Top Stories

MLS Notes: Keel agrees to new deal, United adds Santos and more

MLSBB10151145 (1)

photo by Bill Barrett/ 


On the verge of losing one of its top defenders, the New York Red Bulls have locked up another for the foreseeable future.

The Red Bulls signed centerback Stephen Keel to a new contract, the club announced on Wednesday. Keel's extension with New York comes less than a year after he signed with the club, having joined the team after a trial in March 2011. It also comes at a time when the Red Bulls are on the brink of losing Tim Ream.

The 28-year-old Keel enjoyed a solid season last year, playing in 16 games and delivering two assists. He also started in all three of the Red Bulls' postseason matches.

Per league and club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Here are more notes from around the league:


D.C. United has bolstered its attacking options, signing Brazilian forward Maicon Santos. The 27-year-old joins the club after having played for Chivas USA, Toronto FC and FC Dallas during the past two seasons. He has scored 14 goals and assisted on five others in 62 career matches, and should add some depth to a United front line that is lacking options after the loss of Charlie Davies and Joseph Ngwenya.


Sporting Kansas City has added some punch to its midfield with the signing of midfielder Michael Thomas. The 23-year-old, who is a native of Olathe, Kansas, joins Sporting Kansas City after two seasons with Ljungskile SK of Sweden's second division. Per league and club policy, terms of the deam were not disclosed.


The Philadelphia Union declined the contract options of Levi Houapeu, Morgan Langley, Ryan Richter and Joe Tait on Wednesday. That has freed up two international rosters spots, which now leaves Philadelphia with nine international players.


What do you think of Keel being signed to a new extension? How do you see Santos doing with D.C. United?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. No, Keel improved as the season went on and proved he could be a good backup in the middle. He’s much more stout than the overrated Ream.

  2. Stephen Keel is useless, and RBNY management is clueless. I believe that Backe and Soler for two 8th round picks in next year’s supplemental draft would be a good deal.

  3. Well, when TFC is playing in front of 55,000 of DeRo’s home-town supporters on March 7 in a CCL quarter-final while he’s imploring Maicon Santos to move at something more than 1/4 pace we’ll see how much he’s enjoying his decision. TFC has been horrible up till now, granted, but he picked an interesting time to take his ball and go home.

  4. Things that make you go hmmm…

    Keel played half the minutes Ream yet had twice as many assists.

    Bolton fans would like an explanation

  5. 1. Santos is a role player for DCU. He’s not being regarded as a big goal scorer (which he isn’t). Assuming DeRo plays withdrawn forward, I think the assumption here is that DeRo is comfortable pairing up with and playing off Santos.

    2. No insult to Le Toux but part of the reason he’s attractive as a signing is you won’t need a work permit for him–he’s already got an EU passport. For a team on a budget eager to avoid relegation and grabbing at options, Le Toux is worth a try.

  6. TFC has never seen the playoffs in how many years in qualification-friendly MLS? And DeRo was on Cup teams before he went there and was MVP when he left.

    I mean, if you want to place it in stark relief, DeRo just had to go there such that Houston traded him for used socks and Julius James, and then next thing you know the local boy (Scarborough, Ontario) wants the heck back out, and then goes on to win MVP. That sounds like it says more about TFC than anything else.

    And while Maicon Santos is no DeRo, he had more goals than many teams’ top forwards, and at 8 goals he’s on the front page of the MLS goals leaders. If you think you can do better — at least within MLS — there is a short list of players who’ve proven that level of production, from which you could choose. Most would not be free.

  7. I have hopes that Houapeu can add the speed to the attack that has been missing. Even if the team is letting LeToux go, being surplussed at Philly isn’t a big knock for a striker. DC can use the Union’s castoffs.

  8. I agree his numbers are great and he has lots of personal accolades. But team cohesion has its price too. We’ll see how long DC is willing to pay it.

    In the meantime, DC had better get used to putting balls straight to Santos’ feet. He doesn’t like moving too far to retrieve them.

  9. Prior to joining the TFC, DeRo won 4 MLS cups (2 as the MVP). And he was by far the best player for Toronto on the pitch, when he played for them. So why was it so outrageous for him to ask for the DP type of money? He was producing more and was paid significantly less then Toronto’s DP, De Guzman, was paid. Hey, if he asks for more money after winning the league’s MVP title, DCU is likely to give it to him (although maybe on a shorter contract), because DeRo has earned it.

  10. DeRo has a bit of a history too. I’d be happy to start the countdown clock to when he makes his first outrageous public demands for more money.

  11. Union to sell Le Toux?! (see Ives twitter) that is a big story. They guy comes from USL to MLS to MLS star great story for US pro club soccer.

    I hope he lands in a good club and does just as well as he has done in MLS!

  12. I don’t know much about Santos, but DeRo was outstanding for the DCU last season (both on and off the field) and won the league’s MVP title. And it’s not like TFC has a great history of treating its players well.


Leave a Comment