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MLS Ticker: LAFC acquires Hamalainen on-loan, TFC adds Westberg, and more

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LAFC added depth to their defensive backline with the addition of Niko Hamalainen on Monday.

The club announced they’ve signed Hamalainen on a six-month loan from Queens Park Rangers. Hamalainen, 21, has only made three appearances for QPR’s first-team and also saw a short loan spell to Dagenham & Redbridge of England’s lower-tiers.

A native of Miami, Florida, Hamalainen has won one cap with the Finnish National Team after playing for several of the country’s youth teams.

“Niko has a bright future ahead of him and we look forward to furthering his professional development at LAFC,” GM and EVP of Soccer Operations John Thorrington said. “I am confident he will prove to be a valuable addition to the group.”

Toronto FC adds former U.S. youth goalkeeper Quentin Westberg

Toronto FC added an experienced French-American goalkeeper to its roster prior to the start of the 2019 MLS regular season.

The club announced on Monday they signed Quentin Westberg from AJ Auxerre of Ligue 2. Westberg, 32, represented the U.S. at the U-17, U-20, and U-23 levels.

Westberg made his professional debut with Troyes in 2006 and would end up making 37 appearances with them over four seasons. His lengthiest spell came with US Luzenac where he made 71 appearances from 2012-14. He has also spent time with Evian, Sarpsborg, and Tours.

After making 20 appearances in all competitions with Auxerre, Westberg asked for his contract to be terminated with the club. He will now fight with Alex Bono for first-team minutes in Toronto.

Rapids sign former D.C. United defender Kofi Opare

Kofi Opare has found himself a new club for the 2019 season.

The Colorado Rapids announced on Monday they’ve signed Opare to a one-year contract. After spending the last five seasons with D.C. United, Opare will now gear up for Western Conference play and look to help the Rapids improve up the table.

“Kofi is a talented centerback who will help bring depth and experience to our backline,” Rapids EVP and GM Padraig Smith said. “He has spent the majority of preseason training with the team, so he has already integrated himself into our group and has adapted well to our style of play and tactics.”

Opare made 65 appearances for the Black and Red, but only saw the pitch 11 times in 2018. A native of Ghana, Opare was the No. 24th overall selection by the LA Galaxy back in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft.

He will battle with Tommy Smyth and Kortne Ford for first-team minutes in Colorado.

Revolution signs first-round SuperDraft pick DeJuan Jones

DeJuan Jones has officially been signed by the New England Revolution.

Jones, the No. 11th overall selection in January’s MLS SuperDraft, has featured for the club in preseason and will now look for first-team minutes in his rookie season. In 75 appearances at Michigan State University, Jones racked up 16 goals and 14 assists in four seasons with the Spartans.

Jones earned Second-Team All-Big Ten Honors in 2017 and 2018 while also helping the team to a College Cup Semifinal berth in 2018. He also emerged in the 2018 MLS Combine, where he finished first in the 30-meter dash and the 5-10-5 shuttle.

New England faces FC Dallas on March 2nd to kick off their regular-season schedule.

 

 

 

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