The Portland Timbers appear to have found a replacement for the departed Lucas Melano, one who hopefully produces more in the final third than the disappointing designated player. According to ESPN, Caleb Porter’s side is close to a deal with Argentinian midfielder Sebastian Blanco, who is also being hunted by Club America.
The transfer fee for the 28-year-0ld will be around $3 million, with his annual salary being close to $1.5 million. Blanco currently plays for San Lorenzo in Argentina. His previous stops include Lanus, Metalist Kharkiv and a short-lived stint at West Bromwich Albion in the English Premier League.
Revs handed bad news in stadium search
One of the few teams still without a soccer-specific stadium won’t be making any progress soon on a new facility, as the New England Revolution have hit a road block with their potential site in Dorchester. Part of the land the Revs are looking to build on is owned by the Boston Teachers Union, and the price point for the deal is currently too high for owner Robert Kraft.
The 10-acre space that would be used to build the facility is primarily owned by UMass, who is willing to work with Kraft, but the 2.7 acre space owned by the Teachers Union has to be purchased as well. Negotiations aren’t completely dead, but it’s going to be an uphill battle to get the land secured.
Atlanta not in market for DP defender
Despite what previous reports have said, expansion side Atlanta United is not searching for a defender to fill its third designated player slot, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution. More specifically, the first-year team is not in the market for 36-year-0ld Martin Demichelis, despite his connections to Tata Martino.
Atlanta’s current defensive setup boasts Michael Parkhurst, Zach Loyd and U.S. Men’s National Team full back Greg Garza. The club already has two designated players signed to deals, Hector Villalba and Miguel Almiron.
Minnesota continues to add to roster
The other expansion team is rapidly adding pieces to catch up with the fierce start Atlanta had to the offseason. Minnesota United announced the signing of a defender on Tuesday, and a midfielder could be on the way soon.
The Loons signed defender Vadim Demidov with targeted allocation money on Tuesday. The 30-year-old is expected to play in the middle of the back four for Adrian Heath’s side.
“It was a really easy choice for me to come to Minnesota,” Demidov said. “I was immediately interested in this club after speaking with the staff here, we are developing into something new and exciting and I enjoy that idea. I wanted to take on a new challenge and prove myself in a new league and I am very happy to be able to do that here in Minnesota.”
Minnesota is also close to inking a deal with Finnish defensive midfielder Rasmus Schuller from BK Hacken, according to ESPN. Schuller would add to the depth at the position that already includes Collen Warner and Mohammed Saeid.
Alvaro Saborio has left MLS to return home to Costa Rica to play with Saprissa.
New York City FC defender Jefferson Mena has joined Ecuador’s Barcelona SC on loan.