MLS Ticker: TFC inks Vazquez, NYCFC signs Awuah, and more

MLS Ticker: TFC inks Vazquez, NYCFC signs Awuah, and more

Major League Soccer

MLS Ticker: TFC inks Vazquez, NYCFC signs Awuah, and more

Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images.

Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images.

Toronto FC has been expectedly quiet during the winter, but they made a significant splash on Monday morning.

TFC has officially unveiled the signing of Spanish midfielder Victor Vazquez using targeted allocation money. The 30-year-old most recently played for Cruz Azul in Liga MX and will provide even more experience in TFC’s midfield this upcoming season.

Vazquez is also a graduate from Barcelona’s famed academy La Masia. He spent five seasons with Barcelona B and was called up by Pep Guardiola to the first team on a few occasions. He even made appearances in the Champions League in 2008-09 and 2010-11 when Barca won the tournament.

The Spaniard spent time at Club Brugge in Belgium, where he was a fixture in the starting XI. He joined Cruz Azul in December 2015 after five seasons with the Belgian giants.

NYCFC signs first-round pick Kwame Awuah

New York City’s offseason has been active and it bolstered its roster with yet another signing.

The club announced that versatile Canadian Kwame Awuah has agreed to join the team. The 21-year-old was a first-round pick in the 2017 MLS draft after NYCFC traded up to No. 16 to select him.

“Going back to the MLS Combine we saw something in Kwame that we believed was good enough to compete for a place in our first-team and in preseason he’s just confirmed what we saw there,” said head coach Patrick Vieira. “We’re happy to offer him a contract and we’re happy that he accepted that contract.

“He’s a young player who needs to develop some parts in his game but he’s a really exciting footballer who is full of energy and has an unbelievable willingness to learn.”

Awuah has played in four preseason games for NYCFC to this point and can play either leftback or in midfield. Due to him being a member of Generation Adidas, he will count as a domestic on the roster.

Whitecaps, Red Bulls may be without key pieces ahead of CCL

Both the New York Red Bulls and Vancouver Whitecaps will enter their CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal with weakened squads.

The Red Bulls will likely be without Damien Perrinelle and possibly Mike Grella as well. However, head coach Jesse Marsch believes he will have “almost the full compliment” of players for the first leg.

As for the Whitecaps, they will be severely depleted in one specific area. New signing Yordy Reyna is in a walking boot after suffering a foot injury against the Portland Timbers in preseason. Nicolas Mezquida and Christian Bolanos are also doubts, according to the Province.

Of the three, Mezquida is the most likely to be fit in time for Wednesday’s game at Red Bull Arena. If he does not start, head coach Carl Robinson may have to get creative in order to field a No. 10.

Harry Shipp back in Sounders training

One of the Seattle Sounders’ key offseason acquisitions is back in training.

Harry Shipp, who was acquired from the Montreal Impact, is back in full training after suffering an ankle injury. He’s expected to play on Wednesday against Atlanta United in a friendly.

Shipp has impressed during preseason, but was limited by the ankle injury in recent days. Now that he’s been deemed fit enough to participate in practice, he should be good to go ahead of the season opener.

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