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MLS Ticker: Atlanta re-signs Parkhurst, Salinas undergoes foot surgery, and more


A big piece of Atlanta United’s MLS Cup winning roster is returning in 2019.

Veteran centerback Michael Parkhurst will return to the club after Atlanta United re-signed him on Saturday. Parkhurst, 34, made 33 appearances this season including starts in all five of the Five Stripes playoff matches.

This season saw Parkhurst lift MLS Cup for the first time in his career after failing to do so in four prior appearances. He has logged over 6,300 minutes over the past two seasons, which is the most by any Atlanta player.

“Michael has played an important role for our team over the past two seasons and we’re pleased to have re-signed him,” said Atlanta United Vice President and Technical Director Carlos Bocanegra. “Since joining the club, he has served as an excellent captain and his experience and leadership is invaluable for our group.”

2018 saw Parkhurst finish third in the MLS Defender of the Year voting and he was also named an MLS All-Star for the sixth time in his career.

Earthquakes defender Shea Salinas undergoes foot surgery

Veteran defender Shea Salinas underwent a successful foot surgery on Friday, and is expected to be sidelined from activity for six weeks.

The 32-year-old made 25 appearances in 2018 for the Quakes, is expected to miss the first part of preseason. He registered two assists in what was a disappointing season for San Jose.

He will be heading into his 10th season with the club, and will look to feature under new manager Matias Almeyda.

Atlanta United’s Ezequiel Barco called to Argentina U-20 National Team

After helping his side to an MLS Cup title in 2018, Ezequiel Barco will now prepare for the upcoming Conmebol South American U-20 Championship.

Barco was called up by Argentina U-20 boss Fernando Batista, becoming one of two overseas players to be joining the squad. After being the most expensive transfer acquisition in league history, Barco started 19 games this season and scored four goals.

The South American Under-20 Championship will be played in Chile from Jan. 17 to Feb. 10. Argentina will begin group stage play on Jan. 20, when they kick off a stretch of four matches in seven days. They must finish among the top three in Group B to move on to the final stage of the competition where the top four nations will book their ticket to the FIFA Under-20 World Cup.

Poland will host the FIFA U-20 World Cup next May.

FC Dallas signs Brazilian defender Bressan

A busy offseason continued for FC Dallas as they signed Brazilian defender Bressan, using Targeted Allocation Money.

He will occupy an international roster spot, however terms of the deal were not disclosed. The 25-year-old has spent his entire professional career in his native Brazil, most recently with Gremio in the Serie A.

In his five seasons with Gremio, Bressan made 103 appearances and won the 2017 Copa Libertadores and 2018 Recopa Sudamericana.

“We are thrilled to be able to bolster our back line with a versatile player like Bressan,” said FC Dallas President Dan Hunt. “He has experience on the biggest stages of soccer in South America and we think his presence and technical ability as a defender will translate well to the style of play in MLS.”

Dynamo bolsters midfielder with acquisition of Matias Vera

The Houston Dynamo added another South American talent to the mix in midfield on Friday.

Wilmer Cabrera’s bunch signed Argentinian midfielder Matias Vera on a full transfer from San Lorenzo of the Argentinian Primera Division, using Targeted Allocation Money. Vera was most recently on loan at O’Higgins of the Chilean Primera Division, making 25 appearances in league action.

“We are excited to sign Matías because he will help us improve and will give us balance in the team. He is a natural ball winner in the midfield who is also young and a very talented distributor of the ball in the middle of the field,” said Dynamo Head Coach Wilmer Cabrera. “This past season we had difficulties when we were without Juan David Cabezas for most of the year. Now with Matías, we have someone who will create depth and competition in the middle. That is important, understanding that we are facing three competitions throughout the season.”

Vera becomes the seventh midfielder under contract for Houston heading into 2019, and will occupy an international roster spot.

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