Photo by ISIphotos.com
By AVI CREDITOR
Jeff Cunningham is returning to Columbus after all.
Cunningham, the second-leading goal scorer in Major League Soccer history, and the Crew agreed on a multi-year contract on Friday, more than a month after Columbus secured the striker's MLS rights in the Re-Entry Draft.
The 34-year-old Cunningham, who spent the first seven years of his MLS career with the Crew, had trialed overseas with clubs in Scandinavia but ultimately elected to stay in the United States. After his first go-around with Columbus, Cunningham played for the Colorado Rapids, Real Salt Lake, Toronto FC and FC Dallas. He's now returning to the franchise that drafted him with the ninth overall pick of the 1998 MLS College Draft.
With 132 career goals, Cunningham trails Jaime Moreno by one on the league's all-time list. The Crew opens the 2011 season against D.C. United, Moreno's former team, at RFK Stadium on March 19.
Here are a few more items from around the league this Friday:
MLS CHANGES ROSTER, PLAYER RULES
In addition to confirming that team rosters have expanded to 30 players, MLS announced a few changes to the league's player rules.
Among the highlights to the rule changes is that United States citizens will no longer occupy international roster slots for the teams in Canada (Toronto FC, Vancouver Whitecaps this year, Montreal in 2012), though Canadian teams must have at least three Canadian citizens on their rosters.
Also included in the rules for 2011 is that teams can sign an unlimited number of homegrown players.
GALAXY SIGNS ARGENTINE MIDFIELDER; RICKETTS GETS GREEN CARD
The Los Angeles Galaxy acquired 22-year-old midfielder Miguel Lopez on loan from Argentina Primera Division side Quilmes.
Lopez, who was a teammate of Galaxy first-round draft pick Paolo Cardozo at Quilmes, can play either central midfield or out on the left wing.
The Galaxy also announced that Jamaican goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts has received his green card and will no longer occupy an international roster slot.
EARTHQUAKES ADD DONATELLI
The San Jose Earthquakes announced the signing of midfielder Tony Donatelli, a player who can add depth to the right side of the team's attack or contribute centrally.
Donatelli most-recently played for the Montreal Impact, scoring seven goals last season.
Do you think Cunningham will find success with the Crew? What do you think of the league's rule changes? Do you like the signings for Los Angeles and San Jose?
Share your thoughts below.