playing out the MLS season while under obligation to move in January, thus diminishing his value over where it stands today). Or the Galaxy could just let Gonzalez play out the year, gaining as much as they can from his ability and then letting him go for free 11 months from now.
As for Donovan, who has yet to decide his future in pro soccer, here’s what Arena told Gonzalez: “We’re going to have an opportunity to sit down with Landon this weekend and really find out where he’s at, what direction we’re all headed, and hopefully everything will work out for him and for the Galaxy.”