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MLS Ticker: LAFC re-signs Zimmerman, Feltscher returns to Galaxy, and more

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One of Major League Soccer’s talented centerbacks will be back in 2019 after re-signing with his current club long term.

LAFC announced on Tuesday they’ve re-signed centerback Walker Zimmerman to a four-year deal, using Targeted Allocation Money. Zimmerman will remain with the club through the 2022 campaign after playing a big part in LAFC’s success in 2018.

The USMNT defender made 26 appearances for the Black & Gold, after being acquired from FC Dallas in Dec. 2017. He led the team with three game-winning goals and registered his first-ever multi-goal game of his career in a 2-0 win over San Jose in Sept. 2018.

“I could not be more excited to continue my career with LAFC and build on what the group accomplished in our first year,” Zimmerman said. “I would like to thank the club for wanting me to be a part of the future here in Los Angeles, and I can’t wait to get started again.”

In his six seasons in MLS, Zimmerman has appeared in 115 matches while scoring 11 goals and adding two assists. He currently is in Chula Vista, CA with the USMNT as they continue their January camp under new head coach Gregg Berhalter.

Galaxy re-signs defender Rolf Feltscher

While their rivals re-signed a key part to their backline, the Los Angeles Galaxy decided to do the same with one of their own.

The Galaxy announced Tuesday they’ve re-signed 28-year-old defender Rolf Feltscher. 2019 will be Feltscher’s second season with the club after making 15 appearances last season under the late Sigi Schmid and interim head coach Dom Kinnear.

“We are pleased to have Rolf return to our backline,” Galaxy GM Dennie te Kloese said. “He brings depth, stability, and versatility to our defense and we look forward to his contributions to the LA Galaxy in the upcoming season.”

In his appearances last season, Feltscher scored one goal and added three assists. Before joining the club in Dec. 2017, Feltscher made nearly 200 professional appearances in Europe, with stops in England, Italy, Germany, and Spain. He has won 23 caps with the Venezuelan National Team.

Atlanta United adds Watford product Dion Pereira

Atlanta United’s offensive weapons continued to get even scarier with the acquisition of a talented young midfielder on Tuesday.

The Five Stripes acquired 19-year-old Dion Pereira from English Premier League side Watford. Pereira has spend 10 years within Watford’s system and has featured regularly for the club’s U-23 team.

After joining Watford at the U-9 level, Pereira has continued to move up the team’s system. He made his Premier League debut on May 6th, 2017 against Leicester City and has made one additional appearance since.

“We’re pleased to welcome Dion to the club and look forward to him joining the squad as we head into the 2019 season,” Atlanta United Vice President and Technical Director Carlos Bocanegra said. “We identified him as a young, technical player who we believe will adapt him well to Atlanta United and MLS.”

He was named Watford’s Young Player of the Season for 2016-17 and has spent the last three seasons playing for the U-23’s in the Professional Development League. 2017-18 saw Pereira’s best season yet with the midfielder scoring 13 goals in 28 appearances.

D.C. United’s Ian Harkes joins Scottish second-tier side Dundee United

After only two seasons in Major League Soccer, former MAC Hermann winner Ian Harkes is on the move to Europe.

The 23-year-old has signed a two-year deal with Scottish second-tier side Dundee United, after being released by D.C. United following the conclusion of the 2018 MLS season. Harkes was signed via a homegrown contract back in Jan. 2017, and would eventually make 25 appearances in his debut season.

However, a rise in playing time for several others saw Harkes only made eight appearances for Ben Olsen’s bunch in 2018. He leaves the club with two goals and one assist to his name in league action.

“I am excited to get started here at United,” Harkes said. “This is a great opportunity for me, and I want to help this team get into the Premiership. I believe my style of play will be suited to Scottish Football and I want to get out on the park in a United jersey as soon as I can.”

Harkes’ only call-up to the U.S. Men’s National Team came in Jan. 2018 but he has yet to feature since.

Sounders sign goalkeeper Trey Muse to Homegrown contract

Trey Muse became the 11th Homegrown Player for the Seattle Sounders on Tuesday, after signing a deal with the club.

Muse, a sophomore at Indiana University, led the Hoosiers to the College Cup semifinals in 2018 before falling to eventual National Champion, Maryland. He posted 12 shutouts this season and posted a 0.541 Goals Against Average, which led the Big Ten.

“I couldn’t be more excited for the opportunity and to begin my professional career with the Sounders after two terrific seasons at Indiana University,” Muse said. “My two years in Bloomington under head coach Todd Yeagley and the rest of the IU staff have helped me tremendously for the next step in my journey. I can’t wait to get to Seattle to join the team and get to work for [Head] Coach Brian Schmetzer, Coach Dutra, and learn from a couple of great veterans in Stefan Frei and Bryan Meredith.”\

The 19-year-old made 32 starts for the Sounders academy over two seasons after moving to Seattle from Louisville, KY. Muse’s accolades in 2018 featured First Team All-American, Big Ten Goalkeeper of the Year, and a semifinalist for the MAC Hermann Trophy.

Rapids add Hundley, Raben to Homegrown contracts

The Colorado Rapids have reached double-digits on Tuesday, signing the ninth and tenth respective development academy players to homegrown contracts.

21-year-old defender Sam Raben and 18-year-old Matt Hundley both signed first-team contracts with the club, continuing a busy offseason for the Western Conference club.

Raben has represented the Rapids Development Academy at the U-18/19 level, while also playing for the U-23’s during the 2017 and 2018 seasons. He made 91 starts collegiately at Wake Forest University, which is tied for the third-most in program history. In those 91 starts, Raben helped the Demon Deacons keep 46 clean sheets during that span.

Hundley has also featured for the U-18/19 Development Academy team, and his coming off a talented campaign with UCLA. In his 19 appearances with the Bruins, Hundley scored five goals which led the team, while also contributing seven assists. He has also represented the U.S. U-17 and U-19 Men’s National Teams.

“Today we take another step forward with the signings of Colorado natives Sam Raben and Matt Hundley,” Rapids’ Executive Vice President and General Manager Padraig Smith said. “With the support of their families and our academy coaches, both of these young men take the next step in their professional careers.”

Comments

    • While Zimmerman isn’t a world beater, he is a solid MLS CB. I don’t see him as a true option for the USMNT first team as there is too much talent in front of him (Brooks, Miazga, CCV, EPB, Parker, Alverado) and too many prospects coming up behind him (Trusty, Glad, McKenzie).
      That being said he’s still a player that an MLS club can have confidence in and worth a decent contract offset with TAM $.

      Reply
      • right….i think its important that american soccer fans are able to differentiate between “solid MLS player” and a guy who should be getting serious looks (not even at top clubs) in europe. the gap is wider than us jaded american fans like to think…not saying you were, just pointing out that the gap exists…

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