A DUEL TO BE CONTINUED DURING MERSEYSIDE DERBY SOMEDAY? — Holland striker DANIEL KUYT (7) of English legend FC Liverpool is confronted by Slovakia goalkeeper JAN MUCHA (1) of Polish club Legia Warsaw during the World Cup Round of Sixteen match at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban, South Africa. (Steve Haag/Getty Images Europe)
FC Everton have announced that Slovakia World Cup goalkeeper JAN MUCHA will, indeed, be coming to Goodison Park now that his playing contract with Polish club Legia Warsaw has expired.
The 27-year-old backstop, who started all four of his nation’s matches at the World Cup in South Africa and now has 19 international caps for Slovakia, had signed a pre-contract agreement with Everton back in January and will join the Toffees after a brief vacation. Mucha’s contract in Poland ran out on July 1.
Mucha had been with Legia Warsaw since the summer of 2005; the former first choice for Slovak side MSK Zilina became the starter for Legia after the Warsaw outfit sold Polish international goalkeeper LUKASZ FABIANSKI to English Premier League outfit FC Arsenal two seasons later.
While with Legia Warsaw, Much made 95 league appearances and won the Polish Cup in 2008.
Everton’s goalkeeper coach CHRIS WOODS, himself a former England international and World Cup squad player, has stated Mucha will not making the trip to Liverpool and Goodison Park just to provide cover for the Toffees’ current number one, United States international TIM HOWARD.
“I watched all the Slovakia games and all the USA games,” Woods confirmed. He (Mucha) will push Tim (Howard) – that’s why we are bringing him in. We need someone who can keep Tim on his toes.”
Howard, the 30-year-old who has won 55 caps in his career for the United States, has been the Everton first choice between the sticks ever since arriving, intially on loan, from Manchester United, to start the 2006-07 season.
Meanwhile, veteran reserve goalkeeper CARLO NASH has flown back to England from Australia, where FC Everton are currently engaged on a pre-season training tour.
The 36-year-old veteran, who is out of contract but was taken on the trip Down Under anyway by the Toffees, is expected to sign a deal with Stoke City soon to provide cover for Denmark World Cup goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen.
And, young JOHN RUDDY, the 23-year-old who spent all of this past season on loan to Motherwell in the Scottish Premier League, has been sold by Everton to Norwich City, for whom Woods once stood in goal during his playing days.
The fee for the still-developing Englishman, who made 34 starts for Motherwell and stopped 78.92 % of shots faced while conceding 47 goals in the SPL, was undisclosed.
Former Scottish under-21 international IAIN TURNER, who has been with FC Everton since 2003 but has appeared in just three league contests the past seven years for the Toffees, is another goalkeeper still on the books at Goodison Park.