Galaxy Coach Bruce Arena scoffed Monday at a report by England’s Sunday Mirror – one of that nation’s trashiest tabloids and not exactly regarded as a paragon of journalistic credibility – that the club was after Newcastle United’s Michael Owen as a replacement for Landon Donovan, should he move to Bayern Munich for good.
“I can promise you we have had zero contact with him so there’s probably zero percent accuracy in that report, which is kind of standard,” Arena said, observing wryly that the likes of Owen and another alleged Galaxy target, Italian defender Alessandro Del Piero, would end up “fitting beautifully under our salary cap.”
Arena would also not be drawn by recent comments attributed to Donovan in Germany that included the statement, “I want to make it here. It is my dream. I want to stay here a few years.”
Arena observed Donovan has been making similar statements since last November:
“We’re very generous and supportive of Landon – we agreed to allow him to go on loan for free and we’re going to hold ourselves to that loan agreement … I don’t believe management should be commenting on a player who is ours and if either club has an interest in the player they should go through formal channels and do that properly.”
That last statement was made partly in regard to the latest pronouncement by an AC Milan official – this time the club’s lawyer, of all people – that the Italian team would like David Beckham to stay beyond March:
“I’m not sure its appropriate for club officials at the biggest clubs in the world to be making comments without having contact with us, but having said that we don’t know if anything is accurate at the other end either, so I’ll leave it at that.”
So that’s settled then.
In other training camp news, top draft pick Omar Gonzalez participated in his first practice today. I spoke with him – as well as Van Nuys youngster Tristan Bowen – and will post items on those two later in the day, once I’ve finished Tuesday’s column.
Finally, Jamaican goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts has received his visa and is set to join the Galaxy camp for the first time Wednesday.