Major League Soccer

MLS homegrown minutes go up but chances for young U.S. talent limited

Tyler Adams, Kellyn Acosta and Wil Trapp are homegrown success stories, but are there enough more to come? As Major League Soccer grows older, its players continue to skew younger. Teams in the domestic first division, which kicks off its 23rd season on March 3, signed 73 players during the offseason. Those men boasted an average age of 24 and three-quarters. The nine designated players, led by 19-year-old Uruguayan Diego Rossi, were even greener at just over 22-and-a half years old. MLS, saddled by a reputation as a league for aging stars, is becoming something else. The youth movement extends to domestic players as well. According to league officials, MLS spent more than $40 million in each of the past two seasons on youth development, improving training facilities, bolstering academies ...

Chris Wingert retires after 14 years in Major League Soccer

Chris WSingert spent his 14-year career in MLS. Former Real Salt Lake and U.S. international defender Chris Wingert has retired after 14 years as an MLS player. Wingert, 35, spent his entire career in the league, which included stints with Columbus Crew SC, the Colorado Rapids and New York City FC. “After 14 years of Major League Soccer, it is time to move on,” the once-capped New York native said in a message posted on social media. pic.twitter.com/4DjgQJwcig — Chris Wingert (@wingert17) February 19, 2018 A former U.S. U23 international, Wingert won the 2003 MAC Hermann Trophy, given to the nation’s top collegiate soccer player, before being drafted by Columbus in January of 2004. In all, he made 339 regular season, 24 MLS Cup playoff, 14 CONCACAF Champions League and 10...

Carlos Vela: LAFC looking good but still has plenty to improve

Carlos Vela joins the FC crew to talk about leaving Europe to join MLS expansion team LAFC, the brewing rivalry with LA Galaxy and Mexico’s World Cup outlook. With several MLS stars set to line up for new clubs in 2018, check out some of the most notable trades of the offseason. LOS ANGELES — LAFC attacker Carlos Vela feels his new club is “in a good way” but acknowledged that there is still much work to be done ahead of the team’s inaugural season. Vela scored twice in LAFC’s 4-4 draw with the Vancouver Whitecaps on Sunday as the expansion team came back from a two-goal halftime deficit. The Mexico international opened the scoring in the third minute with a sparkling free kick, and then added a second half penalty. Vela played mostly as a No. 10 behind ...

Cold temperatures in Colorado may be ‘dangerous’ – Toronto FC coach

Temperature for Tuesday’s game at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park could reach single digits. Toronto FC coach Greg Vanney says the freezing forecast in Colorado could make the field “dangerous” for players in Tuesday’s CONCACAF Champions League opener. The Colorado Rapids will host Toronto in the first leg of the round of 16, and the National Weather Service has issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook for the area over the coming week. The forecast for Tuesday calls for an overnight low around 6 degrees Fahrenheit, with a wind chill as low as minus 1 and a 20 percent chance of snow.  “In France you get frozen fields and they start to become dangerous,” Vanney told the Toronto Sun. “You’re essentially playing on concrete. That’s where it pot...

LAFC nearing a deal for Sporting Braga midfielder Andre Horta – source

Carlos Vela joins the FC crew to talk about leaving Europe to join MLS expansion team LAFC, the brewing rivalry with LA Galaxy and Mexico’s World Cup outlook. Omar Gaber describes the special relationship he has with LAFC coach Bob Bradley and how it played a role in the Egyptian international’s move to MLS. Los Angeles FC is moving closer to securing the services of Portuguese midfielder Andre Horta, according to a source with knowledge of the discussions. Horta, 21, is currently on loan to Sporting Braga from reigning Portuguese champions Benfica. Horta has made a total of 16 league and cup appearances this season, scoring one goal. He began his professional career with Vitoria Setubal in 2014, appearing 43 times over two seasons and scoring two goals. He moved to Benfica pri...

Athletic Bilbao clear Ager Aketxe to complete move to MLS

Athletic Bilbao have confirmed that Ager Aketxe is set to move to Major League Soccer and terminated the midfielder’s contract on Friday. Aketxe has been heavily linked with a move to Toronto FC in recent days, though the Spanish club did not specify Aketxe’s destination within MLS. The 24-year-old has made 12 appearances in all competions for Athletic this season, but none since December. He was most commonly used as a substitute in the Europa League, and he also started two matches in the Copa del Rey. Aketxe spent last season on loan with Cadiz in the second division, where he scored five goals in 18 games. Athletic said they will have the option to buy back the former Spain youth international in the future.

San Jose Earthquakes part ways with DP Simon Dawkins

Simon Dawkins has been placed on waivers. The San Jose Earthquakes parted ways with designated player Simon Dawkins on Friday. Dawkins signed a DP contract in 2016 but only scored five goals in 43 games and only played three times after Dominic Kinnear was fired in June. In buying out Dawkins’ guaranteed contract for 2018, the Earthquakes free up a DP slot for Swedish striker Magnus Eriksson, who joined the team in December.

Red Bulls finally sign ‘Kaku’ Gamarra as young designated player

Alejandro Romero Gamarra is near a move to the New York Red Bulls. The New York Red Bulls finally completed the singing of rising Argentine star Alejandro “Kaku” Romero Gamarra on Friday, after weeks of uncertainty. The 23-year-old winger, who joins the Red Bulls as a young designated player and will wear the No. 10 shirt, moves from Atletico Huracan, who had announced his $6.25 million transfer in December. But the deal was held up while lawyers involved in the transfer refuted their payment for their participation, leading the Argentina club’s president to express his frustration last month. The details finally settled, Red Bulls sporting director Denis Hamlett said the club was “very pleased to reach an agreement with all parties and complete this deal.” &#...

Big-name moves, Columbus, LAFC among MLS offseason storylines

With several MLS stars set to line up for new clubs in 2018, check out some of the most notable trades of the offseason. Say this for the MLS offseason: It hasn’t been dull, despite the fact that considerable oxygen has been taken up by the U.S. Soccer Federation presidential election as well as the continued angst over the future of the men’s national team. There have been notable moves on the player front, even if that has been coupled with a slow free-agent market. Meanwhile, there has been progress on the expansion front, while a new team in LAFC is racing to be ready for its debut season. Let’s dive into the biggest storylines… Nagbe, Meram, Kljestan among big names on the move When MLS announced that it was adding $2.8 million in targeted allocation money R...

ESPN’s Max Bretos to call MLS games for LAFC

Max and Herc are in California for MLS Media Day, where they chat with Sacha Kljestan, fresh off his move to Orlando City, and 2017 Golden Boot winner Nemanja Nikolic. ESPN anchor Max Bretos has joined LAFC as play-by-play announcer ahead of the new MLS club’s inaugural season. Bretos, who will continue to work for ESPN, was named LAFC’s lead broadcaster and head of content on Thursday. He will call the team’s local broadcasts on Youtube TV, which announced a partnership with the club last month, as well as direct other team programming. BREAKING NEWS – I am happy to join @LAFC as lead broadcaster. I am Black & Gold. pic.twitter.com/KbSVv7bSrd — Maximiliano Bretos (@mbretosESPN) February 15, 2018 “I don’t know if I can properly express how excited I ...

Bocanegra says Atlanta United won’t pressure record-signing Barco

Alejandro Moreno explains why Atlanta United’s record move for 18-year-old Independiente standout Ezequiel Barco is a significant moment for MLS. ATLANTA — Atlanta United technical director Carlos Bocanegra wants to temper expectations that could accompany the record price the team paid for 18-year-old Ezequiel Barco. Barco, a 5-foot-5 midfielder, was acquired for an MLS-record transfer fee of $15 million from Club Atletico Independiente of the Argentine first division. The deal was announced on Jan. 19. Bocanegra said on Thursday Barco brings more of the dynamic, attacking style that helped take Atlanta to the playoffs in its inaugural season. Even so, Bocanegra asked fans to be patient as Barco adjusts to MLS. “I think the signing of Ezequiel speaks to the style of play...

Savarese equipped for unique culture of Portland after Cosmos reign

Giovanni Savarese says he’s eager to earn the respect of Portland fans after being introduced as the Timbers’ next coach. When the Portland Timbers unexpectedly parted ways with Caleb Porter this offseason, the immediate popular discussion outside of Portland was that this was a story about Porter story, not the Timbers. The subsequent speculation linking Porter with the vacant U.S. job tended to glide over the fact that the Portland Timbers are a very particular organization within MLS. Their leadership understand they are as much a cultural presence within the city as a footballing one, and their coaching requirements reflect that philosophy. It’s that belief, as much as the standards of success on the field, that shapes expectations for Giovanni Savarese: Can he not on...