MLS Ticker: Galaxy to sign Alessandrini, Red Bulls to sell naming rights, and more

MLS Ticker: Galaxy to sign Alessandrini, Red Bulls to sell naming rights, and more

Major League Soccer

MLS Ticker: Galaxy to sign Alessandrini, Red Bulls to sell naming rights, and more

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The LA Galaxy could be nearing the signing of another foreign midfielder on a DP contract.

The team is reportedly closing in on the signing of French midfielder Romain Alessandrini from Ligue 1 side Marseille, reports the LA Times. The 27-year-old midfielder would join the team on a DP contract as early as the middle of this week, joining fellow midfield acquisitions Jermaine Jones and Joao Pedro this offseason.

The Galaxy have been rumored to be negotiating for Alessandrini for some time, but the move was finally bolstered through by the French club’s acquisition of former West Ham star Dimitri Payet, making Alessandrini expendable and allowing the Galaxy to finally capture their man.

RED BULLS REPORTEDLY SEEKING TO SELL NAMING RIGHTS TO RBA

The naming rights to Red Bull Arena could be up for grabs, as the team has retained two marketing agencies to seek out buyers, according to Sports Business Journal.

The New York Red Bulls have acquired the services of both Leverage Agency and MP & Silva, the latter founded and owned by Riccardo Silva, owner of the NASL’s Miami FC, to shop around domestic and international corporations who may be interested in seeing their name slapped on the 25,000 seat arena in Harrison, NJ. While the Red Bulls don’t have an expiring contract to worry about, negotiation power is on their side.

With a shortage on stadium naming rights in the New York City area, RBA’s rights could go for a premium, especially after LAFC obtained a reported 15-year, $7 million per year deal for their Banc of California Stadium.

ATLANTA UNITED SEEKS TO ADD OKONKWO ON HOMEGROWN DEAL

Atlanta United have been the darlings of the offseason ahead of their debut in MLS, and the team is seeking to keep it that way.

With several DPs and homegrown signings already on the books, the team is reportedly seeking to acquire academy product Patrick Okonkwo on a homegrown contract, reports Top Drawer Soccer. The 18 year old forward has played with Atlanta United’s academy and its affiliates since 2015, appearing in 46 matches and scoring 33 goals in the process.

The prolific Okonkwo was reportedly set to join the University of Virginia, but could forgo college to sign the homegrown deal.

FIRE SIGN DRAFT PICKS JOHNSON AND CLEVELAND

The Chicago Fire have been quiet since their acquisition of Nemanja Nikolic, but have added another pair of players via the signing of their SuperDraft picks.

The team announced the completed signings of both Stefan Cleveland and Daniel Johnson on Monday morning. Johnson joins after being selected in the first round with the 11th overall pick. The former University of Louisville standout had a prolific two seasons with the team, notching seven goals and five assists in the midfield after transferring in from Maryland. Johnson previously played for West Ham’s academy from 2009-2012.

Cleveland joins as a second round draft pick, also from Louisville, where he managed 10 shutouts in goal while appearing in 22 matches for the Cardinals in 2016 after transferring from Dartmouth.

Both players join on contracts through 2017, with options for 2018, 2019, and 2020.

MINNESOTA UNITED SIGN GOALKEEPER ALVBAGE

While Atlanta has largely taken the front seat this offseason, Minnesota United continues to quietly fill out their roster effectively.

The team announced the signing of Swedish international goalkeeper John Alvbage on loan from his current club, IFK Goteborg, pending a visa. The loan is scheduled to run through July 15th, with an option to extend after that date.

“We are delighted to get John [Alvbåge] here in Minnesota, he has a wealth of experience around the world. He is a hard worker, he has great character and he is a loyal guy who will fit in well in Minnesota,” Minnesota goalkeeper coach Marius Røvde said. “A goalkeeper is like an extra coach on the field and when you get someone with the experience of Alvbåge, it’s a great moment for the club.”

SAAD JOINS SPORTING KC FOR PRESEASON IN TUCSON

When Sporting Kansas City departs for Tucson, Arizona to begin their preseason, they’ll be joined by a familiar face.

Soony Saad, who played with the team from 2011-2014, making 58 appearances and scoring 8 goals, will reportedly return to the team from two seasons in Thailand. During his two year stint, Saad played for BEC Tero Sasana and Pattaya United, where he made 29 appearances and scored 9 goals. Saad, who once also appeared for the U.S. U-17 and U-20 National Teams before accepting a senior call-up from Lebanon, won the MLS Cup with SKC in 2013.

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