ZIDANE SET TO JOIN BECKHAM IN ANGELENO ANONYMITY? The L.A. DAILY NEWS reports on the L.A. Galaxy’s attempt to bring another high-priced international soccer star to town, who no one outside foreign nationals will recognize, by closing in on a deal to sign the recently-retired Zidane.
Team President Tim Leiweke, who consumated the David Beckham signing for the Galaxy and recently traveled to France to meet with reps of Zidane, told Italy’s Gazzetta dello Sport that “we have contacted his entourage about coming to play for us this year. He knows our door will always be open. His contract won’t be a problem.”
For a second there I thought Leiweke said he’d contacted reps of “Entourage” about placing Turtle in goal for an upcoming game against the Colorado Rapids. Now that’s something Angelenos could get excited about.
In case you’re wondering, because of complicated roster rules designed to keep payroll at a minimum, a massive salary for Zidane would work this season for the L.A. MLS entry, but after 2007, his pay would be problematic because of salary commits to Landon Donovan and Beckham.
SPORTS BUSINESS DAILY also spritzed some cold water on the deal Tuesday afternooon by reporting that an MLS spokesperson said, “Zidane has not signed a contract to play in MLS. The gentlemen who oversee all MLS competition and player personnel (Deputy Commissioner Ivan Gazidis and Exec VP Todd Durbin) are on vacation this week.
“Although clubs recruit players, the contract has to be signed by the league and Ivan and Todd oversee that process.”
Apparently that “MLS spokesperson” is unaware that the “gentlemen” in the MLS office all work for Leiweke, who also heads AEG, which happens to own half the teams in the league.