Minnesota United added depth to their backline with the signing of a Ligue 1 regular.
The Loons announced on Friday they’ve signed Romain Metanire from Stade Reims using Targeted Allocation Money. Metanire will occupy an international roster spot on the Loons roster.
Metanire, 28, joined Reims in 2017 helping them earn promotion into French’s top-flight. During his time with Reims, Metanire made 59 league appearances between Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 while registering five assists. He began his professional career in 2008 with FC Metz, eventually seeing time with the first team in 2010. Metanire also saw a short stint with Belgian outfit, KV Kortrijk.
“Romain is an experienced player and we have the mindset of bringing in players who can come in and compete for a spot straight away,” Loons head coach Adrian Heath said. “He’s been playing a really good standard in France. He’s very athletic, he can play in both halves of the field; great at defending but good at going forward as well. The role of the fullback has evolved, it’s multifaceted, you have to have the physical capabilities to defend, but you have to also be a threat in the opposition’s half. We are excited to have him in and it’s another step in the right direction in this critical offseason for the club.”
He has won three caps with the Madagascar National Team.
Timbers add five players to contracts in 2019
The Portland Timbers made a series of additions on Friday, retaining a trio of players, recalling one from loan, and signing a veteran defender.
Portland announced they signed veteran centerback Claude Dielna after acquiring his rights in a trade with the New England Revolution on Jan. 16th. Additionally, the Timbers re-signed goalkeeper Steve Clark and midfielder Andres Flores while calling Eryk Williamson from loan and receiving Tomas Conechny on-loan.
Dielna, 31, made 28 appearances with the Revolution after joining them as a Designated Player in 2017. Portland traded $100,000 in General Allocation Money for Dielna’s rights but has signed him using Targeted Allocation Money.
The 32-year-old Clark was acquired off waivers from D.C. United back in Aug. 2018, and went on to make eight appearances last season. He recorded a pair of regular-season shutouts and conceded only two goals in four home matches. Clark has also spent time in Denmark and Norway during his career.
Flores, 28, played in 28 matches last season for the Timbers while recording one goal and two assists. 2019 will mark his second season in Portland.
The 20-year-old Conechny played in four matches for Portland in 2018 while also seeing time with the team’s USL side. Williamson moved to Santa Clara last August but prior to that he made 15 appearances for the Timbers, scoring three goals and adding two assists.
Whitecaps acquire Brazilian winger Lucas Venuto
An offseason of transition for the Vancouver Whitecaps saw the team add a versatile weapon to its offenseive front.
The club announced on Friday they’ve acquired Brazilian winger Lucas Venuto via the use of Targeted Allocation Money. Venuto joins the team from FK Austria Wien.
“Lucas is a very fast and dynamic winger who has a lot of energy in his game,” Whitecaps head coach Marc Dos Santos said. “He always looks to attack, take players on, and he has an incredible work ethic on both sides of the ball. This is a player who left Brazil when he was young and was able to adapt quickly in Europe. We believe he’s a perfect fit for the way we want to play, and we are very happy to add him to our roster.”
The 24-year-old has spent the last five seasons in the Austrian Bundesliga. He’s spent time with Red Bull Brasil, FC Liefering, SV Grodig, and Austria Wien where he totaled 26 goals in 151 total appearances.
Venuto agreed to a three-year contract through 2021 with Vancouver, with a club option for 2022. The Whitecaps acquired the MLS first right of refusal to Venuto from NYCFC in exchange for $150,000 in General Allocation Money.
Fire reach deals with offseason additions Martinez, Moreno
The Chicago Fire reached deals with a pair of offseason additions heading into the 2019 MLS regular-season.
Chicago announced they’ve agreed to terms with wingers Cristian Martinez and Amando Moreno. Both players are under contract with the Fire for the 2019 season, however Martinez has an option for 2020 and 2021 while Moreno has options for 2020, 2021, and 2022.
“Amando and Cristian showed a lot of quality in their time with their former clubs, which was something that captured our attention,” Fire head coach Veljko Paunovic. “They both have attacking qualities that we will be able to rely on. We are excited to work with them because we believe that there is a high ceiling for their development.”
Martinez was acquired in the 2018 MLS Waiver Draft after spending the last three seasons with the Columbus Crew. The 21-year-old Panamanian registered two assists last season in 14 appearances and overall saw the field 27 times with Columbus in his time there.
Moreno’s rights were acquired in a trade with the New York Red Bulls. After beginning his career as a Homegrown Player with NYRB, Moreno has played in over 50 league games for the club and is a former U.S. U-20 MNT player.
Fire signs Academy Product Andre Reynolds
The Chicago Fire’s busy week did not end there as they announced the signing of 17-year-old Andre Reynolds to a Homegrown Deal.
Reynolds is the 12th Homegrown signing in the club’s history and is under contract through the 2022 season with an option for 2023. He’s spent the last four seasons playing in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy, making 89 appearances and scoring nine goals as a defender.
“I’m extremely excited and blessed to be able to play for the Chicago Fire,” Reynolds said. “Having been a fan for years and coming up through the Fire’s youth system, it has always been a dream of mine to represent the crest on a professional level. I am ready to continue everything I have for this club and look forward to playing alongside a great group of guys.”
Reynolds was called into the U.S. U-19 MNT camp earlier this month and is eligible to represent the U-20’s in this summer’s FIFA U-20 World Cup.