Photo by ISIPhotos.com
By DAN KARELL
After arriving only in August, one of Major League Soccer’s newest Designated Players looks to be on his way out.
The Chicago Fire announced Monday that Arevalo Rios’ contract option was declined, parting ways with the Uruguayan international just months after the club signed him to a DP contract. In addition to Rios, the Fire waived reserve goalkeeper Paolo Tornaghi.
The 31-year-old Rios started in nine matches for the Fire this year, helping the club go on a late-season run that nearly ended up with the team making the playoffs. As a result of the coaching change, which saw Frank Yallop hired on the last day of October, Rios became expendable. Prior to joining the Fire, Rios played for Palermo in Italy and Club Tijuana in Mexico, among others.
Assuming he stays fit, Rios will likely feature at the 2014 World Cup as he’s carved out a starting spot in the Uruguayan National Team.
Here are some more stories from around MLS:
FC DALLAS DECLINE FORMER MLS MVP FERREIRA’S OPTION
A former MLS Most Valuable Player award winner will be playing for a new club next season.
FC Dallas announced on Monday evening that midfielder David Ferreira had his contract option declined, parting ways with the veteran Colombian playmaker after five seasons in Dallas and an MLS Cup title appearance in 2010. The club also declined the contract options of Ramon Nuñez and Erick. Both Nuñez and Ferreira are eligible for the MLS Re-Entry Draft.
Ferreira finishes his time in Dallas with 26 goals and 42 assists in 117 games. His best season came in 2010, scoring 10 goals and recording 16 assists to earn the MVP honors. The 34-year-old missed nearly all of the 2011 season with a broken ankle, but came back last year and played in 30 games in 2013, though the team missed the playoffs.
MEARA TO TAKE PART IN TRAINING STINT WITH CHARLTON
Following a frustrating season with few chances to play, New York Red Bulls goalkeeper Ryan Meara is set for a short-lived change of scenery in England.
The club announced today that Meara is beginning a 19-day training stint with Charlton Athletic in England’s second division. For Meara, the chance to train abroad is positive after spending nearly 12 months on the sidelines with a serious hip injury that derailed his promising rookie season in MLS. After returning this summer, the 23-year-old shot stopper couldn’t break into the first team as he backed up Luis Robles, but Meara did make two appearances in the U.S. Open Cup and played nine matches in the MLS reserve division.
“We think this is an excellent opportunity for Ryan to get extra work in the offseason and have the experience of training in another country,” said Red Bulls sporting director Andy Roxburgh in a club statement. “We were very pleased with how Ryan performed in training and with our reserves after returning from hip surgery this year, and we are looking forward to see him compete for a spot in our lineup in 2014.”
Charlton is currently mired in a relegation battle only two years after being promoted, sitting three points above the final relegation spot in 21st place. The training stint is the latest in a series of moves that has strengthened the ties between the Red Bulls and Charlton, with three current Red Bulls all holding ties to the London club.
Bradley Wright-Phillips played there last year while reserve winger Ruben Bover spent a half-season with the club in 2011. Winger Lloyd Sam spent seven years off-and-on with the club between 2003 and 2010.
DIKE COULD TRAIN WITH CELTIC
Nothing is official, but Toronto FC and Nigeria National Team forward Bright Dike is closing in on a training stint with a UEFA Champions League club.
After impressing with Nigeria in a friendly match against Italy last week in London, the American-born Dike is trying to set up a training stint with Scottish side Celtic. According to reports in Scotland, the stint is subject to approval from MLS and TFC.
Dike scored once in seven games for TFC this season as he came back from a late-season ACL tear in 2012. The 26-year-old spent nearly all season with the Portland Timbers before he was dealt to Toronto in exchange for Argentine forward Max Urruti.
Celtic currently hold a five-point lead in the Scottish Premiership though they are in last place in their Champions League group. Celtic host AC Milan in Champions League action on Tuesday.
Paolo Del Piccolo and Brad Stuver were the only two players selected in the MLS Waiver Draft, going to the New England Revolution and Columbus Crew, respectively. (REPORT)
Hilario Grajeda has been appointed as the referee for the MLS Cup final. (REPORT)
The Houston Dynamo are set to announce a partnership with USL Pro club, Pittsburgh Riverhounds. (REPORT)
What do you think of these reports? Surprised to see Arevalo Rios gone from the Fire? Did you expect to see FC Dallas part ways with Ferreira? Do you think there is any interest from Charlton in Meara?
Share your thoughts below.