July 6, 2012
News and notes from around the league
With the international transfer window open, MLS teams are going shopping, for DPs, could-be DPs and non-DPs alike.
The most significant signing so far has been the Montreal Impact's acquisition of Italian international Alessandro Nesta. The Impact received first priority to sign Nesta by sending allocation money to the New York Red Bulls. The club, which already has one designated player in Marco Di Vaio, is not classifying the defender, who anchored the back of Italy's 2006 World Cup Championship team as a DP, at least not until next season.
Nesta played a total of 417 games in Serie A, 101 games in Champions League competition, 17 UEFA Cup/Europa matches and 17 Coppa Italia contests, all while wearing the uniforms of Lazio from 1993-2002, and AC Milan from 2003-2012. Nesta played 78 times with the Italian National Team, including in three World Cups.
The New England Revolution on Thursday signed their second designated player, Jerry Bengtson, on a transfer from Honduras’ CD Motagua. Bengtson led La Liga Nacional de Honduras in scoring for three straight seasons. He has been a member of the Honduras National Team since 2010, earning 22 caps and scoring eight goals.
The Philadelphia Union signed former Major League Soccer Defender of the Year finalist Bakary Soumare, obtaining the center back from French side US Boulogne.
In order to get Soumare, the Union made a trade with Vancouver Whitecaps FC, giving the Union the top spot in the MLS allocation ranking and Vancouver’s Second Round pick in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft. In exchange, the Union parted with their first-round selection in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft, the club’s 12th position in the league’s allocation ranking, as well as allocation money.
Soumare played for the Chicago Fire in 2008 and 2009, after originally being drafted out of the University of Virginia as a defensive midfielder. He played in 63 games for the Fire, earning the club’s Defender of the Year title in 2008 and a spot in the MLS Best IX while helping the squad to the Western Conference Finals. In 2009, he was named to the MLS All-Star team, replacing Brian Ching.
Keeping their DP, but not as a DP
D.C. United signed midfielder Branko Boskovic to a new contract. The 32-year-old is currently in his third season with United, having joined the club in 2010. Originally signed as a Designated Player, Boskovic will not be classified as such under the new contract.
“I’m staying because this team is really good and we have a chance to be the best in MLS. I want to help the team make the playoffs and win a championship,” said Boskovic.
Before joining United, Boskovic played for Rapid Vienna of the Austrian Bundesliga from 2006 through 2010. Boskovic appeared in 122 matches for Rapid, scoring 24 goals in all competitions.
The Chicago Fire traded defender Kwame Watson-Siriboe to Real Salt Lake in exchange for RSL’s fourth round natural selection in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft.
Selected 26th overall in the second round of the 2010 MLS SuperDraft, Watson-Siriboe appeared in 10 matches during his rookie campaign, starting seven for a total of 681 minutes. He spent the 2011 season on a season-long loan to North American Soccer League side FC Tampa Bay, where he appeared in 10 matches.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC acquired D.C. United’s third-round selection in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft in exchange for striker Long Tan.
Tan, 24, joined Vancouver at the start of the 2011 season following one year with FC Tampa Bay of the United States Soccer Federation Division-2 Professional League in 2010. The native of Dalian, China, made 17 MLS regular season appearances, including four matches this year, as a member of Whitecaps FC.
The Portland Timbers have acquired defender Kosuke Kimura from the Colorado Rapids in exchange for allocation money and an international slot through the end of the year .
Kimura, 28, played six seasons for the Rapids (2007-12), appearing in 117 matches and recording four goals and eight assists. He was a key part of the Colorado squad that captured the 2010 MLS Cup and helped the club make postseason appearances in back-to-back seasons in 2010-11. Kimura was drafted by Colorado in the third round (35th overall) in the 2007 MLS Supplemental Draft.
Chivas USA acquired defender Bobby Bu-ling in a trade with Montreal Impact, in exchange for one International Roster Slot for the 2013 Season starting January 1, 2013. The International Roster Slot will return to Chivas USA on January 1, 2014. In his six year MLS career, Burling has spent time with the LA Galaxy, Chivas, San Jose and Montreal.
Sporting Kansas City has signed defender Neven Markovic. The 25-year-old joins Sporting KC as a discovery signing from Doxa Drama FC, who compete in the Superleague Greece.
Markovic fills an international spot and has been added to the club's roster. He started his professional career in 2005 when he played for Serbian side FK Rad Belgrade. From 2008-2010 he played in the top league in Romania for FC Vaslui. At Vaslui, Markovic appeared in over 20 games and played in UEFA competition. In 2011, the left-footed Markovic played for clubs in Croatia (NK Zagreb) and Greece (Doxa Drama).
Stars will be announced Sunday
The 2012 AT&T MLS All-Star Game First XI All-Stars will be announced Sunday live on ESPN during the broadcast of the Chicago Fire vs. LA Galaxy game (2:00 p.m. CT). LA Galaxy midfielder Landon Donovan has the opportunity to be named an MLS All-Star for the 12th consecutive season, which would make him the outright leader, ahead of Eddie Pope, for most All-Star selections all-time.
Fans voted from a field of 114 players—the top six per team, chosen by a media panel—and gave their input in droves via text and online voting. Twitter voting also occurred over a two-day period from June 21-22.
The All-Stars will take on current European champions, Chelsea FC, on July 25 at PPL Park in Chester, Pa., the first marquee event ever to be held at the Philadelphia Union’s stadium. ESPN2, TeleFutura, TSN and RDS will broadcast the game live at 7:30 p.m. CT.
Player of the month
San Jose Earthquakes forward Chris Wondolowski was voted Major League Soccer Player of the Month for June by the North American Soccer Reporters. This is Wondo's second Player of the Month selection this year and fourth in his career.
In three league games in June, Wondolowski scored three times, including a game-winner against the LA Galaxy, a backheel off of a corner kick, to cap a two-goal comeback in the club’s 4-3 victory. Twenty-two of Wondolowski’s 51 strikes with San Jose have been game-winning goals.