The Kansas City Wizards stadium project cleared its final hurdles on Tuesday night after funding for the project was approved by the Unified Government of Wyandotte County, Kansas.
The vote clears the way for construction to begin today on a stadium that will be the crown jewel of a $400 million development project in Kansas City, Kansas. The Wizards expect to be playing in their new stadium at some point during the 2011 season. The stadium will be the 10th built by an MLS team.
On the field, the identity of one of the two international players we have linked to moves to Kansas City was revealed. The Back Post reported that Guadeloupe national team captain Stephane Auvray will be joining the Wizards. A tenacious central midfielder who can provide bite as well as attacking elements, Auvray should help bolster a Wizards midfield that includes Jack Jewsbury and Davy Arnaud.
So who is the second international player slated to join the Wizards? Sources have told SBI that Colombian defender Pablo Escobar will be joining the Wizards upon receipt of his international clearance. Escobar was one of three Colombian defenders signed by Major League Soccer last month.
Here are some other stories to get your Wednesday going:
Fire set to make international additions
Fresh off a strong performance at the MLS Draft, the Chicago Fire looks set to bolster its roster even further with the addition of two foreign players. Reports out of Poland have linked the Fire to a loan move for Polish fullback Krzysztof Król while the arrival of Salvadoran midfielder Julio Martinez is expected in the coming days.
Krol is projected to take over as the Fire's starting left back, replacing Cyprus-bound Gonzalo Segares, while Martinez is expected to take over on the right wing for Denmark-bound Chris Rolfe.
The Fire isn't done. Reports have linked Chicago to Dutch striker Collins John, a former strike partner of Brian McBride at Fulham. Sources tell SBI that the Fire is in serious talks with John, who would not count as a Designated Player.
Chivas USA extends loans on Padilla, Cuesta and Santos
New Chivas USA head coach Martin Vasquez is likely to shake up his roster, but three players who won't be leaving just yet are forwards Jesus Padilla and Maicon Santos and defender Yamith Cuesta. All three had their loan deals with Chivas USA extended on Tuesday.
All three players served key roles in helping Chivas USA overcome a mid-season slump to reach the MLS playoffs.
One player who is leaving is Paulo Nagamura, who moved to Mexican side Tigres on a free transfer after three seasons with Chivas USA. Nagamura's departure was no surprise to Chivas USA, which drafted midfielder Blair Gavin to help compensate for Nagamura's departure.
Clarifying the Philly-D.C. United trade
There was a bit of confusion regarding the details of the Philadelphia Union's deal with D.C. United last week that gave D.C. the Union's top spot in the MLS Allocation order. While it was not mentioned in the details of the deal, Philadelphia did, in fact, swap Allocation Order places with D.C. United in the trade. Philadelphia now holds the No. 6 spot in the MLS Allocation Order.
Why is this significant? The Union has been linked to a move for defender Michael Orozco and sources have told SBI that if Orozco does sign with MLS he will go through the Allocation Order process as a U.S. national team pool player.
Orozco isn't the only American player who could be selected via the Allocation Order in the coming days and weeks. Midfielder Lee Nguyen has been linked to a move to MLS, with FC Dallas the team most likely to sign the former PSV winger (UPDATE- According to Nguyen's Twitter account, he is heading back to Vietnam after failing to reach an agreement on a deal with MLS).
As for D.C. United? It holds the last place in the Allocation Order until another team selects a player via the allocation process.
Here is the current Allocation Order:
1. New York Red Bulls
2. San Jose Earthquakes
3. Kansas City Wizards
4. Toronto FC
5. FC Dallas
6. Philadelphia Union
7. Colorado Rapids
8. New England Revolution
9. Chivas USA
10. Seattle Sounders
11. Columbus Crew
12. Chicago Fire
13. Houston Dynamo
14. Los Angeles Galaxy
15. Real Salt Lake
16. D.C. United
What do you think of these developments? Can you believe MLS will be building a 10th soccer-specific stadium? Impressed with what the Chicago Fire is doing with its roster? Wondering when Vasquez will make some new additions to the Chivas USA squad?
Share your thoughts below.