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MLS Ticker: NYC FC sign Ecuadorian defender; Impact offer Gilardino a two-year deal; and more

AndresMendozaUniversidadCatolica (LaHora)


New York City FC are hoping they’ve unearthed a new South American gem to bring to Major League Soccer.

Using City Football Group’s extensive scouting network, NYC FC announced on Monday that they have signed Ecuadorian defender Andres Mendoza to a contract. Mendoza last played for Deportivo Maldonado in Uruguay’s second division, making nine starts in 11 games.

“We’re delighted to add a defender of Mendoza’s caliber to our growing roster,” head coach Jason Kreis told “Andrés is an exciting prospect; he’s young, strong in the air and very athletic. He’s also a good passer which will be a great benefit to us as he can play the ball out of defense.

“He really ticks all the boxes that our coaching staff looks for in defenders. I’m confident he will reach his full potential playing in Major League Soccer and will make a positive impact on this league.”

Mendoza, 25, played recently with Ecuadorian giant Universidad Catolica, and made one appearance in the Copa Sudamericana in 2014 for Universidad.

Here’s some more news and notes from around MLS:


The Montreal Impact have continued their pursuit for Italian forward Alberto Gilardino, and this week more details are emerging.

According to a report in Italy’s Gazzetta Dello Sport, the Impact have extended Gilardino a two-year contract to make a full transfer to MLS. Gilardino, 32, is currently a member of Chinese Super League club Guangzhou Evergrande, where he scored five times in 16 appearances in all competitions between July and November.

If Gilardino comes to the Impact, he’ll join Marco Donadel as Italians on the roster. The pair are following in the footsteps of Marco Di Vaio and Alessandro Nesta, who both finished their careers with the Canadian club.


Liam Ridgewell will pass the time during the MLS offseason with a short-term stay at his former club.

The Portland Timbers center back is reportedly set to join West Brom for a loan stint ahead of the 2015 MLS season. Prior to joining the Timbers, Ridgewell was a member of West Brom for three seasons and made 76 appearances with the club.

With the loan, Ridgewell will miss the start of the Timbers’ preseason training camp, but the center back will be back with the club in time for the club’s annual preseason tournament that is set to begin on Feb. 22.


MLS will be well represented not only through the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team but also through Canada’s U-20 team at the CONCACAF Championships this month in Jamaica.

Canada coach Rob Gale called up nine MLS players in his Canada U-20 squad, including five Vancouver Whitecaps players and two from each of Toronto FC and the Montreal Impact.

The MLS representatives are Whitecaps goalkeeper Marco Carducci, midfielders Kianz Froese and Marco Bustos, and defenders Sam Adekugbe and Jordan Haynes, TFC’s Jordan Hamilton and midfielder Manny Aparicio, as well as the Impact’s Louis Béland-Goyette and Jérémy Gagnon-Laparé.


What do you think of these notes? What do you think of the Mendoza signing? Do you see Gilardino leaving China for the Impact? What do you think of Canada’s U-20 squad?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Ridgewell is gone. Reports out of England say he always had a contract with West Ham and was merely loaned to Portland last season. The MLS is saying he will be back with Portland but that is only because they don’t want to deal with another Lampard fiasco so soon. He is staying on permanently with West Ham and he never had a contract with MLS.

    • i don’t see that. i see reports of him going on loan to Wigan and interest from Crystal Palace. with Wigan he would be back to Portland in late February. you have a link?

  2. Meanwhile, RBNY’s central defense consists of an aging, semi-reliable veteran and a teenager, and the Galaxy have their sights on Steven Gerrard. Paging Mr. Curtis . . .

    • You got that right. RBNY lost their best attacking player by far and their best defender by far and have done nothing to replace either. Fortunately, Mike Petke already told us to have low expectations for this offseason, so I’m not disappointed.

      • I’m not panicking because it’s only January 5. But this is a big, big month for RBNY. Among other issues, Curtis cannot let Cahill’s absence for most of the month for the Asian Cup delay his planning. Use the phone or get on a plane!

      • I have reservations about Alves attitude and what type of mentality/effort he’d put forth coming to the States (assuming he actually does come and isn’t loaned out after signing).

      • yeah, i honestly can’t stand him. but i’m a biased madrid fan. that all said, if he has the right attitude, i think he would be a great pickup.

      • Yeah, and even if the effort is there, his tendency to dive and playact won’t ingratiate himself to too many fans here. Furthermore, now that the league is retroactively handing out fines and bans for simulation and embellishment, not to mention that referees over here (despite their overall lower quality) are more willing to issue yellows for diving, he’d really have to change his game to be successful.

      • +1 I fear the dude the same way I feared the rumored Robinho signing. He’d stick around for a few months, dive 70 times, make zero friends get fat, score 1-2 spectacular goals, and then become homesick and loudly demand an exit.

      • Hmm, I can think of plenty of teams that could use his talent (i.e., all), several teams that might stomach his attitude (e.g., DCU, LAG), but not a single team that would pay a RB whatever money Alves would demand.

      • yup, that’ll be a big problem. makes like €7m a year. even with a big pay cut, that’ll still be a big salary for a RB.

    • He’s still got it. Don’t worry about that. He scored 16 leagues goals in 2013-14 with Genoa and 14 with Bologna the season before. He headed off the Chinese Super league to hook up with old pal Marcelo Lippi and a big pay day. Lippi has since headed over the reigns to Fabio Cannavaro, another old pal, but I’m not sure why Gillardino’s leaving China. Nonetheless, Gillardino will be a hit and has plenty let in the tank. Italians can play well into the 30’s with great effect.

    • absolutely. he’s been in China for one season but before that he scored a bunch of goals in Serie A for Bologna in 2012 which led him coming back to Genoa from loan. it paid off because in 2013 he scored another 16.

  3. “He really ticks all the boxes that our coaching staff looks for in defenders.”

    When asked to elaborate, Head Coach Jason Kreis replied, “Well, he has great vision, good speed, can pass the ball around…and, most importantly, he has nothing at all to do with Man City.”

  4. The pair are following in the footsteps of Marco Di Vaio and Alessandro Nesta, who both finished their careers with the Canadian club.


    • He’s not a 2nd div player. He played mainly w/ Universidad which is a major club there. Maldonado is a club that is often used specifically to facilitate transfers. Alex Sandro, Estigarribia and Da Silva all were routed through Maldonado on their way to other clubs.


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