By MATT STYPULKOSKI
The Columbus Crew took the step to add another attacking option Friday with a player that will serve as a summer reinforcement.
The Crew announced Friday that the club has acquired midfielder Cedrick Mabwati, commonly known as Cedrick, from La Liga’s Real Betis. Cedrick will spend the remainder of the season with Spanish Segunda Division side Osasuna, where he has been on loan since late 2014, before joining Columbus in the summer.
Currently, the 22-year-old is on international duty with the Democratic Republic of Congo in the African Cup of Nations. He has appeared in all three of the Leopards’ matches, starting two and registering one assist.
“Cedrick is a young, versatile player with international experience who can make an impact at any of our four attacking positions,” said Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter. “He is another player with considerable potential identified by our international scouting network and we look forward to him joining our team this summer.”
Prior to joining Real Betis, Cedrick spent four seasons in the Segunda Division, where he recorded 13 goals and 12 assists.
Here are some more of Friday’s MLS news and notes:
By FRANCO PANIZO
The German Bundesliga returns from its winter break this weekend, and Fabian Johnson is surely hoping that it is the start of a better half-season for him.
Johnson was limited to mostly spot duty off the bench during the opening months of the season, but will now aim to break into the lineup more regularly as Borussia Moenchengladbach attempts to move into a guaranteed UEFA Champions League spot.
That journey starts on Saturday for Johnson and his club, as they visit struggling Stuttgart. Moenchengladbach is just a point off of third place in the table: a win could secure the club second place if Bayer Leverkusen is unable to grab maximum points in its game.
Paul Arriola is also looking to get back into the mix this weekend, but not because he’s been on a brief vacation. Arriola has been away from Club Tijuana during the opening weeks of the Liga MX campaign because of the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team’s World Cup qualifying tournament, and he will now attempt to crack the Xolos’ lineup when they take on Morelia on Friday night. Arriola finished the U.S.’s successful qualifying campaign with a goal and an assist in the last two games, so that momentum could carry over as he tries to earn a regular role again at the club level.
Another youngster looking for a steadier dose of minutes in the coming months is Julian Green. Hamburg has seldom used the teenage loanee, but that could begin to change as the club attempts to further distance itself from the relegation zone in Saturday’s clash with Cologne. Green has just five appearances thus far this season, a number that will need to increase exponentially in order for him to have a real case for playing at the Gold Cup this summer.
Here is who the Americans Abroad battle this weekend: Continue reading
By IVES GALARCEP
When Mark Gonzalez buried the winning goal on Wednesday to seal Chile’s victory against the U.S. Men’s National Team, it was easy to come away from that friendly feeling like the U.S. laid another egg. Going five matches without a win and allowing nine goals in three matches will start making everything taste a little sour, but the first U.S. friendly of 2015 still gave Jurgen Klinsmann plenty to ponder.
My latest Goal.com story took a look at some of the key things to take away from Wednesday’s friendly, such as the excellent play of USMNT debutant Steve Birnbaum, who didn’t play like someone making his first national team appearance.
Not on that list was the overall verdict on Klinsmann’s 3-5-2 experiment. I touched on that on Thursday on Goal.com, basically calling it a successful debut marred by the fact Klinsmann only gave the new formation 45 minutes.
Now, with some time to digest the match, and more importantly re-watch it, I present SBI’s USMNT player grades for the Chile friendly:
By DANIEL KARELL
Joe Gyau’s struggle to overcome injuries this season took another turn for the worse this week.
According to a report in Dortmund-based newspaper Ruhr Nachrichten, Gyau injured knee cartilage in training this week and will likely require surgery. Borussia Dortmund II manager David Wagner speculated that it could be a season-ending injury.
Gyau tore the meniscus in his left knee during the U.S. Men’s National Team’s October friendly against Ecuador, and was originally slated to return by January. His return was postponed until February after the 22-year-old strained a muscle in his left leg after making just three substitute appearances for Dortmund II in late fall.
Now Gyau looks to be sidelined for the foreseeable future. In his first season with Dortmund II after signing a one-year contract last summer, Gyau has played in 11 games, making eight starts and scoring two goals. He also has one substitute appearance for Borussia Dortmund’s first team.
What do you think of this report? Disappointed to hear of another Gyau injury? Do you see him returning to Dortmund next season?
Share your thoughts below.
By RYAN TOLMICH
Since announcing plans to add an expansion team last February, all has been quiet on the stadium front from David Beckham and those involved with MLS Miami, but the former LA Galaxy midfielder remains upbeat.
Beckham, who admitted that it has been difficult to secure a stadium deal, says that he remains positive about nailing down details regarding the Miami franchise. The Englishman also says that he expects there to be significant updates in the near future, according to NBC Miami.
“We’re pretty close to announcing certain things,” Beckham said, “and then the stadium will come after that.
“You can’t build a stadium overnight, so finding the right site, finding the right place in Miami is important for us. But it will all start coming together pretty quickly and everything will start happening pretty soon.”
By DAN KARELL
Toronto FC could have all three of its Designated Players around for the start of the 2015 MLS season.
According to reports in Italy, Sebastian Giovinco is close to an agreement with Juventus that would allow the “Atomic Ant” to join TFC in February and take part in preseason training. TFC announced on Jan. 19 that Giovinco had signed a Designated Player contract with the club. It was initially anticipated that he would join TFC in July.
TFC general manager Tim Bezbatchenko has claimed that the club hasn’t spoken with Juventus, but head coach Greg Vanney said that the club is hopeful that Giovinco could arrive ahead of schedule.
In the meantime, Toronto has until March 1 to shed one of its Designated Player contracts, which surely means that forward Gilberto is on his way out. According to reports in Canada, Gilberto has remained in his native Brazil while TFC begins preseason training in Florida.
What do you think of this news? Do you see Giovinco arriving next month? Do you think that TFC is a playoff team with Giovinco around all season?
Share your thoughts below.