By RYAN TOLMICH
After announcing the signing of Shaun Wright-Phillips earlier this week, the New York Red Bulls do not appear to be finished making moves.
Empire of Soccer reported Thursday that the Red Bulls are close to signing San Lorenzo striker Gonzalo Veron as the club’s second Designated Player for a reported $2.2 million transfer fee.
A pacey forward that was a part of the club’s 2014 Copa Libertadores championship side, Veron has registered seven goals and six assists in 59 matches for San Lorenzo while playing both up front and on the left.
The 25-year-old as reportedly been scouted extensively by Red Bulls sporting director Ali Curtis, who reportedly flew to South America several times to complete the deal. Veron is likely to join the club in training next week and could feature as soon as August 9th at Red Bull Arena against New York City FC.
Here are some more of Thursday’s MLS news and notes: Continue reading
By RYAN TOLMICH
After last year’s disastrous spell with Hamburg, Julian Green will not be going anywhere to start the 2015-16 season.
The U.S. Men’s National Team midfielder’s agent, Roman Grill, has confirmed that the winger “will remain at FC Bayern,” and will be tasked with helping lead the club’s second team, Bayern Munich II, win promotion to Germany’s third tier.
“The decision is final. Julian Green wants to assert himself at his hometown club FC Bayern,” added Katharina Schrott of acta7, Green’s representatives.”With this motivation and perspective in mind, he will give it his all also in the under-23’s. Another loan or even a transfer is out of the question.”
Green’s stay comes on the heels of a disastrous season with Hamburg, as the 20-year-old winger was limited to only five first-team appearances with the Bundesliga club while also spending time with the club’s reserves. Continue reading
Photo by Anne-Marie Sorvin/USA TODAY Sports
By RYAN TOLMICH
After bringing in Freddy Adu earlier this month, the Tampa Bay Rowdies have bolstered their attack yet again with the signing of a another former top-overall MLS Draft pick.
The Rowdies announced Wednesday that the club has signed Omar Salgado on loan from Mexican club Tigres UANL for the remainder of the NASL season. The move sees Salgado reunite with Rowdies head coach Thomas Rongen, who previously coached the 21-year-old with the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team.
“I’m delighted to have a young talent like Omar join the Rowdies,” said Head Coach Thomas Rongen. “He’s a classic #9, who can also play in the #11 position, and he’ll add quality in the final third. I’m very familiar with him as a player, having coached him with the U-20’s and he’s someone who will work hard to bring success to this club.”
Prior to joining Tigres this past Winter, Salgado made 26 appearances for the Vancouver Whitecaps, the team that selected him with the first overall pick of the 2011 MLS Draft. Continue reading
By DAN KARELL
Angel Di Maria’s on-again, off-again transfer to Paris Saint-Germain looks like it’s finally ready to become a reality.
According to a report out of Spain, PSG has reached a €63 million ($69 million) transfer fee agreement with Manchester United for the Argentine international, who is still on vacation after taking part in the 2015 Copa America.
Di Maria only joined Man United 11 months ago from Real Madrid, signing for approximately €74.8 million (nearly $100 million). But due to injuries and positional flexibility, Di Maria never truly found his place in Man United’s starting XI, scoring just three goals in the English Premier League in 20 starts.
If the reports are true, it would be the second big win this week for PSG. The French champions coincidentally defeated Man United, 2-0, at Soldier Field in Chicago on Wednesday to clinch the 2015 International Champions Cup title.
After the match, PSG manager Laurent Blanc hinted that the transfer is imminent.
Here are some more stories to start off your Thursday:
Photo by Jerome Miron/USA Today Sports
By DAN KARELL
As it turns out, Jaime Penedo won’t be returning between the pipes for the LA Galaxy following the conclusion of the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
According to LA Galaxy Insider, Penedo and the Galaxy have agreed to mutually terminate the veteran Panamanian international’s contract and place him on waivers. Penedo lasted a little less than two years with the LA Galaxy, joining after a stellar run to the 2013 Gold Cup final.
Penedo’s command in goal was crucial in the Galaxy’s 2014 MLS Cup title-winning season, earning him the nickname “San Penedo.”
In a post on his Instagram page, Penedo, 33, cited contractual issues as his reason for departing the Galaxy, but thanked the Galaxy fans who supported him over the past two seasons. LA Galaxy Insider’s report states that Penedo asked to leave the club and that its unlikely he would stay in MLS.
To replace Penedo, both LA Galaxy Insider and the Orlando Sentinel are reporting that a familiar face could return to the StubHub Center.
photo by Ron Chenoy/USA Today Sports
By FRANCO PANIZO
COMMERCE CITY, Colo. — The MLS All-Star Game is an opportunity to showcase the league’s best talent, and two of the newest superstars to make the jump from Europe combined for a pair of first-half goals in another victory.
Kaka and David Villa scored three minutes apart in the first half, and that, combined with a strong performance from goalkeeper Nick Rimando, was enough to give the league’s top players a 2-1 win over Tottenham in the annual MLS All-Star Game.
Kaka opened the scoring at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in the 20th minute with a perfect penalty kick. The MLS All-Stars captain then turned into a provider, feeding Villa for a one-timed effort in front of goal.
Harry Kane cut the deficit in half with a 35th-minute bomb from outside the penalty area, but Rimando superbly denied him three times before to keep the MLS All-Stars in a position to come out victory for the second straight year.
U.S. Men’s National Team youngster and former MLS player DeAndre Yedlin also saw time in the game played in front of a sold-out crowd of 18,671. Yedlin came off the bench in the 63rd minute for Spurs, who had chances in the second half to pull level.
photo by Kyle Terada/USA Today Sports
By FRANCO PANIZO
COMMERCE CITY, Colo. — Landon Donovan had his first coaching experience on Tuesday, and he thoroughly enjoyed it. So much so that he is considering doing it again.
Donovan led the MLS Homegrowns in their match vs. Club America’s U-20s on Tuesday night as part of MLS All-Star Week. His team lost on penalty kicks after surrendering its first-half lead, but not even the defeat could take away from how much fun Donovan had.
In fact, he had such a great time on the sidelines that you should not rule out seeing him there again in the near future.
“This was a week to sort of dip my toe in and see how it felt. I really had a great time,” said the 33-year-old Donovan. “I don’t know what the future holds. It depends, obviously, on a lot of things, but I really enjoyed it. If I get another opportunity, then maybe I’ll consider it, yeah.”
Donovan, wearing a polo shirt and some athletic pants after suggestions from his wife, admitted to have a little anxiety on the bench. A former player who was very determined to focus on the things he could control during his historic career, Donovan found it tough not being able to go out on the field to make an impact. He sat on the bench for much of the first half, but got up and became more animated as the match wore one.
photo by Mike DiNovo/USA Today Sports
By FRANCO PANIZO
COMMERCE CITY, Colo. — Ethan Finlay struggled to fall asleep on Sunday. That night, Columbus Crew head coach Gregg Berhalter called Finlay to let him know he had made the MLS All-Star Game roster.
Finlay was left speechless and also extremely excited. It was a surreal a moment for him, but one that also served as a reminder of how far he had come in the past year and a half thanks to hard work and a necessary change in mentality.
Since the start of 2014, few players in MLS, if any, have made the kind of drastic improvements that Finlay has. The 24-year-old midfielder has gone from being a limited player who came off the bench and provided little to the attack to an every-game starter who consistently finds ways to make an impact.
Finlay’s turnaround has been nothing short of remarkable. His first two seasons in MLS saw him fail to score or assist in 34 appearances. The two seasons since have yielded a much more gratifying return, with Finlay netting 18 goals and assisting on 19 others.
The introduction of Berhalter as Crew head coach in 2014 played a part in that turnaround, but was not the only factor.
“I think a switch kind of turned in me,” Finlay told SBI. “When your back is up against the wall as I felt like I kind of was I made a decision that I’ve got to pick it up. This is on me. The onus is on me. I took that literally and made a great opportunity for myself and I’m thankful for Gregg and the staff for giving me the opportunity and I’ve tried to run with it.”