The Vancouver Whitecaps have added a much-needed goalscoring option ahead of the 2016 season.
After a strong start for the Whitecaps in 2015, main striker Octavio Rivero couldn’t quite continue his sizzling form. With Tuesday’s signing of Japanese striker Masato Kudo, though, the Cascadia club has taken a huge step forward.
Kudo joins on a free transfer after spending his entire professional career with J1 League team Kashiwa Reysol. The 25-year-old scored 92 goals in 260 appearances with Reysol, winning both the league and domestic cup titles while becoming the club’s all-time leading goalscorer.
The Whitecaps’ newest signing has secured four appearances with the senior Japanese national team, tallying two goals in that time.
“Masato has a very good goalscoring record,” said Whitecaps head coach Carl Robinson. “He has a natural ability to find space in the box, which generates goalscoring opportunities. Masato can play as a lone forward, or in a partnership, and is able to play wide when called upon.”
Here are some more MLS news and notes:
RSL SIGN ACADEMY PRODUCT DANILO ACOSTA
Real Salt Lake need to rebuild after a 2015 season that saw them lose several key contributors, and they got some help on Wednesday from their own academy.
18-year-old Danilo Acosta has signed on as the team’s tenth official Homegrown player. The center back, who has also featured in defensive midfield, has spent three years with the team’s academy in Arizona, this year helping the side reach the final of the USSDA U-18 Championship.
Acosta joins Jordan Allen, Lalo Fernandez, Justen Glad, Fito Ovalle and Sebastian Saucedo as academy products that have signed for RSL’s senior team.
“He’s another versatile player that can play a little bit at center back and a little bit at defensive mid,” said Real Salt Lake Head Coach Jeff Cassar. “I think it’s a wonderful opportunity for him to get himself as close to Kyle Beckerman as possible, watch and learn what he’s doing before practice, during practice and after practice.”
Acosta made three appearances for the Real Monarchs of USL in 2015.
REPORT: CANI RECEIVES OFFER FROM MLS
If reports are to be believed, a 34-year-old Spanish midfielder may soon be on his way to MLS.
According to Marca, Deportivo de La Coruña midfielder Cani has received an offer from a team in MLS and is currently mulling the decision to cross the Atlantic.
He made a name for himself at Spanish club Villarreal, where he played nine years and appeared in more than 250 games. He has appeared in just seven games for Deportivo during the 2015-16 campaign, however.
The MLS club that offered the deal was not named in the report, but Cani’s current contract with Deportivo runs until June 30th, 2016.