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Mexican star Hernandez could be near joining Los Angeles Galaxy.

By Robert Wagman
SoccerTimes

(Monday, April 3, 2000) -- Since the day Major League Soccer was founded, it has hungered for Mexico’s glamor forward Luis Hernandez.

A couple of times, the league thought it had him, but complications arose, the price was too high or some other problem arose.

Now league officials think they are near signing him to replace the departed Carlos Hermosillo on the front line of the Los Angeles Galaxy. The Galaxy marketing department is almost panting in anticipation of his arrival.

Now things get complicated. Even though Hermosillo, the Galaxy's marquee player, decided not to return to the Los Angeles, under MLS's strange and often changing allocation rules, Los Angeles does not automatically get a allocation. So under the rules, there is no way for L.A. to acquire Hernandez.

At least theoretically, the Galaxy will have to go out and trade another team for an allocation which can then be used to acquire Hernandez.

Right now, only one team is owed a major foreign player allocation. When the San Jose Earthquakes lost Eddie Lewis to Fulham, they were given a "major" and a "minor" allocation.

For many, even in the league, this was the first time any had heard of a distinction between the two types of allocations. San Jose then traded its "minor" allocation to Chicago for a handful of draft choices, and Chicago used the allocation to sign striker Hristo Stoitchkov who was considered only a minor allocation because he was not currently playing in any league.

San Jose cannot use its “major” allocation because there is no room under the salary cap. So pressure is being placed on the Galaxy make a trade with the Earthquakes for the allocation.

So far, the Galaxy is resisting. The thinking is MLS knows the only place Hernandez will play is in Los Angeles, and the league will have to put him there, even if technically the Galaxy has no available allocation. The interesting question is whether the league can or will force the Galaxy to give up players or draft choices in order to get Hernandez.


Cannon named “Player of the Week”

NEW YORK -- San Jose Earthquakes goalkeeper Joe Cannon captured Major League Soccer's Player of the Week award for week three after notching his fifth career shutout and tallying a career-high nine saves in the Earthquakes' 0-0 draw at Miami on Saturday.

Cannon, who wrapped up his 1999 season with three consecutive shutouts and a streak of 409 minutes without allowing a goal, denied two Fusion opportunities with spectacular saves in the final 10 minutes of regulation to force overtime. In the 82nd minute, Cannon thwarted Fusion midfielder Andy Williams' one-on-one offering, and denied Miami defender Jay Heaps with a fingertip save late in regulation stoppage time.


Bravo, Vaudreuil return to Rapids

DENVER -- The Colorado Rapids hope their home debut will be buoyed by the return of forward Paul Bravo and defender David Vaudreuil.

Vaudreuil has yet to play a regular-season game after tearing his right calf during preseason. Bravo did not play Saturday after injuring his knee in the 1-0 win in Dallas on March 25.

Vaudreuil's return looks to be timely because the Rapids, who opened the season with a 1-2 road trip, have lost defender Scott Vermillion for 10-to-14 days. Vermillion suffered a deep laceration on his left knee, the inadvertent result of a clean tackle with former Rapid Chris Henderson.


Mutiny should be at full strength

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Mutiny should as it heads to Colorado for Saturday night’s match.

Striker Raul Diaz Arce returns from World Cup qualifying for El Salvador, allocation forward Mamadou Diallo should start for a second straight outing and midfielder Manny Lagos has recovered from a sprained ankle.

Diaz Arce missed last Saturday's 1-0 loss at Dallas when he scored El Salvador’s goal in a 1-0 victory over Guatemala.

Diallo, off a 20-hour plane flight from Senegal Thursday, then the two-and-a-half hour flight to Dallas Friday, started against the Burn. He played a full 90, took four shots, one on goal. That one was in stoppage time and hit the near post, denying the Mutiny a shot at overtime.

Lagos did not play at Dallas, deferring to Eric Quill due because of the ankle sprain suffered March 23.

Coach Tim Hankinson has gone with a 4-5-1 formation in the first three games due mainly to the fact that he had but one experienced forward available for each of those matches.

Senior correspondent Robert Wagman's "It Seems To Me . . . " appears regularly on SoccerTimes. He can be e-mailed at bobwagman@soccertimes.com.

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