May 16, 2010 - 05910097 date 16 05 2010 Copyright imago Buzzi Ronaldinho PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxITA men Football ITA Series A 2009 2010 Milan Action shot Single Vdig xsk 2010 horizontal Highlight premiumd.

If Thierry Henry's signing with New York was a foregone conclusion, Ronaldinho landing in LA would be a few miles short of that. Yes, there have been rumors, wisps of smoke even, but they've mostly been scurrilous and speculative. Nothing concrete, and usually in the form of the Brazilian star being linked to several clubs with LA just a name on the list.

Only in MLS, the funky construct that it is, would the owner of a club drop news that a player will sign with a rival team and there be reason for us to believe him. That's what Dave Checketts did in a radio interview, as denz of RSL Soapbox relates today (much of the post is on the reasons it's time for Garber to go, the twisting of the rules for LA among them).

No, Checketts didn't specifically mention Ronaldinho's name. But the clues make it fairly obvious. "Name everyone will recognize." "Brazilian." Who else fits that description that would be worth the comparison to Henry's arrival (something else Checketts does)? The smoke is much thicker now.

If Ronaldinho does land in LA, and again, this is a matter of trusting Checketts as an MLS insider who wouldn't let the cat out of the bag without being fairly certain it will happen, this will truly make this summer one to remember. With his array of tricks, it would certainly shake up football betting online in the US too.

I can't find anything definitive stating that Ronaldinho has been granted his release by Milan, so my assumption is that he's still under contract (which runs until next year). That would seem a major holdup for a league usually loathe to pay transfer fees. It's also interesting to note that just in the last few days the former FIFA World Player of the Year was reported to be set for a return to Brazil with Flamengo then not going to Flamengo and definitely staying with Milan. The Galaxy, and other clubs for that matter, have dropped off the list of rumored destinations. If this happens, it will be completely out of the blue.

Maybe Checketts is wrong, or maybe he's betting on something going through that isn't quite done. He sounded pretty sure of himself though.

Take it for what it's worth. Considering the source, it's at least intriguing.

Here's the link to the actual audio; the hints are dropped in the last 1/8 or so of the clip (there's no clock on the player unfortunately).
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