MLS Offseason 2016-17

Titans Bastard

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I'll leave the 2016 thread for MLS Cup postmortems, but I think it's time for a new thread because the offseason ramps up fairly quickly now.

The past year was a fairly good one for the league. It broke the average attendance record again, there were modest gains in TV ratings, and continued development of infrastructure - progress on new stadiums, training facilities, investment in youth development, etc.

Next year Minnesota United and Atlanta United join the league. Atlanta will play at Georgia Tech until the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium is completed sometime in mid-2017. Minnesota will play at the University of Minnesota until their own stadium is finished for the 2018 season. This round of expansion fills in some important holes in the map and somewhat helps the playoffs by reducing the percentage of teams who make it.

LAFC is scheduled to join in 2018. The Miami Beckhams are still limping along and have yet to be officially awarded a franchise. It sounds like the league is legally obligated to support their bid for a set amount of time. At this point I expect the bid to collapse when the clock strikes midnight because they really don't seem to be getting anywhere.

---

A reasonably high percentage of MLS players are on contracts with lots of club options and at this point most teams have announced who they are retaining and who they are cutting loose. Locally, the Revs didn't jettison too much of their roster and have less to re-tool than some, but they need to find a bunch of defenders and see if they can bring back Gershon Koffie to compete with Xavier Kouassi at DM.

There will be a flurry of activity over the next week and beyond. As always, there numerous obscure drafts that represent the sporting equivalent of a Rube Goldberg machine. At the end of the day, it's all a product of MLSHQ's obsessive drive to prevent players from gaining negotiating leverage by ensuring that their rights within the league are held by someone or other.

  • 12/11 -- Today, there is a very brief transfer window in advance of the expansion draft. Look for teams to deal with Minnesota and Atlanta in particular, to get value for players they are comfortable dumping so that they can protect all the players they want to in the expansion draft.
  • 12/13 -- Expansion draft. It'll only be five rounds instead of ten this year.
  • 12/15 -- Waiver draft - mostly useless because most of the players eligible for this are bad
  • 12/16 -- Re-Entry Draft, phase 1 - another mostly useless draft phase, as the players eligible for the RED are available because their old teams thought they weren't worth their 2016 salary
  • 12/22 -- Re-Entry Draft, phase 2 - busier than phase 1 because players chosen in this phase can be offered lower salaries
  • 1/13 -- college draft - always some quality players here, but never a ton of the
  • 1/23 -- beginning of preseason
  • 2/21 - 2/23 -- CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals, first leg: NYRB vs. VAN, DAL vs. Árabe Unido
  • March, TBD - league play begins
 

Titans Bastard

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First announcement of the day, Michael Parkhurst to Atlanta:



He's Atlanta's 11th signing, but only their first defender.
 

Phil Plantier

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I'm surprised the expansion draft is only five rounds. Any idea why? I would have thought it was the best way to acquire mid-level players.
 

Titans Bastard

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I'm surprised the expansion draft is only five rounds. Any idea why? I would have thought it was the best way to acquire mid-level players.
My guess is that Atlanta and Minnesota would rather be given extra cap space in the form of allocation money than have an extra five picks in the expansion draft.

In practice, a lot of the old expansion drafts were less about acquiring players for the expansion team and more about acquiring players that other teams wanted. A lot of the players chosen were immediately dealt for various assets.

It seems a lot simpler to just give the expansion teams some extra assets from the start.
 

Titans Bastard

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Atlanta has also announced the acquisition of:

- CM Harrison Heath from Orlando
- CM Kevin Kratz from Philadelphia
- FW Romario Williams from Montreal


The club hasn't announced what they gave up, but the press says it's low-round draft picks. Or in other words, nothing. None of these three played a significant role for their teams in 2016 and I wouldn't expect any to be more than depth, necessarily. Heath and Williams are young enough to have some upside.

Burning international slots on Williams and Kratz seems questionable to me.
 

Titans Bastard

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Sean Johnson to NYCFC



He comes from Chicago via Atlanta. The fact that Atlanta has dealt him means that the Brad Guzan deal is probably imminent.

Johnson will have a reasonably solid shot of taking Josh Saunders' job in NYC.
 

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Next year Minnesota United and Atlanta United join the league. Atlanta will play at Georgia Tech until the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium is completed sometime in mid-2017. Minnesota will play at the University of Minnesota until their own stadium is finished for the 2018 season. This round of expansion fills in some important holes in the map and somewhat helps the playoffs by reducing the percentage of teams who make it.

LAFC is scheduled to join in 2018. The Miami Beckhams are still limping along and have yet to be officially awarded a franchise. It sounds like the league is legally obligated to support their bid for a set amount of time. At this point I expect the bid to collapse when the clock strikes midnight because they really don't seem to be getting anywhere.
While it kind of sucks to start play in a venue temporarily, it does give Minnesota and Atlanta two opening days with which generate excitement locally.

Miami is so weird. Garber said (paraphasing) "Miami is team #24, and no other city is getting a team until that's sorted out. But if it's doesn't work out we'll deal with it". So even Garber admits that it might not happen. BUT NASL's Miami FC has nowhere to play since they likely won't get into USL. That means FIU Stadium is all of the sudden open for Beckham's group. They turned it down before but I think now they know they have to get going and that it's a good venue to start in. It's perfect size-wise, 22,000, with mostly individual seating. It's just generic and has artificial turf and isn't near downtown. But who cares, get a team going or get off the pot. Compare that to NYCFC who have two seasons down even though still don't have a stadium. You don't need the perfect stadium right away.
 
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Domer

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Scanning the list of players and without fully knowing everyone's contact situation, only Harry Shipp stands out to me on the unprotected list.
 

Domer

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Minnesota selects Femi. So glad the Revs thought it was prudent to protect Teal and his shitty contract. Can't wait until he goes Mullins on us.
 

Titans Bastard

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Minnesota selects Femi. So glad the Revs thought it was prudent to protect Teal and his shitty contract. Can't wait until he goes Mullins on us.
They were probably worried that Minnesota would want to bring in a hometown guy like Bunbury. But then...would that be the worst thing in the world?

Full list:

Atlanta
1. Donny Toia (LB, Montreal)
2. Zach Loyd (RB/CB, Dallas)
3. Clint Irwin (GK, Toronto)
4. Mikey Ambrose (LB, Orlando)
5. Alec Kann (GK, KC)

Minnesota
1. Chris Duvall (RB, NYRB)
2. Collen Warner (DM, Houston)
3. Mohammed Saeid (CM, Columbus)
4. Jeff Attinella (GK, RSL)
5. Femi Hollinger-Janzen (FW, NE)


Generally solid picks given what's available, IMO, but it's hard to judge these things for another few days. I expect that Atlanta has a pre-arranged deal to flip Clint Irwin to someone, as he seems redundant with Guzan coming in. There will probably be other deals, too.
 

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Losing Femi is not ideal. That makes for another successful draft class for the Revs...

I am very surprised Harry Shipp didn't get taken.
 

Domer

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Losing Femi is not ideal. That makes for another successful draft class for the Revs...

I am very surprised Harry Shipp didn't get taken.
I was shocked too, but Atlanta only had one defender on their roster (Parkhurst) so Toia fills an important need for them. If they passed on him I'm sure Minnesota would have selected Shipp.

The Femi selection bothers me. He's young, cheap, and does not occupy an international slot. Even when Mullins was stapled to the bench by Viera, he still held MLS trade value because of those attributes and NYCFC got a decent return from DC. Players like him are a commodity in MLS and the Revs just gave another one away for nothing.
 

Titans Bastard

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LA Galaxy named Curt Onalfo manager today:


I'm underwhelmed. His last MLS gig for DC back in 2010 was disastrous. There's always a chance that he's improved in the years since, during his work as a LAG assistant and then manager of LA Galaxy II. But the LA job is one of the more appealing jobs in MLS, so you'd think they'd be more ambitious.
 

Titans Bastard

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Atlanta... reportedly close to another Paraguayan attacking midfielder for a big transfer fee. Oscar Romero is 24, more of a central player than Almiron, and would come from Racing in Argentina.


This is impressive stuff.

--

A few post-expansion draft trades have trickled out.

Minnesota flipped ex-NYRB right back Chris Duvall to Montreal in exchange for Klinsmann Killer Johan Venegas. Venegas seems like a solid player and will get more playing time in Minnesota. Montreal picks up a fullback just after losing one (Toia) in the expansion draft.

Atlanta ransomed Clint Irwin back to Toronto in exchange for right back (and Georgia native) Mark Bloom and some cash.

Atlanta flipped LB Donny Toia to Orlando in exchange for the #8 overall pick in this year's draft. Toia was an unheralded academy signing for RSL in 2011; he never played and was cut after the season. He spent 2012 in the amateur PDL, 2013 in the USL, before returning to MLS with Chivas USA in 2014. Now he's back under Jason Kreis, who perhaps regrets cutting him.
 

Titans Bastard

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In not surprising news Jermaine Jones has gone to Los Angeles.
I guess we'll see how LA reshapes its roster, but at first glance I don't love this move. I think Jones is at his best in MLS when he's used in front of a worker bee DM like Sam Cronin in Colorado or Scott Caldwell in NE. Sebastian Lletget isn't that sort of player.
 

Titans Bastard

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Orlando's supporters section looks like it will be 100% safe standing. I think that's a first in US soccer.


I love a good steep stand. I'd really like to make it to La Bombonera some day.


--

A few more moves:

  • Dallas signed Anibal Chala from El Nacional in Ecuador, a 20 year old left back who already has over 100 appearances in his domestic league. Last year, Dallas gave a lot of fullback minutes to players who aren't really fullbacks (Harris, Hollingshead, Figueroa). Chala looks a speedy, attack-minded option and he fits their MO - academy products and cheap, young, hungry South Americans.
  • Atlanta signed Jeff Larentowicz, who was a free agent. Solid DM who is an unexciting player, but you need veteran leader types in expansion team locker rooms. He's at the stage of his career where he's valuable as a reserve, but it's not ideal if he's starting for you.
  • Vancouver acquired Boston native Sheanon Williams from Houston in exchange for GarberBux. The Whitecaps split most of their RB minutes between Fraser Aird and Jordan Smith, who were both on loan and who both have returned to their clubs.
 

Titans Bastard

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MLS made some expansion process announcements today.

The league is setting a Jan 31 deadline to submit applications. Teams #25 and #26 are supposed to join the league in 2020 and will be subject to a $150m expansion fee. No established timeline or fee for #27 and #28 yet.

It also sounds like the league is about ready to tell Miami to shit or get off the pot.
 

Titans Bastard

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  • Pablo Mastroeni has signed a new three year deal with Colorado. His contract was due to expire at the end of the year.
  • Dallas signed Belgian winger Roland Lamah (from Ferencvaros) and Costa Rican right back Jose Salvatierra (from Alajuelense), both of whom fill roster holes. FCD has needed a winger since Castillo unexpectedly left last summer and they spent all of 2016 with a RB-by-committee that wasn't ideal.
  • Steven Taylor has departed Portland by mutual consent after a half-season stint.
  • Columbus signed of academy product Alex Crognale, a hulking 6'5" center back who just finished his senior season at Maryland. They also announced that Gaston Sauro will be out for the season after additional surgeries, so Crognale may get some decent minutes.
  • Vancouver bumped up their USL team goalkeeper Spencer Richey to an MLS contract.
 

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The Timbers traded a draft pick for Jeff Attinella, the GK that Minnesota selected from RSL in the expansion draft. It isn't part of the official release but apparently Minnesota also got the MLS rights to Miguel Ibarra.

 

Titans Bastard

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A busy day continues:

  • Chicago signed Hungarian striker Nemanja Nikolic from Legia Warsaw to a DP contract. It's only the Polish league, but he scored 41 goals in 56 matches over the last 1.5 seasons and had a consistently high scoring rate in the Hungarian league before that. The Fire need to add a lot of talent in order to be competitive and this guy seems like a decent start.
  • Houston took Honduran forward Alberth Elis on loan from Monterrey. This guy is a USA-killer; he scored a brace to knock the US out of the Rio Olympics and also scored the winning goal in the U17 quarterfinal that knocked the US out of the 2013 U17 World Cup. He's still only 20 and should be a good pickup for Houston. Then again, the last young high-scorer from the Honduran league (Bryan Rochez) was a total bust for Orlando.
  • DC signed forward Jose Guillermo Ortiz, a 24 year old Costa Rican forward on loan from Alajuelense
  • The Revs hired Carlos Llamosa as an assistant coach and some dude named Aidan Byrne as fitness coach. Prior to this, I think, Heaps basically just had his two assistants Tom Soehn and Remi Roy. The Revs technical staff is still on the small side, but this helps a bit. The press release says that Llamosa will have some scouting responsibilities, which is badly needed. It often feels like the Revs scouting operation isn't much more than fielding phone calls, watching DVDs mailed to them by agents, and maybe perusing the FM database.
 

steeplechase3k

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I'm not sure if this should start the MLS Season thread or not, but home openers are announced:
http://www.mlssoccer.com/post/2016/12/21/mls-announces-2017-home-openers-all-22-clubs-season-kicks-march-3

Friday, March 3, 2017:
9:30 PM ET – Portland Timbers vs. Minnesota United FC (Providence Park)

Saturday, March 4, 2017:
2:00 PM ET – Columbus Crew SC vs. Chicago Fire (MAPFRE Stadium)
4:00 PM ET – LA Galaxy vs. FC Dallas (StubHub Center)
4:30 PM ET – Real Salt Lake vs. Toronto FC (Rio Tinto Stadium)
6:00 PM ET – Colorado Rapids vs. New England Revolution (Dick’s Sporting Goods Park)
7:00 PM ET – D.C. United vs. Sporting Kansas City (RFK Stadium)
8:30 PM ET – Houston Dynamo vs. Seattle Sounders FC (BBVA Compass Stadium)
10:00 PM ET – San Jose Earthquakes vs. Montreal Impact (Avaya Stadium)

Sunday, March 5, 2017:
5:00 PM ET – Orlando City SC vs. New York City FC (Orlando City Stadium)
7:00 PM ET – Atlanta United vs. New York Red Bulls (Bobby Dodd Stadium)
9:30 PM ET – Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. Philadelphia Union (BC Place)

Saturday, March 11, 2017:
2:00 PM ET – New England Revolution vs. Orlando City SC (Gillette Stadium)
2:00 PM ET – Chicago Fire vs. Real Salt Lake (Toyota Park)
4:00 PM ET – New York Red Bulls vs. Colorado Rapids (Red Bull Arena)
4:30 PM ET – Philadelphia Union vs. Toronto FC (Talen Energy Stadium)
7:00 PM ET – Montreal Impact vs. Seattle Sounders FC (Olympic Stadium)
9:00 PM ET – Sporting Kansas City vs. FC Dallas (Children’s Mercy Park)

Sunday, March 12, 2017:
2:00 PM ET – New York City FC vs. D.C. United (Yankee Stadium)
5:00 PM ET – Minnesota United FC vs. Atlanta United (TCF Bank Stadium)

Saturday, March 18, 2017:
8:00 PM ET – FC Dallas vs. New England Revolution (Toyota Stadium)

Sunday, March 19, 2017:
7:00 PM ET – Seattle Sounders FC vs. New York Red Bulls (CenturyLink Field)

Friday, March 31, 2017:
7:30 PM ET – Toronto FC vs. Sporting Kansas City (BMO Field)
 

Arroyo Con Frijoles

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Definitely leaning toward making the away visit to Orlando and Minneapolis. Do the right thing Garber and schedule that MN match the same weekend of the Sox visit, please.
 

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Sounders open with two road matches because there is some sort of construction happening at CenturyLink. So, that kind of sucks.
 

Titans Bastard

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  • Atlanta's move for Oscar Romero has reportedly fallen through because they've been outbid by Shanghai SIPG, who offered a higher transfer fee and massively higher wages. That's a real disappointment for them, but I don't think you want to be outbidding CSL clubs right now.
  • And lastly, Atlanta has signed free agent midfielder Jacob Peterson, possessor of veteran grit and versatility. A necessary but very boring sort of signing.
  • Houston signed Panamanian center back Adolfo Machado from Deportivo Saprissa. He's a regular with the Panama NT.
  • San Jose signed right back Nick Lima to a homegrown contract. Lima spent the last four years at Cal and, had he gone into the draft, was supposed to be one of the better players available.
 

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In a savvy roster move, the Revs announced they will continue to waste an international slot on Daigo Kobayashi for the 2017 season. We all look forward to his appearance in the 70th minute against Colorado on March 4th.
 

Titans Bastard

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In a savvy roster move, the Revs announced they will continue to waste an international slot on Daigo Kobayashi for the 2017 season. We all look forward to his appearance in the 70th minute against Colorado on March 4th.
Kobayashi has a green card now....so he's just a waste of a roster spot in general, not an international slot!
 

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Sounders acquired Harry Shipp from Montreal for allocation money.

And they are rumored to be after another player from Boca Juniors to pair with Lodeiro.
 

Titans Bastard

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Sounders acquired Harry Shipp from Montreal for allocation money.

And they are rumored to be after another player from Boca Juniors to pair with Lodeiro.
Winning an MLS Cup in the midst of a 12 month roster overhaul must be nice. Pre-Lodeiro, Seattle had minimal creativity in their midfield. Now, there's Lodeiro, Shipp, and possibly Dario Benedetto? That would be nice. Shipp is slow and unathletic and didn't do well in Montreal's fast-paced counter-attacking scheme. I think his strengths will play better elsewhere.

I saw the Sounders also picked up Will Bruin. His production dipped in 2016 after four straight seasons with double-digit goals, but he's still good for a backup forward.


  • Mike Petke has resurfaced as manager of Real Monarchs, RSL's team in the USL. RSL manager Jeff Cassar is one of the more vulnerable incumbent managers, so it's not a bad position to be in.
  • Houston signed Honduran NT forward Romell Quioto from Olimpia, which is what made Bruin expendable.
  • RSL signed Matt Van Oekel, a goalkeeper who is a veteran of the lower divisions. They lost Attinella, who looked like Rimando's eventual successor. Van Oekel is 30 and their other GK Fernandez is of unknown quality, so I'm curious what the plan is. RSL also signed Jose Hernandez, a 20 year old academy product who spent two seasons at UCLA.
  • Dallas signed...another academy player. This time it's right back Reggie Cannon, who just finished his freshman season at UCLA.
  • SKC took fullback Igor Julião on loan from Fluminense. They had him on the roster on loan back in 2014 as well. He'll compete with Saad Abdul-Salaam at right back, I'd imagine.
  • Columbus signed Finnish left back Jukka Raitala, who has played in just about every country in northern Europe, most recently in Norway.
 

Titans Bastard

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  • Atlanta completed the loan of Greg Garza from Tijuana. He hasn't played much in the last 1.5 years due to injury.
  • Chicago also took a familiar player on loan from Tijuana, defensive midfielder Juninho, who spent six years with the Galaxy before leaving for Mexico after the 2015 season. Solid signing.
  • Minnesota signed Francisco Calvo, a 24 year old left back with 17 caps for Costa Rica, from Deportivo Saprissa. He's the third player from that club to move to an MLS team this offseason.
  • RSL legend Javier Morales signed for Dallas. At 37, he'll hardly be the player he once was, but Dallas needs a stand in #10 until Mauro Diaz returns from injury.
 

Titans Bastard

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  • Orlando has signed free agent midfielder Will Johnson, who comes from TFC. They also signed a Brazilian left back who goes by "PC" who split 2016 between Fort Lauderdale and Tampa Bay in the NASL.
  • Columbus signed Ghanaian center back Jonathan Mensah to a DP contract. Mensah started against the US in both the 2010 and 2014 WCs.
  • Kansas City signed Portugese winger Gerso Fernandes from Belenenses. They've been lacking firepower from the wings ever since Krisztian Nemeth abruptly left for Qatar last January.
  • Under Wilmer Cabrera, Houston has been importing players from Latin America left and right. The most recent addition is Colombian DM Juan David Cabezas, who comes on loan from Deportivo Cali.
  • Japanese striker Masato Kudo has departed Vancouver for Sanfrecce Hiroshima after just one season. He never quite got going in MLS.
  • DC traded attacking midfielder Collin Martin to Minnesota for a low-round pick (i.e. nothing). Martin is a DC academy product whose progress has been slowed by injuries and being a finesse player on a Ben Olsen coached team. Minnesota hired away a DC youth staffer a little while ago, which is probably why Martin landed there of all places.
 

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Thanks for keeping this updated; its hard to find a good clearinghouse for off-season comings and goings outside of the club I follow. In fact, now is a good time for an exhaustive rundown of the players the Revolution have acquired for 2017:







Thanks again, TB!
 

Titans Bastard

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MLS announced the 2017 Generation Adidas class. For the uninitiated, this is the group of underclassmen signed to pre-draft, cap-exempt deals and is the only way for non-college seniors to enter the draft (which is dumb).

CB Miles Robinson (Syracuse)
MF Jackson Yueill (UCLA)
FW Abu Danladi (UCLA) [Ghana]

and this year there's a new Canadian version of this program:

MF Shamit Shome (FC Edmonton)
FW Adonijah Reid (some Canadian youth club)

FW Jeremy Ebobisse is also effectively one of these signings, but I think he signed a deal with one of Adidas' competitors so he's not being billed as part of the program. However, he's signed with MLS and is in the draft.

Miles Robinson is from Arlington, MA and should quickly move into the All-New England XI. But we actually have some quality CBs....we need some wingers and forwards from around here.


--


Mike Magee has retired. I thought he had another couple of seasons in him as a backup somewhere if he wanted, but he's hanging them up. A few great moments in Mike Magee History. First, his clean sheet, multiple save performance for LA after Ricketts got hurt and Saunders got sent off in the first half:


Second, this gem:


Thanks for keeping this updated; its hard to find a good clearinghouse for off-season comings and goings outside of the club I follow. In fact, now is a good time for an exhaustive rundown of the players the Revolution have acquired for 2017:
It's alright, we're only three CBs short... I want Koffie back, too, because I don't trust Kouassi after such a long injury.
 

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  • Minnesota announced an expected pair of signings, forward Christian Ramirez and winger Miguel Ibarra. Ramirez scored over 60 goals in the last three seasons for the NASL edition of Minnesota. Ibarra did well for 3.5 years, famously getting called up by Klinsmann, before departing for León 18 months ago. His stint in Mexico has petered out, so he was an easy get for Minnesota.
  • Philadelphia signed Dutch left back Giliano Wijnaldum (yes, the brother). He looks like a project, but Earnie Stewart knows him from the AZ days. Philly still has Fabinho to compete at the position.
  • SJ concluded their GM search by hiring Jesse Fioranelli, a guy who last worked at Roma. Shame they weren't foolish enough to hire Tab Ramos (who was considered for the job) away from the USSF...
  • Another MLS club has signed a Deportivo Saprissa player. This time, though, it's a familiar face - notorious left back Roy Miller. I'll always remember him for that time when NYRB was down one goal in stoppage time of a playoff second leg and he moronically stole free kick from Thierry Henry. Henry's expression after Miller's Khano-esque attempt was priceless.
 

Titans Bastard

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The USSF finally issues a ruling that deals with all the NASL / USL business. BOTH leagues are provisionally sanctioned as Division Two....even though neither meets USSF D2 standards.

Straus article here:

The Federation had been granting waivers to both leagues in recent years. The NASL, for example, was well short of the 12 clubs required for D2 status. The USL meanwhile, had teams that still weren’t playing on regulation fields. U.S. Soccer was worried additional, permanent passes would rob the standards of their heft. The whole point was to ensure stability and sustainability, and the waivers were sparking the opposite.

Now both leagues have 12 months to get it right. The working group Gulati referenced will hash out the benchmarks each circuit must reach in order to maintain D2 status in 2018. And the Federation said “additional criteria” will be added to the existing standards. A timeline for compliance will be determined. And those decisions may be made unilaterally by U.S. Soccer or in consultation with the leagues. But it’s also possible that future cooperation or migration between the NASL and USL could be negotiated, especially since it appears almost certain that the former will be operate under new leadership. There is nothing in U.S. Soccer’s bylaws preventing two leagues from occupying the same tier, but that’s not considered an ideal outcome.
The Cosmos may not be dead yet, depending on whether a rumored buyer closes the deal:

Friday’s decision may signal the return of the New York Cosmos, the iconic club that was in danger of folding despite winning three of the past four NASL championships. The Cosmos lost their primary investor and were forced to release most players and furlough most staff following the 2016 season. But on Thursday, a buyer emerged—New York City communications entrepreneur Rocco Commisso, a former Columbia soccer star who said his purchase of the Cosmos was conditional on D2 status. There was no word from the club or Commisso Friday evening concerning the status of the transaction.

Having two overlapping D2 leagues doesn't make any sense from an operational and logistical standpoint. NASL clubs have way more travel; in the USL, Indy Eleven would have a lot of relatively local games against Cincinnati, Louisville, Pittsburgh, St. Louis. Instead, their nearest competitor is in the Triangle. San Francisco's nearest competitors are...Indy and Edmonton.

Travel costs are killer at this level.

Consolidation is what really makes sense, but there are egos and league bylaws/fees/fines/potential lawsuits in the way. If we add another dozen or so decent minor league clubs to the US ecosystem, I think it may be possible to have financially stable D2 and D3 leagues. The key is making sure travel costs are managed. The USL is already doing that with regionalized schedules, but they don't have enough teams yet to split into two tiers and still manage those costs. If the 30 USL clubs and (expected) 8 NASL clubs consolidated and expanded to around 50, you could have a ~20 team D2 and a ~30 team D3. That might work if enough clubs had decent owner/stadium situations.
 

Titans Bastard

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9,811
  • Slovakian attacking midfielder Albert Rusnak has joined RSL from FC Groningen, supposedly for a fee of around €2.5m. He's an interesting signing - he's 22 and just made his debut for Slovakia. Originally a Man City academy reject.
  • MLS announced one more underclassman GA signing. It's Akron freshman forward Jonathan Lewis, who has gotten a little run for the US U20s lately.
  • Colorado announced two homegrown signings. Kortne Ford, a CB, bypasses his senior year at Denver. Ricardo Perez, a midfielder, just finished up his career at Creighton.
  • Colorado's TD Paul Bravo has unexpectedly left the club.
  • Kansas City signed a pair of 18 year olds to USL contracts with their Swope Park Rangers USL team - Will Little and Felipe Hernandez. If SKC thought they were top prospects they would have offered them full MLS contracts, but I what I found noteworthy about this is that both players are from Tennessee. Hernandez (Nashville) and Little (Tri-Cities) came to SKC through various regional affiliates that the club set up. The more clubs that do this, the more players from out-of-the-way soccer regions will have good opportunities.
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
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Dec 15, 2002
9,811
  • KC signed a pair of attackers. The headliner is Latif Blessing, a Ghanaian winger who was the leading scorer and player of the year in Ghana's domestic league last season for Liberty Professionals as a 19 year old. I love these types of signings. Their other acquisition is forward Christian Volesky, who was drafted and not signed by Portland in 2015, and who subsequently spent two years with the Rochester Rhinos.
  • San Jose signed a 24 year old Panamanian CB, Harold Cummings, from Costa Rican club Alajuelense. He's also played in Panama, Peru, and Colombia. For now, Cummings looks to be a likely starter alongside the aging Victor Bernardez.
  • Having shipped out Sean Johnson last month, the Fire signed a new GK -- Jorge Rodrigo Bava, a 35 year old Uruguayan who comes from Colombia's Atlético Bucaramanga. Seems like a stopgap.
  • Yikes: Philadelphia signed Jay Simpson, a 29 year old English forward from Leyton Orient in League Two. He did score 25 goals last season, but hasn't been as prolific this year. It all sounds uninspiring to me.
  • The NASL has parted ways with their commissioner, Bill Peterson. He always came off as something of a lunatic and I think this can only be a positive thing for them. They've also announced that they are running with 8 teams in 2017, down from 12 in 2016. Minnesota left for MLS, Ottawa and Tampa left for USL, I assume Rayo OKC is dead and Fort Lauderdale is -- at best -- on hiatus. San Francisco is joining.
While providing roadside assistance to another vehicle that had wrecked, Hollingshead was struck directly by a car.

He suffered fractures to three different cervical vertebrae which will require him to be in a neck brace for six to eight weeks. These are stable fractures, meaning they do not risk spinal cord damage or loss of function. Hollingshead will not require surgery.
It sounds like it could have been a lot worse under the circumstances:

 

dirtynine

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 17, 2002
4,740
Philly
The new Timbers kit is so classy.



If you look close, you can see a cross-hatch pattern - apparently that's what adidas is calling "engineered flannel". Gotta love it.
 

steeplechase3k

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Oct 25, 2005
2,366
Portland, OR
I'm not even going to ask if any Revs fans here are traveling to Portland this year. That match is the day before the Red Sox home opener. I celebrated for a second thinking it was in New England.
 

Domer

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Apr 21, 2010
3,422
02148
A couple of Revs news items:

Koffie is nearing a deal with Hammarby

UMass Boston stadium proposal "all but dead" (shocking, I know)