The inaugural Campeones Cup will take place this fall with the stage being set for a memorable clash between the reigning champions of MLS and Liga MX.
Toronto FC will host Liga MX’s entrant Tigres in the first edition of the regional cup competition on September 19th at BMO Field, the league announced on Friday.
Tigres defeated Santos Laguna 4-0 in the Campeon de Campeones game to see which of the Liga MX season winners would face TFC in Canada. Surprising enough, it is a rematch of the two sides that faced off in the spring quarterfinals of the Concacaf Champions League, where TFC advanced past the Mexican side.
The inaugural match is scheduled to take place at 8:30 p.m. EST.
Fire deal Bakero, GAM to TFC for Hasler
Two Eastern Conference sides struggling for victories have made a trade in hopes to spark a change.
Toronto FC has acquired forward Jon Bakero and $50,000 of General Allocation Money (GAM) from the Chicago Fire in exchange for midfielder/defender Nico Hasler.
TFC has found things tough in front of goal, but now have the No. 5 selection from this year’s MLS Superdraft to add to the mix offensively. Bakero was drafted by Chicago as they sent $175,000 in total allocation money, goalkeeper Matt Lampson, and the No. 15 in the 2018 Draft to Minnesota United to move up and select the MAC Hermann Trophy finalist.
Bakero scored 37 goals in 88 appearances for Wake Forest in college, but only has two appearances so far in MLS this season.
As for Hasler, he will add some valuable need to a right-back position that is struggling. Kevin Ellis has been banged up of late, while starter Matt Polster has only made one appearance due a long-term injury. The Liechtenstein international Hasler has three assists in 14 appearances this season for the defending MLS Champs.
TFC begins a home-and-home against the Fire at Toyota Park on Saturday, before returning to BMO Field on July 28th.
Red Bulls sign Romanian playmaker
The New York Red Bulls have made their first move of the Secondary Transfer Window, signing another attacker to add to their dangerous offense.
On Friday, Chris Armas’ side signed Romanian attacking midfielder Andreas Ivan who was recently with the club on trial, the club announced. Ivan, 23, will occupy an international spot on the roster and spent a week with the team on trial in June.
Ivan most recently saw senior minutes with SV Waldhof Mannheim in the Regionalliga Sudwest where he tallied eight goals in 31 appearances. The midfielder’s youth career came with Stuttgart before making the move to Stuttgarter Kickers in 2014. He spent the 2016-17 campaign with Rot-Weiss Essen before a short spell at Wuppertaler SV.
“I’m happy to welcome Andy to our club,” Armas said. “Andy is a dynamic attacker who can unbalance defenses with and without the ball. He has a fearlessness and a great energy about him which will help him fit in right away. We think he’s going to be a great addition to our team.”
Ivan represented Germany at the U-19 level in 2014 before switching allegiance to Romania in 2015, representing their U-21 squad twice in that year.
Sounders waive Wolff Eikrem
The Seattle Sounders have released one of their showcase offseason signings on Friday.
Magnus Wolff Eikrem and the Sounders have parted company the club announced, with the 28-year-old midfielder now searching for a new club. The Norweigan joined this past offseason from Swedish giants Malmo, but has found it tough to make an impact in MLS.
Erikem made 17 appearances for the defending Western Conference Champs in all competitions, scoring two goals and registering one assist. He made only one appearance since the end of May, failing to beat out several other midfielders for a starting spot.
“We would like to thank Magnus for his contributions to our club this season and wish him the best as he embarks on the next step in his career,” Sounders GM and President of Soccer Garth Lagerwey said in a club statement.
Eikrem’s youth career began with Molde before moving to European giants Manchester United in 2009. After making zero first-team appearances with the Red Devils, Eikrem returned to Molde from 2011-13. He has also seen stops with Heerenveen, Cardiff City, and recently Malmo from 2015-17.
Colombian Benedetti ‘analyzing’ move to MLS
Another international player looks to be considering a move to Major League Soccer.
In a radio interview with Colombian outlet El Corrillo de Mao, playmaker Nicolas Benedetti has publicly stated he’s received a “very good proposition” to join an unnamed MLS side in the United States. The 21-year-old has been with Deportivo Cali domestically, making 102 appearances and scoring 17 goals since 2015.
During his time with Deportivo, Benedetti has won one league title but also appeared in Copa Sudamericana and Copa Libertadores action. Nicknamed “The Poet”, he was named to Colombia’s preliminary roster for the 2016 Copa America Centenario but missed the final cut. He has yet to earn a senior cap for the National Team.
“The U.S. is a very good proposition, but I’m analyzing it,” Benedetti said. “I’ll make the best decisions.”
The playmaker recently came off a dominant performance with Deportivo in their 4-0 Copa Sudamericana rout of Bolivar, where he scored a goal and added an assist. Deportivo look set to advance to the Round of 16 in the tournament after the midweek victory.
Benedetti was reportedly one of Minnesota United’s top offseason targets, but the deal fell through despite a $4 million offer by the Loons. Atlanta United was also said to be in the mix for Benedetti as a possible replacement for Miguel Almiron if he were to leave the club for a better deal.
However, Atlanta officials have stated their club is likely done with their summer business, both incoming and outgoing.