MLS Ticker: NYCFC signs Mitrita, RSL adds Liberian forward, and more

MLS Ticker: NYCFC signs Mitrita, RSL adds Liberian forward, and more


MLS Ticker: NYCFC signs Mitrita, RSL adds Liberian forward, and more


David Villa’s departure left NYCFC with a major hole on the offensive front. On Monday, the Eastern Conference club added a young talent to give Domenec Torrent another option to toss in the mix.

NYCFC announced on Monday they signed Alexandru Mitrita to a Designated Player contract from Romania. Mitrita, 23, joins from Romainian Liga I club Universitaea Craiova where he’s played as a winger, forward, and attacking midfielder.

“I’m very happy to be a part of this team and I’m looking forward to getting started,” Mitrita said. “It is a great joy for me and I will do my best to play at a high level. I want to make everyone who believes in my proud that we were able to achieve this transfer.”

In 2017-18, Mitrita scored 16 goals and registered four assists in 38 matches across all competitions with Universitaea Craiova. He has also spent time with Viitorul Constanta and Pescara during his time in Europe.

With Craiova prior to his move to MLS, Mitrita scored 12 goals and added four assists in 16 league games. He has won six caps with the Romanian national team since making his debut in March 2018.

Real Salt Lake signs forward Sam Johnson to Designated Player contract

Real Salt Lake’s attacking options continued to grow on Monday with the acquisition of Liberian forward Sam Johnson.

Johnson, 25, joined via a Designated Player contract from Norwegian side Valerenga. He will occupy an international roster spot and gives Mike Petke another option in his ever-growing forward list.

In 2017-18, Johnson tallied 11 goals in 21 matches in Norway’s Eliteserien which was good for sixth-most in the league. He also registered his first two goals for the Liberian National Team last year, and has won 11 caps in total.

His most prominent spells in Europe came with Swedish outfits IK Frej and Djurgardens where he scored 34 combined goals in 91 appearances.

“I am happy to welcome Sam to the RSL family. It will be good to get him integrated with the players and staff and up to speed on how we play,” RSL head coach Mike Petke said. “The addition of Sam will provide us with a strong option up front and will certainly create further competition on an already deep roster.”

Greg Vanney: Altidore still a few weeks away from match fitness

Jozy Altidore could very well be playing his final season with Toronto FC in 2019. However, after dealing with knee and ankle problems last season Altidore could miss the beginning of the new campaign as he recovers from surgery.

TFC head coach Greg Vanney gave a report on Altidore from preseason camp in Southern California, stating the striker is still “a few weeks away” from appearing in matches.

“Probably a few weeks,” Vanney said. “He’s doing his fitness, trying to get himself going fitness-wise. Now it’s just kind of a progression of striking balls, contact, all the things that you have to pass in order to be really match-ready. But he’s working hard and getting himself towards fitness.”

Altidore missed chunks of 2018 and only made 12 starts for the then defending MLS champs. The 29-year-old has scored 45 goals in 88 appearances for TFC since joining in 2015.

TFC recently fell 5-1 to USL side Las Vegas Lights FC in their latest preseason friendly.

Minnesota United re-signs defender Eric Miller

After impressing in his first season with the club, a familiar face will be staying with Minnesota United for the upcoming campaign.

The club announced they re-signed Eric Miller on Monday, after joining the team via trade last May. Miller came from the Colorado Rapids and would go on to make 18 league appearances for the club in 2018.

The former fifth overall selection in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft, Miller also has seen time with the Montreal Impact in his career. He earned Colorado Rapids Defender of the Year honors in 2017 after starting 30 matches for the club.

The Loons kick off their season on March 2nd against Vancouver.

Whitecaps, De Jong mutually part ways

One of the Vancouver Whitecaps’ veteran defenders will not be back with the team in 2019.

The club announced on Monday evening they mutually parted ways with 32-year-old Marcel de Jong. Despite the contract termination, a portion of de Jong’s salary will remain on the team’s budget for 2019.

“We are thankful to Marcel for his contributions,” Whitecaps FC head coach Marc Dos Santos said in a team statement. “He has served this club professionally and we wish him well in the future. The move allows Marcel to explore other opportunities, while we continue to make changes to our roster in preparation for the upcoming season.”

de Jong made 55 combined league appearances for the Whitecaps in three seasons in Vancouver. He scored one goals and added five assists.

The Whitecaps kick off their season on March 2nd against Minnesota United.

Report: Impact to acquire Zachary Brault-Guillard on-loan

The Montreal Impact are reportedly interested in the services of a Canadian National Team player for the 2019 campaign.

According to French outlet L’Equipe, Zachary Brault-Guillard will join the Impact on-loan from Olympique Lyon. Brault-Guillard has currently been with the Impact in preseason camp as a trialist.

He won his first two caps with the Canadian Men’s National Team in 2018 after playing in the past for the U-20’s. The 20-year-old played in 33 matches for Lyon’s second-team since making his debut for them in 2016.


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