(Sunday, July 27, 2008) -- With Freddy Adu already in the fold, AS Monaco of France's Ligue 1 is moving to add his fellow U.S. men's and Olympic-team attacker Michael Bradley to the midfield.
Benfica of Portugal agreed to loan Adu to Monaco, which will have an option to buy Adu after the 2008-09 season or return him to Benfica.
The deal was negotiated by Monaco's new American club president and part owner Jerome de Bontin.
At one point, Monaco made offers for both Adu and Bradley, who as a withdrawn striker\midfielder led Heerenveen of the Dutch Eredivisie with 16 league and 20 overall goals in 2007-08.
According to French newspaper Le Parisien, now that Adu has been brought to The Rock, de Bontin is now focused on signing Bradley. Recent reports from Le Figaro and Nice Matin indicated that Monaco has upped its offer for Bradley to about $13 million, while Heerenveen is demanding a price closer to $15.5 million. Previous reports had Middlesbrough of the English Premier League offering about $7.8 million, while Germany's Bild had Bayer Leverkusen's of the German Bundesliga offering about $7 million.
Adu became the fourth American in France, along with defender Carlos Bocanegra, who is joining Rennes, midfielder Andrew Jacobson, who is at Lorient and Quentin Westberg, the backup goalkeeper at Troyes.
It looks less likely U.S. striker Jozy Altidore will be loaned out by his new team, Villarreal of Spain. It had been rumored that he was being offered to Spain's Recreativo de Huelva for a six-month period, but Villareal manager Manuel Pellegrini has indicated that Altidore will remain with the first team until at least January because of an injury to veteran forward Nihat Kahveci.
Kahveci suffered a thigh injury during the Euro 2008 tournament while playing for Turkey and eventually required surgery, keeping him out of action for the first half of the Spanish season.
Altidore saw his first action for his new team last Sunday, a 12-0 exhibition romp over third-division Navata. Altidore then departed to join the U.S. Olympics team.
U.S. midfielder Benny Feilhaber is finally formally out at Derby County, which finished last in the EPL and was relegated to England's League Championship.
Derby, which to nobody's surprise is conducting a housecleaning, is bringing in nine new players, while letting go a half dozen of last season's performers, including Feilhaber, who was limited to 10 matches, nine as a sub, because of injuries.
While Feilhaber's agent is probably working overtime to find him a club, it seems a few options might be available. First, he could return to Hamburg in Germany on a free transfer. Secondly, given the desperate situation at FC St Pauli of Germany, he might be able to find a spot in the starting 11.
Israels' Maccabi Tel Aviv expressed interest in him in January and might still be interested in acquiring him.
American midfielder Bryan Arguez has experienced a few growing pains for Hertha Berlin of the Bundesliga in recent weeks, but now looks to be on track. After passing out in a training session two weeks ago (reportedly due to jet lag), the Miami native acquitted himself well in two friendlies last week against Hoeppel Tel Aviv, the latter ending in a 0-0 draw.
While the Berlin press continues to bemoan the lack of scoring punch in this year's Hertha edition, its seems satisfied with the back line, in particular Arguez who is filling in for injured Swiss international Steve Von Bergen. Brazilian defender Lucio also remains injured which means that Arguez, a natural defensive midfielder filling in on the back line, could see some starts with the first team early in the season.
Arguez's arrival and role at Hertha displays a number of parallels with the club's last American, Tony Sanneh. Both were formerly with MLS's D.C. Unied, are tall at 6-foot-2 and seen as being useful for set pieces. Both are midfielders filling in on the back line at Hertha. The main difference is that Arguez is starting his Bundesliga career at a much younger age. He is only 18, while Sanneh was 27 when he joined the team.
It appears American midfielder Danny Szetela will remain at Brescia of Italy's Serie B a bit longer. According to the Corriere Dello Sport, the club has agreed to terms to buy the previously loaned New Jersey native though terms have not been made public. He made 10 appearances for Brescia last season and now looks primed to earn more playing time in the coming season.
St. Pauli of the German 2.Bundeliga is still looking for defensive help since the anticipated return of U.S. defender Cory Gibbs appears doubtful. "I assume he is not now coming." St Pauli sports director Helmut Schulte told Bild
Gibbs, whose contract with Charlton Athletic (a team for which he never appeared due to injuries) just ran out, had recently been training with the Hamburg-based side which was his former employer. Gibbs reportedly still in Miami, Fla., pondering his future, which could be in MLS.
Another American defender who formerly played for St Pauli, Ian Joy, had also been considered.
VFL Osnabruck midefielder Joe Enochs has retired after a long player career, but will coach Osnabruck's reserve team.
The California native has been working on his German coaching certifications during the offseason the past few years. He becomes only the second U.S.-born coach to work in European soccer, following Brent Goulet at Elversberg of the German Regionalliga (third division).
Enochs, who played once for the U.S. men, made 359 appearances in 12 seasons for VFL, scoring 12 goals. Enochs broke the club record for matches played on May 19, 2007. He also won the "Goal of the Month" award from the ARD television network in September 2004 for his strike against Bayern Munich in an early round of the German national cup competition.
In the tradition of American Tony Sanneh, who opened a Berlin bar during his playing days at Hertha, Enochs has opened his own sports bar in Osnabruck.