Dalby North End romance ends with work permit denial.
By Gary Davidson (in Washington, D.C.)
| Greg Dalby signed with Preston North End, but the former University of Notre Dame midfield stalwart is back on the market after he was turned down for a work permit.
-- University of Notre Dame web site photo --
(Wednesday, July 18, 2007) -- Young American midfielder Greg Dalby, who signed with Preston North End 13 days ago, is back on the market after he was turned down yesterday by the English government for a work permit.
The decision of England's Home Office was particularly disappointing to North End after Premier League champion Manchester United was granted a permit for 19-year-old Brazilian attacker Anderson to move over from FC Porto of Portugal. PNE officials felt the cases of Dalby and Anderson were similar.
North End, which finished seventh last season in the second-tier League Championship in 2006-07, had hoped Dalby, 21, would receive a permit as an "exceptional talent," the same criteria United used to get Anderson approved. Dalby, who finished a four-year college career at Notre Dame in December, is currently a member of the United States under-23 team, was captain of the American team in the 2005 World Youth (Under-20) Championship and earlier was a member of the U.S. under-18s.
"It always is a risk, we understood that when we brought him in, but we were led to believe that all the criteria had been met," PNE manager Paul Simpson told the club's web site. "The way it works with these Home Office applications is that you have a list of things that need to be followed and we were told that we had all the boxes ticked and that it would be dead straight forward. Unfortunately, some earnings that he had before coming over here, we were told that it would go towards the application and would help, but unfortunately they don't.
"We've lost out on it and it is disappointing for ourselves and for Greg, but we have got to move on. It's part and parcel of football and the disappointment has got to go quickly, and we have got to look to bring somebody else in now."
Simpson was impressed by Dalby after getting a brief look at him during a trial at Deepdale in January. "He's a central midfield player, more of a sitting, holding midfield player, but he's a good athlete," Simpson said at the signing. "He's good technically, with both feet, and I just think he is a player who as a 20-year-old (actually 21) will be a good addition to our squad and hopefully good for the future."
Simpson hoped Anderson being granted a work permit after an initial rejection would set a precedent for Dalby to get his papers. Normally, a player must play in 75 percent of his national team's "official" matches -- those in major competitions -- over a two-year period to be eligible for a permit.
"Everything is agreed in principle for him to come over. The contract is all sorted out, but because he doesn't fill the criteria to automatically qualify for a visa, we have to go down the special line of an 'exceptional talent,' so we are looking at that," Simpson said before learning the bad news. "It's a similar situation to the permit that the Brazilian player, Anderson, has just been given to sign for Manchester United. We are looking down those lines and apparently Greg Dalby fits all the criteria that is needed."
Simpson had an inkling before learning Dalby's fate that PNE might not experience the same good fortune as Man. U. "We hope it won't be like that, there should be one set of rules for everybody," Simpson said prior to learning the news. "We are talking about a player who we believe fills the criteria. We have been advised by lawyers who are specialists in this field that he fits all the criteria so we have just got to hope that the Home Office look at it favorably."
Celtic, the Scottish power, reportedly had great interest in Dalby before he chose to sign with Preston. He tried out for Werder Bremen of the German Bundesliga, while his agent talked to other teams in Europe. Dalby also was selected in the second round of the Major League Soccer draft, 17th overall by the Colorado Rapids.
Dalby, the 2002 men's national "High School Player of the Year" of both Gatorade and Parade magazine started all 88 games Notre Dame played in his four-year career, recording four goals and two assists while the Irish went 56-20-12 (.705).
"We have to move onto the next one," Simpson said.
Beasley makes Rangers debut
| DaMarcus Beasley made his debut with Glasgow Rangers on Friday and also played against Hannover 96 and Steve Cherundolo yesterday as part of a preseason tour of Germany.
-- Glasgow Rangers web site photo --
United States midfielder DaMarcus Beasley has only been with Glasgow Rangers for a week and so far the experience has been everything he hoped it would be as he prepares for his first season in Scotland's Premier League.
Beasley, who spent last season with Manchester City of the English Premier League on loan from PSV Eindhoven of the Netherlands, went 90 minutes Friday in his debut with Rangers, a 3-0 victory over Guetersloh, a German fourth-division club.
"The game was fun on Friday and it was my first run out with the guys," Beasley told the Rangers web site "I only started training with them that morning, so it was good to get a game. It's natural that we will all take time to get to know each other's game, but we know that.
"There is a really high standard of player in the squad, so there's going to be a lot of competition for places and I am happy with that. We are ready to be at our best and from what I have seen so far, we are well equipped to win some trophies this season."
Beasley sat out Sunday's 4-2 exhibition road victory over German amateurs SV Lippstadt, then played the first half of a 2-0 loss Tuesday at the German Bundesliga's Hannover 96 at AWD Arena.
Beasley's U.S. teammate, defender Steve Cherundolo, went the distance for Hannover
Beasley signed June 27 and was allowed to take some time off before reporting Thursday.
Pearce signs with Hansa Rostock
| Heath Pearce moved to Hansa Rostock of the German Bundesliga after two seasons in Denmark.
-- Hansa Rostock web site photo --
U.S. defender Heath Pearce became the fourth former University of Portland player to join a Bundesliga club when he signed a two-year deal with Hansa Rostock.
Pearce, 22, who made 50 appearances and scored two goals for FC NordsjŠlland in his first two professional seasons, is the second American to play for Hansa. Defender Paul Caligiuri made 22 appearances with the team in 1991.
As for the other Portland Pilots -- all veterans of the U.S. national team -- Cherundolo has made 149 appearances with Hannover 96 since joining the club in 1999. Goalkeeper Kasey Keller is looking for a new team, while also contemplating retirement, after serving as the starter for Borussia M÷nchengladbach the last two seasons.
Striker Conor Casey played for four teams over six seasons in Germany before signing with Toronto FC of MLS for this season. After playing two games with the expansion franchise, he was traded to the Colorado Rapids.
Gary Davidson is SoccerTimes publisher and managing editor.
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