("Weird") Moves and (King-Sized) Rumors, 2.16.07

I'll start with the big one - and, from any other source, I wouldn't have given this the teeniest, tiniest bit of credibility. Steve Goff posted word on Soccer Insider that the Chicago Fire has resumed the courtship of Zinedine Zidane. He also notes a decision "could be made" by Monday.

In a word, "wow." Zidane's age and the whole coming-out-of-retirement thing aside, this one would excite me.

In totally unrelated news, in spite of the fact both pieces share the same author (Goff), an article in yesterday's Washington Post reviewed Jay Needham's decision to pass on a developmental contract for DC United and to run with a shot at first-team soccer in Puerto Rico.

DC bloggers have already beat me in responding to this one (no surprise there, of course) and their reactions are, of course, worth the look. I'm fairly close to where DCenters' D was on this - "either Puerto Rico is overpaying for Needham, or DC misjudged its bid and the allure of playing for [Major League Soccer (MLS)]" - only more so. I honestly don't know how one faults Needham for this decision. However justified they may be from a budgeting point of view, MLS's developmental salaries are the sporting world's equivalent of stiffing the waiter; so long as he's got options that will pay more, and so long as he believes he's good enough for MLS, his decision assumes they'll keep an eye on him while he's earning more.

Anyway, I swear I saw one yesterday bemoaning DC's capacity to lose a player to the USL (can't find that one, dammit), but can you blame the guy? Really?

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