By RYAN TOLMICH
Having already added Jozy Altidore and Sebastian Giovinco, Toronto FC took the chance Thursday to add another player that has played the game on Europe’s highest level.
Toronto FC announced Thursday that the club has signed midfielder Benoit Cheyrou, formerly of France’s Olympique de Marseille. The 33-year-old, who made 304 appearances during his career in France, was a member of Marseille’s 2009-10 league-winning side while also featuring in a total of 37 Champions League contests.
“Benoit’s vision and his ability to distribute the ball are two very distinct qualities that have made him such a successful player throughout his career, both domestically in France and in European competition,” said Toronto FC General Manager Tim Bezbatchenko in a statement. “He has a wealth of experience and success and is another important piece that complements the ones we currently have in place. We are very excited to bring him to Toronto FC.”
“I’m very excited to sign for Toronto FC,” Cheyrou added. “I cannot wait to wear the jersey and join my new teammates.”
Here are some more of Thursday’s MLS news and notes: Continue reading
Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/USA Today Sports
By DAN KARELL
Unable to ink an MLS contract this winter, Heath Pearce has gone against the strong current of Americans returning from Europe and signed with a club in Sweden.
IFK Goteborg announced on Thursday that they’ve signed Pearce to a five-month contract, with an option to extend. Pearce was a free agent, after his contract with the Montreal Impact expired at the end of the season and no teams selected him in the MLS re-entry draft. Pearce had recently been training with Orlando City.
“He can play at any position in the defensive line,” Goteborg sporting director Mats Gren said in a statement. “He’s experienced, strong, skillful game, great physics and has a good pass.”
The 30-year-old Pearce spent 2005-2009 abroad, playing for FC Nordsjælland in Denmark and Hansa Rostock in Germany, before joining FC Dallas in late 2009. He helped lead FC Dallas to the MLS Cup final in 2010, and since then has played for Chivas USA, the New York Red Bulls, and the Impact.
Goteborg finished second in the Swedish Allsvenskan last season, qualifying for the UEFA Europa League qualifying rounds. The 2015 Allsvenskan season begins in early April.
What do you think of this news? Do you like the move for Pearce? Do you see him returning to MLS this summer?
Share your thoughts below.
By RYAN TOLMICH
New years bring new opportunities, and U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann took Wednesday’s friendly with Chile as an opportunity to experiment.
In the USMNT’s first friendly of the 2015 campaign, Klinsmann deployed his side in the newly configured 3-5-2 formation, giving the squad a potential new look heading into a busy campaign.
While the change in formation could prove a useful tool in outwitting opponents, Klinsmann insists that the main reason behind the new look is the available personnel. The German-born head coach says that his choice of formation came based on his current roster, as Klinsmann believes his squad is currently best outfitted to play with three at the back.
“It’s a little bit based on what we have in this camp and what players do you have that you, hopefully, see down the road as part of the senior group,” Klinsmann said following Thursday’s game. “That kind of guides you into a certain system where you think, ‘you know what, with these players, we might be better off in a 3-5-2 than a 4-4-2 or in a 4-3-3.’ Often it’s just looking at your roster and saying, ‘okay, what is our best solution now.’ Continue reading
By FRANCO PANIZO
Lessons were always going to be learned after using a new formation for the first time, but some familiar issues also rose to the surface for the U.S. Men’s National Team.
The U.S. was handed a 3-2 road defeat by Chile on Wednesday, as a promising but far-from-perfect first half was undone by yet another ugly second stanza. The Americans struggled mightily in a number of areas during the closing 45 minutes, and wound up surrendering a halftime lead to suffer a loss that extended their winless run to five games.
The result was not what mattered most, however. Head coach Jurgen Klinsmann trotted out a new 3-5-2 formation against the Chileans, and how his players adapted to and performed in that set-up was always going to be more important than the final score.
The U.S. showed some encouraging signs in between the expected hiccups, but there were also problems that did not stem from the formational change, problems that Klinsmann will want to take a closer look at in order to solve them.
Here are five observations, both good and bad, that SBI took away from the U.S.’s 3-2 defeat to Chile:
By CAITLIN MURRAY
What MLS players want and what the league is willing to offer isn’t yet close enough to prevent a work stoppage — and the sticking point may be free agency.
That’s the overall message from MLS Players Union executive director Bob Foose, who spoke to the Orlando Sentinel about the status of negotiations in a Q&A published Thursday.
While player compensation has been a prominent issue in collective bargaining agreement talks, free agency could be where things will hit a snag. MLS has not put forth a proposal to add free agency or change the way player rights work, which makes an agreement unlikely, Foose said.
“There is no negotiation going on at this point with regard to free agency,” he told the Sentinel. “That makes it impossible to get a deal done. If that’s going to stay the same, I certainly don’t see a deal getting done.”
By CAITLIN MURRAY
New York City FC has yet to play a game, but the club is already undergoing changes in the front office.
The club announced Thursday that Tim Pernetti, who has been NYCFC’s chief business officer since the club formed in 2013, will leave his post to join media agency WME | IMG. At the same time, NYCFC introduced Tom Glick as the club’s new president. Glick comes from a top-level position with Manchester City FC, NYCFC’s parent club.
Pernetti will join WME | IMG as president of multimedia for its college work after NYCFC’s inaugural match of the MLS regular season, which Pernetti called a “natural exit point.”
“With college sports being my true passion and such a core part of my make-up, this awesome opportunity to join the team at WME | IMG was impossible to refuse, particularly at this natural exit point as New York City FC embarks on the next stage of its development,” Pernetti said in a statement released by NYCFC. “It has been my honor and a true privilege to work with the best in the soccer business and to be part of building the foundation of New York City FC. I will be a fan for life.”