Major League Soccer

MLS Ticker: Koval signs with Earthquakes, Timbers loan Gleeson, Gallego; and more

JJ Koval

Photo by ISIPhotos.com


JJ Koval’s transition from Stanford University to the nearby San Jose Earthquakes is now complete with Wednesday’s announcement that the No. 9 overall pick in the 2014 SuperDraft has been signed by the Quakes.

“I’m very excited,” Koval said in a team release. “It’s been a dream of mine to get an opportunity to play professional soccer for a long time.”

Koval, 21, a standout midfielder during his four seasons with the Cardinal, is coming off a senior season in which he led Stanford to the third round of the NCAA Tournament. The central midfielder scored six goals and posted four assists during his collegiate career.

He also played for the Ventura County Fusion in the PDL last summer. He is the 12th Stanford player to be drafted by the Earthquakes.

Here are some more stories from around MLS:


The Portland Timbers have made their first player transaction with USL PRO partner Sacramento Republic, head coach Caleb Porter said following the team’s training session Tuesday at Providence Park.

Reported by The Oregonian, reserve goalkeeper Jake Gleeson and recently signed defender Bryan Gallego will be loaned to the third-tier side.

Gleeson, 23, has been with the Timbers since the team joined MLS in 2011 but has not appeared in any games the past two seasons. Gallego, 20, formerly a member of the Timbers U-23s, was signed to a Homegrown contract Jan. 15 after playing three seasons at the University of Akron.


Chivas USA continued their rebuilding project with Wednesday’s announcement that the club had signed Argentine midfielder Agustín Pelletieri.

The 31-year-old spent the past three seasons with Racing in his home country’s top division and will join recent acquisitions Mauro Rosales and draft pick Thomas McNamara in Chivas’ remade midfield.

“Agustín is a very experienced and important player, who will be an asset to our team,” head coach Wilmer Cabrera said in a team statement. “… He brings leadership on and off the field, which is a very important aspect for us to try to get the results we need this season.

“Technically, he is a very smart player who knows his position very well. He is fantastic at reading the game, and has a very good idea of how to win, possess and distribute the ball. He is a well-rounded player in all aspects.”

Pelletieri joined the club as a trialist during the second week of preseason camp and started in preseason games against USL PRO side OC Blues FC and the Colorado Rapids. The Buenos Aires native spent most of his career with Lanus and also a season on loan with Greek side AEK Atenas.


The Vancouver Whitecaps added more goalkeeping help with the acquisition of former Chicago Fire backup Paolo Tornaghi, announced Tuesday pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate and Canadian work permit and visa.

The 25-year-old Italian comes to Vancouver after spending the previous two years with the Fire, where he made nine regular season appearances. The former Italian youth international is an Inter Milan youth product, spending time with the organization from 2008-11.

He joins starter David Ousted as one of two goalkeepers signed to the first team.

“Paolo is a goalkeeper with great size, MLS experience, and a fantastic upbringing within the Inter Milan youth system,” Whitecaps head coach Carl Robinson said in a release. “… I expect him to push David Ousted and the already talented pool of goalkeepers that we have.”

Tornaghi obtained his US green card last year and therefore counts as a domestic player in MLS, according to the team release.


The Colorado Rapids announced Tuesday the signing of goalkeeper John Berner, the 35th-overall pick in the 2014 SuperDraft out of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

A starter in his final two years with the Cougars, Berner was named the Missouri Valley Conference Goalkeeper of the Year in both 2012 and ’13, leading an SIUE defense that allowed the second fewest goals (17) in the league during his senior season.

He’s seen action in two preseason games for the Rapids, keeping a clean sheet in a full 90 minutes of action Feb. 14 against UNLV and then also not conceding any goals in 30 minutes against the Houston Dynamo on Feb. 2.

“John is a talented young goalkeeper with a great deal of potential,” Rapids technical director Paul Bravo said in a team release. “We were thrilled to be able to pick up a goalkeeper of his quality in the SuperDraft, and since then he has impressed our staff with both his skill and willingness to learn.”

He becomes Colorado’s fourth goalkeeper, joining expected starter Clint Irwin, Matt Pickens and Joe Nasco.


What do you think of these reports? Do you see Koval having the same impact as Adam Jahn from last season? Like the loan moves from the Timbers? Think Tornaghi can crack the Whitecaps lineup?

Share your thoughts below.


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