OK, both are a stretch but this is the time of the year when rumors start and sometimes become reality, so could the current MLS Champions replace the departed Yura Movsisyan with Raul? Well the same source that brings us the current rumor of him coming to MLS also have him retiring, so who know which story might be true?
Well according to report number one Raul will be retiring at the end of the season and possibly taking a staff position with Real Madrid (a move most experts expect at some point in the future). You can check out the details here, remember that this report is about a month old.
Perhaps more fun for RSL fans to dream about around the holidays is the more current story here which says that several Spanish newspapers are saying Raul could be coming to MLS at the end of the La Liga season. It is interesting that the article mentions Philly since they are an expansion side but I have real doubts about that since there have been no big money deals for the Union so far. Knowing that there is still a level of relationship between the two Real's to have played in Utah, could this be part of the results of the infusion of cash that came recent with Dell Loy Hansen becoming a part of the RSL ownership group?
If you wanted to really impact a brand and do some big things locally like Hansen has talked about there would be nothing better to jump start those plans than to have the team win a MLS Cup and then bring over one of the best known strikers in the world. While Raul will be 33 and has fallen out of the focus of the new Los Galacicos seeming to have moved on, could RSL scoop up on of the most famous players of the team that has over 1/4 billion worldwide fans?
Ah I love the holidays and with a transfer window opening in a few weeks expect a lot more rumors, I for one would expect another couple moves to come from South America where RSL has had some success with Olave, Espindola and Morales, but also a couple flops in Escalada and Tejada. Then toss in the fact that the 2010 MLS Super Draft will be coming soon and the first list of players invited to the MLS Combine has been announced.
What will the future hold? A lot will depend on if the MLS roster size moves back up to 28, remains at 24 or falls somewhere in between for the 2010 season.
OFF MY SOAPBOX