MLS 2012 Offseason Transactions: Revolution Select Lee Nguyen In Waiver Draft

Teams are wheeling and dealing, with players moving back and forth. Keep track of it here.

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Colorado Rapids Sign Colombian LB Luis Zapata

Oscar Pareja's remaking of the Colorado Rapids took another step on Friday when the team signed left back Luis Zapata of Colombia. Zapata, 31, has been with the team for most of the preseason, and is expected to compete for significant playing time after spending most of his professional career in Colombia's first division. He is the third South American player the Rapids have signed since Pareja took over as coach.

"Luis is a talented and experienced left back, and his presence will strengthen our defense," Colorado Rapids Technical Director Paul Bravo said in a team release. "We’ve had a chance to see how he fits into the team throughout preseason, and we’re excited to officially add him to the club."

Zapata played for Colombian giants Millonarios from 2001-08, but has failed to find a consistent home since then. More recently, he's played in Venezuela and Bolivia before returning to play 18 matches for Colombian side Deportivo Pasto, who was relegated.

For more on Zapata's signing, be sure to check out the Rapids blog, Burgundy Wave.


Impact Sign Second-Division Veteran Eduardo Sebrango

Montreal Impact bring back longtime second-division star Eduardo Sebrango.


Seattle Sounders Acquire Eddie Johnson From Montreal Impact For Mike Fucito, Lamar Neagle

Eddie Johnson will join the Seattle Sounders after the Montreal Impact traded him for Lamar Neagle and Mike Fucito.


Brian Ching Officially Back With Houston Dynamo; Impact Receive Draft Pick

The Brian Ching-saga finally has an ending, whether it's a happy one depends entirely on your perspective. The 33-year-old is back with the Houston Dynamo after the Montreal Impact apparently grew tired of the game of chicken they had been playing, receiving a "conditional" draft pick for their troubles (UPDATE: It has been confirmed that the Impact will receive a first-round pick if Ching plays 20 matches.). As a part of the deal, numerous reports said the Ching agreed to a reworked deal with the Dynamo partly in exchange for being guaranteed a front-office job after he retires.

In a situation like this, there really aren't winners, as the whole thing was a bit ugly. But the Dynamo seem to come out looking better than anyone else. They get the fan favorite they supposedly wanted all along and are able to enjoy whatever positive press they get when he runs out of the tunnel at BBVA Compass Stadium. For good measure, they get to do so while taking less of a salary cap hit on Ching's salary than they would have if the Impact had never selected him.

Whatever gamble the Impact were making clearly didn't pan out. Unless they received a first-round draft pick, which seems highly unlikely, they had to deal with plenty of negative press just to come out with a worse pick than they started with. Not having Ching in their starting lineup is not the end of the world by any means, but there were any number of players available in the expansion draft that will likely prove far more useful whoever they end up picking instead.

For more on Ching's trade, be sure to check out Dynamo Theory.


Barry Robson, Whitecaps Officially Agree On Designated Player Contract

Say whatever you will about the Vancouver Whitecaps this offseason, but they've definitely kept it interesting. Their latest move came on Thursday when they signed Scottish midfielder Barry Robson to a Designated Player contract. Robson will finish out his season with nPower Championship side Middlesbrough and join the Whitecaps in July after the summer transfer window opens.

"Barry has been a proven playmaker at the highest levels of the game for both club and country," Whitecaps head coach Martin Rennie said in a team release. "He is a versatile box-to-box midfielder that can play in several positions, with the ability to create and score goals. Barry will be a great addition to our squad."

The 33-year-old will most likely play as a central midfielder for the Whitecaps, although he has spent time all over the midfield and has even played a little forward. He's shown an impressive scoring touch from just about every position he's played, bagging 18 goals and 16 assists since joining Middlsebrough in 2010. He's also made 16 appearances for Scotland since debuting in 2007.

"I am very excited to be joining Whitecaps FC and to continue my career in Major League Soccer," said Robson. "I am impressed by the quality of MLS and Vancouver as a club. They have a passionate fan base and a fantastic stadium in BC Place. My family and I are also looking forward to our move to Canada and the beautiful city of Vancouver this summer."

When he's available, Robson could be in the middle of a very dangerous attack that includes the likes of Eric Hassli, Sebastien Le Toux, Camilo Sanvezzo and Davide Chiumiento. The big question will be how much Robson has left in the tank after a long season in England. Since his season started in August, he's played 28 matches for club and country. Middlesbrough has at least 16 matches left to play and that doesn't include any potential promotion playoffs. He will likely be coming of a lengthy break of more than a month. He could also end up leaving the Whitecaps in September as Scotland starts World Cup qualifying with four matches from Sept. 8-Oct. 16.

For more on the signing, be sure to check out Whitecaps blog 86 Forever.


San Jose Earthquakes, Chris Wondolowski Agree On Extension Through 2016

Chris Wondolowski has been the best scorer in MLS over the past two years, netting 34 goals during that time. The San Jose Earthquakes did the only sensible thing on Wednesday, granting Wondolowski an extension that will keep him under their control until 2016.

This is the second straight season in which Wondolowski has been given an extension and is just further proof that the Earthquakes see him as much more than a flash in the pan, despite the fact that he had scored just five MLS goals prior to the 2010 season. Since then, the 29-year-old has led the league in goals for two straight seasons and earned six caps with the United States national team. The rise is made all the more impressive when you consider Wondolowski has twice scored as many goals in a game (three) as he had in any season prior to 2010.

For the more on Wondolowski's signing, be sure to check out Earthquakes blog Quake, Rattle and Goal.


Philadelphia Union Officially Sign Colombian Lionard Pajoy

The Philadelphia Union's long rumored signing of Lionard Pajoy was made official on Wednesday. The 30-year-old forward is coming off a career-best season in which he scored 13 goals and had three assists in 27 starts for Colombian first-division side Itagüí Ditaires. Ten of those goals came during the 18 matches of the more recent Clausura.

Pajoy is likely the final piece of the Union's rather dramatic reconstruction this offseason. While team officials were quick to point out that he should not be seen as a direct replacement for Sebastien Le Toux, he is expected to be a significant part of a revamped attack that will include Costa Rican 21-year-old Josue Martinez, returning youngsters like Danny Mwanga and Jack McInerney, and recent SuperDraft pick Chandler Hoffman.

Unlike most of the others in that group, Pajoy is expected to bring a bit more physicality. At 6-foot-1, he's a big body and could provide the kind of size and scoring combination the Union have never really had.

For more on Pajoy's signing, be sure to check out Union blog Brotherly Game.


D.C. United Sign Designated Player Hamdi Salihi

D.C. United announced today the club has signed 28-year old forward Hamdi Salihi as a Designated Player. The Albanian international has scored 163 goals in 289 professional matches.

"We are thrilled to have completed a deal to bring Hamdi to MLS and D.C. United," said D.C. United General Manager Dave Kasper. "He has one of the most impressive strike rates you'll find and has shown he's capable of scoring goals at every level in which he's played. We believe strongly he will become another important piece for our team and we look forward to seeing him on the field in March."

Salihi was most recently with Rapid Vienna of Austria's top division. During the team's current campaign, he has scored 11 goals in 15 matches (all competitions). In three total years with Rapid Vienna, he has tallied 53 goals in 90 total matches (all competitions).

While at Rapid Vienna, Salihi was a teammate of current United midfielder Branko Boskovic.

Salihi has been a big part of the Albanian national team. He has scored nine goals in 37 senior team matches. In 2011, he scored three goals in ten international games for Albania.

Salihi marks the club's second Designated Player for 2012 and their forth in team history (Luciano Emilio and Christian Gomez were the others).


Luke Rodgers' Receives Visa, Joining Red Bulls In Mexico

The New York Red Bulls' offseason is suddenly not looking so bad. The latest piece of positive news comes in the form of Luke Rodgers receiving his long-delayed visa, according to the team website.

Forward Luke Rodgers, whose arrival to preseason camp was delayed due to immigration issues, had his U.S. visa approved. It is unclear when Rodgers will join the team in Mexico, but we’re happy to say that he will be a Red Bull in 2012.

This is a pretty significant development for both parties. Red Bulls coach Hans Backe had recently expressed some doubt that Rodgers' visa situation would ever be resolved.

If Rodgers had been unable to join the team, the Red Bulls would have been without one of their most consistent scorers from the 2011 season. Rodgers was the Red Bulls' second leading scorer with nine goals, despite playing in just 23 matches. With Rodgers, the Red Bulls' attack suddenly looks quite strong, even if Juan Agudelo is transferred.

For more on the Rodgers' situation, be sure to check out Red Bulls blog Once a Metro.


Camilo Sanvezzo, Vancouver Whitecaps Agree To Terms

After a somewhat protracted dispute over the appropriate wages, the Vancouver Whitecaps and Camilo Sanvezzo have agreed to terms on a new contract, the team announced on Wednesday. The 23-year-old Brazilian forward was one of the top scorers in MLS last year, bagging 12 goals and three assists for the last-place Whitecaps.

"We’re delighted to agree to new contract terms with Camilo," Whitecaps coach Martin Rennie said in a team release. "He had an outstanding first season with us and will be an important part of our squad for years to come. Camilo can play up front as a striker or as a wide attacking midfielder. He’s got plenty of pace and skill, plus a real nose for goal. He’s also a big threat on set-pieces in and around the opposition’s penalty box."

In Camilo, Eric Hassli and the newly acquired Sebastien Le Toux, the Whitecaps are currently the only MLS team to boast three forwards who scored at least 10 goals last season. Combine them with youngsters like Omar Salgado, Darren Mattocks and Long Tang, as well as last year's NASL-scoring leader Etienne Barbara and you have arguably the most interesting strike force in all of MLS.

For more on Sanvezzo's signing, be sure to check out Whitecaps blog 86 Forever.


Edson Buddle Officially Re-Signs With LA Galaxy

Edson Buddle officially completed his return to MLS on Wednesday, with the LA Galaxy welcoming back their former Best XI forward. Buddle had left the Galaxy following the 2010 season to try his luck in Europe, but after a year with 2. Bundesliga side Ingolstadt, he received his release. Since the Galaxy had attempted to re-sign him and received no transfer fee when he left, they retained his MLS rights.

"I am thrilled to be able to return to MLS and a club that has meant so much to me in my career," Buddle said in a team release. "When I left for Germany last winter, I said that I hoped to be able to one day return to the Galaxy and help lead the club to an MLS Cup championship. That day is today and I look forward to the challenges that now lie ahead."

Although Buddle's time in Germany was considered mostly a disappointment, he was not without his moments. The 30-year-old scored nine goals in 31 league appearances. Those kind of numbers he probably isn't much different than the player who left MLS after scoring a league-leading 19 goals and was named to the Best XI in 2010.

Even without Buddle, the Galaxy already looked to have one of the more dangerous attacks in MLS. Landon Donovan, David Beckham and Robbie Keane are all expected to be back and the addition of Buddle potentially gives them four world-class players attacking opponents' goals.

The Galaxy were able to afford such a potent attack mainly because they cleared up some significant salary cap space during the offseason. Among the highly paid players to leave were Donovan Ricketts, Juninho, Gregg Berhlater, Frankie Hejduk and Jovan Kirovski.

The big question is how they'll stop other teams from scoring. Even with two of the best fullbacks in MLS -- Sean Franklin and Todd Dunivant -- there are questions at centerback and in the defensive midfield. Omar Gonzalez is currently nursing a torn ACL, Berhalter retired during the offseason and Leonardo is also recovering from a knee injury. As of right now, it would appear that untested players like Paolo Cardoza or Bryan Jordan could end up starting along with Brazilian import Marcelo Sarvas in the center of the midfield.

For more on Buddle's signing, be sure to check out Galaxy blog LAG Confidential.


Philadelphia Union Complete Transfer For Roger Torres

The full slate of rumored Philadelphia Union transactions has now been completed, as the team announced they have completed the transfer for Roger Torres' rights from Colombian club America de Cali. Terms of the loan were not disclosed, but coach Peter Nowak strongly implied that the departures of Faryd Mondragon and Sebastien Le Toux gave the Union the financial flexibility to make this move.

"It's all around the future, it's not around one player," Union manager Peter Nowak said on a conference call with reporters. "In the past two years we've built a good foundation to express that and to build it toward the future."

While completing the Torres transfer clearly makes sense, it does highlight just how young the Union have become. Just five of the 23 players currently listed on the Union's roster are older than 25 and just two are at least 30. Danny Califf qualifies as the oldest player at 31. Thirteen of those 23 would be eligible for U-23 teams and six of them aren't even old enough to drink.

Torres, like many of these young players, has shown flashes of brilliance. His three goals and eight assists have come in a little less than 1,900 minutes of MLS play over two seasons. The signing seems to indicate he'll be given a chance to prove he can build on that success this year.

For more on the signing, be sure to check out Union blog Brotherly Game.


New York Red Bulls Re-Sign Joel Lindpere

The speculation that Joel Lindpere is heading to Europe can be put to rest, as the New York Red Bulls announced they had re-signed their midfielder to a multi-year contract on Tuesday. Lindpere has been arguably the Red Bulls' most consistent player since joining the team before the 2010 season, and is coming off a year in which he had seven goals and seven assists.

"Joel has been an important part of our progress over the last two seasons and has become one of our most popular players because of his work rate, performance and commitment to the club," New York General Manager Erik Soler said in a team release. "We wanted to reward him with a new contract to recognize his efforts and are excited that we agreed to a new contract with him. We look forward to having him as a Red Bull in the coming years, as we aim to win the MLS Cup."

For more on Lindpere's re-signing, be sure to check out Red Bulls blog Once a Metro.


Toronto FC Signs Chilean Defender Miguel Aceval

Toronto FC was one of the worst defenses in 2011. On Monday, they made another move toward improving that situation, signing Chilean defender Miguel Aceval. The 29-year-old left back/center back most recently played in the Chilean first division with Universidad de Concepcion, scoring five goals in 30 matches. He made his national team debut on Sept. 4, going 90 minutes against Mexico.

"Miguel is an experienced defender that has a lot of potential and can be very important for our club," Toronto FC Head Coach & Technical Director Aron Winter said in a team release. "Our defence needed to be addressed during the offseason and this signing complements our recent activity from last week."

Aceval would seem capable of helping Toronto FC at either center back or left back and could prove a significant upgrade over either Andy Iro or Danleigh Borman.

For more on the signing, be sure to check out Toronto FC blog Waking the Red.


Faryd Mondragon and Philadelphia Union Part Ways

Philadelphia Union and goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon today announced that they have mutually decided to part ways, allowing for Mondragon to return to his native Colombia and play for Colombian First Division side Deportivo Cali.

Mondragon spent one season in Philadelphia with the Union. He appeared in 27 matches and posted a 62 percent save percentage with seven clean sheets.

Mondragon became the Union's second-ever All-Star representative, starting against Manchester United in the 2011 game. Mondragon fractured his right finger against Real Salt Lake on September 3, sidelining him for seven matches, but he returned for the final two matches of the regular season and the Union's first playoff appearance.

Mondragon capped off his stellar season with a second-place finish in 2011 Allstate MLS Goalkeeper of the Year voting, behind only Kasey Keller."It has been an absolute honor and a privilege to be part of the Union family," said Mondragon.

"My time in Philadelphia has proven to be unforgettable, and I am tremendously proud of having led the team for what proved to be a successful 2011. We achieved most of our goals and continued the club's growth into becoming the best club in MLS.

"For family reasons, I have requested the club to allow me the opportunity to finish my career where it started. I am extremely thankful with our fans, especially Sons of Ben, the best fans in MLS, our ownership, technical staff, my teammates and everyone in the city of Philadelphia who always made me feel at home and made the 2011 season one I will never forget. I look forward to coming back to PPL Park as an avid fan and part of the Union family. I wish the club continued success."

Philadelphia currently has one keeper in camp - Zac MacMath - who filled in nicely for Mondragon when he was out for those seven games in 2011. The second year keeper will have large shoes to fill in 2012. Philadelphia will have to scramble to being in some depth behind MacMath.


Portland Timbers Sign Third Designated Player, Kris Boyd

Timbers sign the club's third Designated Player, striker Kris Boyd.


Red Bulls Acquire, Sign Wilman Conde, Filling One Major Hole

Former MLS Bext XI centerback Wilman Conde is expected to replace Tim Ream with Red Bulls.


Danny Cruz Traded To DC United In Exchange For 'Partial Allocation'

Danny Cruz has been traded to D.C. United after the Houston Dynamo elected not to pick up his option for the 2012 season. In exchange for Cruz, the Dynamo received "partial allocation," which is assumed to mean something less than $75,000.

Although United has just 24 players on their current roster, midfield is one area in which they are reasonably deep. Cruz is one of 11 players listed as a midfielder and with Andy Najar a lock to start on the right, he will be fighting for minutes along with recent draft pick Nick DeLeon and holdovers like Chris Pontius.

"We’re pleased to have concluded a deal to acquire Danny from Houston," said D.C. United General Manager Dave Kasper. "He is a tenacious player who brings a lot of energy and bite to the midfield and we are thrilled to have him at United. At 22, he has enormous upside and we look forward to his contributions for years to come."

During his three seasons with the Dynamo, Cruz often showed promise, but rarely did so on a consistent basis. He scored four goals and had five assists over the past two seasons while appearing in 45 games, but starting just 27. Cruz has shown enough potential to earn call-ups to several United States youth national teams, most recently appearing in the 2009 U-20 World Cup.

For more on this trade, be sure to check out D.C. United blog Black and Red United and Dynamo blog Dynamo Theory.


Pavel Pardo Re-Signs With Chicago Fire

Pavel Pardo will stay in MLS after re-signing with the Chicago Fire.


Leeds United Signs Robbie Rogers, Waits On Work Permit

The 24-year-old Rogers joins Leeds but this deal is pending a work permit.


Columbus Crew Sign Chile's Milovan Mirosevic

The Columbus Crew may have quietly made one of the more significant signings of the MLS offseason, inking Chile international Milovan Mirosevic to a multi-year contract. Mirosevic is a veteran of Chile's first division, having scored 46 goals in 108 games over the past three seasons with Universidad Catolica. He is also a regular on Chile's national team, most recently making substitution appearances during World Cup qualifiers in November.

"Milo brings a lot of quality and experience," Crew head coach Robert Warzycha said in a team release. "He has represented his country, captained his club, been a top scorer in the Chilean league and played in important matches. He is a good passer, very technical, has good speed and can shoot from distance. We are very happy to be able to incorporate him into our attack."

Mirosevic could slot in at any one of several positions, but has mostly played as an attack-minded midfielder. He was also the captain for his Chilean club team. His team won four titles during his tenure as captain.

For more on Mirosevic's signing, be sure to check out Crew blog Massive Report.


David Beckham Will Apparently Re-Sign With LA Galaxy, Spurn PSG

David Beckham reportedly agrees to a contract that will allow him to play for the LA Galaxy as long as he wants to play there.


Seattle Sounders Make Adam Johansson Signing Official

It looks like the Seattle Sounders have filled the hole created when they lost James Riley in the 2011 MLS Expansion draft. On Thursday, the team officially announced that they had signed Adam Johansson, a sometimes Swedish international who had most recently been playing for IFK Goteburg.

"The Sounders are one of the biggest teams in the United States," Johansson said in a team release. "They want to be one of the top clubs in North and South America and have big crowds. I'm joining a club with a very good reputation."

At one point, the 28-year-old Johansson seemed well on his way to being Sweden's starting right full back. He made his international debut in 2009 and subsequently appeared in three World Cup qualifiers. But he apparently suffered a knee injury later that year and has not regained his regular spot in Sweden's lineup. His more recent caps have come while playing with Sweden's "B" team against such friendly opponents as Cyprus, against whom he most recently played in February.

Johansson's signing would seem to fill out the Sounders' starting XI. Since losing nine players in a variety of offseason moves, they have signed goalkeeper Michael Gspurning, re-signed Mauro Rosales, acquired defender Marc Burch in the Re-Entry Draft and have even been linked to 23-year-old Dane Christian Sivebaek.

For more insight and analysis of Johansson's signing, be sure to check out Sounders blog Sounder at Heart.


2012 MLS SuperDraft: Ex-Liverpool Academy Player Jason Banton Says He'll Be Eligible

19-year-old Jason Banton has represented England at the youth levels and will now, apparently be part of the 2012 MLS SuperDraft.


Montreal Impact Sign Canadian International Patrice Bernier

The Montreal Impact have just announced a major new signing with the acquisition of central midfielder Patrice Bernier from Danish outfit Lyngby Boldklub. Bernier, 32, appeared in 73 matches with the Impact's previous incarnation from 2000-2002 before heading off to Norway to ply his trade in Europe's second and third-tier leagues. Of course, that's not what head coach Jesse Marsch has to say:

We have been in talks with Patrice for quite some time and we are extremely pleased that he will be joining the Impact for the 2012 season. His years of experience in top leagues in Europe will provide the team with savvy and intelligence. As a player, he is very sharp on the ball and his tactical awareness will be a great value in the midfield. As a person, he is a good man and a strong leader. Patrice is very excited and ready for the challenge of helping our club reach the next level.

Those top leagues? Norway, the Bundesliga.2 (where he lasted a year) and then the Danish Superliga. The closest Bernier's ever gotten to the big time is when he rejected a move to Turkey, and even then... well, that's not a top European league. The Impact's press release is riddled with fanciful language. Check out what they have to say about Bernier's stint as Kaiserslautern (and we're not even going to talk about their gushing praise over his two appearances in UEFA Cup qualifying against 'legendary' Olympiacos):

Bernier then joined FC Kaiserslautern, then in the 2.Bundesliga, Germany’s second division, on May 28, 2007, scoring one goal in 15 games. He went on to play in two national DFB-Pokal championship games with the club.

Bernier, in fact, played in the first and second round of the DFB-Pokal with Kaiserslautern, losing the second match 2-1 against a Regionalliga Nord (III) team. Portraying that and their previous match against another third division side as 'national championship' games is a wee bit of a stretch, and it smells like the Impact are grossly exaggerating Bernier's career for the sake of PR.

The silly thing is that they don't need to. Bernier is a good enough player to help significantly in MLS and has 46 caps for his country. He'll be a good player for the Impact for at least a couple more seasons before he hangs up his boots, and with his status as one of Quebec's favourite sons, there's no reason whatsoever to need to justify his signing with nonsense about his European career.

It's unclear what the terms of the contract are. Bernier's not a designated player, and there's talk that he has an opt-out clause with Lyngby that means he can join up with his new team immediately and without a transfer fee. As long as the Impact aren't paying huge money for him, he sounds like a pretty excellent acquisition.


Portland Timbers Sign Adolfo Valencia

Portland announced that they'd be revealing a young designated player, and here he is: 19-year-old Colombian forward Jose Valencia.


Vancouver Whitecaps Acquire Lee Nguyen Through Weighted Lottery

The Vancouver Whitecaps have landed Lee Nguyen in a weighted lottery.


Sounders Re-Sign Mauro Rosales To Multi-Year Extension, Not Yet As A Designated Player

Mauro Rosales has re-signed with the Seattle Sounders, the team announced on Tuesday. Although terms were not released, a Sounders official confirmed that it's possible Rosales could become a Designated Player and that he signed a contract that was for at least two years. Rosales' classification will depend on how the Sounders choose to use allocation dollars, but the delay does keep open the possibility that they could sign a third DP. Fredy Montero and Alvaro Fernandez currently occupy two of their DP slots.

"We were always very confident of reaching an agreement," General Manager Adrian Hanauer said in a team release. "There was a great deal of trust between ourselves and Mauro and Dario Sala. They put their faith in us and we wanted to take care of Mauro. He has earned this contract through his outstanding play, his dedication to his craft and his commitment to this club, his fellow players and our coaches."

Rosales came to the Sounders late in the 2011 offseason after his situation with Mexican side Querétaro failed to work out. He came to the Sounders on a trial, but had broken into the starting lineup by the third game of the season. He notched an assist in that first game and never really looked back. In games he started, the Sounders went 13-3-6 and he was considered a legitimate MVP candidate prior to suffering a knee injury with five games left in the season. Rosales missed the Sounders' next three games, but played just 36 minutes before re-injuring his knee. He ultimately was unable to play in either of the Sounders' playoff games.


Omar Bravo Leaves Sporting KC, Will Join Mexico's Cruz Azul

Omar Bravo's departure means Sporting KC has now parted ways with both of their Designated Players from last season.


2011 MLS Re-Entry Draft, Stage 2: Seattle Sounders Pick Marc Burch No. 1, LA Galaxy Take 6 Players

The Seattle Sounders got Stage 2 of the 2011 MLS Re-Entry Draft off to an interesting start, as they acquired the No. 1 pick from the Vancouver Whitecaps and then promptly picked DC United's Marc Burch. The 27-year-old left back reportedly made $97,500 in total compensation last year, a figure the Sounders will undoubtedly looking to cut. The Sounders gave up their third round pick in the 2014 SuperDraft in order to acquire the pick.

The Sounders, like all drafting teams, will have to make a "genuine" offer within seven days. After seven days, the player is free to sign with any team, but the drafting team would retain the right of first refusal.

While that may have been the single biggest move of the draft, the LA Galaxy were easily the most active. They selected six players, including two of their own. In addition to retaining Frankie Hejduk and Dasan Robinson, they also picked Andrew Boyens (Chivas USA), Chris Leitch (San Jose Earthquakes), Pat Noonan (Sounders) and Jon Conway (Chicago Fire). 

The only other team to be particularly active in the draft was the New England Revolution. They picked former Sounders forward Nate Jaqua with the second overall pick and then snapped up former United midfielder Clyde Simms in the second round. The Colorado Rapids picked up Fire midfielder Baggio Husidic and Dynamo fullback Hunter Freeman.

Complete draft results:

Round 1

Sounders: Burch

Revolution: Jaqua

Fire: Kheli Dube

Rapids: Husidic

Galaxy: Boyens

Round 2

Revolution: Simms

Rapids: Freeman

Galaxy: Leitch

Round 3

Galaxy: Noonan

Round 4

Galaxy: Conway

Own players

Galaxy: Hejduk, Robinson


Saprissa's Josue Martinez Signs With Philadelphia Union

The long-rumored signing of Saprissa's Josue Martinez by the Philadelphia Union is now official. The 21-year-old forward has an impressive resume for a player his age, having scored 19 goals in 44 league matches over the past three seasons and scoring five times in 11 Costa Rican national team appearances.

When rumors of his signing first surfaced, Union blog Brotherly Game speculated that Martinez could become the first player signed under the league's new Youth Designated Player Rule, which would allow him to count just $200,000 against the salary cap. Although no such designation was announced, it would stand to reason that a player of his pedigree would require a somewhat substantial transfer fee. Brotherly Game put the potential transfer fee at $500,000.

Even if the Union paid such a large transfer, it's possible they could pay down his cap hit below the DP threshold with allocation dollars, some of which was obtained from last season's transfer of Carlos Ruiz.

For more on Martinez's signing, be sure to check out Union blog Brotherly Game. For the latest news on the MLS offseason, be sure to follow this StorySream.


Lee Young-Pyo, Vancouver Whitecaps Make Signing Official

One of the worst-kept secrets this MLS offseason is now official: Lee Young-Pyo has signed with the Vancouver Whitecaps. The third-most capped player in South Korea's history has played in some of the top leagues in the world, but was playing for Saudi Arabian giants Al-Hilal the last two seasons. A Whitecaps officially said Lee will not count as a Designated Player.

Lee is probably best known for his contributions to three of South Korea's World Cup teams. Lee has earned 127 caps and scored five international goals, but has announced his retirement from the international game.

"I am very thankful for my experiences as a professional soccer player in Asia and Europe and now I look forward to this new opportunity in Vancouver," Lee said in a team release. "Soccer in North America is growing and Major League Soccer has become a highly-respected league in the world game. I am excited to begin this new chapter of my career with Whitecaps FC and to make Vancouver my new home."

At various times in his career, the 34-year-old has been known as one of the top fullbacks in his league. During his prime, he played for PSV Eindhoven (2003-05), Tottenham Hotspur (2005-08) and Borussia Dortmund (2008-09). Lee made nearly 225 appearances with those clubs.

This move is clearly about more than just soccer, though. There is a rather large Asian population in the Vancouver metro area and Lee is among the best known players in South Korean history. His signing will surely pique the interest of thousands otherwise disinterested soccer fans, at the very least.

For more on Lee's signing, be sure to check out Whitecaps blog 86 Forever.


DC United's Santino Quaranta Retires At 27

The somewhat mysterious removal of Santino Quaranta's name from the list of players available for the MLS Re-Entry Draft now has an answer: The 27-year-old midfielder has apparently retired, according to the Washington Post's Steven Goff. DC United had elected not to pick up Quaranta's option, which was not necessarily surprising, but had also declined to renegotiate with him.

Quaranta confirms he is done playing. Will work full-time with youth program he helped create and with substance abuse program #dcu#mls
Dec 04 via HootSuiteFavoriteRetweetReply


When the final Re-Entry Draft list came out on Friday, Quaranta's name was one of the more curious absences. The other players that had been removed had either announced their retirement or been offered new, renegotiated contracts. Quaranta did not seem to fit into either category though.

While it's always surprising to hear that a relatively healthy 27-year-old has retired from anything, it's maybe not as surprising in Quaranta's case once you look at some of the extenuating circumstances. Quaranta is a native of the DC area, having been born in Baltimore, Md. and signing with United as a 16-year-old in 2001. He originally played with United until 2006 when he was traded to the Los Angeles Galaxy and then the New York Red Bulls before heading back to United in 2008.

The return to United seemed to reignite his once-promising career. After scoring just three goals from 2006-08 while battling injuries and, apparently, a drug addiction, Quaranta scored five goals with four assists in his first season back with United. From 2008-11, Quaranta scored 10 goals with 16 assists and once again made himself an attractive player, at least for the right price.

It's hard to imagine any team would have been interested in Quaranta at his current salary (last year he reportedly made $117,000), but lots of teams probably would have liked him at a more cap-friendly number. In recent days, Quaranta had expressed disappointment at United failing to renegotiate with him, implying he was still interested in playing. 

For more on Quaranta, check out United blog Black and Red United.


MLS Re-Entry Draft 2011: List Of Players Finalized

There weren't many surprises, but as expected many of the biggest names were removed from the list of players eligible for the MLS Re-Entry Draft. The first stage of the draft will be held on Monday, with Stage 2 being held a week later.

Among the players to be removed from the list were Houston Dynamo defender Bobby Boswell, new Sporting Kansas City midfielder Bobby Convey and new San Jose Earthquakes midfielder Jean Alexandre. Vancouver Whitecaps goalkeeper Jay Nolly and Joe Cannon were also removed. All of these players either re-signed contracts with their old teams or were traded and signed contracts with their new teams. DC United midfielder Santino Quaranta's name was also removed from the list, but no announcement has been made about his signing a new contract.

There are still some interesting players on the list, including Chicago Fire midfielder Baggio Husidic, Dynamo defender Hunter Freeman, DC United defender Clyde Simms, Real Salt Lake midfielder Andy Williams and Seattle Sounders forward Nate Jaqua.

2011 Club Player Name Position Yrs of MLS Experience Contract Status
Chicago Fire Dufty, Alec GK 3 OPTION DECLINED
Chicago Fire Husidic, Baggio M 3 OPTION DECLINED
Chivas USA Boyens, Andrew D 5 OPTION DECLINED
Chivas USA Chijindu, Chukwudi M/F 3 OPTION DECLINED
Chivas USA Elliott, Simon M 9 OUT OF CONTRACT
Chivas USA Thornton, Zach GK 16 OPTION DECLINED
Chivas USA Trujillo, Mariano M 3 OPTION DECLINED
Colorado Rapids Holody, Mike D 3 OPTION DECLINED
Columbus Crew Burns, Kevin M 4 OPTION DECLINED
Columbus Crew Cunningham, Jeff F 14 OPTION DECLINED
D.C. United Barklage, Brandon M 3 OPTION DECLINED
D.C. United Burch, Marc D 6 OPTION DECLINED
D.C. United Cronin, Steve GK 7 OPTION DECLINED
D.C. United McTavish, Devon D 6 OPTION DECLINED
D.C. United Ngwenya, Joseph F 6 OPTION DECLINED
D.C. United Simms, Clyde M 7 OPTION DECLINED
D.C. United Zayner, Jed D 6 OPTION DECLINED
FC Dallas Galindo Maykel D 5 OPTION DECLINED
FC Dallas Santos, Maicon M 3 OPTION DECLINED
Houston Dynamo Freeman, Hunter D 6 OPTION DECLINED
Houston Dynamo Garey, Jason F 6 OPTION DECLINED
Houston Dynamo Robinson, Eddie D 11 OPTION DECLINED
LA Galaxy Hejduk, Frankie D 9 OPTION DECLINED
LA Galaxy Robinson, Dasan D 5 OPTION DECLINED
Montreal Impact Pore, Ryan M 5 OPTION DECLINED
New England Revolution Cochrane, Ryan D 8 OPTION DECLINED
New England Revolution Dube, Kheli F 4 OPTION DECLINED
New England Revolution Phelan, Pat M 4 OPTION DECLINED
New York Red Bulls Albright, Chris D 13 OPTION DECLINED
New York Red Bulls Coundoul, Bouna GK 7 OPTION DECLINED
New York Red Bulls Mendes, Carlos D 7 OPTION DECLINED
Philadelphia Union Harrison, Chase GK 4 OPTION DECLINED
Philadelphia Union Miglioranzi, Stefani M 6 OPTION DECLINED
Portland Timbers Brown, Adin GK 6 OPTION DECLINED
Portland Timbers Lopez, Rodrigo M 4 OPTION DECLINED
Portland Timbers Lowry, Peter M 4 OPTION DECLINED
Real Salt Lake Alvarez, Arturo M/F 9 OUT OF CONTRACT
Real Salt Lake Wagner, Blake M 4 OPTION DECLINED
Real Salt Lake Gonzalez, Nelson M/F 3 OPTION DECLINED
Real Salt Lake McKenzie, Rauwshan D 4 OPTION DECLINED
Real Salt Lake Williams, Andy M 14 OUT OF CONTRACT
San Jose Earthquakes Leitch, Chris D 10 OPTION DECLINED
San Jose Earthquakes Moreira, Andre Luiz M 3 OPTION DECLINED
San Jose Earthquakes Peterson, Jacob M 6 OPTION DECLINED
San Jose Earthquakes Sealy, Scott F 7 OPTION DECLINED
San Jose Earthquakes Weber, Andrew GK 4 OPTION DECLINED
Seattle Sounders FC Jaqua, Nate F 9 OPTION DECLINED
Seattle Sounders FC Noonan, Pat F 9 OPTION DECLINED
Sporting Kansas City Thomas, Shavar D 9 OPTION DECLINED
Toronto FC Borman, Danleigh D 4 OUT OF CONTRACT
Vancouver Whitecaps FC Janicki, Greg D 3 OPTION DECLINED
Vancouver Whitecaps FC Leathers, Jonathan D 4 OUT OF CONTRACT
Vancouver Whitecaps FC Vagenas, Peter M 12 OPTION DECLINED

Bobby Convey Traded To Sporting KC From San Jose Earthquakes

No MLS player seems to have fallen farther than Bobby Convey in the past year. After winning the Comeback Player of the Year in 2010 and leading the San Jose Earthquakes to within one game of the MLS Cup final, he once again found himself out of favor with coach Frank Yallop. Now, Convey will try to start over again as he's been traded to Sporting Kansas City in exchange for an international roster spot just days before Stage 1 of the Re-Entry Draft.

Sporting will, no doubt, hope that Convey is willing to renegotiate his contract that paid him more than $300,000 last year and was most likely due to give him a raise. If a new deal can not be worked out, he could once again find himself eligible for the Re-Entry Draft. It's also possible that some renegotiation was part of the terms of the trade.

For his part, Convey sounded optimistic about going to Kansas City.

"I am very excited to link up with my new club and teammates," Convey said in a team release on Friday. "The fans in Kansas City are extremely supportive of the team and create a great atmosphere in the new stadium. The team proved last year they are a good team that can win a bunch of games and I hope I can add to that success."

It's not entirely clear how Convey will be used in Kansas City. While in San Jose, he bounced between left back and left mid, much to his frustration. The inability for him to lock down a position, in fact, seems to have been at the heart of his problems. He has seemed to indicate that he prefers to play in the midfield, but perhaps playing on a team as attack-oriented as Sporting will give him reason to reconsider that position. He would still have to beat out Seth Sinovic, who Sporting only recently re-acquired from the Montreal Impact

It's also possible that he could be used on the left side of the attacking band employed in Peter Vermes' 4-3-3. At times, Vermes' formation played more like a 4-5-1 and Convey would seem right at home in that formation. The only thing is that Vermes already has a host of attacking options and Convey would likely struggle to find playing time.

For more on this trade, be sure to check out Sporting KC blog The Daily Wiz and Earthquakes blog Quake, Rattle and Goal.


San Jose Earthquakes Acquire Jean Alexandre From Real Salt Lake

The San Jose Earthquakes have continued their rather significant offseason rebuilding, this time trading for Jean Alexandre from Real Salt Lake in exchange for a first round pick in the 2012 Supplemental Draft. The 25-year-old Haitian midfielder has shown promise with RSL, but has been used primarily as a backup. During three seasons, he has 14 starts, scoring one goal and registering two assists.

"Jean is a very versatile attacking midfielder with a great upside and we look forward to having him here in San Jose," Earthquakes General Manager of Soccer Operations John Doyle said in a release.

The acquisition of Alexandre is just the latest in a series of offseason moves by the Earthquakes, designed to help them recover from a rather disappointed 2011. After advancing to the Eastern Conference finals in 2010, the Earthquakes slipped to seventh in the West and missed the playoffs for the third time in the four years since they rejoined the league. In the last few weeks, they have lost Bobby Burling in the expansion draft, declined the options on former building block Bobby Convey and picked up Shea Salinas in a trade.

For more on San Jose's offseason, be sure to check out Earthquakes blog Quake, Rattle and Goal.


Jeremy Hall Traded To Toronto FC For 2013 Draft Pick

Just a few months after acquiring him from the Portland Timbers, FC Dallas has traded Jeremy Hall to Toronto FC in exchange for a second round pick in the 2013 SuperDraft. Toronto FC will be Hall's fourth team in a little more than a calendar year. He was traded from the New York Red Bulls to the Portland Timbers on Nov. 22, 2010 and then sent from Portland to Dallas for Eric Alexander in August.

"We’re happy to add Jeremy Hall to our club. He is a solid defender with excellent MLS experience," TFC Coach and Technical Director Aron Winter said in a team release. "Defense is one of the areas that we want to address this offseason and acquiring Jeremy is a positive step forward for our club."

Due at least in part to his near constant movement, Hall has been limited to 28 starts over the past two seasons after making 22 starts his rookie year. The former first-round draft pick has been moved from midfield to fullback during that time and, while TFC will likely use him there, he has not looked as comfortable playing out of the back. 

For the latest on MLS's offseason moves, be sure to follow this StoryStream. For more on the trade, be sure to check out FC Dallas blog Big D Soccer and Toronto FC blog Waking the Red.


Paulo Nagamura Traded To Sporting KC From Chivas USA

Paulo Nagamura has been traded to Sporting Kansas City for a 2012 first-round Supplemental Draft Pick. In exchange for the midfielder, Sporting sent Chivas USA the pick they had originally received for Ryan Smith last week. In essence, Nagamura and Smith were traded for one another, although it took two separate transactions to make it happen. Sporting also netted a third-round Supplemental Draft Pick in the Smith trade.

"I am very excited to join Sporting Kansas City. I watched them the entire year during their run to the conference final and I’m happy to be part of the team, add depth to the midfield and fit right in," Nagamura said in a statement. "I will work 110 percent for the team to help reach our goal of winning championships."

In Nagamura, Kansas City basically gets a poor man's version of Davy Arnaud, who was traded to the Montreal Impact on Monday. Nagamura has never displayed Arnaud's scoring touch, but has established himself as a solid box-to-box midfielder during his seven MLS seasons. The 28-year-old enjoyed his most productive spell from 2007-09 when he scored eight goals and had seven assists for Chivas USA. That performance opened the door for him to go to Mexico's Tigres, for whom he played 14 games in 2010 before returning to Chivas USA.

Nagamura has been considerably less productive since returning to MLS. In 26 appearances over two seasons, he has just one goal and one assist. This appears to be just another piece of Chivas USA coach Robin Fraser's rebuilding project, as four players from last year's team have already been traded or lost in the Expansion Draft.

For the latest updates on MLS's offseason moves, be sure to follow this StoryStream. For more insight and analysis of this move, be sure to check out Sporting KC blog The Daily Wiz and Chivas USA blog The Goat Parade.


Montreal Impact Trade For Donovan Ricketts, Send Allocation Money To LA Galaxy

The Montreal Impact just keep adding MLS veterans to their roster, with goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts becoming the latest. The Impact sent an undisclosed amount of allocation money to the Los Angeles Galaxy in exchange for the veteran, who has been among the league's best shot stoppers when healthy since joining the league in 2009. The trade was the second of the Impact's second of the day on Monday and their fourth since last week's Expansion Draft.

In Ricketts, the Impact have found a legitimate MLS starter to go along with Bill Gaudette, who has spent the last four seasons establishing himself as the best second-division goalkeeper in North America. Gaudette has not officially signed yet, but that seems to be a mere formality and Ricketts' acquisition may be designed at least in part to put some pressure on the 30-year-old to put pen to paper. Gaudette played for the Impact in the NASL last year after spending three seasons with the Puerto Rico Islanders. He also made 17 appearances for the Columbus Crew in 2007.

When healthy, Ricketts has been among the elite MLS goalkeepers. He registered 27 shutouts in his 70 MLS appearances and stopped about 76 percent of the shots he faced went 35-15-18. The biggest knock against him was his health, something he especially struggled with this year. Ricketts made a career low 15 appearances in 2011 and appeared to have been supplanted by Josh Saunders as the Galaxy's No. 1 goalkeeper. Saunders was stellar last year, registering eight shutouts in 18 starts. 

Ricketts becomes the 19th player the Impact have acquired since joining MLS and is the fifth to arrive via trade. The Impact have definitely splashed around the allocation dollars, as they have included allocation money in all four of their trades. It's also another indication that the Impact are willing to spend on proven MLS veterans, as Ricketts is the fourth player they've acquired who made at least $180,000 in guaranteed compensation during the 2011 season.

For more insight and analysis of this move, be sure to check out LA Galaxy blog LAG Confidential.


Montreal Impact Acquire Davy Arnaud, Send Seth Sinovic Back To Sporting KC

Impact continue their flurry of moves by acquiring veteran midfielder Davy Arnaud from Sporting KC.


Sporting KC Trades Ryan Smith To Chivas USA For Supplemental Draft Picks

Ryan Smith had an outstanding first season in MLS, but fell out of favor with Sporting KC and has now been traded to Chivas USA.

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