By AARON CRANFORD
New York City FC inked two more players two days before their inaugural season kicks off.
NYCFC announced the signing of Spanish midfielder Pablo Alvarez while also officially announcing the signing of Shay Facey on loan from Manchester City today.
The 34-year-old Spaniard last played for Langreo, a club that currently plays in the third division of the Spanish league system. He spent the beginning of last year making appearances for Spanish second-division side CD Lugo, but Alvarez changed clubs midyear and made 13 appearances for Langreo to end 2014. He started for NYCFC in their 2-1 preseason loss to the Houston Dynamo and Jason Kreis sees him being an important role model going forward.
“Pablo has integrated well with the squad over the course of the preseason,” Kreis told NYCFC.com. “His experience will add an important veteran presence to the team both on and off the field. We have worked hard to build a team with a balance of youth and experience and that should serve us well as we head into the season.”
Meanwhile, NYCFC also officially announced the signing of Manchester City defender Shay Facey on loan until June 30th.
The Englishman has appeared many times throughout NYCFC’s preseason, and Kreis hopes the young defender can help his expansion side in any role required of him.
“It’s great for the Club to have added Shay to our ranksm” Kreis said in the press release. “He’s fit in well during pre-season on and off the pitch and his defensive talents will add depth and quality to the back line. Shay is also a versatile defender that can play in numerous positions across the defense. I’m confident he will bring a lot to this roster.”
Here are some more of Friday’s MLS news and notes:
GALAXY ANNOUNCE SIGNINGS OF MIKA VAYRYEN AND EDSON BUDDLE
LA Galaxy have announced today that they have signed Finnish international midfielder Mika Vayrynen and have also signed former Galaxy player Edson Buddle.
Vayrynen will join the Galaxy pending the acquisition of a P-1 VISA and ITC and will occupy an international spot on the club’s roster.
“Mika is a player that brings additional experience to our midfield,” said head coach and GM Bruce Arena, via LA Galaxy. “We saw his abilities during preseason and are confident he can contribute to our team this season.”
Vayrynen, 33, is vastly experienced at both club and international level. He has enjoyed the majority of his club career in the Netherlands’ top-flight league, Eredivisie, where he won back-to-back league titles with PSV Eindhoven in 2006 and 2007, and a KNVB Cup with SC Heerenveen in 2009.
Vayrynen has 59 international caps for the Finnish national team with five goals, and has played in several UEFA Euro Qualifying matches as well as FIFA World Cup Qualifying fixtures.
Meanwhile, LA also announced the signing of forward Edson Buddle. Buddle, one of eight players to score more than 100 goals in MLS history, will return to the Galaxy after playing with them from 2008 to 2012.
VANCOUVER SELLS OUT BC PLACE AHEAD OF TORONTO MATCH
The Vancouver Whitecaps will welcome Canadian rival Toronto FC to open their 2015 MLS campaign Saturday, and they will do so with a roaring crowd behind them.
The Whitecaps announced that BC Place is sold out for their home opener. With Toronto’s big signings coming to town and the Whitecaps hoping for an even better season after making the MLS playoffs last season, this Canadian rivalry will be rocking Saturday afternoon.
D.C. UNITED ANNOUNCE SIGNING OF LUKE MISHU
Former Notre Dame captain Luke Mishu has signed with D.C. United a day before their season opener against Montreal Impact.
“Luke had a very good preseason with us, and he has earned his spot on our roster,” D.C. United General Manager Dave Kasper said in a press release. “He will provide us with solid depth at the wide back positions, and we believe he has a bright future as a professional.”
Mishu helped the Fighting Irish claim the 2013 NCAA National Championship while also playing every minute of their last campaign.
DAX MCCARTY NAMED CAPTAIN OF RED BULLS
The New York Red Bulls officially announced Dax McCarty as their captain two days before they kick off their 2015 campaign.
McCarty joined the Red Bulls in 2011 and has made 110 appearances for the club since, scoring 10 goals and bagging 14 assists along the way. With Thierry Henry out of the picture, the veteran Red Bull midfielder will have to shoulder the load, especially with a new head coach, Jesse Marsch, introducing a new team philosophy.
AUDI, MLS OFFICIALLY ANNOUNCE PARTNERSHIP
Audi and MLS officially announced a multi-year partnership, which will begin with the start of the 2015 season.
Audi will be the promoting sponsor of the MLS Cup playoffs while the partnership will also include activation right at the MLS All-Star Game and MLS Cup.
“Audi’s partnership with MLS parallels the aggressive, challenger spirit of the two brands,” said Audi of America’s director of marketing Loren Angelo in the statement. “Audi remains committed to soccer and raising the profile of the game in the United States. Last year the league’s attendance hit an all-time high. As a major supporter of the sport globally, we’re looking forward to cultivating the enthusiasm of soccer stateside and driving participation of the sport in a new way.”
Audi will air MLS-themed commercials throughout the year and during important MLS matches, including games televised on major networks, like ESPN, FOX and Univision.
Where will Pablo Alvarez fit into Kreis’ system? How will LA Galaxy signings Buddle and Vayrynen fare this year?W hat do you think of Audi partnering with MLS?
Share your thoughts below.