Photo by Nick Turchiaro/ISIphotos.com
By AVI CREDITOR
Real Salt Lake took yet another step in fortifying it's staunch defensive unit by signing centerback Nat Borchers to a deal that will keep him at Rio Tinto through the 2014 season, the club announced on Monday.
Borchers, who was a finalist for Defender of the Year along with centerback partner Jamison Olave, earned a spot on the Major League Soccer Best XI last season for being a crucial part of the league's stingiest unit.
He parlayed that success into a United States national team call-up and appeared in the 1-0 victory over South Africa in Novemeber as a second-half substitute.
Borchers joins goalkeeper Nick Rimando as key defensive contributors who have signed new contracts with the club this month. Rimando's extension is through the 2013 season.
Here are a few more items involving MLS teams:
STEPHENSON RE-JOINS SAN JOSE
The San Jose Earthquakes and midfielder Khari Stephenson have agreed to terms.
Stephenson, who joined the Earthquakes on loan from Norway's Aalesunds FK last summer, has joined the club permanently, according to the San Jose Mercury News.
The Jamaican international added some bite and playmaking ability to the Earthquakes' central midfield corps when healthy last season, though he struggled with injuries toward the end of the season and was only a marginal part of the club's postseason run.
UNION CUT COUDET
The Philadelphia Union severed ties with Argentine midfielder Eduardo "Chacho" Coudet on Monday.
The 36-year-old Coudet, who was acquired by the Union last summer, started nine games for the team during the 2010 season. He finds himself as the odd man out in a crowded central midfield, though, between newcomers Brian Carroll and Michael Farfan and incumbents Andrew Jacobson, Stefani Miglioranzi and Amobi Okugo.
PFEFFER SCORES IN UNION VICTORY
The Union defeated the University of Central Florida on Sunday, 1-0, behind a goal from 16-year-old homegrown player Zach Pfeffer.
According to the game report, Pfeffer scored on 35-yard shot that was placed in the right upper-hand corner of the goal for his first tally as a member of the Union.
FC DALLAS WAIVES TWO
The number of participants at FC Dallas training camp has been decreased by two. The club announced on its official Twitter feed that it has released trialist Sheldon Palmer and 2011 supplemental draft pick Brayan Martinez.
Palmer, a former Jamaican youth international, was a standout at Essex Junior College in New Jersey. Martinez, a former Gatorade National High School Player of the Year, was a product of Seton Hall University.
Think Borchers can build on his 2010 success? Like the move for Real Salt Lake? Do you think the Stephenson signing is a good one for San Jose? How would you rate Philadelphia's central midfield options? Disappointed that neither Palmer nor Martinez could stick with FCD?
Share your thoughts below.
I would have gotten rid of Miglio-garbage before Coudet
This is why he cant shoot straight!
RSL is a good team and they’ll get better
Goff tweeted that only Philly, Vanc, and Portland were in and Philly won.
Really thrilled that RSL is taking care of their core players by extending them early. I think that this is the way that they’ll stay competitive in MLS — by fostering a feeling of mutual commitment which, I believe, will continue to pay off in positive results on the field.
Quakes went on a nice run after picking up Khari midseason last year. Hopefully he’s healthy and ready to fight for a spot this year- as we’ve got some real depth for a change. A big, athletic CM that gives the team another option w/ either Andre Luiz, Cronin, or new signing Donatelli.
CraigStouffer of the Washington Examiner posted to Twitter that Chris Agorsor is headed to Philly. Agorsor apparently confirmed to him directly – did not specificy if Union won or lost and traded for him, but speculation that very few “like, 3” teams participated.
Good to see Stephenson back with the Quakes. He looked good the couple of times I saw him play.
Looks like Barrett just got knocked out in that pic!