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MLS Ticker: NYCFC signs NASL’s Kwadwo Poku; Edson Buddle training with Galaxy; and more

JasonKreisNYCFC1 (NYCFC)

By CAITLIN MURRAY

As roster-building continues, New York City FC has dipped into the North American Soccer League for talent.

NYCFC has acquired Ghanaian midfielder Kwadwo Poku from the Atlanta Silverbacks of the NASL, the club announced Friday. NYCFC acquired his MLS rights from the Seattle Sounders for a conditional 2017 draft pick.

Poku, 22, moves to Major League Soccer after making 25 appearances for the Silverbacks last year and scoring two goals, including a game-winner against Real Salt Lake in the fourth round of the U.S. Open Cup.

“In Poku, we are getting a fantastic young player at the perfect stage of his career,” said NYCFC coach Jason Kreis in a statement. “He can help strengthen our squad immediately, and at only 22, we know he will develop into an even more important player in the future.”

Prior to joining the Silverbacks, he played three seasons in the National Premier Soccer League as a top player with the Georgia Revolution.

Here are the rest of Friday’s news and notes from around MLS:

EDSON BUDDLE, RAMON MARTIN DEL CAMPO TRAINING WITH GALAXY

Unable to find clubs to call home, a pair of players are getting looks from the LA Galaxy.

In the Galaxy’s opening day of preseason, the team invited veteran forward Edson Buddle and UC Davis’ Ramon Martin Del Campo for training.

Buddle was released by the Colorado Rapids last month and has not been signed by a club, while Del Campo was not selected in the MLS Draft last week, despite having signed a league contract.

According to the Galaxy Insider, the pair of free agents participated in Friday’s training alongside reserve players Andre Auras and Daniel Steres from USL Pro side LA Galaxy II.

THREE VETS RETURN TO UNION AS FRED BECOMES “PLAYER-COACH”

The Philadelphia Union are bringing three veterans back for the 2015 season.

Brian Carroll, Conor Casey and Brazil’s Fred have each re-signed with the club, the Union announced Friday. Combined, the three of them have they’ve played in 209 games and scored 29 goals.

While Carroll and Casey return in their usual roles, Fred will return as a player-coach, though the Union did not specify what his duties will include.

“We’re excited to have this core group of veterans returning to the club,” Union technical director Chris Albright said in a statement. “The knowledge and expertise they bring on a daily basis is invaluable.”

OWEN COYLE CALLS IN FORMER ASSISTANT TO JOIN DYNAMO

Owen Coyle’s technical staff is now complete with the addition of a long-time assistant.

Phil Hughes will re-join Coyle for his new stint with the Houston Dynamo as goalkeeper coach, the Dynamo announced Friday. Hughes follows Coyle’s lead and joins the Dynamo from Wigan Athletic in England. Prior to that, Hughes had stints with Leeds United, Burnley and Grimsby Town.

“Phil comes with fantastic experience at the highest level of the game, having worked with and developed international goalkeepers,” Coyle said in a statement.

Coyle was named head coach of the Dynamo in December on a three-year deal.

DONNIE SMITH RE-SIGNS WITH REVS

Midfielder Donnie Smith is returning to the New England Revolution, the club announced Friday.

Smith, 24, has appeared twice for the Revolution during the MLS season and has five appearances overall. He was a second-round draft pick in 2013 at No. 21 overall.

He split his 2014 season between the Revs and USL Pro affiliate the Rochester Rhinos, making seven appearances for the Rhinos, including two in the postseason.

YEAR 2 OF CREW TV DEAL LARGELY UNCHANGED

Columbus Crew fans who were hoping to catch more games on local television are out of luck.

Second-year distribution of Crew games on Time Warner Cable will work the same way it had last year, the Ohio Dispatch reported Friday.

Last year, the Crew had announced a broadcast deal that, under MLS blackout rules, made local games available to Time Warner Cable subscribers only, a move that was unpopular with fans.

MLS has already announced a new national broadcast deal with ESPN that both increased the number of games on television and the revenue the league would see from broadcasting, but it will not affect local broadcasts.

“As for the new MLS agreement with ESPN, it will not affect our partnership with the Columbus Crew in any significant way,” Time Warner told the Dispatch.

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What do you think of NYC FC signing Poku? Would you like to see Buddle or Martin Del Campo land in Los Angeles? What do you think of the Dynamo’s coaching staff, now that it’s complete?

Share your thoughts below.

Comments

  1. ” Poku, 22, moves to Major League Soccer after making 25 appearances for the Silverbacks last year and scoring two goals, including a game-winner against Real Salt Lake in the fourth round of the U.S. Open Cup.”

    lol how many times have we seen this happen over the years? Coaches hiring the guy that scored against their team!

    Reply
  2. Poku, 22, from the Atlanta Silverbacks of the NASL. Prior to joining the Silverbacks, he played three seasons in the National Premier Soccer League as a top player with the Georgia Revolution.

    Finally starting to get the Soccer Pyramid to function! One of the best things that can happen to North American soccer is for quality players to no longer be lost in the 3, 4, 5th divisions.

    Reply
    • I’m more interested to know if a transfer fee was paid. Usually MLS won’t, but even if it’s say fifty grand, that’s a revenue stream for lower level clubs. If they get nothing from developing players, why bother?

      Reply
  3. Buddle would only be worth it for around $100K. His performance has dropped off significantly and wouldn’t offer much we can’t get from Gordon, who loves playing for LA and will always give 100%

    Reply
    • Agreed…….. even at his best a few years ago, Edson’s effort was sometimes left wanting, can’t imagine that has gotten any better and other things have declined significantly. As you said, Gordon brings the same type of game with much more grit and desire.

      Reply

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