The silly season is officially underway once again, as the January transfer window is wide open. While there are plenty of rumors being thrown out there to start 2017, very few moves get made this early. The Columbus Crew made themselves an exception to that trend, as they inked a Designated Player to start their business in 2017.
The Crew made a rare big splash in the transfer market on Tuesday, with the announcement of Jonathan Mensah as a Designated Player. The Ghanaian defender is the second DP on the Crew roster, and just the fifth overall in club history.
“One of our offseason priorities was to sign a second Designated Player that has the ability to make an impact both on and off the field,” Columbus head coach and sporting director Gregg Berhalter. “With Jonathan’s vast playing experience and strong character we believe he will fit into our club nicely.”
Mensah comes to Columbus from Anzhi Makhachkala in Russia, where he signed from Evian in France back in February. The defender has made stops at Udinese and Granada as well in his career.
Here are some more MLS news and notes from around the league:
Martin Demichelis linked with Atlanta United
Atlanta United has pulled out all the stops to compete in its first season, and it looks like Tata Martino might be calling on one of his fellow countrymen to reinforce the back line.
Center back Martin Demichelis reportedly could be the target of Martino after the defender fell out of favor at Espanyol. The 36-year-old has made just two appearances for the Spanish side since joining from Manchester City in the summer.
Bringing in an older player like Demichelis may seem like a questionable strategy, but it’s worth noting Demichelis has experience playing under Martino and that could help the adjustment process for the other players in the squad if he joins.
Darwin Quintero rumored to making MLS switch
Atlanta United was also mentioned in another report linking the club with Colombian winger Darwin Quintero.
This report fits the club’s needs more, as United have openly been after a playmaking midfielder to join the already dangerous attacking setup. The 29-year-old winger, who has been playing in Liga MX since 2009, would be a solid addition.
Quintero scored 15 goals in 68 appearances in the last two seasons for Club America. He made 225 appearances for Santos Laguna from 2009-2014.
Joevin Jones fails to show for T&T training
Some potential big news relating to the Hexagonal round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying broke over the weekend from Trinidad and Tobago.
Seattle Sounders left back Joevin Jones did not report to the Soca Warriors camp for CONCACAF Gold Cup qualifiers. Jones, who plays further up the pitch on the international stage, would be a huge loss for T&T if he isn’t let back in the camp after this incident.
MLS players named to Costa Rica’s Copa Centroamerica Squad
Costa Rica is calling upon a handful of MLS-based players to qualify for this summer’s Gold Cup, some of whom just transferred into the league.
Johan Venegas, Francisco Calvo, Jose Guillermo Ortiz and David Guzman will lead the Ticos in Panama from January 13-22. One name that was left off of the squad list was that of Ronald Matarrita, who has been the topic of transfer rumors since the MLS season concluded.
Maxime Crepeau headed for trial in Belgium
Montreal Impact’s ties to Belgium have landed one of their goalkeepers a training stint, as Maxime Crepeau is off to KV Kortrijk before the preseason begins. Kortrijk is one Laurent Ciman’s former clubs. The 22-year-old has been a reserve netminder for the Impact since 2013.
Erik Friberg confirms Sounders exit
One of the veteran pieces of the MLS Cup-winning Sounders side will not return to the club for the 2017 season.
Erik Friberg announced on Twitter on Tuesday that he will not be back with the Sounders for the 2017 season. The move makes sense since the Sounders have already upgraded their midfield depth with younger options like Harry Shipp.