By RYAN TOLMICH
The Montreal Impact bolstered their back-line Monday by acquiring centerback Mamadou ‘Futty’ Danso from the Portland Timbers.
Danso, who has started nine games this season for the Timbers, will make the move to Montreal in exchange for a second round pick in the 2015 draft.
“On behalf of the entire Timbers organization I would like to thank Futty for his immense contributions to this organization both on and off the field,” said Timbers general manager Gavin Wilkinson via the club’s official site. “A move like this with such a well-liked and respected player is never easy, but as we look to strengthen the group in the summer, we needed to create roster and cap flexibility. We wish Futty all the best.”
The 31-year-old has played 60 MLS games since joining the league in 2011 after previously featuring for the Timbers during their time in the USL. The Gambian international has also been capped 10 times by the African nation, including six World Cup qualifying matches. He has scored one international goal, which came against Niger in 2013 World Cup qualifying.
Here are some more notes from around MLS:
WHITECAPS’ BEITASHOUR MAKES IRAN’S FINAL ROSTER
From the United States to Brazil to reigning champion Spain and now Iran, MLS is set to be represented heavily at the upcoming World Cup.
Vancouver Whitecaps right back Steven Beitashour was named to Iran’s final World Cup roster Monday after taking part in Iran’s pre-World Cup camp in Austria, where he appeared in friendlies with Angola and Montenegro.
The dual American-Iranian citizen has earned six caps for Iran since his debut in October 2013.
At the club level, Beitashour has featured in 96 MLS games and was named an all-star in 2012. Beitashour’s 18 assists since 2011 are more than any other MLS defender.
Iran’s final friendly before the World Cup will take place in Sao Paulo, Brazil on June 8 against Trinidad and Tobago, before the team begins play in Group F with Argentina, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Nigeria.
RSL MIDFIELDER VELASQUEZ ARRESTED FOR DUI
Real Salt Lake midfielder Sebastian Velasquez has been away from the club since being arrested May 19 on suspicion of driving under the influence.
Velasquez, who joined RSL in 2012, was charged May 27 with DUI Class B misdemeanor and Class C misdemeanor speeding, according to the Salt Lake City Justice Court.
The 23-year-old has been away from the rest of the team since the incident, while general manager Garth Lagerwey noted that the midfielder has also been dealing with family issues.
“Under league policy, there’s a protocol to be followed under these situations under the joint substance abuse and behavior health program,” Lagerwey said, according to The Salt Lake Tribune. “We have followed the initial steps and we anticipate that Sebastian will rejoin the team in full training by the end of next week.”
Velasquez has appeared in five matches this season after initially battling a hamstring injury at the start of the 2014 campaign.
EARTHQUAKES TEAM UP WITH 49ERS TO BRING BIG GAMES TO BAY AREA
The San Jose Earthquakes and the San Francisco 49ers are looking to bring some “top-tier soccer” to the Bay Area in the near future.
The two teams announced a partnership Monday that will see the organizations work together to draw big games to each of their new stadiums.
“We are thrilled to partner with the 49ers,” said Earthquakes President Dave Kaval. “The 49ers share our vision and commitment to bringing the best possible teams from around the world to the South Bay. With two first-class stadiums just miles apart, this is the perfect spot to host international soccer games.”
The 49ers new home, Levi’s Stadium, is set to open in August, while the Earthquakes will move into their new stadium in 2015. The two facilities will 68,500 and 18,000 seats respectively.
“The new Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara and the new Earthquakes stadium in San Jose will be state-of-the-art venues for regional, national and international sports and entertainment events,” said San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed. “Silicon Valley has a proud history of hosting major sporting events and a diverse population full of enthusiastic sports fans from around the world. We look forward to hosting a wide variety of premier events in the years ahead.”
The Earthquakes will be a part of Levi’s Stadium’s first event when the club hosts the Seattle Sounders in the stadium’s debut on August 2.
What do you think of the move for Danso? How do you feel about MLS representation at the World Cup? Excited about the prospects of big games in the Bay Area?
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