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MLS Offseason 2018-19: #SavedTheCrew

Discussion in 'Breakfast with Gazza (with Sachmoneious Bullcrap)' started by Titans Bastard, Dec 9, 2018.

  1. Titans Bastard

    Titans Bastard has sunil gulati in his sights Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    The offseason tends to ramp up immediately after MLS Cup, so it's time for a new thread!


    Big-Picture Changes

    • Against all odds, #SaveTheCrew has continued to progress. Haslam hasn't officially bought the team yet; there are new stadium plans being bandied about first. Nonetheless, nobody seems to be signally that there is any doubt the Crew will be staying in Columbus.
    • FC Cincinnati joins as the 24th team, bringing their very hefty USL fanbase with them. Nashville and Inter Miami joining in 2020. Austin TBD. The 28th team is yet to be announced and they're going to continue to expand past that. FCC took their final season in USL seriously as an audition for MLS; they've bumped up three players from their USL squad and are expected to bring up a number of others.
    • Garber's annual "state of the league" address is always a good way to take the temperature of what the larger ownership group is thinking. It's noteworthy that Garber talked about the need for MLS to become more of a selling league this week. After a few years of taking it on the chin with academy players walking to foreign clubs on free transfers, it's finally dawned on MLS owners that they need to do a better job of developing players and selling them on when the time is right.
    • Relatedly, MLS support for solidarity payments and training compensation is now becoming fairly vociferous...just need to get the MLSPA on board.
    • Stadium stuff: Minnesota's new stadium will open in 2019. The Timbers will start on a lengthy road trip as Providence Park is expanded to 25k. Cincinnati will play at the Cincinnati Bearcat's Nippert Stadium until their own place opens in 2021.
    Managerial Carousel

    New hires:
    • SJ (Matias Almeyda) --> this was a shockingly big hire for a club like SJ
    • Vancouver (Marc dos Santos) --> an assistant with some buzz around him
    Openings:
    • Atlanta (Tata Martino). Rumors: Guillermo Barros Schelotto
    • Columbus (Gregg Berhalter). Rumors: Caleb Porter, Josh Wolff
    • Dallas (Oscar Pareja). Rumors: Tab Ramos, Luchi Gonzalez
    • LA Galaxy (Sigi Schmid / Dominic Kinnear [interim]) Rumors: Kinnear, Jason Kreis
    2019 CCL

    Atlanta's MLS Cup win confirmed that NYRB will be the fourth US team in CCL. The first round kicks off in just over two months.

    Herediano (CRC) vs. Atlanta United
    Independiente (PAN) vs. Toronto FC
    Sporting KC vs. Toluca (MEX)
    Guastatoya (GUA) vs. Houston Dynamo
    Atlético Pantoja (DOM) vs. NYRB

    Key Dates

    Today — half-day transfer window, geared mainly towards allowing teams to fiddle with their rosters prior to the expansion draft
    12/11 - Expansion draft + beginning of free agency period
    1/11 - college draft
    2/19 - 2/21 - first leg of CCL
    March - 2019 season begins

    Signings so far

    Everyone other than the MLS Cup participants have announced their departures already.

    Most of the incoming players thus far have been academy signings — HOU, MTL (x2), NE, NYRB, PHI, RSL (x3), SKC, and VAN have all given contracts to youth players.

    Cincinnati has five players so far. They picked up Adi from Portland and Alashe from SJ during the season and have promoted three USL guys so far. LAFC announced a loan for 21 year old Colombian CB Eddie Segura and Montreal signed French winger Henry Novillo.
     
  2. steeplechase3k

    steeplechase3k Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    I posted it in the season thread also, but here is a construction camera if you want to watch the progress in Portland. I've been looking at it several times a day.

    https://www.senserasystems.com/public/TurnerConstructionPortlandJob3/M78835366254

    Half of the roof that was installed in 2010-2011 is removed, and the rest will be in the next week or so. I assume the next thing will be the precast seating sections that hang off of the "wall" that is there now.
     
  3. Titans Bastard

    Titans Bastard has sunil gulati in his sights Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    The MLS suits will be happy with this one, although the year-over-year US TV numbers are influenced by the fact that a Canadian team was in MLS Cup last year:


    Ian Thomas
    @byIanThomas


    Corrected: Last night’s MLS Cup Final on FOX drew a 1.2 metered market rating, the best rating for a cup final since at least ‘98 and up 71% compared to last year’s final.

    Milwaukee, huh? [EDIT: apparently the lead-in to MLS Cup was Wisconsin-Marquette....]



    Steven Goff
    @SoccerInsider


    Overnight ratings for Fox Sports coverage of #mlscup[​IMG] are coming in.
    Top 10 markets:
    Atlanta 11.5
    Portland 7.3
    Milwaukee 2.2
    W Palm Beach 1.9
    Austin 1.5
    Raleigh 1.4
    Louisville 1.4
    Greensboro 1.3
    Washington DC 1.3
    Seattle 1.3
     
    #3 Titans Bastard, Dec 9, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2018
  4. Titans Bastard

    Titans Bastard has sunil gulati in his sights Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    FC Dallas shipped forward Tesho Akindele to Orlando for $150k of allocation money. The rumor is that they are truly going young next season. They have a number of academy signings waiting in the wings to take over and it seems they've been clearing out deadwood, but we'll have to see what sort of veterans they bring in.

    Chicago picked up German forward Fabian Herbers from Philadelphia. Depth player.

    The Whitecaps traded Uruguayan attacking midfielder Nicolas Mezquida & $100k of allocation money to Colorado in exchange for goalkeeper Zac MacMath. In all honestly MacMath probably should have taken Tim Howard's job last year if not for Howard's name and salary. MacMath will compete with Canadian Maxime Crépeau, for whom Vancouver sent $50k and a draft pick to Montreal today. Vancouver also acquired Brazilian left back PC from Orlando in exchange for a throwaway draft pick. AND they sent goalkeeper Spencer Richey to FC Cincinnati; Richey was with FCC on loan in the USL this past season.
     
  5. OilCanShotTupac

    OilCanShotTupac Sunny von Bulow Gold Supporter SoSH Member

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    As a NYRB fan, I despair a little at the relative lack of success of first-generation MLS teams. TB has mentioned it before. Maybe because it's the first teams were in big cities that already had crowded sports scenes, and/or were in suboptimal stadium locations or situations.

    NYCFC has more juice in NYC just judging by the amount of swag I see on the streets, but the Yankee Stadium experience is awful. Red Bull Arena is a fantastic stadium and experience and the fans that show are passionate- there's just not enough of them to fill the place consistently, and there's not much buzz about the team in the city.

    I wonder if being named after a product turns people off - it's not something typical to the American sports fan, who doesn't realize or care that there are Red Bull teams in leagues around the world. Or maybe it's just because.

    I'd love the league to beef up the profile of some of the laggards. The strongest teams compete favorably with the traditional big-four and college teams in their cities. That may not be realistic all around, but the weakness of the weakest teams is a drag on the whole thing. Of course, some of the weaker teams are self-sabotaging (hello Mr. Kraft).
     
  6. Titans Bastard

    Titans Bastard has sunil gulati in his sights Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Mark Fishkin has a classic "Why Isn't NYRB's Attendance Good?" bit that sums up the endless debates around this subject:

    "A) The stadium isn't downtown
    B) The club has foreign owners
    C) the club is named for an energy drink
    D) Many NYers would rather self-immolate than travel to Harrison
    E) The stadium location is challenging for 100 reasons
    F) The media doesn't care to cover the club
    G) The club has no marketable global superstars
    H) the club is having a tough start
    I) The club fired an icon two seasons ago, and many aren't over it
    J) The club's marketing budget challenges them to be visit in the market
    K) the concessions lines are too long
    L) PATH doesn't send enough trains pre and post match
    M) The club traded its well-liked captain
    N) the club signs too many homegrown players, then cuts them
    O) the club has too many injured players
    P) there are too many other pro teams in the market
    Q) Eurosnobs
    R) Without promotion & relegation, MLS sucks
    S) MLS isn't as good as the Premier League
    T) or the Bundesliga
    U) or Serie A
    V) or La Liga
    W) the club hasn't won the cup in 21 years
    X) I don't like the free stuff the club gives me, I want different free stuff
    Y) Where's the Taco Tuck
    Z) They won't sign Zlatan.

    That's why attendance is poor."


    There's obviously a confluence of factors in many of the old MLS markets, and it's clear that league leadership is increasingly perturbed with the lack of progress. They aren't going to get the TV deal they want in 2022 if the big markets are acting like small markets.

    It feels like Chicago is a year or two away from a true intervention of some sort.
     
  7. Titans Bastard

    Titans Bastard has sunil gulati in his sights Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Meanwhile, if anyone watched the Copa Libertadores final, River Plate's winger Pity Martinez confirmed rumors that he's heading to Atlanta this January. This will be another eight-figure transfer fee, following the $15m spent on Ezequiel Barco last winter. Martinez stylistically isn't quite a like-for-like replacement for Miguel Almiron, who will be sold for big money, but he's meant to be the replacement in terms of quality.




    In considerably smaller news, Dallas traded forward Maximiliano Urruti to Montreal for a bit of TAM. Urruti actually makes a pretty hefty salary, so FCD's purge of their salary cap continues. Hopefully Paxton Pomykal and Jesus Ferreira get some run next year.
     
  8. Huntington Avenue Grounds

    Huntington Avenue Grounds Member SoSH Member

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    Totally stoked another RB fan is here, forgive the minor hijack.

    I agree that 1st gen MLS teams got labeled as minor league (which they are) and played in stadiums that were not suited to growing a fan base, which in bigger markets is tough to shake off once so labeled. They also helped pave the way for smaller clubs to build that local support, get excited for the "big leagues" and form the backbone of a successful franchise. Part of the NYCFC success was not coming in with that 1.0 stigma, along with tying into the NYC attitude that the world ends at the Hudson River. The fact they traveled to Hartford to play a home match rather than Harrison is all you need to know about the dynamics of the area. Give the team a few more years in the worst soccer pitch in MLS (Bob Kraft says thank you!) without a championship and see where the fan base level is. You can already see the avg attendance creeping steadily downward and the gap between them and NYRB gets closer by the year. I eagerly await the day they face reality and build outside the city limits and watch the fans contort themselves accepting it, but my dislike of the smurfs clouds my judgement of their plight.

    NYRB feels like they are going to become the West Ham of MLS, good coaching and player development but not investing in signing players to put them over the top. It's great for soccer in the NY area and for the USMNT though. I'm stealing this answer from a FB group I follow to the question about how this 1.0 franchise has no Cups in all those years yet at the same time they:

    1. Still haven't folded (like Mutiny, Fusion, Chivas USA)

    2. Haven't been moved to another city or location (Clash to Houston, [maybe] Crew to Austin).

    3. Are dedicated to it's locale and has a soccer specific stadium that they don't share, especially considering in a congested urban environment where it's hard to do (look at NYCFC, NE Revs)

    4. Develop plenty of local talent into USMNT players (Altidore, Miazga, Adams, Bradley, etc..)

    5. After all the turmoil with the switch of ownership and being branded by a soft drink is consistently one of the top teams in MLS each season.
     
  9. Titans Bastard

    Titans Bastard has sunil gulati in his sights Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Jon Champion is replacing Adrian Healey as ESPN's PBP guy for MLS. Twellman stays as the color commentator.

    • Ike Opara hands in a trade request with SKC. There's so much more spending on foreign players now than there was even five years ago. That's generally a good thing for the league, but it's creating these sticky situations like this when the expensive import isn't actually as good as the much cheaper domestic player. Opara is on $350k and his backup Andreu Fontas is making around $1m. For whatever reason, MLS clubs across the board have struggled to find good value among CB imports in particular.
    • Vancouver signed Andy Rose, the English/Australian CM who once played for Seattle. Since then he's passed through Coventry and Motherwell. I didn't think he was anything special in 2015 before he left; I wouldn't expect him to be anything more than a mediocre, generic CM in 2019. That makes him the platonic ideal of a Whitecaps signing.
    • FC Cincinnati signed four more of their USL players: left back Blake Smith, winger Nazmi Albadawi, right back Justin Hoyte, and forward Emery Welshman. Presumably all these guys are familiar faces for back-of-the-roster roles. They need to make the right signings for the first XI or risk being decidedly Minnesota United-ish.
     
  10. Titans Bastard

    Titans Bastard has sunil gulati in his sights Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    • FC Cincinnati continues to spam Soccer Twitter with player announcements. This time it's winger Jimmy McLaughlin, who was once a homegrown Union player, but who has been in the USL for a while.
    • Portland signed two players from their USL team: 21 year old Costa Rican winger Marvin Loria and 24 year old Venezuelan CM Renzo Zambrano.
    • There's some drama with touted attacking midfield prospect Andrew Carleton. He was conspicuously absent from Atlanta United's on-field celebration after their MLS Cup win. It's now been reported that he's been suspended for a violation of team rules and he wasn't present during the victory parade today either. There are even some rumors that he's on the trading block. From what I've heard, his professionalism leaves a little something to be desired, which would explain at least in part why other 2000s like Sargent and Weah have leapfrogged him in prominence. If he's not careful, a larger group will definitively progress past him as well.
     
  11. Titans Bastard

    Titans Bastard has sunil gulati in his sights Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    • As has been rumored, LA Galaxy hired Dennis te Kloese as GM today. For an MLS "big club", the Galaxy do a lot of stupid things but he seems like a solid hire. On the coaching front, Caleb Porter was sighted at an LA Lakers game with Galaxy president Chris Klein. (Also: Porter & Klein were college roommates at Indiana.)
    • FC Cincinnati sent $450k of allocation money to Atlanta for left back Greg Garza. Solid pickup. It makes sense for Atlanta too. They have veteran depth in Chris McCann, a fungible MLSer in Mikey Ambrose, but most importantly it clears a pathway for 16 year old phenom George Bello. Bello looks ready to at least play a platoon role in 2019.
    • The expansion draft occurred today. Cincinnati took forward Darren Mattocks, winger Roland Lamah, CM Eric Alexander, and CB Hassan Ndam. They also took forward Kei Kamara and flipped him to Colorado for an international roster slot. FCC has now filled up more than half of their roster and it does not look very impressive at all. They are really going to need to do well with the rest of their signings because they only have 1-2 above-average MLS starters and everyone else looks like players who should be depth at best.
    • Orlando and LAFC swapped left backs. LAFC sent last year's #1 overall draft pick Joao "the other" Moutinho in exchange for Libyan international Mohamed El-Mounir. El-Mounir is good going forward but is a massive liability defensively. I wonder if LAFC will use him mostly as a winger at this point.
    • Orlando shipped Egyptian-American center back Amro Tarek to NYRB for a throwaway draft pick. I guess NYRB is acquiring cheap CB cover after losing Ndam in the expansion draft. Tarek isn't the sort of CB you want to be starting if you have playoff ambitions. The big question for NYRB is whether they can re-sign the out-of-contract Tim Parker, thus maintaining the very solid Parker/Long partnership.
     
  12. Titans Bastard

    Titans Bastard has sunil gulati in his sights Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Oh, and as I was writing that Cincinnati traded a bunch of cash to Vancouver for Kendall Waston. That's a big signing for them. Waston is a beast of a CB.

    For the Whitecaps, they have a lot of money to play with, but they struggled after dealing Tim Parker last year. Now they've lost Waston too and the only CB on the books is Doneil Henry.

     
  13. Titans Bastard

    Titans Bastard has sunil gulati in his sights Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    NYRB has re-signed Tim Parker, a very important move to shore up their defense. His agent reports that he's getting just over $800k/yr for three years. Reigning MLS Defender of the Year Aaron Long, who currently makes less than $100k, needs to call his representation.

    FC Cincinnati acquired defensive midfielder Victor Ulloa from FC Dallas. Ulloa has been a long-serving former academy signing for FCD. He's a serviceable #6 who has been nicknamed "The Crab" because all he does is move side and side and bite people. For Dallas, this opens up opportunities for Brandon Servania, who has looked good for the US U20s.

    NYCFC picked up Tony Rocha from Orlando City, who will be a depth central midfielder.

    In the waiver draft today, NYRB chose winger Marcus Epps (ex-Philly), Chicago chose winger Cristian Martinez (ex-Crew) and forward Marco Urena (ex-LAFC), while LAFC took forward Ricky Lopez-Espin (ex-RSL). Four picks is actually extremely busy for the waiver draft by historical standards, as most of the pool of available players is made up of scrubs who didn't make the grade.
     
  14. Titans Bastard

    Titans Bastard has sunil gulati in his sights Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    So much for the Lakers game: Porter is "nearing deal" to become manager of Columbus.

    https://theathletic.com/713162/2018/12/13/caleb-porter-nearing-deal-to-become-crew-head-coach/


    Meanwhile, FC Cincinnati signed Polish goalkeeper Przemysław Tytoń. Tytoń has at various points started for PSV, Elche, Stuttgart, and Deportivo, but seems to have fallen out of favor in La Liga now. He will come into camp as favorite for the starting job ahead of Spencer Richey.
     
  15. Titans Bastard

    Titans Bastard has sunil gulati in his sights Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Friday transactions:
    • Colorado picked up two goalkeepers off the scrap heap: Clint Irwin, whose option had been declined by Toronto, and Andre Rawls, who had been cast aside by NYCFC. The Rapids had cut their 3rd GK loose and traded Zac MacMath, so they needed depth behind the faltering Tim Howard. Rawls is an unknown quantity, but Irwin has enough quality to step in if Howard slips any further.
    • Philly signed 24 year old Brazilian forward Sergio Santos, who had been plying his trade for Chile's Audax Italiano. They need more options given that Sapong and Accam were awful last year.
    • Toronto picked up 20 year old RB/winger Nick DeLeon in the re-entry draft. He's been a DC United staple for a long time, but they declined his option this winter.
    • RSL took left back Donny Toia in the re-entry draft. He's been a decent LB in the league, although his playing time fell off considerably for Orlando last year. Toia was actually RSL's first academy signing back in 2011, but he never played and was cut after the year. He played amateur PDL soccer in 2012, USL in 2013, and made it back to MLS in 2014.
     
  16. Titans Bastard

    Titans Bastard has sunil gulati in his sights Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Dallas just officially announced Luchi Gonzalez as their next manager. He's their longtime academy director and, at age 38, is the second youngest current MLS manager. From a NT perspective, the rumor is that FC Dallas is going to clear the pathway for a number of their academy kids in 2019; the Gonzalez hire meshes with this since he knows them all well. Kellyn Acosta (CM) and Victor Ulloa (DM) were dealt in the last six months, but Reggie Cannon (RB) and Jesse Gonzalez (GK) already start. I feel hopeful that Paxton Pomykal (10), Brandon Servania (6/8), Jesus Ferreira (FW) will get a legit shot at serious minutes off the bench, as well as perhaps Tommy Roberts (8/10) and if he isn't sold to Bayern, Chris Richards (CB).

    From what I've read/heard, FC Dallas wanted Tab Ramos, but his salary demands were unreasonably high — especially for a somewhat cheap organization like FCD. Luchi is undoubtedly inexpensive as a young, in-house guy, but that doesn't necessarily mean he'll be bad. He is, however, certainly an unknown both in terms of how he'll handle tactics at the MLS level and in his man-management.




    Elsewhere, SKC has signed Rodney Wallace, who became a free agent after a stint with NYCFC. While he's mostly been a left winger throughout his career, SKC has pointedly been calling him a left back. It sounds like they definitely envision him competing with Seth Sinovic at LB. Perhaps they are encouraged by the success they've had in pushing Graham Zusi from RW to RB.
     
  17. steeplechase3k

    steeplechase3k Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    [QUOTE="Titans Bastard, post: 3198655, member: Elsewhere, SKC has signed Rodney Wallace, who became a free agent after a stint with NYCFC. [/QUOTE]

    Fun little fact. Rodney Wallace is still the last Western Conference player to score a goal in the MLS Cup Final.
     
  18. Titans Bastard

    Titans Bastard has sunil gulati in his sights Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    MLS confirms the rumors about changes to the playoff format.

    https://www.mlssoccer.com/post/2018/12/17/mls-adopt-new-playoff-structure-2019

    The league has abolished two-legged series. Everything is straight one-game knockouts, hosted by the higher seed. Seven teams will qualify from each conference, so only the top seed gets a bye in the first round. Because this will result in fewer games overall, the entire playoff structure can be played between the October and November FIFA friendlies, thereby avoiding the huge November FIFA momentum-killer heading into the conference finals.

    This shift means that the season will end sooner and the offseason will be longer. There will be more midweek games in 2019. Going forward into 2020, the plan is to start the season a few weeks earlier, in mid-Feb. There are more warm-weather cities now than there have been in the past, and that will only increase with Austin, Nashville, and Miami.

    --

    Elsewhere:

    Juan Agudelo has re-signed with the Revolution. There had been rumors that he'd try his luck elsewhere, perhaps Mexico or Turkey. Maybe one day he will actually play more than 2000 minutes in an MLS season or score double-digit goals, neither of which he has ever accomplished.

    Montreal shipped right back Chris Duvall to Houston. The Dynamo cut loose the two guys with the most RB starts in 2018 — Adolfo Machado and Andrew Wenger — so they'll likely sign someone else. For their part, the Impact have jettisoned their two RBs now (Duvall and Bacary Sagna).

    Brad Evans has retired.
     
  19. Titans Bastard

    Titans Bastard has sunil gulati in his sights Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    It's been a very busy 24 hours.


    1. There's been a rare three-way trade between NE, Colorado, and SKC:
    • NE gets LB Edgar Castillo from COL
    • COL gets FW Diego Rubio from KC
    • KC gets CM Kelyn Rowe from NE and some cash from COL
    KC looks good in this trade, I think. Rowe is a good player who has been in the wrong system in NE. To get him and some money is a nice deal. For the Revs part, they weren't getting much out of Rowe and badly need a left back, so it makes sense.

    2. Toronto acquired Auro permanently after last year's loan from São Paulo. TFC has a pretty solid collection of fullbacks, if they can actually stay healthy this year.

    3. ZLATAN! re-signed with the LA Galaxy and is now on a DP contract. That means that one of the Dos Santos brothers or Romain Alessandrini will have to leave before the start of next season. I'm sure LAG would be thrilled to find away to get rid of Jona or especially Gio, who have been disappointments.

    4. LA Galaxy signed their one-time DM Juninho, who left after 2015 and has since played for Tijuana and Chicago. Word is that he's fallen off quite a bit despite only being 29, but we'll see.

    5. Dallas signed a 29 y.o. Czech forward, Zdenek Ondrasek, who comes from Wisla Krakow. His track record seems okay, not overwhelming. My hope is that soon-to-be-18, soon-to-be-American forward Jesus Ferreira can emerge this year.

    6. FC Cincinnati signed 24 year old Swiss CM Leonardo Bertone from Young Boys.

    7. SKC signed 26 year old Hungarian CB Botond Barath, who has spent his entire career to this point at Budapest Honved, and who recently was capped for the first time by Hungary.
     
  20. Domer

    Domer Well-Known Member Bronze Supporter SoSH Member

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    It looks like they’ll be playing at least one Champions League match at Kennesaw State too. In the history of MLS, it’s not as bad as the Revs playing home games in Bermuda, but this is a pretty low-rent move by a franchise that does a lot of other stuff correctly.
     
    #20 Domer, Dec 19, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2018
  21. Titans Bastard

    Titans Bastard has sunil gulati in his sights Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    • Seattle has signed Cristian Roldan to a new five-year contract reportedly worth $800k/yr. Between this and the Jordan Morris contract, the Sounders are paying their young-ish Americans. This seems like a fair price for Roldan's prime years, especially given that spending will likely increase, so the value of this contract should get better and better. Morris at $1m/yr feels more dicey, though I think I read that includes some performance incentives he may or may not reach.
    • Philly traded 25 year old American RB Keegan Rosenberry to Colorado for some cash. This is a nice move for the Rapids, as Rosenberry is pretty solid and a big improvement on what the Rapids have. The Union basically have nobody at RB now, so they must have some signing in the works.
    • Cincinnati signed 27 year old French right back Mathieu Deplagne, who comes from Troyes in France. He's played extensively in Ligue 1 for Troyes and, before that, Montpellier. Troyes were relegated last season, and he hasn't played much in Ligue 2 this year, which is potentially a concern depending on the reason.
    • Orlando signed 25 year old Trinidadian goalkeeper Greg Ranjitsingh and 26 year old American right back Kyle Smith, who both come from USL champions Louisville City. That's not a huge shock, considering Orlando manager James O'Connor came from the same club. Smith's bio reveals an interesting hardscrabble backstory. He played DIII ball for Transylvania University, then played amateur PDL soccer for a couple of summers before finally landing a pro contract age at 24 in 2016. Anyway, Orlando jettisoned their starting RB Scott Sutter and their top two GKs this offseason, so both should have an opportunity to compete for time.
    • DC United signed 26 year old American goalkeeper Earl Edwards, last of Orlando City. He'll compete with David Ousted to back up Bill Hamid, unless DCU finds a way to get Ousted off the books. Edwards was once a bit of a YNT darling with the US U17s, but he's never seized a starting role in MLS despite being behind a somewhat wobbly starter in Joe Bendik over the last few years.
     
  22. Pesky Pole

    Pesky Pole Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Rosenberry might be my least favorite Union player so good riddance. He drives me insane. He was great his rookie year, read his press and completely stopped trying to improve. If Colorado can turn him around, great for them, but I think he’s one of those guys who washes out.
     
  23. Titans Bastard

    Titans Bastard has sunil gulati in his sights Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Rosenberry really regressed in 2017, but I thought he bounced back decently in 2018?

    Looks like MLS Austin is a done deal. Precourt's team has finalized a stadium deal with Austin and it's a matter of deciding whether they'll play in 2020 or 2021. The Crew have been saved, but Precourt's Austin team will still be hate-able.
     
  24. Titans Bastard

    Titans Bastard has sunil gulati in his sights Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    lol LA Galaxy who are still pay past shitty hires who they fired (Onalfo, Schmid):



    Just get the inevitable over and throw some money at Mourinho.
     
  25. steeplechase3k

    steeplechase3k Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Season openers are announced:


    Portland won't be home until June 1st. With both Timbers and Thorns games, it's going to be a busy summer here.
     
  26. Pesky Pole

    Pesky Pole Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    You are correct. He rebounded and was much better. That said, he was that guy who wouldn’t make the hustle recovery run or bust his butt to cover for a teammate. That sort of thing just kills me more than anything. I really had hopes for him as a future USMNT guy after his rookie year so maybe that set me up for disappointment.
     
  27. Titans Bastard

    Titans Bastard has sunil gulati in his sights Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    The Revs signed 29 year old Colombian forward Juan Fernando Caicedo (no relation to Luis Alberto Caicedo), who is on loan from Colombian side Independiente Medellin. He has an okay, not great scoring record in Colombia.

    Minnesota signed 27 year old Slovakian CM Jan Gregus from FC Copenhagen. He's coming in on a DP contract, so they clearly like him a lot. It should be a bit concerning that although Gregus plays for his NT, he was only a rotational starter for Copenhagen; Minnesota doesn't have a sterling track record with talent identification and you'd think a DP caliber player would be a regular starter in the Danish league. Minnesota's midfield last year was pretty mediocre and they got rid of most of their personnel, so the team still needs to find Gregus a partner unless they really like Sam Cronin or Rasmus Schuller.

    San Jose signed 25 year old Brazilian DM Judson on loan from Tombense. He's been on loan at Avaí for the last two years, first in Brazil's Serie A, then in Serie B following relegation. Who knows.
     
  28. Titans Bastard

    Titans Bastard has sunil gulati in his sights Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    • Columbus worked out a deal with Newell's Old Boys for a permanent transfer for left back Milton Valenzuela, who was quietly one of the best players in the league at this position. He's still only 20, so this is a big move for them.
    • FC Dallas signed Bressan, a 25 year old Brazilian CB from Grêmio. Since they already have two solid MLS CBs in Matt Hedges and Reto Ziegler, I wonder if this can be taken as a sign that Chris Richards is likely to be sold to Bayern.
    • Philly signed an academy player, 20 year old goalkeeper Matt Freese, who is leaving college after two seasons at Harvard. We live in heady times, to have soccer players walk away from Harvard to spend a year grinding in the USL for Bethlehem Steel.
     
  29. Titans Bastard

    Titans Bastard has sunil gulati in his sights Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Atlanta hired Frank de Boer.

    Thoughts? He was successful at Ajax, but not in short stints at Inter and Crystal Palace.

     
  30. Titans Bastard

    Titans Bastard has sunil gulati in his sights Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Local media are reporting that LAG is hiring Guillermo Barros Schelotto, after he was passed over by Atlanta United. Weirdly, this will mean that LAG employ an ex-Boca manager and SJ employ an ex-River manager in Matias Almeyda.

    Kevin Baxter‏Verified account @kbaxter11
    The @LAGalaxy have reached agreement w/ Guillermo Barros Schelotto to become the team's new coach. Schelotto was manager at Argentine power Boca Juniors until Dec. 14. Another coup for GM Dennis te Kloese who, this month, also re-signed @Ibra_official to a record @MLS contract



    Houston signed Slovenian CB Aljaz Struna from Palermo.
     
  31. MetSox1

    MetSox1 Member SoSH Member

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    Agree on all of this, apparently he was a favorite of the Curtain despite all that. As I understand, he is entering the last year of his deal and didn't intend on re-signing. Union grabbed at least 300k (as much as 400k) which is an amount that matters when ownership wont spend a dime, in return for one year of an above average right back, and cleared his 100k-ish salary as well. That's not a bad deal for either side I guess, although calling Rosenberry an "is what it is" guy, really once again makes Earnie's talent eval look shitty.
     
  32. ThePrideofShiner

    ThePrideofShiner spooky action from a distance SoSH Member

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  33. Titans Bastard

    Titans Bastard has sunil gulati in his sights Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    RIP Sigi, a legend in MLS and US soccer.
     
  34. ThePrideofShiner

    ThePrideofShiner spooky action from a distance SoSH Member

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  35. Titans Bastard

    Titans Bastard has sunil gulati in his sights Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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  36. Titans Bastard

    Titans Bastard has sunil gulati in his sights Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    More moves from the last week or so:

    • After testing the free agency waters, Atlanta captain Michael Parkhurst has re-signed with the club. He's pretty long in the tooth, but Rhode Island's finest might have another solid year in him. It's hard to believe he left the Revs ten years ago.
    • FC Cincinnati acquired Alvas Powell from Portland in exchange for $250k of allocation money and a sell-on clause. Powell lost his spot to Zarek Valentin this year, but he's still 24 and should be solid enough at RB for an expansion team.
    • Orlando received a reported $4m offer from Cruz Azul for Peruvian CM Yoshimar Yotun and accepted. He was arguably their best player last year, so that's a tough loss, but $4m is a solid offer.
    • Orlando signed 21 year old Ecuadorian DM Sebastian Mendez from Independiente Del Valle as a replacement. He made his debut for Ecuador in September and now has five caps. He seems like a solid signing, but I thought Orlando looked solid on paper last year, too... Once again Orlando seems to have a glut of central midfielders: Mendez, Rosell, Higuita, Johnson, Powers, Lindley. Last year this sort of glut resulted in CMs being played where they aren't very effective, like the wing.
    • Orlando also completed a rare intraleague loan, taking LB Danny Acosta from Real Salt Lake. Acosta has the talent to at least be a fringe NT player at a tough-to-find position like LB, but he spent almost all of 2017 in Mike Petke's doghouse and rarely played as a result. From what I've heard, his professionalism is lacking and at age 21 he really needs to sort that out if he's going to progress. At Orlando, it looks like he'll compete with Joao "The Other" Moutinho, last year's top draft pick who they acquired from LAFC.
    • Chicago signed Marcelo, a 29 year old Brazilian CB, from Sporting CP. He was a longtime starter for Rio Ave before making an unsuccessful step up to the Big Three in Portugal. The Fire have hardly any defenders under contract and Marcelo seems like a decent enough building block.
    • Toronto signed 33 year old Belgian CB Laurent Ciman, who was the 2015 MLS defender of the year. Ciman spent three years with Montreal, half a season with LAFC, was sold to Dijon, but is returning to Canada for some reason. Toronto's CBs spent all of the 2018 season either injured or bad. Ciman is getting old, but perhaps will provide some stability.
    • Columbus picked up 29 year old GK Joe Bendik. He didn't have a great year in 2018 and Orlando cut ties with him. For now he'll be Zack Steffen's backup but he has a good chance of taking over in July when Steffen heads to Europe.
     
  37. Titans Bastard

    Titans Bastard has sunil gulati in his sights Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Official MLS release: Agreement reached for Haslam, Edwards families to operate Columbus Crew SC

    The douchebag speaks:

    Here's a nice piece from the Columbus Dispatch, which after waxing poetic, drops a major piece of news at the end: Toronto GM Tim Bezbatchenko could be making the switch to the Crew.
     
  38. Titans Bastard

    Titans Bastard has sunil gulati in his sights Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    • D.C. United signed 21 year old Argentine attacking midfielder Lucas Rodriguez on loan from Estudiantes de la Plata. They have an option to buy at the end of the year. Rodriguez is supposed to be pretty good, and played for Argentina's U20 team in the World Cup in 2017. If DC can sign Yamil Asad permanently, and Goff reports they are optimistic about that, they'll have a front four of Rooney, Lucho Acosta, Asad, and Rodriguez, which looks pretty good. Paul Arriola may be beginning his inevitable transition to RB, which I've long thought would really suit him.
    • Atlanta officially signed Brek Shea. It's an interesting gamble that's hard to judge until we know what he'll be making in 2019. I'd guess they are more interested in him as a veteran option at LB who can fill in at LM in a pinch. Hopefully this doesn't choke off opportunities for George Bello.
    • Orlando signed 21 year old forward Benji Michel, a former OCSC academy player who is a junior at the University of Portland. He at least scored double digits in each of his three NCAA seasons, which is decent. Orlando revived their reserve team in the new D3 league, so he's guaranteed a lot of playing time one way or the other.
    • Seattle picked up 25 year old CB Jonathan Campbell, last of the Chicago Fire. Decent enough depth option.
     
  39. Titans Bastard

    Titans Bastard has sunil gulati in his sights Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    More confirmation of this news. Bezbatchenko, who is from Columbus, will be moving up from a GM to president role. Ali Curtis, formerly the sporting director of NYRB who was ousted for reasons that I still don't understand, is expected to replace Bezbatchenko in Toronto.


    Meanwhile, Inter Miami is continuing to build out their front office:

    Paul Tenorio‏Verified account @PaulTenorio 1h1 hour ago
    LA Galaxy director of personnel and scouting Kurt Schmid and former Orlando City GM Niki Budalic are joining Paul McDonough's soccer operations staff at Inter Miami, per multiple league sources. Miami now ramping up in pre-expansion year.
     
  40. Titans Bastard

    Titans Bastard has sunil gulati in his sights Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    LA Galaxy announce Guillermo Barros Schelotto.

     
  41. Titans Bastard

    Titans Bastard has sunil gulati in his sights Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    The Crew victory parade continues. They announced both Tim Bezbatchenko at president and Caleb Porter as manager today. The social media team also put out some subtle, fist pump-worthy shade at the former regime.

    In the span of a month, the new Crew ownership has finalized a new stadium deal and brought in quality hires in Bezbatchenko and Porter after over a year of Anthony "Business Metrics" Precourt whining about Columbus.

    As rumored, Toronto has announced Ali Curtis as GM, replacing Bezbatchenko.

    After some uncertainty, Veljko Paunovic has signed a new deal with Chicago.

    San Jose announced the loan signing of 23 year old Argentine winger Cristian Espinoza, who comes from Villarreal. Villarreal bought him from Huracán in Argentina several years ago, but he's been mostly loaned out since.

    MLS announced seven Generation Adidas signings for the draft in a week. The draft is very much a sideshow these days, but there are still some decent league players who come out of it each year. In a departure from a recent trend, most of this class' players are Americans. The increased number of kids who go abroad or who are affiliated with MLS academies has really reduced the number of worthwhile American players in the draft.

    RSL signed a pair of former academy players via the homegrown rule. FW Tate Schmitt and CB Erik Holt both just finished college careers at Louisville and UCLA respectively. Players like this tend to be more or less like bonus first round draft picks rather than blue chip prospects. It's cool that more than a third of RSL's roster in 2019 will be their academy products, though.

    LAFC re-signed longtime league vet Jordan Harvey. He and Mohamed El Munir look like the LB options for 2019.

    This happened:

    [​IMG]
     
  42. Titans Bastard

    Titans Bastard has sunil gulati in his sights Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    San Jose signed 19 year old Peruvian left back Marcos Lopez.

    https://www.sjearthquakes.com/post/...ire-peru-international-left-back-marcos-lopez

    He became a starter for Sporting Cristal in 2018 and got his first cap for Peru in September. Teenagers getting caps is a good sign for unknown imports. Matias Almeyda has to be a big help for player recruitment. The Quakes have some fallback options, but I'd think Lopez will be given every opportunity to be the starter from day one.
     
  43. steeplechase3k

    steeplechase3k Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    And the full schedule is out. 12 in a row on the road for the Timbers. And 11 of the last 12 are are home.

    The revs are in Portland on a Wednesday, so the chances of someone here coming out are probably small, if if anyone does, please hit me up for info about the city.
     
  44. Titans Bastard

    Titans Bastard has sunil gulati in his sights Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Montreal sold Uruguayan midfielder Alejandro Silva to Club Olimpia of Paraguay fo $4m Canadian. That's not a bad haul for a 29 year old player who is solid, but not spectacular.

    RSL signed 30 year old Brazilian DM Everton Luiz on loan from SPAL in Serie A. I feel like there's a strong chance that Beckerman will completely fall off the cliff this year, so he's important insurance. He has a middling resume, though: St. Gallen (Switzerland), Partizan (Serbia), and a bench player for a lower-end Serie A club.


    DCU is cutting the cord and won't be on local TV. The only option for non-national games is a subscription service called FloSports. Supposedly this will be discounted at a low late for DCU fans, but this can't be good for attracting casual fans.
     
  45. Titans Bastard

    Titans Bastard has sunil gulati in his sights Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    This is a classic. Philly literally just dumped every single draft pick they have in exchange for $150k.



    TBH, such a paltry sum is likely fair value.
     
  46. MetSox1

    MetSox1 Member SoSH Member

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    As a Philly fan I'm fine with this at face value. Actually I love being the first team to this party.

    But it also reminds me that our ownership is so cheap that this 150k is worth more to our GN then it would be to others.
     
  47. steeplechase3k

    steeplechase3k Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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  48. Pesky Pole

    Pesky Pole Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    One of the local articles on this said that only 8 players at the combine were under 22 years old. The Union roster currently has 8 players under 22. They honestly don't need the youth and clearly Tanner wasn't impressed with any of the players who be around at 13. Hopefully the extra $150K gets them a creative mid he does like.
     
  49. Titans Bastard

    Titans Bastard has sunil gulati in his sights Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Minnesota United has signed Osvaldo Alonso. It will be very weird to see him playing for a club that's not the Sounders.
     
  50. Titans Bastard

    Titans Bastard has sunil gulati in his sights Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    More moves:

    • Dallas signed 25 year old Honduran CM Bryan Acosta from Tenerife. Apparently there was a seven-figure transfer fee involved. For now the FCD starting midfield should be Acosta and Carlos Gruezo, with Jacori Hayes and Brandon Servania pushing for minutes.
    • Orlando signed center back Alex DeJohn. He was once a low-round draft pick by the Revs who never signed. He went to the Finnish third division, moved to the top division, then moved to the Norwegian league for two years, then to the Swedish second tier, got promoted, and his team was just relegated again. He's done well to scratch his way up from the Finnish lower levels, but it's a stretch to think he'll be effective in MLS v. 2019.
    • Another obscure American came to MLS: goalkeeper Brendan Moore, who left Rochdale for Atlanta United. This one also feels like a stretch, but he's from Atlanta and it's only the #3.
    • A couple of role players have re-signed: CM Luke Mulholland with RSL, CB Dave Romney with LA Galaxy. Ray Gaddis re-signed with Philly and depending on what they do, he may be more than a role player at RB given Rosenberry's departure.
     

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