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MLS Ticker: TFC signs Osorio to new deal, SKC’s Rubio earns Chile call-up, and more


In the midst of one of his best MLS seasons to date, 26-year-old Jonathan Osorio was on the verge of hitting the free agent market this winter. That was before Toronto FC stepped up and signed him to a new deal, which the club announced on Thursday.

Osorio has recorded a career-high nine goals and five assists in 2018, and his 202 appearances for TFC are the most in club history. Last year, Osorio played a key role in his club’s Treble-winning season, helping to lead the team to MLS Cup, MLS Supporters’ Shield, and Canadian Championship triumphs.

SKC’s Rubio earns Chile call-up

Sporting Kansas City striker Diego Rubio is set to return to his country’s national team for the first team in seven years.

The 25-year-old will join up with his international teammates in September, and will be hoping to see action in at least one of his nation’s two friendlies. Chile will come up against Japan on the 7th of September and South Korea just four days later.

The Chilean attacker is enjoying a fantastic season thus far, having scored seven goals and providing five assists in just 520 minutes of MLS action. Rubio’s impressive tally comes out to 1.21 goals per 90 minutes played, the best ratio out of all of the MLS’s lethal marksmen.  

Currently ranked 12th in the latest FIFA standings, Chile has a star-studded national team featuring the likes of Arturo Vidal and Gary Medel. Breaking into the 24-man squad that was announced earlier today is no small feat for Rubio, who is the only player from MLS in La Roja’s team.

Canada calls up 10 MLS players for friendlies

‘Tis the season of international friendlies, and as such the Canadian national team has just today announced its own 23-man squad for the upcoming break. Head coach John Herdman’s group includes ten MLS players, with four of those ten coming from the Vancouver Whitecaps.

The four aforementioned ‘Caps heading away are midfielders Russell Teibert and Alphonso Davies and defenders Doneil Henry and Marcel de Jong. Luckily for Vancouver their four key men will not be missing any club action, as the team has a weekend off from MLS action during the upcoming international break.  

Samuel Piette (Montreal Impact), and Tosaint Ricketts, Jay Chapman, and Jonathan Osorio (Toronto FC) make up the other MLS players leaving their Canadian clubs. All four, much like Vancouver’s quartet, will be gone during a short break for their respective club teams.

Elsewhere, LAFC defender Dejan Jaković and Dallas midfielder Tesho Akindele make up the remaining 10 of the 23 selected players announced by Canada soccer.

Timbers loan Williamson to Portuguese club

The Portland Timbers have sent rookie midfielder Eryk Williamson on loan to Portuguese first-division side Santa Clara for the 2018-2019 season, the club announced on Tuesday.

The Timbers paid a steep price to acquire the former D.C. United homegrown midfielder and U.S. Under-20 national team standout (sending $200,000 in allocation, a 2019 international roster slot and 2020 second-round pick), but he hadn’t been able to break in with the first team this season.

Williamson had impressed with Timbers II and the Timbers made the decision to send him to Portugal to continue his development.

LAFC recall Blackmon from USL loan

Just two weeks after loaning defender Tristan Blackmon to Phoenix Rising FC, LAFC have announced that their first-round draft pick will in fact be returning to his parent club.  

Blackmon, 22, appeared just twice for Phoenix Rising during his short stint with the USL side. The young defender impressed, however, seeing 90 minutes in both matches and playing a large part in his side’s two clean sheets.  

The two matches Blackmon played in the USL saw him start at centerback, a position that isn’t completely new to him. Despite usually being deployed at right back, it seems as though LAFC saw enough out of Blackmon in central defense to think that he could help provide some cover after the departure of former captain Laurent Ciman, who left via transfer to Ligue 1 side Caen.

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