ANOTHER YANK IN RED?

According to a story on ESPN.com last week, U.S. National Team defender Oguchi Onyewu will soon be the subject of a transfer offer from Premiership titans Manchester United.

The American, who currently plays for Standard Liege in Belgium, has been the subject of rumored interest from several traditional European powers this summer — including Hamburg, Lazio and Newcastle — with a price tag reportedly starting in the $4 million neighborhood.

"Man Utd has been scouting Onyewu for a while, and had been present at the Gold Cup," the source told Greg Seltzer of Yanks-Abroad on Friday morning. "They've been in contact with Standard, and an official bid should come within 10 days, probably earlier than that. They want him in as soon as possible as the season starts this weekend."

The Washington, D.C., native recently celebrated the CONCACAF Gold Cup crown with the U.S. National Team, scoring a vital winner against semifinal foe Honduras.

BUDDLE OUT FOR A WHILE

Columbus Crew forward Edson Buddle, who pleaded guilty to drunken driving this week, is being held out of games by Major League Soccer because he violated its substance abuse and behavioral health policy.

MLS spokesman Simon Borg said Buddle has not been suspended and declined to say what he did to violate the policy. Buddle will not be allowed to play until he is cleared by doctors, the league said in a release Saturday.

Buddle, 24, pleaded guilty Friday in Franklin County Municipal Court to a charge of drunken driving. Four other charges were dismissed. He was fined $599 and his license was suspended.

Columbus police pulled Buddle over on July 31 and he refused to take a Breathalyzer test.

"Our first priority and primary concern is Edson's health and well-being," Crew general manager Mark McCullers said in a release Friday. "We look forward to him returning to the team as soon as possible."

Buddle leads the Crew with five goals this season.

READY TO QUIT

Following his red card last Wednesday against D.C. United, MetroStars' reigning MVP Amado Guevara told reporters he no longer wants to play in Major League Soccer.

He was quoted in a Herald News (N.J.) story by Ives Galarcep as saying, "The truth is I feel very uncomfortable," said Guevara. "My first year I felt so-so and last year I felt so-so, but this year I don't feel at all comfortable. When the season is over I'm going to talk to the league because I don't want to play here anymore."

Guevara elaborated further.

"What can I say, that the referees are a disaster. I can't say anything because the league fines you, which is a rule that I don't agree with, and since I don't agree with the rules and I'm not going to change the rules or the referees, I'm going to say it right now, publicly, that next year I don't want to be in this league."

Guevara is definitely not the only player disappointed with MLS officiating this year, but unlike most players, he's actually in a position to do something about it by returning to his native Honduras to play professionally.

ALL BUT ELIMINATED

The free-falling Columbus Crew essentially eliminated themselves from any hopes of making the playoffs this year with a 2-1 loss to the MetroStars on Sunday.

With 11 games remaining, Columbus (6-12-3, 21 points) trails fourth-place Kansas City (10-5-8, 38 points) by 17 points in the Eastern Conference standings. The fifth-place MetroStars only trail the Wizards by six points, and are still clinging to their playoff lives.

The top four teams in each conference make the playoffs.

Columbus' woes put into perspective how lucky the bottom three teams in the Western Conference really are.

If Colorado (25 points), Real Salt Lake (19 points) and Chivas USA (12 points) were in the East, their chances of catching Kansas City for that final playoff spot would be almost nonexistent.

Instead, all three of those Western Conference foes are battling each other for the West's final playoff spot.