MLS Ticker: Orlando acquires Saunders, Quakes add Urena, and more

MLS Ticker: Orlando acquires Saunders, Quakes add Urena, and more

MLS- Vancouver Whitecaps

MLS Ticker: Orlando acquires Saunders, Quakes add Urena, and more


It didn’t take long for Josh Saunders to find a new team after being left off the NYCFC preseason roster earlier this week. The much-maligned goalkeeper was shipped off to Orlando City on Friday in exchange for a fourth-round pick in the 2019 MLS Draft.

“Josh is a veteran MLS goalkeeper that will add championship experience, leadership and depth to our side with 125 appearances in 11 years in the league,” Lions general manager Niki Budalic said.  “Jason Kreis is very familiar with Josh from his time in New York and Real Salt Lake and is looking forward to working with him again.”

Saunders made 66 starts in two seasons with NYCFC behind a defensive unit that had plenty of struggles coming together as a unit. The netminder himself was criticized for his play in between the pipes as well. The league leader in saves in 2015 is expected to fill a backup role behind current starter Joe Bendik.

Earthquakes bolster forward depth with Urena signing

San Jose added some much-needed depth to the forward position on Friday, as it brought in a striker with international experience to complement Chris Wondolowski.

The Earthquakes used targeted allocation money to ink Costa Rican Marcos Urena to a multi-year contract. The 26-year-old previously played with Brondby in Denmark, where he featured in UEFA Europa League qualifiers in the 16 matches played with the club.

“I think he’s going to be a good addition to the team,” Earthquakes head coach Dominic Kinnear said. “He’s a Costa Rican international, who’s played in some big tournaments. We brought him here to score goals and help us win and that’s what we expect of him.”

Revolution continue to add defensive depth

The defensive ranks of the New England Revolution have gotten considerably stronger this week. A few days after agreeing to a deal with Antonio Milnar Delamea, the club acquired Benjamin Angoua on loan from Ligue 1 side Guingamp.

“With Benjamin’s experience, adding him to the Revolution was an important step for our club this offseason,” Revolution general manager Michael Burns said. “We began this offseason with the goal of bringing in veteran players who are ready to contribute right away, so we are very pleased to have Benjamin with us as we head to preseason training in Arizona.”

The 30-year-old has spent the last seven years in Ligue 1 with Valenciennes and Guingamp. He’s also made stops in his native Ivory Coast and Hungary. Angoua has earned 17 caps for the Ivory Coast on the international level, and he has one goal for his national team.

Rapids add Casey as assistant coach

The Colorado Rapids’ all-time leading scorer has returned to the Centennial State to join the team’s coaching staff.

Conor Casey will join Pablo Mastroeni’s staff for the 2017 season after receiving little playing time during the final stop of his playing career in Columbus.

“I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Conor for over a decade, both personally and professionally,” Rapids head coach Pablo Mastroeni said. “His understanding of the game and team-first mentality will be a great asset both on and off the field. I’m excited to see him begin his coaching career here with the Rapids and I’m convinced he will have an immediate and positive impact with the club.”

Whitecaps lose first friendly of preseason

While everyone in North America was sleeping, the first friendly of the MLS preseason took place in Wales, where the Vancouver Whitecaps are training.

Vancouver dropped a 1-0 result to the Cardiff City U23s. Whitecaps boss Carl Robinson used most of his starters in the opening portion of the friendly before making way for the reserves in the second half.

“It was 45 minutes of fitness within a game scenario,” Vancouver head coach Carl Robinson said after the match. “That was the positive. And there was lots of good little linkup plays, which we’ve worked on in the first few days of training. We’re three days of training in, we’ve already played 45 minutes, we looked to a decent level, but it’s still building stage.”

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