MLS transfer news

Hey guys, I have more MLS transfer news.

Atlanta United is nearing an agreement to sign Argentinian Phenom Ezequiel Barco from Independiente. Barco, 18, is widely considered to be one brightest young prospects in South America and even perhaps the world. Barco, 18, is typically deployed as an attacking midfielder. His strengths include dribbling, agility, vision, and acceleration. His primary weakness is body strength since he is only 5 foot 9 inches and 147 pounds. He made his league debut on 2 August 2016 against Defensa y Justicia. He scored his first goal professional against Godoy Cruz. According to transfermarkt.com he is worth 6.5 million euros. Considering his age that is an extremely high valuation and is representative of his immense talent. The reported fee that Atlanta United would pay to  Independiente for his services would be 12 million USD. This would be the highest transfer fee ever paid by an MLS club. The structure of the deal would be two installments of 6 million USD over the year.

The New England Revolution are rumored to have interest in U.S. International Eric Lichaj. It has been reported though that numerous MLS clubs are interested in his service the Revs are just the only team that have been mentioned thus far. Lichaj is typically deployed as a right back and currently plays for Nottingham Forest of the English Championship. His future is currently up in the air since his contract expires this summer. This means tat he could transfer to any club of his choice without a transfer fee. According to transfermarkt.com he is valued at 1.75 million euros.

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MLS Cup Final Preview

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this past Thursday our Seattle Sounders advanced to the MLS cup final by defeating the Houston Dynamo 5-0 on aggregate. They will once again be facing Toronto FC in the MLS cup final since they beat the Columbus Crew 1-0 on aggregate. The game will be hosted in Toronto because they finished the regular season with more total points than the Sounder’s. In fact, Toronto won the Supporter’s Shield, an award for the team that has the most total points at the end of the regular season.

Toronto FC boasts arguably the most dynamic attack in the league. They scored a league leading seventy-four goals during the regular season. Their feature offensive players includes U.S. International Jozy Altidore and Italian sensation Sebastian Giovinco. This season the former scored fifteen goals in twenty-seven games while also tallying seven assists. The latter scored sixteen goals and provided six assists this season. In addition Toronto also possesses a very experienced midfield. Their two notable midfielders are Victor Vasquez and Michael Bradley. Vasquez, a well traveled Spaniard, had a very productive season that would see him scoring eight goals and recording ten assists. Bradley, a U.S. international and the former captain, did not have a great statistical season by his standards, but he is still considered by many to be one of the better midfielders in the league.

Seattle is a very balanced team that can score in flurries. They possess a great defense, solid attack, and creative midfield.  Their marquee players comprises Uruguayan international Nicolas Lodeiro, U.S. international Clint Dempsey, and to a lesser extent goalkeeper Stefan Frei. I presume that the Sounders will play defensively in effort to slow down Toronto’s potent attack.

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LAFC Update

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LAFC has made another signing! The club has agreed to sign Egyptian defender Omar Gaber from Swiss giants Basel on loan.  Gaber will not be one the clubs three designated players since the signing is said to be made with Target Allocation Money (TAM). Gaber, 25, is a Cairo native who played for Egyptian giants Zamalek professionally from 2010-16 after coming through the youth ranks there. An Egypt international since 2011, he played for his country under new LAFC manager Bob Bradley from 2011-13. He recently helped Egypt qualify for their first World Cup since 1990. Gaber moved to FC Basel last year, but after getting some playing time in his first season with the Swiss champion, he has seen very limited action this season under Raphael Wicky. Currently on transfermarkt.com Gaber is listed to be worth 1 million euros.

In addition, LAFC is rumored to be targeting Egyptian attackers Mahmoud “Trezeguet” Hassan and Abdallah Said. Hassan, 25, is currently on loan at Turkish club Kasimpasa from Belgian giants RSC Anderlecht. According to transfermarkt.com he is worth 2 million euros. Hassan’s playing style is said to include a great deal of flair but also some indecisiveness. LAFC manger Bob Bradley has recently been attempting to convince Hassan to come play for him stateside. Said, 32, is a crafty midfielder who plays for Hassan’s former team Al Ahly in Egypt. He played under Bradley on the Egyptian National Team. According to transfermarkt.com he is worth 1 million Euros. Considering his age and transfer value he would likely only require TAM money to sign.

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Colorado Rapids Express Interest in Michael Carrick

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The Colorado Rapids are coming off a disastrous campaign in which they finished in 10th place in the Western Conference. They finished with 33 points total which ranked third worst in the entire league and scored the fewest amount of goals in the league with 31. Therefore the club will likely be looking to bolster their squad with numerous signings during the upcoming transfer window.

It has been reported by numerous sources that legendary Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick could possibly be leaving the Red Devils for the Colorado Rapids of the MLS. On the surface this would appear to be a very good marketing move since it would likely boost jersey sales. Carrick, 35, is typically deployed as a deep-lying midfielder and is currently valued at 1.28 million pounds on transfermarkt.com. The timing of this move would be very surprising since Jose Mourinho had anointed him captain of Manchester United last season and he signed a contract extension only a few months back. Presumably Carrick would be the Rapids third designated player. Currently, the Rapids designated players are Tim Howard and Shkelzen Gashi.

Update: Michael Carrick has remained at Manchester United, however, he has received limited playing time. This campaign he only has one appearance for the club. Despite his limited playing time, Carrick has made it known that he would prefer to stay at Old Trafford rather than switch clubs for more consistent playing time.  A possible reason for this could be his coaching qualification since he currently looks after the U14 side as he builds up his coaching badges.

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Possible LAFC Transfer Targets

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New MLS expansion club Los Angeles FC (LAFC) is preparing for its inaugural season. The club has hired former U.S. Men’s National Team coach, Bob Bradley, to be their first manager. Bradley has revealed to the media that he intends to utilize his 1998 Chicago Fire as a template for LAFC. This team, which was also an expansion team in 1998, was extremely successful under Bradley winning both the league championship and the U.S. Open Cup in their first season. It will be interesting to see if Bradley is able to replicate this immediate success with LAFC. On 8 August 2017, the club agreed to  make eccentric Mexican forward Carlos Vela the club’s first designated player. Vela currently listed on transfermarkt.com to be worth 10 million euros would make him one of the more prolific MLS signings in recent years. Let’s take a look at other players the expansion club could possibly sign.

Chris Pontius: The winger is out of contract with the Philadelphia Union making an exit from the club very likely. Coming off of a remarkable season in which he lead his team with twelve goals, en route to earning the 2016 MLS Comeback Player of the Year accolade, would see his production fall off considerably. This campaign he only netted 2 goals for the union. Perhaps the Southern California native will rediscover his prior form in his home town.

Diego Rossi: According to reports out of Uruguay, LAFC is on the brink of signing the Uruguayan teenager for a price in the neighborhood of 3 million euros. For that kind of money, it is very likely that he become the club’s second designated player.

Hatem Ben Arfa: According to a report from New York-based reporter Kristian Dyer, Arfa is a player that could be potentially moving to LAFC. Arfa currently listed to be worth 9 million euros on transfermarkt.com would join Vela as another very prolific MLS signing. Arfa is coming off a very fruitful season with French club Nice. His success prompted French giants Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) to sign him. However, his spell with PSG has largely been unforgettable since he has yet to appear in a game for the club. A move stateside would certainly provide him with more playing time.

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Detailing PSG’s Previous Interest in Alexis Sanchez

Chilean international Alexis Sanchez uncertain contract status has prompted significant interest, particularly, from Paris Saint-Germain. French giant, PSG, have reportedly made numerous bids for the Arsenal winger. According to the Mirror, PSG’s most recent bid was worth £80 million. Previously Arsenal had rejected a bid from PSG for £35 million.

Arsenal has entertained serious contract negotiations with Sanchez and even reportedly offered him £250,000 per week. However, that is substantially less than the bumper £400,000 per week contract offer PSG is prepared to make him.

Arsenal’s prominent manager, Arsene Wenger, was adamant that Sanchez would not depart the club in the summer.

Regarding Sanchez’s contract situation he stated,

“Nobody knows today if he will be in the final year next season because he can extend the contract with us at the start or during the season so it is not necessarily the last year of his contract at Arsenal Football Club.”

Although if News Trend Today sources are accurate, it had appeared Arsenal teammates believed Sanchez was eager to depart the club despite returning to the Gunners training. In addition, Sanchez told Chilean media that he desires to play Champions League football.

PSG are hopeful that the lure of Champions League football will ultimately convince Sanchez to join their club. Expect more developments in this lengthy transfer saga.

Update: Alexis Sanchez’s transfer to PSG ultimately fell through. A transfer to English club Manchester City is looking much more likely. However, with the conclusion of the summer transfer window, he will have to remain an Arsenal until the January transfer window opens midnight on Monday, January 1. So far this campaign for, Sanchez has tallied two goals and three assists across all competitions for Arsenal.

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Chelsea Wins the League!

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Last Friday, Chelsea clinched the Premier League Title with a 1-0 win against West Brom. Chelsea had been the top team for most of the year and their consistency proved too much for the other contenders. Chelsea came off of a very poor season last year where they came in tenth place, a very low spot for the quality and the history of their team. With a new coach this year they figured some things out and made a few acquisitions to recapture the Premier League Title. Most of the league has two games remaining and the rest of the top teams are battling it out for the remaining top 4 spots and the worse teams are fighting to remain in the league.

The teams that finish in the top four of the Premier League qualify for the next year’s Champions League, which is a huge honor for any club. Chelsea and Tottenham have the top two spots locked, but the other two will come down to the final day. Manchester City currently holds third and unless they lose badly and both Arsenal and Liverpool win, then they should claim the third spot. The fourth spot is a little tighter. Liverpool controls their own destiny as they are one point ahead of Arsenal. Liverpool also plays Middlesborough, who will finish second to last in the table. Arsenal has a tough match-up against Everton, so Liverpool fans should feel good about their chances. However, you never know; some crazy things have happened on the final day of the Premier League.

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Champions League Final is Set

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We are now into the finals of the UEFA Champions League and Real Madrid and Juventus have proven they are the top two teams in Europe. On Tuesday, Juventus faced off against Monaco. Monaco came out aggressive as the had to make up the two goals they conceded in the first match, but Juventus’ stout defense held them off early. Because of Monaco’s aggressive style, they were left susceptible on defense. Juventus scored two goals in the first half, which totaled their lead to 4-0 on aggregate. Monaco got one back in the second half, but by that point Juventus had already stamped their ticket to the final.

The next day, Real Madrid came into their match against cross-town rival Atletico Madrid with a 3-0 lead. However, Atletico came out on fire and scored two goals in the first 15 minutes and a comeback seemed possible. Real Madrid was able to settle down and get a goal late in the first half. A second half comeback seemed unlikely and Real Madrid held on to win 4-2 on aggregate.

Real Madrid and Juventus will play the final on June 3rd. Many people will be highly anticipating this matchup as Juventus is known for their organized and solid defense, while Christiano Ronaldo and Real Madrid have a powerful attack. If Real Madrid win, they would be the first back-to-back champion in UEFA Champions League history and it would be their 12th title. If Juventus were to win, it would be there 3rd title and the first in 20 years.

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-Full 90 Reporter

 

Chelsea Poised for First Place Finish

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Chelsea defeated Manchester City 2-1 over the weekend and with that win that have a first placed almost secured. Tottenham is the only team that remains close, but only by seven points. Inconsistent play from some of the most talented teams, such as Manchester City and Liverpool, have given Chelsea a somewhat easy path to being champions. For example, Liverpool tied Bournemouth 2-2 this past weekend which is a very poor result for a team trying to win the league. Manchester City also frequently couldn’t get the job done against some of the weaker teams. Chelsea was the only team that proved they were consistently the best, which would make them a much deserve champion. However, with seven games remaining they still have to get the job done.

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In the Spanish league the title race remains close between Barcelona and Real Madrid. Madrid leads Barcelona by a meager three points. They play each other in two weeks, which should be an epic match.

This coming week UEFA Champions League returns and there are some fabulous games. The most anticipated match-up might be Bayern Munich and Real Madrid, where the top German and the top Spanish team will go at it. The match I am most looking forward to is Dortmund against Monaco, because both teams have high-powered offenses. The other two matches are Juventus against Barcelona (another fantastic match-up) and Athletico Madrid against Leicester City. When looking at these eight teams, Leicester City is the most out of place, but they could surprise people this coming week.

 

Barcelona Pulls Off Miraculous Comeback

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One of the greatest comebacks I have ever witnessed occurred this past Wednesday. Paris St. Germain came into the second leg of the Round of 16 with a 4-0 lead and absolutely dominated Barcelona during that first game. I remember the commentators after the game talking about how Barcelona about how they thought this could be the end of an era of Barcelona dominance. However, there was still one more game to be played. Barcelona was in their home stadium and with three of the best strikers in the world they have the potential to score lots of goals.

The match started with Luis Suarez scoring in the third minute and you could feel that this comeback might be possible. Barcelona got a second one off an own goal late in the first half. Then, in the first 3 minutes of the second half Barcelona got awarded a penalty kick which Lionel Messi converted. At this point, the aggregate score was 4-3 and PSG was crumbling. However, PSG stayed with their attacking style and were rewarded with a goal 20 minutes later. The game stayed stagnant for a while and it appeared that PSG was going to come out on top, but in the 88th minute Neymar scored a free kick to bring the lead within one. Three minutes later Barcelona were rewarded their second penalty of the game and Neymar converted it. Then, in the final minute of the game, Sergi Roberto scored to finish off one of the greatest comebacks in sports.

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-Full 90 Reporter

 

Arsenal and Barcelona get Blown out

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The UEFA Champions League Round of 16 began on Tuesday and going into it there looked to be some great contests. The one I was excited to see was Barcelona and Paris St Germain (PSG) as both sides have many superstars. However, the match turned out to be heavily one sided and surprisingly not in Barcelona’s favor. PSG ended up defeating Barcelona 4-0. PSG completely out played Barcelona and were able to score some great goals. PSG seemed to be the much more athletic and energetic team and Bareclona had no success in going forward. It has been 10 years since Barcelona has lost in the Round of 16 and no team has ever come back from a 4-0 deficit in the second match.

The other game I was excited for was Bayern Munich against Arsenal. Arsenal have lost in the Round of 16 for six years straight now and they got a very unlucky draw to play the German champions. It was close in the first half as both teams scored and the game was pretty even. However, in the second half, Bayern scored three goals within ten minutes to take a 4-1 lead. They then scored one more in the closing minutes to make it 5-1. It looks like it will be seven straight for Arsenal and there are now talks of their coach being on the hot seat.

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There were two other games that were played. Benfica from Portugal was able to upset Dortmund from Germany 1-0 and Real Madrid got the job done against Napoli as they won 3-1.

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Chelsea gets the best of Arsenal

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Arsenal, who can never seem to break out of their fourth place position, fell to Chelsea this past Saturday. It was a chance for Arsenal to gain some ground, but Chelsea dominated them in a 3-1 win. It was set to be a 3-0 shutout, but Olivier Giroud was able to nick in a goal during stoppage time. Chelsea now is nine points ahead in the table and with three months to go, they look like the favorite.

This upcoming week the Round of 16 of the UEFA Champions League starts. It is the first of two games these teams will play in the Rounds of 16. All the match ups are really good as these are supposed to be the 16 best teams in Europe. The most star studded match is Barcelona against Paris St Germain (PSG). Even with the amount of talent PSG has they have never done well in the Champions League and now they get a very unlucky draw. Lionel Messi and Barcelona came up short of the final last year, so they are motivated to get back to the championship.

Leicester City managed to get into the Round of 16 and with their poor play in the Premier League, they can salvage there season in the Champions League. They play Sevilla on Tuesday.

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In the English Premier League Liverpool plays Tottenham in a very important game for both sides. Both teams have looked like contenders to Chelsea recently and whoever can walk away with a win in this one will get into second place.

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Can’t Catch Chelsea

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It has been a really entertaining English Premier League season so far. One of the things that has made it so great is that there is a lot of parody among the top teams. No one seems to be able to gain an edge on anybody else, because the matches between them are so tight. Chelsea is the only team that separated themselves and that is because of their stellar play in the 2016 part of the season. Right now second place through fifth place are separated by only 2 points!

Liverpool had a chance to gain some ground on Chelsea as they played them at home this past Saturday. Liverpool dominated at the beginning, but Chelsea scored a free kick in the 25th minute to take the lead. Chelsea were able to catch Liverpool off guard after the penalty, because Liverpool’s goalkeeper was trying to set up the wall as Chelea’s David Luiz took the shot. Liverpool maintained possession of the ball and continued to press for a goal. They finally got it in the 56th minute when Georginio Wijnaldum headed the ball in off a cross. The game ended 1-1. Liverpool couldn’t take advantage of the opportunity and therefore Chelsea maintains their gap on the rest of the teams.

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Chelsea has another tough challenge this week as Arsenal will try to gain some ground on the league leaders this Saturday. Also on Saturday, another high profile match up to look out for is Juventus v Inter Milan in the Italian league.

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Hey everyone,

The English Premier League has a different scheduling than many of the other leagues, so they didn’t play the matches that I mentioned in my previous post. Those games will be this weekend. Sunday has two excellent matches as Manchester City plays Everton and Manchester United faces off against Liverpool.

Taking a look at some of the other big European leagues, the Italian league is really competitive with the top 6 teams are within 10 points. Juventus is still the top team, but Napoli, Lazio, and Roma are keeping close.

In the German league Bayern Munich remains dominant, but only holds a three point lead over RB Lerpzig. Leipzig was moved up from the second division last year and their performance has been incredible. A very similar story to Leicester City last year, but it hasn’t received much publicity. Borussia Dortmund is usually the team that gives Bayern Munich a run for their money, but they are 12 points behind in 6th place. In the United States the German league is becoming an interest because many of the young American players are choosing to playing there. Players including Christian Pulisic, John Brooks, and Julian Green were given opportunities in Germany with help from the connections that the old U.S coach, Jurgen Klinsmen, had. He was recently fired after the last United States World Cup qualifier, so it will be interesting to see if young American players will be going to Germany to play.

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The German league is currently on a month break right now and will continue not this, but next weekend.

Full 90 Reporter