By CAITLIN MURRAY
Just call him Captain Kaka.
The Brazilian striker has been named Orlando City’s captain for its inaugural season in MLS, the club announced Tuesday.
“Kaká has demonstrated great leadership both on the field and in the locker room since the start, and the other players have naturally looked to his guidance throughout preseason so he was the natural pick to skipper the club,” said Head Coach Adrian Heath.
“Ricky’s role will extend off the pitch as well,” Heath added, “serving as the team’s liaison with the front office and coaching staff on all player-related concerns to ensure we provide the best possible environment for the players to train, develop and succeed personally and professionally.”
Kaka will debut as an Orlando City player and as team captain on March 8, in the club’s inaugural MLS match against New York City.
Here are some more of Tuesday’s MLS news and notes:
RSL SIGNS GUATEMALA’S VASQUEZ
Real Salt Lake is boosting its back line with a new addition.
Guatemalan center back Elias Vasquez joins the club pending his transfer papers, RSL announced Tuesday on Instagram.
Vasquez, 22, comes to Major League Soccer after three seasons with Comunicaciones in Guatemala, making 86 appearances in Liga Nacional. After the 2014 season, he transferred to Dorados in Mexico’s second division, but played in only four matches before heading to Utah.
The announcement of Vasquez’s signing comes after reports in Guatemala indicated the defender had his sights set on MLS.
“It is a good opportunity,” Vasquez said earlier this month of RSL.
ORLANDO CITY SIGNS ENGLISH DEFENDER HINES
Orlando City needed a center back and now they have one.
Orlando City has signed Middlesbrough defender Sebastian Hines on loan with an option to extend, the club announced Tuesday.
“We’re very pleased to have Seb join us,” said coach Adrian Heath in a statement. “His experience will be very valuable for our team’s competitive position in our first MLS season. We look forward to start working with him.”
Hines has spent his entire career with Middlesborough, though he has gone on short-term loans to Derby County, Oldham Athletic and Coventry City during his nine years with the Smoggies.
He is capped with England’s youth squads, but will not occupy an international slot as his father is an American citizen.
WAIVER DRAFT SET FOR SIX PLAYERS
On Tuesday, MLS will conduct a waiver draft for six players, the league announced Monday.
Available for selection will be: Former Toronto FC and Chicago Fire forward Robert Earnshaw, Colorado Rapids goalkeeper Joe Nasco, Fire defender Marco Franco, Fire midfielder Victor Pineda, Fire midfielder Grant Ward and Philadelphia Union forward Aaron Wheeler.
However, the draft shouldn’t yield too many changes as most of the available players have found other options by now.
Nasco has been tied to the Fort Lauderdale Strikers while Franco and Pineda are expected to play for Indy Eleven. Earnshaw has been training with the Vancouver Whitecaps, appearing in a preseason second-team match against the Timbers. Ward appeared for Tottenham Hotspur’s U-21 team in January.
The waiver draft will be conducted via conference called at 3 p.m. ET on Tuesday.
NYCFC TO AIR 20 GAMES LOCALLY VIA YES NETWORK
The YES Network will locally televise 20 New York City FC matches this season, the club announced Tuesday.
YES’s match coverage will begin with NYCFC’s March 21 road match to face the Colorado Rapids, including a special season-opening pre-game show.
All NYCFC matches televised by YES will also be streamed live via the FOX Sports GO app for users with YES login credentials.
SPORTING KC’S CLAROS TO JOIN CHINESE SIDE, MARCELIN WAIVED
Jorge Claros’ very short stint with Sporting Kansas City appears to be over.
After Honduran newspaper La Prensa reported Claros will join Qingdao Jonoon in the Chinese second division, Sporting KC confirmed the news Tuesday, along with the departure of waived midfielder James Marcelin.
Claros, 29, joined Kansas City in from Motagua of Liga Nacional and played 419 minutes for Kansas City, with four starts spread across seven appearances.
Marcelin was acquired by Kansas City in December and appeared in three preseason matches for the club.
MLS ANNOUNCES THIRD ANNUAL JERSEY WEEK
MLS will hold its third annual jersey week from Feb. 28 to March 7, when clubs will unveil their 2015 jerseys and hold events inspired by their kit designs. All 20 MLS clubs plan to unveil at least one new jersey in 2015.
“We have built a platform where our Clubs can collectively unveil their new jerseys,” said Maribeth Towers MLS’ head of consumer products. “The feedback that we’ve received from our fans has been tremendous and we’re seeing significant growth year-over-year.”
The Jersey Week schedule of kit reveals and events is available here.
What do you think of these reports? Excited to see Kaka wear the arm band? Think that Vasquez is a good signing for RSL? What do you see happening with the waiver draft?
Share your thoughts below.
at cba time, my heart is always with the mls players. i don’t perceive that the players are being greedy (demanding more gasoline for their limousines or something like that). i could be way off, but my take on the mls cba thing is that the mls players in general are asking for normal and reasoable things that they probably deserve and should have.
C’mon Dinho….u know both sides need to hold their cards close to chest, don’t u? Anything we hear is just fodder and speculation.
Is that the Tim D. I know from LBC?
So, no update on the CBA negotations? Come on guys and gals! Get the scoop!