After only one season in Major League Soccer, Uruguayan attacker Alejandro Silva is on the move back to his home country.
The Montreal Impact announced on Monday they’ve transferred Silva to Club Olimpia for roughly over $4 million, which is a record fee for the team. Silva, 29, returns to Olimpia for a third stint after scoring five goals and registering 11 assists with the Impact in 2018.
Montreal used Targeted Allocation Money to acquire Silva from Argentina outfit Lanus, but Silva had been linked with a move closer to home.
“I thank Alejandro for his important contribution this past season,” Impact head coach Remi Garde said. “His daily professionalism and his desire to win greatly helped the team progress. He was very keen to take a new sporting opportunity that would also allow him to be closer to his family. I wish him a lot of success in the future.”
Silva’s departure will certainly provide an opportunity for offseason acquisitions Maxi Urruti and Harry Novillo.
Inter Miami announces hiring of Niki Budalic as Director of Soccer Operations
A week after making one big splash in the front office, Inter Miami CF has followed that up with another on Monday.
Pro Soccer USA reported the hiring of Niki Budalic as the club’s Director of Soccer Operations, adding another experienced MLS executive to the club’s growing technical staff. Budalic was originally being linked to the job via the Athletic last week as Inter Miami gears up for their 2020 expansion debut in MLS.
Budalic, 40, served as Orlando City’s GM of Soccer Operations from 2016 until November of this past year before being dismissed. The Canadian will work under Inter sporting director Paul McDonough, alongside recent hire and current technical director Kurt Schmid.
“Niki’s experience working alongside players and coaches at all levels will be an important addition to our technical staff, and one that will allow us to create an environment that cultivates success,” McDonough said. “We want to welcome Niki to the Inter Miami family.”
D.C. United, Vancouver Whitecaps interested in Sheffield Wednesday striker Gary Hooper
30-year-old Gary Hooper will see his current contract with EFL Championship side Sheffield Wednesday end this May, but reportedly could be on the move to MLS this summer.
According to Sky Sports, Hooper has received interest from both D.C. United and Vancouver Whitecaps for his services. The forward was a proven goal-scorer with Scottish giants Celtic between 2010-13, where he tallied 82 goals and 30 assists in 138 combined appearances with the club.
Hooper then joined Norwich City where he found the back of the net 18 times in 64 appearances with the club. He was loaned to Wednesday in October of 2015, before permanently signing in 2016. Hooper has scored 29 goals in 76 appearances with the Owls, but has yet to feature this season due to injury.
Hooper is also receiving interest from clubs in China, but would add valuable experience to both D.C. and Vancouver.
Real Salt Lake adds Everton Luiz from Spal on loan
Real Salt Lake continued to add depth to their roster on Monday, acquiring midfielder Everton Luiz on a season-long loan.
Luiz will join RSL in preseason from Serie A outfit Spal, where he’s made 21 appearances during the calendar year of 2018. The 30-year-old Brazilian’s most prominent stint was with Partizan Belgrade of Serbia, where he appeared in the UEFA Europa League and won a league title and two Serbian Cups.
He has also seen time with Lugano, St. Gallen, and San Luiz while making 246 professional appearances across all competitions.
“MLS is a league that is growing a lot and becoming more and more competitive. I am coming to a structured cub that is full of potential to go further,” Luiz said. “I’ve reached my dream of playing in one of the biggest leagues on the planet and share the pitch with many of the best players. I wasn’t playing as much as I wanted and I’m looking forward to new challenges and saw in Real Salt Lake a huge opportunity to keep growing in my career.”
RSL opens their 2019 campaign on March 2nd at the Houston Dynamo.
Earthquakes add Peru U-20 National Team defender Marcos Lopez
The San Jose Earthquakes continued their recent acquisitions of South American talent with the signing of Marcos Lopez using Targeted Allocation Money. Lopez, 19, has signed a multi-year contract with the Earthquakes and will occupy an international roster spot.
“We’re very excited to welcome a young player of Marcos’ caliber to San Jose,” Earthquakes head coach Matias Almeyda said. “His impressive play over the last few years gives us confidence that he’ll be an important contributor for us in the present and future.”
Lopez joins San Jose from Sporting Cristal Lima of the Peruvian first division. He helped Sporting to a 25-7-11 record regular-season record and a +62 goal differential. In his 23 appearances, Lopez earned 21 starts and scored five goals.
In 2017, Lopez competed for Peru at the South American U-20 Championship, starting all four group-stage matches and competing against talents like Everton’s Richarlison, Manchester City’s Yangel Herrera, Inter Milan’s Lautaro Martinez, and Juventus’ Rodrigo Bentancur.
He also made his first call-up to the Peruvian National Team in August 2018, debuting against Germany on Sept. 9th.