Friday, April 6, 2007


According to Houston Chronicle Soccer beat writer Glenn Davis, reputable sources have revealed to him, that World Cup Champions Alessandro del Piero, Marco Matterazzi, and Fabio Cannavaro have put out feelers to judge the interest MLS may have in their services. While this may amount to nothing more than curiosity from their agents, it is very interesting nonetheless. One might suggest that Cannavaro and Matterazzi are probably a few years away from a move to MLS, though Del Piero may be a more realistic target. If New York uses their second designated player this year, one would think the likely destination for Del Peiro would be Toronto where former Juventus star, and Vice President Roberto Bettega has been immersed since his days with the Toronto Blizzard of the NASL. I would suggest there are probably as many Italy and Juventus jerseys walking around the GTA, with Del Piero on the back side, as any other professional athlete (save for Sundin, Clark, Tucker, and Gilmour).

MLS has been void of Italians since the leagues formative years featuring Roberto Donadoni, Walter Zenga, and Giuseppei Galderesi (an ex teammate of Alexi Lalas at Padova in Seria A). Current Italian national team coach Roberto Donadoni was one of the first stars signed by Major League Soccer in 1996 and spent two years in the league. His days spent in New York under Metrostars coaches Carlos Quiroz of Portugal, and Brazilian coach Carlos Alberto Parreirra, were great learning experiences for Donadoni, who had aspirations to become a coach. I recall pictures of Donadoni working very closely with Parreirra during the MLS combines in 1997, trying to gauge the talent on display. Donadoni played for Italy at Euro 1996, and went back to play for Milan, and had a short stint in Saudi Arabia, before entering the coaching ranks after leaving MLS. If I recall correctly, Milan paid a transfer fee to MLS in order to bring Donadoni back to Seria A.

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