News is circulating that Danny Szetela of the US under-20 team has signed for Newcastle United and while we don’t think that’s entirely accurate we do expect Danny to sign sometime today with Newcastle then officially announcing the signing.
Roma, Brescia and even Lazio have been after the player since he starred for the US in the FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Canada during the summer. Those were the same championships that David Edgar captained the young Canadian side.
American Danny Szetela – just turned 20 and in Newcastle’s sights
Conflicting reports have the Clifton, New Jersey born midfielder headed from Rome to England, but Danny has always said he wanted to play in England and we do expect him to end up at Newcastle today. Goal.com reported yesterday that the deal was done.
Roma had negotiated a transfer fee with MLS in the region of â‚¤75K to â‚¤100K, but that deal fell through after Szetela parted ways with his agent at the time. The latest news is that Szetela will sign a pre-contract and leave the MLS this winter (January 1st), which means he will spend the next few months with the Columbus Crew.
Szetela turned 20 years-old in June and has made 34 appearances since joining Columbus in 2004 as a 17 year old. He signed on the strength of a fine display at the 2003 U-17 World Cup in Finland. Danny is 5’11â€ and plays in central midfield. He’s a strong lad and scored 3 goals in this summerâ€™s FIFA U-20 World Cup. Szetela was also the youngest player of the U.S. Under-20 team at the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship in the Netherlands.
One worrying aspect is that Szetela has been plagued with injuries, including a broken left foot, a sprained right knee, and a concussion over the last three years. In 2006, he saw action in only 4 matches due to his injuries.
But that will not put Big Sam off because his strength is getting and keeping players fit. We think this will be a good signing because there are several excellent young Americans coming through state-side. Now that the Premier League is broadcast regularly both on Fox Sports (Sky) and Setanta Sports in the US, the games are being watched by the youngsters who are becoming more educated on the game when played at the highest level. This is an attraction to young players like Szaetala as they can see a career progression even if it’s not in the US. England is always an attractive place for Americans to play.
We’ve always thought that Newcastle should buy an MLS team and use it as a feeder team not only to get good young US players coming through, but also South Americans. We’ll wait and see on this one (but not for too long) and maybe there’ll be 3 players announced by Newcastle today.