Photo by Michael Janosz/ISIphotos.com
By FRANCO PANIZO
Kofi Opare is heading to the East Coast.
It was announced on Tuesday that the LA Galaxy have traded Opare and their second round 2015 MLS SuperDraft selection to D.C. United, who have swapped places in the allocation order with Bruce Arena’s side as part of the deal.
Opare, 23, was drafted by the Galaxy in the second round of the 2013 MLS SuperDraft. The centerback went on to make 11 starts in his time in LA and scored one goal.
“We are pleased to have acquired a smart, young defender in Kofi who has a very big upside, as well as securing a 2015 second round Superdraft pick,” said D.C. United general manager Dave Kasper in a statement. “This is an important move for us to make at this time to add depth to our squad as we enter the second half of the MLS season and the CONCACAF Champion’s League group stage. We welcome Kofi to the D.C. United family.”
The trade would seem to hint that the Galaxy are closing in on acquiring a player through the allocation process, but there is no word yet as to who it could be.
Here are more notes from around MLS:
NYCFC LAND JACOBSON IN TRADE WITH FC DALLAS
Frank Lampard may have been the first midfielder to sign with New York City FC, but he is not the only one anymore.
NYC FC announced on Tuesday that they have acquired veteran Andrew Jacobson after trading their highest pick in the third round of the 2016 MLS SuperDraft to FC Dallas.
The 28-year-old Jacobson will go on loan to Norwegian club Stabaek IF, where American Bob Bradley is the head coach, until NYC FC’s preseason begins in January 2015.
“I am incredibly excited to be part of New York City FC’s historic first squad and cannot wait to give my all for this team and its fans.” said Jacobson in a statement. “I have respected coach (Jason) Kreis’ teams since I first came into the league and I am greatly looking forward to working with him. I know that he always builds teams that are competitive and play good soccer and I have no doubt he will be seeking to do the same with New York City FC from the very first season. The club has made some amazing signings so far and to be part of that list is a great feeling for me.”
“In addition, the opportunity to go on loan to Stabæk and work under coach Bradley is an experience that I will relish and use to improve my game until preseason training with NYCFC begins.”
Jacobson – who started in five of the 13 games he played in for the Hoops this season and has previously represented the Philadelphia Union and D.C. United – becomes the second midfielder and fifth player on New York City’s growing roster. He joins Lampard, David Villa, Jeb Brovsky and Josh Saunders as the first members of NYC FC ahead of their inaugural season in MLS next year.
“I’m delighted to sign a player of Andrew’s experience and quality as we continue to build our roster ahead of the 2015 season” said New York City FC head coach, Jason Kreis in the same statement. “He is a player my staff and I have liked for quite some time and we are thrilled to add such a versatile and competitive midfielder to our squad.
“Andrew has a wealth of experience in this league having previously played for three MLS clubs and I think that will be important to us. It is also fantastic to have brought in our second midfielder in the space of a week.”
MLS ANNOUNCES SPECIAL OLYMPICS ALL-STAR MATCH
MLS has added another game to its upcoming All-Star festivities, and it is one that is plenty noble.
MLS announced on Tuesday that the league’s community outreach initiative MLS Works, ESPN and Special Olympics are collaborating to host a Special Olympics Unified Sports All-Star soccer match between Special Olympics North America and Special Olympics Germany.
The match will take place at 2pm PT at Providence Park in Portland, Oregon on Aug. 5, a day after the inaugural MLS Homegrown Game and a day before the MLS All-Star Game. Admission is free and no ticker is required.
The two Unified Sports soccer teams will be comprised of players both with and without intellectual disabilities. The sides will play a seven-vs.-seven small-sided game that consists of two 20-minute halves.
NYCFC CLOSE TO ANNOUNCING LOCAL TV DEAL
New York City FC are making moves towards building a roster and also a fanbase.
NYC FC chief business officer Tim Pernetti recently told Bloomberg.com that the 2015 expansion club is preparing to announce a local TV broadcasting deal “relatively soon.” Pernetti offered no other details, but the YES Network that airs the games of MLB’s New York Yankees – which partially own NYC FC – is widely expected to be the television partner of the MLS team.
DYKSTRA OUT FOR THE SEASON
The type of goalkeeper controversy that D.C. United had earlier in the season will not be taking place again any time in the near future.
D.C. United announced on Monday that goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra is set to miss the remainder of the season after rupturing his left Achilles tendon. Dykstra sustained the injury this past Saturday in a 3-0 friendly loss vs. Championship club Fulham FC.
“Andrew has been an integral part of our team success so far this season, and we are very disappointed for him to sustain this injury,” said D.C. United general manager Dave Kasper. “We are very confident that Andrew will be back on the field next spring.”
The 28-year-old Dykstra made four starts this season, three of which came in consecutive games over first-choice goalkeeper Bill Hamid. Dykstra went 3-0-1 and posted two cleansheets in those games.
United have recalled goalkeeper Joe Willis from his loan to the Richmond Kickers in the wake of Dykstra’s season-ending injury.
Is it a mistake for the Galaxy to have shipped away Opare? Is Jacobson a good acquisition for NYC FC? Planning on attending the Special Olympics Unified Sports All-Star Soccer Match in Portland?
Share your thoughts below.