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Luis Robles, currently playing in the 2. Bundesliga, appears to be close to joining the Red Bulls.
Former Italy international Matteo Ferrari apparently close to signing deal with the Montreal Impact.
David Bentley is reportedly in discussions with a MLS team as he seeks a loan to revitalize his career
Brazilian report suggest Juninho will be returning to the LA Galaxy on a one-year loan.
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.
Edson Buddle has been released by Ingolstadt and is now a free agent with an eye on the Galaxy
The transfer saga of Sebastien Le Toux appears to have taken a highly unexpected turn. Citing an anonymous source close to the situation, Brotherly Game is reporting that Le Toux is heading back to MLS, but that the Philadelphia Union may trade him to another team. Right now, the most likely trade partner appears to be the Vancouver Whitecaps, although Le Toux is reportedly trying to remain with the Union.
News first surfaced a little more than a week ago that Le Toux was heading to Bolton on a possible transfer. But after trialling with the team for about week, Bolton has apparently decided to explore other options. That seemed to herald his return to the Union, who are facing a bit of a potential logjam at forward. In addition to Danny Mwanga continuing to press for minutes, they signed Saprissa standout Josue Martinez in the offseason.
Making Le Toux the odd man out in that situation would seem to be an odd choice, being as he's excelled as a forward. During two seasons with the Union, Le Toux has scored 25 goals and registered 20 assists, most of which have come while playing up top.
Veteran goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon appears to be heading home to Colombia, likely speeding up Zac MacMath's career trajectory.
Michael Ballack and Leverkusen have had a falling out, possibly setting the stage for an exit from the Bay Arena before the season is over and MLS is lurking
With the Tim Ream transfer now finalized, the New York Red Bulls appear to be moving quickly to find his replacement. That player is former Chicago Fire centerback Wilman Conde, according to MLSSoccer.com.
"With Conde coming in, to me, he’s one of the league’s best center backs," Backe said. "I think he’s massive with his experience, his physical ability. With the Swedish guy, too, we’ll have two solid center backs."
"The Swedish guy" would be 6-foot-3 Markus Holgersson. Combined with the 6-foot-2 Conde, the Red Bulls would have one of the bigger centerback pairings in the league.
Conde's MLS rights are still controlled by the Fire, who tried to re-sign him before he left for Atlas of the Mexican Primera. The Red Bulls would have to compensate the Fire in some way for Conde's rights, most likely with allocation dollars or a draft pick. That's likely more of a formality, though, as the league tends to help facilitate these kinds of moves.
During four seasons with the Fire, Conde established himself as one of the league's top defenders when healthy. Since signing with Atlas in December 2010, he's made 13 Primera appearances and even scored two goals.
Scotland international Kris Boyd will not be joining the Houston Dynamo after all. The Scottish Premier League standout striker has apparently turned down an offer from the Dynamo and will presumably start looking for work back in Europe (via MLSSoccer.com).
"We tried our best to bring him here," Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear told reporters after training on Monday. "Unfortunately I think the move was just something he didn’t want to do in his career right now, but I can’t fault us in being very aggressive in our approach to sign him."
The Dynamo now will have to go back to the drawing board to find a seasoned scorer. That's a void Boyd could have surely filled, as he's scored at just about every stop he's made. Without Boyd, the Dynamo are without a clear No. 1 goal scorer, as no one currently on their roster has ever scored more than six goals during a MLS season.
Check out Dynamo Theory for more news and analysis.
Sebastien Le Toux appears to be heading to England after reports surface that the Philadelphia Union were preparing to sell him to a European club.
Tim Ream is reportedly set to join Bolton on a £2.5million transfer from the New York Red Bulls.
Nobody expected Robbie Rogers to be with the Columbus Crew next year and now it looks like we might know where he'll be. According to Ives Galarcep, Rogers is likely to sign with Leeds United and make the move to England's Championship after turning down the chance to stay in MLS with a new team. If the move happens, it will be a return to Europe for Rogers, who has made no secret of his desire to play there after he started his career with Heerenveen only to make no appearances before spending five years in Columbus.
Rogers' play dipped last year and with it went his playing time, making it a foregone conclusion that he would look to move elsewhere, a move the Crew were happy to give him. He spent much of the winter on trial abroad, including at Leeds, who appear to have seen something they like. Rogers won't be walking into an easy situation though, with Tottenham Hotspur's Andros Townsend on loan and playing well on one wing, Robert Snodgrass on the other wing, Ramon Nunez a wide option and captain Jonny Howson also an attacking player, albeit more centrally. Even with Snodgross and Howson injured, there doesn't appear to be much of an opportunity for Rogers to play unless there are further injuries.
Exactly how Rogers plans on getting a work permit remains a mystery. He certainly doesn't qualify under the work permit rules that require a player to play 75% of his country's national team matches, meaning he will have to appeal for one, but he could argue that he has been a bigger part of the national team under Jurgen Klinsmann. If Klinsmann helps out and pledges to the appeals board to make Rogers a fixture in the squad going forward, maybe Rogers will have a chance, but it appears to be a stretch considering he still had just five caps in 2011.
Kris Boyd may not be a household name among Major League Soccer fans, but his resume should be enough to perk up some ears. The 28-year-old Scotland international is reportedly considering an offer to come to the Houston Dynamo.
We're told Kris Boyd considering offer from MLS Cup finalists Houston Dynamo. Interest from three English clubs too.— Bryan Swanson (@skysports_bryan) January 10, 2012
Boyd is a player well known to observers of European soccer. As recently as 2009-10, he scored 23 Scottish Premier League goals with Rangers. A year before that, he scored 27. In 143 league matches with the Glasgow giants, he found the back of the net 101 times. During five seasons with Kilmarnock, a much smaller SPL team, he scored 63 times in 153 matches. He's also scored seven goals in 18 senior team caps with Scotland.
The reason Boyd is even available, though, does raise some questions. Boyd is currently unemployed after he reportedly had his contract terminated with Turkey's Eskişehirspor. Boyd claimed to have never been paid by the club and has now started legal proceedings against them.
Prior to his time in Turkey, Boyd spent a season in the English Championship where he played to mixed results. In 37 matches, he scored 12 goals but he did it with two clubs: Middlesborough and Nottingham Forest. Those numbers might not seem bad, but it seems his stint in the Championship was deemed mostly a disappointment and there are signs that his work ethic has been questioned.
Still, it would seem that a player like Boyd could succeed in MLS. He appears to have the kind of size that plays well here, even if he's not a prototypical target forward, and the style of play in the United Kingdom tends to translate.
For more on Boyd's potential signing and all things Dynamo, be sure to check out Dynamo Theory.
Tim Ream is reportedly all set to be transfered to Bolton, but how he'll get a work permit is still a bit of a mystery.
The Columbus Crew are reportedly close to signing Chile international Milovan Mirosevic, according to reports out of Chile. If true, this could be a rather significant signing. The 31-year-old midfielder most recently played for Chile in matches against Uruguay and Paraguay in November World Cup qualifiers. He was a 87th minute substitute against Paraguay and a 67th minute substitute against Uruguay.
Mirosevic most recently played his club soccer at Al-Ain of the United Arab Emirates. He had previously played for Universidad Catolica, a team in Chile's first division, where he scored 46 goals in 108 appearances. Mirosevic could play anywhere in the midfield and could provide some scoring punch, something the Crew have lacked in recent years. As recently as the 2009-10 season, Mirosevic was a prolific scorer as he netted 19 goals in 32 league matches.
It looks like the Colorado Rapids will finally name a head coach, with FC Dallas academy director Oscar Pareja apparently the man for the job, according to a report in the Denver Post. The move comes with less than two weeks before MLS teams are allowed to open training camp and would signal a significant change in direction for the Rapids.
Assuming this report is true, this would seem to be a positive move for a team that has gained a reputation as one of the more physical in the league under the guidance of former head coach Gary Smith. Pareja is a product of South American soccer, having played professionally in Colombia and for the Colombian national team. At the same time, he's much more of a MLS insider than Smith, logging more than 170 MLS appearances from 1998-2005 and working with Dallas' academy.
The Rapids, who have undergone a rather significant amount of change this offseason, reportedly interviewed Dennis Hamlett, Tom Soehn and Richie Williams in recent weeks. Like Pareja, and unlike Smith, all of these candidates had significant MLS experience.
What has been a very quite offseason for the New York Red Bulls may finally be heating up if reports out of Sweden are correct. Markus Holgersson has reportedly turned down an offer to remain with his Swedish team in order to join the Red Bulls.
The 6-foot-3 26-year-old would provide some much needed help for the Red Bulls, who are in massive need of center backs. As of right now, the only three players with center back experience on the roster are Rafael Marquez, Tim Ream and Stephen Keel. Marquez is supposedly moving to defensive mid this year and has been rumored to be looking for a move to Mexico and Ream continues to be linked to rumors sending him to Bolton, despite denials from the Red Bulls.
Holgersson's Swedish team Helsinborg is coming off a season in which they won their league title. Holgersson started in 26 of 30 games and earned his first national team call-up for Sweden's friendly against Qatar later this month.
Gerald Asamoah, a former German international and Bundesliga player, says he's heading to MLS.
MLS is reportedly prepared to match Samuel Eto'o's $26 million salary, but it's hard to imagine the league spending that plus nearly $50 million in transfer fees.
The Seattle Sounders may not be bringing in the biggest foreign names this offseason, but the transfer rumor mill has once again linked them to a European player. This time, it looks like they are close to signing Christian Sivebaek, a 23-year-old who currently plays for Danish Superliga team Midtjylland. A Danish report even quotes Sivebaek, whose father played for Denmark in the 1986 World Cup, as saying he has agreed to terms with the Sounders. For their part, the Sounders have confirmed interest in the midfielder/full back and acknowledged that he visited the team earlier this month.
Sivebaek has been a starter at Midtjylland, helping lead the team to top six finishes in each of the past three years, but this year appears to have fallen out of favor. A couple of injuries may have contributed to his playing in just 3 of 18 league matches this season.
The Sounders would most likely be looking at Sivebaek as more of an insurance policy at several positions. While their starting XI seems pretty set, Sivebaek could find himself in competition for minutes in the midfield and on defense.
Sivebaek would be the third player the Sounders have signed from Europe this offseason. It has already been announced that they signed former Austrian international goalkeeper Michael Gspurning and Swedish international Adam Johansson has been all but officially announced as being signed.
For more analysis of what Sivebaek's signing could mean, check out Sounders blog Sounder at Heart.
Adam Johansson reportedly joins the Seattle Sounders after playing most of his career in Sweden and making nine national team appearances.
David Beckham, Juninho and Omar Gonzalez have all been linked to foreign clubs, leaving a potentially enormous hole for the LA Galaxy to fill.
Omar Bravo says he is leaving Sporting Kansas City because of problems with coach Peter Vermes, according to ESPN Deportes' Jorge Ramos. Bravo's problems with Vermes have been a poorly kept secret for quite some time, and they seem to have been exasperated when he was benched for Sporting's Eastern Conference final against the Houston Dynamo. Despite declaring himself fit, Bravo did not enter that game until the 85th minute.
The report did not say whether or not Bravo would definitely leave MLS, but did seem to suggest that a return to Mexico would be his most likely destination. Bravo scored more than 100 goals during 10 seasons in the Mexican Primera, most of them with Chivas de Guadalajara. During his one season with Sporting, Bravo scored nine goals, but did seem to struggle at times with the physical nature of the league and battled several injuries.
For more on Bravo's future, be sure to check out Sporting KC blog The Daily Wiz.
Lee Young-pyo says he has signed with the Vancouver Whitecaps for one year with an option for another year. The 34-year-old full back is the second-most capped player in South Korea's history and has played for such clubs as Tottenham Hotspur and Borussia Dortmund. He arrived in Vancouver on Sunday, but the team has yet to make an official announcement.
"I've been impressed with the professional of the club and how it is run," Lee told reporters in Korea . "From next year, I will do my best to help my new team get some good results."
During an interview on the podcast "It's Called Football," Whitecaps President Bob Lenarduzzi seemed to indicate that Young-pyo would be the team's second Designated Player. If true, that would make Young-pyo the backline player to be signed as a DP. Although Rafael Marquez was eventually moved to center back, he had originally been signed to play as a central midfielder.
Portland Timbers owner Merritt Paulson has already earned himself a reputation as one of the more accessible owners in Major League Soccer. Since joining the league last year, he has gained a reputation for sharing a level of insight into the team that's rare for American sports owners. His latest salvo was news that the Timbers were close to signing a 19-year-old who would be a Designated Player.
Considering the Timbers' history with Colombian players, speculation began that the player was likely from there. Soon enough, another tweet came out from Colombian club Santa Fe FC that strongly indicated that player was Jose Adolfo Valencia, the son of former MLS player Adolfo "El Tren" Valencia player. The rough translation of this Tweet is that Valencia is leaving Santa Fe to join the Timbers:
Signing Valencia would certainly be an interesting and bold move on the part of the Timbers. He would be the first player signed under MLS's reworked DP rule, which means he would count just $150,000 against the salary cap without having to pay it down with allocation money. FC Dallas' Fabian Castillo also falls under this rule, but he was signed before the rule was actually put into place.
Similar to Castillo, Valencia's probably best known for his play on Colombia's youth national teams more than anything he's done at the club level. Valencia has played for Santa Fe, a first-division team in Colombia, but just how much he has played differs wildly depending on where you look. He did make five appearances in last year's U-20 World Cup, scoring one goal.
Assuming he is the player the Timbers are signing, he could very well be brought along slowly. The 6-foot-1 forward could eventually make for a decent pairing with fellow Colombian Jorge Perlaza, who scored six goals in 31 games during his first MLS season in 2011.
For more on the Timbers' offseason moves, be sure to check out Timbers blog Stumptown Footy.
Lee Young-pyo is third most capped player in South Korea's history and played for teams such as Tottenham Hotspur and PSV Eindhoven.
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