By JUSTIN FERGUSON
The Los Angeles Galaxy continued their successful offseason by re-signing a key player from their last two championship seasons.
In an interview with beIN Sport, Bruce Arena said that Los Angeles midfielder Juninho will return to the club for a fourth season.
“We’ve been fortunate we’ve been able to re-sign Juninho, so we’ll have him back and (Marcelo) Sarvas and (Mike) Magee back in the midfield,” Arena said.
It is unclear at this time whether this is another extension of a loan deal with São Paulo or a full transfer into MLS for the Brazilian midfielder.
Juninho’s return to the Galaxy midfield will help fill the void left by David Beckham’s departure, and Arena said later in the interview that “there’s a chance (Los Angeles) will get a designated player that can slip into midfield.”
Arena would not comment when asked about Frank Lampard, but said that Kaká “was not on the radar” for the Galaxy.
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TORONTO SIGNS FORMER SKC MIDFIELDER JULIO CESAR
Toronto FC has made its first move of the Kevin Payne and Ryan Nelsen Era, signing a veteran defender/midfielder with loads of MLS and European experience.
Julio Cesar, who spent the last two seasons with Sporting Kansas City, was picked up by TFC on Tuesday. The terms of the deal have not yet been released.
The 33-year-old Brazilian provided a tough defensive presence in the middle of the field for SKC during their 2011 and 2012 playoff runs. He made 54 appearances for Peter Vermes’s club and scored three goals. His only goal of 2012, a Goal of the Week-winning volley from a corner kick, came against his new club.
Cesar will move from one of MLS’s top defenses to one that allowed a league-high 62 goals during the 2012 campaign.
“It’s important that Toronto FC becomes a more difficult team to play against this year. Julio Cesar will be an important part of the backbone of our team in the middle of the field,” Toronto FC President and General Manager Kevin Payne said. “He’s a tough, experienced, committed player who was a big part of Sporting Kansas City’s success over the past two years, and we’re very pleased he will be a part of TFC this season.”
ROBBIE FINDLEY RELEASED BY NOTTINGHAM FOREST
Former Real Salt Lake striker Robbie Findley may be on his way back to Rio Tinto Stadium. The 27-year-old was released from Nottingham Forest by mutual consent.
Findley spent two seasons with the Championship side, but injuries caused him to only make 25 appearances and score three goals.
Findley, who scored the equalizer in RSL’s 2009 MLS Cup win over Los Angeles, was selected in the 2011 MLS Expansion Draft by Portland. However, as reported last week on SBI, Portland has traded Findley’s rights back to RSL.
The speedy Oregon State product scored 29 goals in four seasons with the club, 12 of which came in 2009’s championship season.
What do you think of these reports? How vital was it for Los Angeles to re-sign Juninho? Who do you think Arena was referring to when he talked about getting a new Designated Player at midfield? Think Julio Cesar will bring success to that struggling Toronto defense?
Share your thoughts below.