MLS- Toronto FC

MLS Notes: Bravo dealt to Cruz Azul, Frei training with Liverpool and more


Photo by Bill Barrett/ISIphotos.com

Omar Bravo's time in MLS is up.

Sporting Kansas City and top-flight Mexican club Cruz Azul agreed to a deal that will see the Designated Player return to his native country after one season in MLS. No terms of the deal were disclosed.

Bravo scored nine goals in his lone MLS campaign and combined with Kei Kamara, Teal Bunbury and C.J. Sapong to comprise the deepest front line in the league. It is the remaining presence of the latter three players that makes Bravo's loss less of a blow to SKC's attack. Even so, Bravo made a DP-worthy impact during the season and was rewarded with one of two of commissioner Don Garber's picks for the MLS All-Star Game.  

The move frees up an international roster spot and a chunk of the salary cap for SKC, which has already been an active player in the offseason market. The club has already added the likes of Bobby Convey and Paulo Nagamura while retaining Seth Sinovic and Jimmy Nielsen and dealing Davy Arnaud as it tries to improve on last year's season, which ended in the Eastern Conference final.

Here are a few more items from around the league:


Toronto FC goalkeeper Stefan Frei joined the growing list of MLS players training with big clubs abroad by linking up with Liverpool for the next week.

Frei is the second MLS player to train with Liverpool this winter, doing so after New York Red Bulls forward Juan Agudelo. He had an up-and-down season with TFC in 2011, starting off strong before eventually dealing with injuries and losing the starting job to Milos Kocic.

Frei will be with the Reds until Dec. 18.


The Philadelphia Union's youth movement continued with the club announcing the signing of midfielder Jimmy McLaughlin to a Homegrown Player contract on Monday.

McLaughlin, and 18-year-old winger, just completed his freshman year at Colgate University, where he helped the team to an NCAA Tournament berth. He becomes the second Homegrown Player to sign with Philadelphia, following in Zach Pfeffer's footsteps.


The overhaul in the Colorado Rapids' front office made some headway with Tim Hinchey being named the club's president.

Hinchey boasts a wealth of experience in professional sports, including three years as a vice president for Derby County, which played in the Premier League and League Championship during his stint with the club. Prior to Monday's appointment, he was the Rapids' chief marketing officer.

Colorado has been in a transition period after severing ties with former coach Gary Smith and seeing general manager Jeff Plush resign just a year after both helped guide the club to an MLS Cup title.


Do you think Sporting Kansas City will be fine without Bravo? How would you rate his time in MLS? Where do you think Frei stacks up among MLS goalkeepers? Think McLaughlin can make an impact soon for the Union? 

Share your thoughts below.

  • The Imperative Voice

    All due respect to the conventional wisdom on Bravo but as an opposing fan I thought Bravo was a terror, and a big part of the difference between KC’s 3-0 win against Houston during the regular season (started) and their 2-0 loss in the playoffs to the same Houston team (injured, played 5 minutes). If Sapong, Bunbury, and Kamara sufficed, the result wouldn’t have changed. IMO he added technical class to KC when otherwise they were a little too sloppy.


  • The Imperative Voice

    Klinsi’s push for offseason loans from MLS is more of a matter of degree than discovery. Players have been going on loan to Mexico, Europe, and such since MLS started. Klinsi has merely pushed the issue a little bit, and perhaps thrown his connections around to make it happen.

    Worth noting also that Beckham’s achilles injury underscores the offseason loan is not without risk to the aspiring player or even his MLS team back home.


  • tim

    He had an attitude problem and the coach wanted him gone. This is just a polite way of saying eff you for being a jacka$$.


  • Not Soony Saad

    Good. I think Soony Saad has tremendous potential (even at the international level), and this should result in more playing time and a better opportunity to assert himself.


  • Ricky B. Free

    Bravo is on a another level compared to the other KC strikers. They have the physical tools but lack the smart runs.

    Bravo made a lot of great runs but a lot of the time Kamara was too busy doing step overs to pass the ball to an open Bravo.

    Bravo did not have attitude problems until the playoffs when his coach played him for 6 minutes vs Houston.


  • The Imperative Voice

    He had 9 goals and revived their fortunes. IMO in professional sports that changes an attitude problem to a management challenge.

    I mean, Kinnear ran Kamara out of Houston for doghouse issues and he’s pumping in 9 goals for KC. Being stubborn doesn’t put the ball in the net and when Houston couldn’t do a darned thing to breach LA’s defense it didn’t really soothe the wound that Ching, Carr, et al that constitute our faded facsimile of a frontline seem to be hard-working class acts.


  • The Imperative Voice

    Speak of controversial people with the last name Bravo, KC’s actions slightly remind me of the Rapids’ situation where I am witnessing a recent championship outfit just drive the organization off a cliff with their silly personality conflicts and power plays.


  • matt

    yep. but west brom is going to do what they can to make it happen.

    he is valued in europe.

    is umm omar or geoff even anywhere but the couch right now? lol!


  • Frank

    From everything I have heard out of the Mexican Press it was Bravo that pushed for the transfer.


  • JL

    The interview on the MLS site has quotes from Vermes that basically allude to their having disagreements, and Bravo asking to leave. It’s too bad, he was clearly their most skilled attacker. I think Vermes valued the rough and rugged forwards of Sapong and Kamara more than the finesse of Bravo and to a lesser extent Bunbury. His choice as a coach, but I know that as a fan, that’s not the combo I wanted to see in the playoffs.


  • bryan

    I’m actually bummed that Bravo is leaving. I liked having him in the league. That’s too bad.


  • papi grande

    so my question is…was Bravo a DP or not? I thought he was….his salary is listed as $170,000 guaranteed compensation…that does not jive with being a DP.


  • Saul

    +1…Vermes doesnt know what he had here. But if they are able to get a midfield playmaker like Guti, then SKC will be a stronger team.


  • Rex

    Bravo should have signed with Houston from the beginning. Now he is gone and wont be coming back.


  • Incognito

    Why should I care if Frei is training in Liverpool? I mean everyone trains with Liverpool these days d-_-b


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