The Washington Post

Friday kickaround

(Soccer Insider) (Soccer Insider)

*The Los Angeles Galaxy’s decision to upgrade defender Omar Gonzalez to a designated player Thursday reminded me of the University of Maryland’s 2008 NCAA championship team and the MLS success (and salaries) achieved by so many of the starters from the the final against North Carolina:

Gonzalez, Los Angeles Galaxy, U.S. national team: undisclosed DP salary

Midfielder Graham Zusi, Sporting Kansas City, U.S. national team: $383,000 (guaranteed compensation)

Goalkeeper Zac MacMath, Philadelphia Union: $155,000

Midfielder-defender Rodney Wallace, Portland Timbers, Costa Rican national team: $150,000

Defender A.J. DeLaGarza, Los Angeles Galaxy: $142,000

Forward Casey Townsend, D.C. United: $91,000

Midfielder-defender Jeremy Hall, Toronto FC: $90,000

(Midfielder Matt Kassel, a Red Bulls developmental player now with Philadelphia, was a sub in the final.)

*Bundesliga side Hoffenheim remains in talks about loaning out Joseph Gyau, a 20-year-old winger from Silver Spring, Md., who spent last season with second-tier St. Pauli and began this campaign with Hoffenheim’s reserve squad in the fourth division. The deadline for a deal is Aug. 31.

Two Dutch clubs and a German second-division team have showed interest but Hoffenheim wants them to inherit his entire salary, I’m told. He has two years left on his contract.

*Another D.C. area player in a tight spot overseas is Oguchi Onyewu. He is not in Sporting Lisbon’s plans and might have his contract terminated because, the club claims, he underwent minor knee surgery after the CONCACAF Gold Cup without its consent and knowledge.

Onyewu, 31, was on loan to Malaga in Spain last season and has been seeking a new home in Europe this summer. Neither he nor his representatives have confirmed whether he had an operation, but one source told me he did undergo a procedure to clear debris from a knee. Onyewu had suffered an ankle injury during the Gold Cup, and during examination, was urged to have the knee issue addressed.

*Ticket sales for the Washington Spirit’s final NWSL match of the season — Sunday at 5 p.m. against Sky Blue FC at Maryland SoccerPlex — have surpassed 3,600. Despite the league’s worst record, the Spirit will finish fourth among eight clubs in attendance with an average of around 3,600. The preseason goal was 3,000.

Spirit players Ali Krieger and Ashlyn Harris are slated to leave for Sweden on Monday to join Tyreso FF. Because of their transition, U.S. Coach Tom Sermanni is not expected to call them for the national team friendly against Mexico on Sept. 3 at RFK Stadium.

*D.C. United video flashback: Game 1 of the 1996 MLS Eastern Conference finals against the Tampa Bay Mutiny. (Thanks to Twitter follower @SBoy79)

Note the seats behind the goals at RFK Stadium, the faded Redskins logos in the penalty areas, the Salvadoran flags, DCU’s MasterCard jersey sponsor, Bruce Arena and Thomas Rongen on the sideline (plus United assistant Bob Bradley), Marco Etcheverry‘s mullet and Raul Diaz Arce‘s hat trick. Watch:

Steven Goff is The Post’s soccer writer. His beats include D.C. United, MLS and the international game, as well as local college basketball.
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