Ten Best: Failed English rumors
January 25, 2012
Oh, England! Where footballers are mere grains in the ever-spinning rumour mill that are the tabloids. Oh, England!
10) Frank Lampard
This one is still alive, as Lampard has supposedly made overtures about coming to MLS, and LA or NY. According to the Mirror, "both LA Galaxy and the New York Red Bulls have made discreet inquiries about his availability"... Yawn.
9) Robbie Fowler
He was once Liverpool's God, and, according to Soccer America, was in talks with MLS back in 2007. Metro was rumored to be a potential destination, but the goal-sniffing striker stayed in the UK, before embarking on an adventure to Australia, Thailand, and now, possibly, India.
8) Lee Sharpe
Sharpe is perhaps the ultimate story of talent wasted, a one-time promising youngster who came through at Man United but crashed out without ever living up to his potential. Back in 2002, his signing looked imminent. According to the ever-reliable British press, "Sharpe is coming out to New York for talks and we will hopefully have a deal to announce early next week". There was nothing to announced, and the winger moved on to... Iceland.
7) Darren Anderton
The oft-injured winger was linked to Metro in 2006. Mo Johnston's response? "No, I'm not interested. Darren Anderton. Not interested. I'm not interested at all."
6) Paul Gascoigne
Everyone remembers that Gazza almost signed with DC Scum in 2002, but the pot-bellied prince was first linked to MLS, specifically the Metros, in 1999. His agent immediately put a kibosh on the rumors.
5) Des Walker
As opposed to many others on this list, this one almost happened. Walker, who played two decades in England, actually wore a MetroStars uniform, in the friendly Unity Games against DC Scum after the 2001 season. He was all poised to sign the following offseason, with Octavio Zambrano heading to England to get the defender's signature. But he returned with nothing, since Walker became "suddenly not so happy with the league's maximum salary of $270,000".
4) Sol Campbell
Back in 2005, England was playing Colombia at Giants Stadium, so Campbell was asked if he wanted to play in MLS. Echoing George Weah, the defender replied, "I've got family in New York so there's only one team for me... the MetroStars. If the opportunity came up in six years I'd consider it." Six years would put us in 2011. Maybe the 36-year-old Campbell would have been an improvement over Rafa Marquez?
3) Teddy Sheringham
Sheringham's career in England spanned 25 years. He was linked to Metro twice; first in 2004 when he was 37, then in 2007 when he was 41. He is now 45... surely, there is time for another rumor?
2) Tony Adams
The long-time stalwart for Arsenal was supposedly offered a contract by Metro in 2002. He rejected it in order to "spend time with his children". Priorities... He was linked to Metro once again in 2009 as a potential head coach because of his relationship with Titi Henry.
1) Steve McManaman
When we first heard this rumor in 2004, we couldn't believe our ears. Why would an ex-Real Madrid and Liverpool player, still in the prime of his career, want to come here? Then the rumor hit the papers and Metro's pursuit turned out to be true... Until, as often with these, died down once McManaman realized the financial realities of MLS. "While players of Macca's quality would certainly do well in our league, I think it is important to qualify that statement by saying they would do well only if they brought their A-game with them," Nick Sakiewicz said.