Major League Soccer Offseason 2019-20: Zlexit

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
12,059
With Seattle's triumph over Toronto in MLS Cup, the 2019 season is officially in the books. The league now hunkers down for a long offseason, as a result of the schedule changes for 2019. It's nice that the playoffs weren't interrupted by the November FIFA dates as has been the case for years, but it does mean there's no MLS for an especially long time.

Some big picture notes to kick off the offseason thread:

1. Inter Miami and Nashville SC enter the league, pushing the league to 26 clubs and considerably boosting coverage in the southeast quadrant of the state. Both will be in temporary venues until their own stadiums can be built. It seems likely that Chicago will move to the Western Conference for at least one season to balance everything. It also seems likely that Chicago will move back within a year or two, with Austin, Sacramento, and St. Louis slated to come into the league.

2. Unofficial reports suggest that the 2020 season will begin on February 29, which would be the earliest opening day ever. Pushing things up is probably more feasible with so many more warm-weather clubs than there were ten years ago. CONCACAF Champions League begins in mid-February. The qualifiers: Seattle (MLS Cup), LAFC (Shield), Atlanta (USOC), NYCFC (Eastern Conference), and Montreal (Canadian Championship). In theory, a pretty solid crew except for the Impact.

3. The CBA expires this winter. Will there be a labor stoppage? Who knows. The CBA negotiation isn't important just for the potential of a strike; it also serves as a potential inflection point for league spending and the byzantine roster movement mechanisms. I'd like to see the system simplified, increased free agency, and a better incentive structure around selling players abroad.



Today, in what's not a surprising announcement based on recent chatter, Zlatan confirmed that he will not be returning to the LA Galaxy:

View: https://twitter.com/Ibra_official/status/1194719897592315904


Zlatan is an immense talent and hugely entertaining, although LA Galaxy never won anything while he was around. Although he was their best player, I do wonder if LAG can come back next year with a stronger overall squad simply because I can't shake the feeling that the team arranged itself around Zlatan in a way that was never quite coherent.


MLS has long had a reputation of giving coaches a very long leash, but there's a bit of a coaching carousel this year:

ORLANDO: Fired James O'Connor, replacement TBD
HOUSTON: Interim Davy Arnaud replaced by Tab Ramos
MONTREAL: Wilmer Cabrera not retained, replacement TBD
NYCFC: Domènec Torrent left by mutual consent, replacement TBD
CHICAGO: Fired Veljko Paunovic, replacement TBD
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
12,059
It's all but official that Darlington Nagbe is going to Columbus. His famiy is there. That's a big hole for Atlanta to fill.
It's officially official as of this afternoon. In addition to family stuff, he'll also be reunited with Caleb Porter, who coached him at Akron and with the Portland Timbers. Atlanta got a nice chunk of change for him.

Elsewhere:

1. Nashville made two acquisitions, trading cash to Chicago for Dax McCarty and to LA Galaxy for Dave Romney. McCarty came very cheap, although he's older and has a larger contract.

2. Minnesota traded their high-profile attacking midfielder Darwin Quintero to Houston for RB/RW Marlon Hairston and cash. Quintero had somewhat fallen out of favor and was coming off the bench in key matches, so it's no surprise to se him shipped off.

3. Miami acquired several depth pieces. They picked up DM Victor Ulloa from Cincinnati and traded for AM Jay Chapman from Toronto.
 

InstaFace

MDLzera
SoSH Member
Sep 27, 2016
15,012
Pittsburgh, PA
Zlatan is an immense talent and hugely entertaining, although LA Galaxy never won anything while he was around. Although he was their best player, I do wonder if LAG can come back next year with a stronger overall squad simply because I can't shake the feeling that the team arranged itself around Zlatan in a way that was never quite coherent.
He didn't play defense, and it was defense that undid LAG in the end. But while their offensive flow could feel a bit forced with him as the target man up front, he 100% delivered when his team got it to him. We got dozens of That's So Zlatan goals. I really wanted to hate the Galaxy - still do, frankly - but I just couldn't root against them when he was out there because he was so damn fun to watch.

And, ya know, the interviews.
View: https://twitter.com/partyjollof_/status/1194764591110209539


I've heard vague rumors that Big-5 teams would be interested. That much, I could see him leaving for. I just hope it's not China, would feel like such a slap given how impactful he still was in MLS.
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
12,059
Thierry Henry to coach Montreal

https://www.espn.com/soccer/montreal-impact/story/3989559/thierry-henry-named-montreal-impact-head-coach
Ben Olsen likely to be retained in DC. A little surprising after his "if it’s time for me to move on, it’s time for me to move on" comments a few weeks ago.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/2019/11/13/ben-olsen-is-likely-return-dc-united-coach/
Wow, that will be fun, one way or the other. Monaco obviously did not go well. Can he manage without losing his mind coaching a squad of 30 players who are decidedly less talented than Thierry Henry?
 

tmracht

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Aug 19, 2009
1,903
I'll miss Zlatan, but MLS starting just a few weeks after the Super Bowl is nice assuming no work stoppage.
 

steeplechase3k

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Oct 25, 2005
2,525
Portland, OR
The Brian Fernandez era in Portland is already over:
View: https://twitter.com/TimbersFC/status/1195476647522123776


This is the entirety of the press release:
PORTLAND, Ore. – Major League Soccer has terminated the contract for Brian Fernandez and the player has been removed from the Timbers roster.

Transaction: Forward Brian Fernandez removed from Portland Timbers roster (contract termination).

And some more info from The Athletic:
https://theathletic.com/1382623/2019/11/15/
Major League Soccer and the Portland Timbers have terminated the contract of designated player Brian Fernandez due to failure to comply with the league’s substance abuse and behavioral health (SABH) program, the team announced on Friday night.Major League Soccer and the Portland Timbers have terminated the contract of designated player Brian Fernandez due to failure to comply with the league’s substance abuse and behavioral health (SABH) program, the team announced on Friday night.

Sources also indicate MLS is suing Fernandez’s former club, Necaxa of Mexico’s Liga MX, as part of the fallout involving the star striker. The basis of the league’s lawsuit against the Liga MX club was not immediately clear. A league spokesperson declined to comment.
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
12,059
It's likely that the MLS SuperDraft will no longer be an in-person event and will be reduced a conference call. It's about time, as in any given draft there are a couple of guys who turn out to be pretty good, and then a bunch of role players. So many of the top players in America come through the academy system or sign directly abroad now that making a big deal out of the draft had become increasingly silly.

Also, the origin of the name "SuperDraft" was because it was the result of a combination of a college draft and a supplemental draft (once used for lower-division players back in the 90s). However, the name sounds pretty ridiculous in this day and age and should be changed.

The league is also reportedly doing away with the MLS Combine.

What MLS should also do is eliminate the restriction on underclassmen declaring for the draft. Right now, only underclassmen who sign "Generation Adidas" contracts in advance of the draft can be involved. This results in a number of players being stuck in NCAA soccer even if there is mutual interest between them and an MLS club.

https://theathletic.com/1381776/2019/11/15/sources-mls-to-do-away-with-the-superdraft-in-its-current-form-starting-in-2020/
 

tmracht

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Aug 19, 2009
1,903
What MLS should also do is eliminate the restriction on underclassmen declaring for the draft. Right now, only underclassmen who sign "Generation Adidas" contracts in advance of the draft can be involved. This results in a number of players being stuck in NCAA soccer even if there is mutual interest between them and an MLS club.

https://theathletic.com/1381776/2019/11/15/sources-mls-to-do-away-with-the-superdraft-in-its-current-form-starting-in-2020/
Yes! That is another thing that has been passed by so much in the past few years, but they doubled down on the program with Canadian Generation Adidas players counting as domestic players.
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
12,059
LA Galaxy are keeping Cristian Pavon for another season on loan from Boca Juniors.

https://www.lagalaxy.com/post/2019/11/18/la-galaxy-extend-loan-forward-cristian-pavon
Inter Miami have signed German-American winger Jerome Kiesewetter. He came up through Hertha's system alongside John Brooks, but he wasn't as talented. He wound up in Stuttgart's system and eventually got a couple of Bundesliga appearances and one cap under Klinsmann, but didn't work out there. He had a nondescript stop in the 2.Bundesliga with Fortuna Düsseldorf, and eventually signed with El Paso Locomotive. He scored a boatload of goals in USL, so now he gets a chance in MLS.

Miami is clearly stockpiling the back of their roster with cheap talent that doesn't chew up international slots.
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
12,059
Expansion draft:

Miami took:
LB Ben Sweat (NYCFC)
RB Alvas Powell (Cincinnati)
AM Lee Nguyen (LAFC)
AM Luis Argudo (Columbus)
GK Bryan Meredith (Seattle)

Nashville took:
FW Abu Danladi (Minnesota)
RB Zarek Valentin (Portland) --> traded to Houston for GK Joe Willis
CB Jalil Anibaba (New England)
FW Brandon Vazquez (Atlanta) --> traded to Cincinnati for cash
CM Jimmy Medranda (KC)


Elsewhere:

Nashville sent an int'l roster spot and a bit of cash to Montreal for Daniel Lovitz. They sent a similar package to KC for backup GK Adrian Zendejas.
 

67YAZ

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 1, 2000
3,237
The Fire file paperwork to update their crest & name to Chicago Fire FC. I really hope this portends a kit overhaul as well as an organizational overhaul.

26937

*Black & white is from the application. Would be killer if they updated to classic Chicago colors (sky blue, red, & white).
 

Domer

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 21, 2010
3,876
02148
What MLS should also do is eliminate the restriction on underclassmen declaring for the draft. Right now, only underclassmen who sign "Generation Adidas" contracts in advance of the draft can be involved. This results in a number of players being stuck in NCAA soccer even if there is mutual interest between them and an MLS club.
What happened to the weighted lottery for players who sign after the draft? I feel like it must have been written out of the CBA, because I haven't heard anything recently.

The Fire file paperwork to update their crest & name to Chicago Fire FC. I really hope this portends a kit overhaul as well as an organizational overhaul.

View attachment 26937

*Black & white is from the application. Would be killer if they updated to classic Chicago colors (sky blue, red, & white).
I strongly disagree and, if the sampling of fans on the #cf97 tag is representative, Chicago fans hate the new badge even more than I do. The Maltese cross has become one of the few MLS identities that is both distinctive yet traditional in feel. It's a little messy and some DC United-style fine-tuning could be beneficial, but at first glance this feels like a big mistake.

That being said, on it's own, it's a pretty solid mark, but very generic. Joe Mansueto hired the legendary Paul Rand to make his logo when was at Morningstar and I was hoping he could take the Fire in a similar bold direction.
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
12,059
What happened to the weighted lottery for players who sign after the draft? I feel like it must have been written out of the CBA, because I haven't heard anything recently.
Oh man, I haven't thought about weighted lotteries in a while. They must have been phased out; I don't think there's been one since 2014.

It's actually pretty amazing how few of those guys turned out to be good. The league must have started to think "why bother?". The advent of MLS academies has created a situation where a sizable percentage of good young American players have ties to a club, so the "unaffiliated" pool of talent in the NCAA that could potentially go through the draft just isn't that interesting.
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
12,059
The Timbers signed Dario Zuparic, a Croatian CB from NK Rijeka. Aside from playing in Croatia, he spent three years in Serie B and one in Serie A with Pescara.

https://www.timbers.com/post/2019/11/20/portland-timbers-acquire-defender-dario-zuparic
Colorado has made a couple of moves at CB:
  • Lalas Abubakar, who spent 2019 with them on a rare intra-league loan from Columbus, has been permanently acquired for $400k GAM and an int'l spot for 2020.
  • Traded $300k GAM and $300k TAM for Auston Trusty. Trusty spent most of last season as a starter for Philly, but was dropped from the 18 late in the season. Although he did have a dip in form, the primary reason seems to be that he was in a contract dispute with the club and was frozen out as a result.
Claudio Reyna is reportedly leaving NYCFC to take a similar sporting director role at Austin FC. Interesting to see him and their manager Torrent take off in close succession.

https://theathletic.com/1395356/2019/11/20/
Philly announced that Marco Fabián and Haris Medunjanin won't come back next year on the same day they shipped out Trusty. Fabián is no surprise. Medunjanin played, I think, every single minute of the season, but he's getting long in the tooth and is more of a regista than the ball-winner that Ernst Tanner seems to want.

https://www.philadelphiaunion.com/post/2019/11/20/philadelphia-union-exercise-2020-options-eight-players
 

67YAZ

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 1, 2000
3,237
I strongly disagree and, if the sampling of fans on the #cf97 tag is representative, Chicago fans hate the new badge even more than I do. The Maltese cross has become one of the few MLS identities that is both distinctive yet traditional in feel. It's a little messy and some DC United-style fine-tuning could be beneficial, but at first glance this feels like a big mistake.

That being said, on it's own, it's a pretty solid mark, but very generic. Joe Mansueto hired the legendary Paul Rand to make his logo when was at Morningstar and I was hoping he could take the Fire in a similar bold direction.
I'm not in love with the old crest, but I think it's quite fine. Not a classic, but distinct and reminiscent of the Chicago Fire Department crest, keeping with that theme.

I do find the uniforms and on field performance be extremely stale. That's what I'd really like to see changed and this move suggest Manseuto is going to shake things up.
 
Last edited:

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
12,059
It's official:



With the color scheme I don't hate it and will eventually get used to it. Changing the name from Chicago Fire SC to Chicago Fire FC is lame. Nobody says "football" except for foreign expats and insecure Europoseurs.

Apparently they are asking are asking media to refer to them as "Chicago Fire FC" on first mention similar to the way late-Precourt-era Columbus wanted to be called "Crew SC". Nope.
 

InstaFace

MDLzera
SoSH Member
Sep 27, 2016
15,012
Pittsburgh, PA
With the color scheme I don't hate it and will eventually get used to it. Changing the name from Chicago Fire SC to Chicago Fire FC is lame. Nobody says "football" except for foreign expats and insecure Europoseurs.

Apparently they are asking are asking media to refer to them as "Chicago Fire FC" on first mention similar to the way late-Precourt-era Columbus wanted to be called "Crew SC". Nope.
If they're going to reclaim "football" they need to do it wholesale, starting with the league name and all the trademarks. That, I'd support. Doing it piecemeal smacks of europoseurism, as you say.

I find myself often saying "football" when either talking to foreigners or talking even to locals but about european clubs, because to a certain extent it's natural to talk about something the way other people (particularly those closest to it) talk about it.
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
12,059
Everyone across the league has now announced who is out of contract, whose contract options have been declined, and other such things. Most of this is about jettisoning back of the roster guys who aren't good enough as well as veterans who are poor values in a salary capped league.

It did signify the true end of an era at NYRB, with Luis Robles and Bradley Wright-Phillips departing the club. BWP isn't starting quality in this league any more, though Robles may still have a quality year or two in him.
 

Domer

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 21, 2010
3,876
02148
Oh man, I haven't thought about weighted lotteries in a while. They must have been phased out; I don't think there's been one since 2014.

It's actually pretty amazing how few of those guys turned out to be good. The league must have started to think "why bother?". The advent of MLS academies has created a situation where a sizable percentage of good young American players have ties to a club, so the "unaffiliated" pool of talent in the NCAA that could potentially go through the draft just isn't that interesting.
I did some research on this and it was done away with sometime before the 2016 season. Jeremy Ebonisse signed with MLS in summer 2016 and was loaned out to the USL while he waited for the 2017 draft.
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
12,059
Triple-barreled Revs news:

- They re-signed Michael Mancienne, which is uninspiring but at least he won't be embarrassingly overpaid in 2020.

- They hired Clint Peay as the manager of the USL League One reserve team. Like most Revs staff these days, he has connections to Bruce Arena, having played under him at UVA from 1991-95. After playing in MLS in the late 90s, Peay coached in college and has since bounced around the USSF in various positions.

- They took Jeff Caldwell in the waiver draft, an obscure player movement mechanism involving players without much league experience who were cut loose by their clubs at the end of the season. Caldwell is a GK, so if they ultimately sign him he'll be the third choice.
 

Domer

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 21, 2010
3,876
02148
It's being reported today that Mancienne will take a sizable pay cut, but still earn $400,000. Considering he occupies an international slot (market value roughly $200,000 in allocation money for a full season), that is a lot of resources for a player who I project as no better than a third center back.
 

Domer

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 21, 2010
3,876
02148
Considering the expansion fee for the Republic was reportedly only about $200 million, this is the second time Whitman has failed to win influence in Sacramento.

I guess this means the expansion gravy train is actually coming to an end at 30 or Whitman is getting really bad advice.
 

dirtynine

Well-Known Member
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
Dec 17, 2002
5,869
Philly
It's official:



With the color scheme I don't hate it and will eventually get used to it. Changing the name from Chicago Fire SC to Chicago Fire FC is lame. Nobody says "football" except for foreign expats and insecure Europoseurs.

Apparently they are asking are asking media to refer to them as "Chicago Fire FC" on first mention similar to the way late-Precourt-era Columbus wanted to be called "Crew SC". Nope.
I have some thoughts.
 

67YAZ

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 1, 2000
3,237
Fantastic. I love it, especially the contrasting navy & sky blues. I’m all over a Clean Sheet Co shirt when you drop one.

I did see the new logo out in the wild, at the Mag Mile Festival of Lights parade. The colors were more rich in person than they appeared on screen, which is nice. But maybe the best part is that the identity refresh brings new energy to the club. It was nice to see the club represent at a major event and tout itself with a new look. That’s exciting.

As for actual squad, they are down to 14 players on the roster since Schweinsteiger retired and a slew of guys, including Gaitan and Katai, has their options declined. If a rebuild is on the way, that’s fine. There’s enough good vibes from the new ownership to embrace that.

But Mihailovic is currently training with FC Nurnberg. Losing him would be a set back to a rebuild, but if the fee is good and it’s reinvested well...
 

luckiestman

Son of the Harpy
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
20,214
It’s getting weird how few soccer clubs there are in Major League Soccer
 

InstaFace

MDLzera
SoSH Member
Sep 27, 2016
15,012
Pittsburgh, PA
The stealth coordinated rebrand to Major League Football, USA Football, American Youth Football Organization, etc is going to take everyone by surprise and be a windfall to graphic designers. And nobody will love it more than @SumnerH , who takes pleasure in reminding people how many varieties of "football" actually exist and are actively played.

In retrospect, NYCFC should have been a telegraph.
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
12,059
The stealth coordinated rebrand to Major League Football, USA Football, American Youth Football Organization, etc is going to take everyone by surprise and be a windfall to graphic designers. And nobody will love it more than @SumnerH , who takes pleasure in reminding people how many varieties of "football" actually exist and are actively played.

In retrospect, NYCFC should have been a telegraph.
From 1945-1975, the federation was known as the United States Soccer Football Association. It has an excellent ring to it, no?
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
12,059
BU alum Dominique Badji is headed from FC Dallas to Nashville SC. Backup material, at least on a good team.

https://www.fcdallas.com/post/2019/12/02/fc-dallas-trades-dominique-badji-nashville-sc
It was also announced that Nashville will play in the West, with Miami coming in to the East. The alternative would have been to push Chicago to the West, which geographically makes more sense. However, with Austin, Sacramento, and St. Louis coming in the next few seasons, Nashville will surely wind up in the East — unless we go old school and revive the Central conference, or go new school and do...something else entirely.

Furthermore, clubs won't ever play three clubs from the other conference, which has never happened before.

Inter Miami has signed Luis Robles. That's a nice, stable veteran presence to balance out a number of very young players, and he won't take up an international slot either.

https://www.intermiamicf.com/en/post/2019/12/02/inter-miami-cf-signs-goalkeeper-luis-robles
They've also signed A.J. DeLaGarza, a free agent. Probably useful veteran depth at this point, but IMO these sorts of signings are smart ways to fill out the bench.

https://www.intermiamicf.com/en/post/2019/12/02/inter-miami-cf-signs-defender-aj-delagarza
Brooks Lennon has been traded to Atlanta.

https://www.atlutd.com/post/2019/12/02/atlanta-united-acquires-brooks-lennon-real-salt-lake
Lennon went through RSL's academy, left to sign with Liverpool and played with their youth teams, and eventually left to go back to RSL. He began life as a forward/winger, but in 2018 RSL tried to convert him to RB. He serves a very good cross, but isn't a good enough 1v1 player to be an especially good winger. He hasn't fully adjusted to life as a defender and in 2019 he was mostly a bench winger, with Aaron Herrera nailing down RB. However, Atlanta has announced him as a defender, so apparently the experiment continues. Since they dabble with three-CB formations, perhaps he could be a useful wingback reserve behind Julian Gressel. Alternatively, Gressel is angling for a new contract and might force his way out if he doesn't get it.
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
12,059
RSL has finalized their GM and coaching situations. Their choice to stick with the interims after firing Waibel and Petke does not come as a huge surprise. RSL did well enough down the stretch.

View: https://twitter.com/samstejskal/status/1201954868493246470



Miami, NYCFC, Chicago, and Orlando are still without a manager. Chicago doesn't have any sort of GM/TD/sporting director either!
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
12,059
Pareja returns to MLS after his sojourn to Club Tijuana. He last a year there, which is actually pretty normal by Tijuana standards. I think he's a good hire for a club that has done so poorly in their time in the league. Pareja should provide a solid foundation, and maybe some of Orlando's players will actually improve during their tenure at the club, which basically never happens.

View: https://twitter.com/OrlandoCitySC/status/1202241257977856000
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
12,059
Rowe's return to the Revs really surprised me. He seemed like the sort of guy who had "done his time" with a club for whom MLS players notoriously don't want to play. And yet, Kelyn's back even as a free agent. I suppose it is a combination of his diminished profile over the past few seasons and an increase in the appeal of the Revs due to Bruce Arena and the chance to actually win some games in the Gil+Bou era of actually spending money in an intelligent fashion.
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
12,059
SKC signed 28 year old Croatian CB Roberto Punčec.

https://www.sportingkc.com/post/2019/12/04/sporting-kc-signs-28-year-old-croatian-defender-roberto-puncec
SKC's perennially tough defense totally imploded in 2019. After spending a ton of money on the very mediocre Andreu Fontas, they wouldn't give the vastly superior Ike Opara a comparable contract; his departure coincided with SKC's defensive decline and Minnesota's rise. Besler is getting long in the tooth, as well.

Punčec has played in leagues like Croatia, Israel, and the 2.Bundesliga. In this era of MLS, that's a résumé that represents a coin flip regarding his chances of being successful.

MLS clubs have really keyed in on Rijeka. Portland just signed another CB from the club, and NYCFC's highly successful forward signing Héber came from there last year.


Columbus signed big Swedish CB Axel Sjöberg, who departed Colorado earlier in the fall.

https://www.columbuscrewsc.com/post/2019/12/04/columbus-crew-sc-signs-defender-axel-sj-berg
Nashville signed Brayan Beckeles, who is a 34 year old Honduran defender. That's...a choice an expansion team can make. At least he somehow has a green card, despite never playing in the US before, so he won't take an int'l spot.

https://www.nashvillesc.com/post/2019/12/04/nashville-sc-signs-honduran-international-brayan-beckeles
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
12,059

Monbo Jumbo

Read only
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 5, 2003
24,669
the other Athens
Report: Atlanta United set $25 million price tag for Ezequiel Barco

The list of potential suitors for Ezequiel Barco’s signature is rapidly growing. If reports are to be believed, Atlanta United have now set their price for the highly-desired youngster.
According to Italian outlet CalcioMercato, the Five Stripes will let Barco leave for a transfer fee of $25 million.
While not on the Miguel Almiron scale, if Atlanta were to complete a deal around this figure, it would be quite a hefty return on the reported initial $15 million investment in Barco.
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
12,059
RSL bought Trinidadian right back Alvin Jones from OKC Energy. Interestingly, this is the second time in a week that the RSL organization has paid a transfer fee to a USL club. Their recently transferred young-ish forward Joe Gallardo from USL League One club Richmond Kickers to their reserve team in the USL Championship. Anyway, if the name "Alvin Jones" sounds vaguely familiar, it's because he scored the long-range shot that beat Tim Howard for T&T's second goal down in Couva.

A couple of unsurprising returnees: Bill Hamid, who was on loan from Midtjylland, is now permanently at D.C. United. Emerson Hyndman is permanently at Atlanta United.

Sporting KC has signed forward Khiry Shelton, who spent the last year at Paderborn. He signed when they were in the 2.Bundesliga, then found himself in the top division, a bit over his head. He got to say he's played in the Bundesliga, at least! Shelton would be a nice signing as a backup and an underwhelming signing to be a starter. We'll see which way it goes. SKC have had a hard time landing a top-tier striker in the MLS context.

Orlando has taken 19 year old midfielder Andres Perea on loan from Atlético Nacional in Colombia. Perea is actually a Colombian-American dual national, but has had a very low profile among US soccer fans. That's likely because he's played for Colombian YNTs in official competitions and Anglo US soccer fans ignore Latin America anyway. It's handy that he doesn't take up an international roster spot.

Orlando also signed an ex-academy attacking, David Loera '98, to a homegrown contract. Loera spent the last three seasons at NC State.
 
Last edited:

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
12,059
CONCACAF Champions League draw.

Deportivo Saprissa (CRC) vs. Montreal Impact
Olimpia (HON) vs. Seattle Sounders

San Carlos (CRC) vs. NYCFC
Alianza (ESA) vs. Tigres (MEX)

León (MEX) vs. LAFC
Portmore United (JAM) vs. Cruz Azul (MEX)

Comunicaciones (GUA) vs. América (MEX)
Motagua (HON) vs. Atlanta United



How will MLS clubs disappoint me this year?
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
12,059
Sporting KC has signed forward Khiry Shelton, who spent the last year at Paderborn. He signed when they were in the 2.Bundesliga, then found himself in the top division, a bit over his head. He got to say he's played in the Bundesliga, at least! Shelton would be a nice signing as a backup and an underwhelming signing to be a starter. We'll see which way it goes. SKC have had a hard time landing a top-tier striker in the MLS context.
That didn't take long. Alan Pulido, 28 year old Mexican international. He's had a bit of drama in his career (over contract status, mostly) but was the leading scorer in the most recent Liga MX fall season.

View: https://twitter.com/SportingKC/status/1204546360063799296
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
12,059
San Jose were able to permanently acquire winger Cristian Espinoza from Villarreal, after he spent 2019 on loan. Per their press release, this was a club-record transfer fee.

LA Galaxy have signed Sacha Kljestan, who was a free agent. At this point in his career he isn't an automatic starter in MLS and may just be veteran depth. But still, he'll be handy depth as long as the price is right. He's getting long in the tooth, at age 34.

LAFC signed forward Danny Musovski, who spent the last two seasons in USL with Reno after graduating from UNLV.

Chicago signed academy defender Nicholas Slonina '01 to a homegrown contract. Earlier in the year they signed his younger brother, Gabriel Slonina '04, a very young GK. The shambolic Fire aren't fielding a U19 team this season so I'm not exactly sure what the elder Slonina is going to do.