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Making Sense of the A.J. Soares Transfer Saga

The Bent Musket was told that he was on trial at Stabaek, and then told that he wasn't. This is really just par for the course in this convoluted transfer story involving A.J. Soares.

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

In a series of events perfectly in line with the A.J. Soares saga so far, a spokesperson for Stabaek has retracted a statement made less than 24 hours ago that claimed that Soares was on trial with the Norwegian club.

Soares was spotted by photographer Arild Beuaset on Monday training with Stabaek. The Bent Musket reported that the 26-year-old center back was training in Norway while awaiting official word from a club representative. The initial article was amended after an English-speaking spokesperson said, "Yes absolutely, he is on trial."

Later in the day, a Norwegian news outlet posted a report that included a quote from Stabaek head coach Bob Bradley. Bradley claimed that Soares was only there to train and would soon participate in trials elsewhere.

"He's coming straight from Italy, and to (train) a little with us now," Bradley told budstikka.no. "Stabaek lies not in his plans for the future."

The Stabaek representative who said that Soares was on trial later sent an unprompted email apologizing for the confusion and stating that the defender was only practicing at the moment, but "it might turn into a trial after a while."

The difference between training and trialing is largely semantics as Stabaek is free to make an offer if they see something they like. However, it does speak to the intent of the parties at the outset of the arrangement, if nothing else. Soares is currently a free agent as his contract with the New England Revolution expired at the end of 2014.

The Soares story has been an interesting one to follow as Kick TV's Jimmy Conrad reported soon after MLS Cup that the California native would be heading to Hellas Verona of Serie A. Talks eventually broke down between the two parties, which has left Soares' future in limbo.

During that process, various outlets had conflicting reports about whether or not the Verona move was still in the works, and also who or what was responsible for its collapse.

Soares, who holds an Italian passport, has since been searching for his next move. Since he is a free agent, he can sign with a club outside of the transfer window, though every league has different deadlines for out-of-contract signings. Italy, for example, cuts it off on February 28th.