By DAN KARELL
After nearly a week of negotiations, the Chicago Fire were finally able to officially introduce their latest designated player, Arevalo Rios.
The Fire acquired Rios on-loan from Italian side Palermo just before the end of the summer transfer window, but had to wait until an international roster spot opened up. The Uruguayan midfielder has taken the place on the roster of Dutch forward Sherjill MacDonald, who the club announced on Wednesday that they had mutually parted ways after a frustrating year at Toyota Park.
Rios, who will be added to the roster upon the receipt of his International Transfer Certificate and P-1 Visa, becomes the team’s seventh designated player signing since 2007, when the Fire signed Cuauhtémoc Blanco.
The 31-year-old is no stranger to North America, having spent a year with Club Tijuana in Liga MX, and is a highly experienced player on the international stage, representing Uruguay in the Olympics last season as well as at the Confederations Cup this summer.
Here are some more notes from around the Eastern Conference:
For the second straight week, the Columbus Crew were without starting goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum due to injury. And according to Gruenebaum himself, he’s not sure what’s wrong.
After an MRI on his shoulder revealed no damage, the team doctors seem to think that there’s a muscle issue in or around his left rotator cuff, which is causing the 30-year-old goalkeeper pain and is keeping him on the sidelines.
“It’s just one of those things that requires a little bit of rest, and how much rest is what’s up in the air,” Gruenebaum told the Columbus Dispatch. “I feel good because I haven’t been diving on it, so I feel a lot better. But this is kind of one of those things that it’s more than just ‘when can I play soccer next?’ I want to make sure that I can live a life after soccer.”
Ahead of a crucial match this Saturday against the Montreal Impact, D.C. United has snapped up one of the Impact’s former players.
Dennis Iapichino, who was officially placed on waivers on Tuesday but announced his departure on Twitter a week ago, has been picked up by D.C. United and is available for selection this Saturday.
“We are pleased to be adding a quality left back in Dennis,” D.C. United General Manager Dave Kasper said in a team release. “He possesses very good technical ability and is a smart player tactically. We look forward to having him as a part of United.”
For the first time since last December, Calen Carr is training with the Houston Dynamo first team.
The veteran forward has missed large parts of the last three seasons due to injury, suffering a concussion that knocked him out of most of the 2011 season and an ACL tear in the MLS Cup Final last season that has kept him off the field for a majority of this season.
However, this week Carr is back in full training, and could make his season debut in the coming weeks. In addition, after missing three weeks with Achilles issues, Andrew Driver is back in full training for the club.
“When you step into full training guys are preparing for a game so there’s no half-speed. For me that was good and I just got up as quick as I could,” said Carr. “For me it’s a good release of some pent-up frustration. It felt fun. I enjoyed being out there chasing guys down, getting some touches and getting hit a couple of times.”
The slumping impact lost their second consecutive match last Saturday, and have won just once in eight games, after leading the Eastern Conference for the much of the first three months of the season.
Due to the poor form, the club has slid down the conference table, sitting currently in fourth place, with a key match coming up against D.C. United, who are starting to show signs of life late in the year from a number of their new acquisitions. The club are even considering a formation change, as they try and bring Hernan Bernardello into the squad at full speed.
NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION
Jerry Bengtson has found life hard recently with the New England Revolution.
The Honduran forward, who is a designated player for the Revolution, has made just 13 appearances for the club this season, scoring only a single goal during that time and not playing for the past four weeks. In addition, the club acquired U.S. Men’s National Team pool player Charlie Davies on-loan, creating more competition for Bengtson up top.
However, the 26-year-old has said that he’d love to play with Honduras when they face Mexico at Azteca Stadium on September 6, despite being out of form and having a reported bust-up with national team head coach Luis Fernando Suarez.
NEW YORK RED BULLS
Mike Grella’s search for a new club will have to continue.
After spending time in the last few weeks trialing with the New York Red Bulls, head coach Mike Petke announced on Wednesday that the two sides agreed to mutually end the trial, due to the Red Bulls lack of roster space. The club recently signed Bradley Wright-Phillips and David Carney, leaving the Red Bulls without room or salary cap space to add a player like Grella.
Also, the Red Bulls announced that rookie midfielder Ian Christianson will miss the rest of the season due to another foot surgery.
SPORTING KANSAS CITY
A little over two weeks after being substituted early in the MLS All-Star game, Graham Zusi is back in Sporting Kansas City first-team training.
The U.S. Men’s National Team midfielder was diagnosed with a quad strain during the match against Roma and as a result has missed his side’s last two MLS matches and one CONCACAF Champions League match. Sporting KC head coach Peter Vermes is reportedly weighing his options ahead of Saturday’s match against the San Jose Earthquakes.
Following months of posturing, Maxi Urruti has finally arrived in Toronto. Well, sort of.
The Argentine forward is indeed in Toronto and is training with Toronto FC, but legal issues between the MLS club and Urruti’s Argentine club, Newell’s Old Boys, has kept the deal from becoming official.
TFC were originally going to make the signing official on Thursday, but have reportedly now pushed it back towards Friday as the two sides continue negotiations.
What do you think of this news? Excited to see Rios play for the Fire? Do you see Zusi returning for Sporting KC this weekend? Do you believe Urruti’s deal can be finished tomorrow?
Share your thoughts below.