Tuesday, August 3, 2010

8/3/2010: Andres "El Condor" Mendoza To Sign With Crew Today Or Tomorrow



Andres Mendoza, The former Club Brugge and Morelia star striker, will sign with the Columbus Crew by either the end of today or tomorrow. This comes from multiple reports in Peru, Crew beat writer Shawn Mitchell, and from what I have been hearing as well.

Mendoza, 32, best form was in his days with Club Brugge (129 appearances with 54 goals) and Ukranian side Metalurh Donetsk (51 appearances with 22 goals) from 2000 to 2007. Mendoza during this time was nearly boasting a goal every two games. Mendoza then had a bit of a drop off with sides such as Olympique Marseille, Dynamo Moscow, and Steaua Bucuresti before landing on his feet with Morelia of Mexico in 2008.

During Mendoza's time with Morelia, Mendoza scored 13 goals in 27 appearances. For reasons unknown, Mendoza and Morelia parted ways in the summer of 2009. At that time, Crew Head Coach Robert Warzycha was interested in signing Mendoza but could not afford El Condor with the salary room that the Crew had at the time; as Columbus had Guillermo Barros Schelotto as a designated player then, which is no longer the case. Instead, the Crew signed the slightly less expensive Emilio Renteria, who has ended up being a positive signing for Columbus; While El Condor ended up in the Turkish Super Lig with Diyarbakırspor.

Now with over $200,000 in salary cap space, a roster spot open, and the first option of Stern John rejected due to injury; the Crew now will sign Andres Mendoza. Crew head coach Robert Warzycha hopes that Mendoza can be his 20 goals a year type striker, a lethal threat that the Crew have been missing since Stern John had that sort of production in the 90's.

Crew fans will also be hoping that Warzycha gets this one right; as they'll hope Mendoza does not turn out to be another disappointment, thrown into the department of worthless striker signings along with Sergio Herrera. Especially since the Crew will need the extra goal scoring input in the Champions League that will start for the Crew later this August. However, I think this signing will work out better; as Mendoza's experience scoring against Mexican sides will likely be a benefit, as Mexican top sides are the Crew's main opposition between them and a Club World Cup birth.

With the goal scoring production of the right-footed Emilio Renteria as of late, 2 goals in his last 3 starts; I would like to see Renteria combined with Mendoza. I think this would be a lethal, South American combination:
---------------Hesmer-----------------
Hejduk---Marshall---O'Rourke----Padula
--------------Carroll-----------------
Gaven-----------------------------Ekpo
-------------Schelotto----------------
-------Renteria--------Mendoza--------

What are your thoughts on this signing? Mendoza has 44 caps and 8 goals with Peru, but does his contraversy with getting kicked off the national team for a year for partying before a big game worry you? There are conflicting reports whether that was Mendoza's fault, other players, or a coach. And are you excited with a possible Renteria/Mendoza pairing? Let it be known here.

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