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MLS Ticker: Toronto FC signs Pozuelo, Guzan hits back at Hamid, and more

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Toronto FC has finally added Alejandro Pozuelo to the roster.

The club announced on Monday they’ve acquired Pozuelo from Belgian side Genk, as their third Designated Player. Pozuelo, 27, made a combined 175 appearances for Genk in all competitions since joining in 2015. He totaled 25 goals and 60 assists for Genk.

“Alejandro is an excellent player that has the ability to both create and score goals,” Toronto FC General Manager Ali Curtis said. “He is the best player on the best team in Belgium’s top division. Obviously, and for so many reasons, we would like him to join us now, but we look forward to his arrival on March 18. We are very excited for the 2019 season and adding another important piece to a group that already has a lot of quality only makes us stronger.”

The Spanish midfielder came through the youth ranks at Real Betis before making his first-team debut in 2011. Pozuelo played two seasons with the La Liga outfit before also seeing time with Swansea City and Rayo Vallecano.

Pozuelo will help fill the void left by Victor Vazquez in TFC’s midfield.

Brad Guzan hits back at Bill Hamid following preseason remarks

Brad Guzan and Bill Hamid went head-to-head on Sunday night with the D.C. United keeper getting the better of his U.S. Men’s National Team counterpart.

D.C. United defeated the defending MLS champs 2-0 at Audi Field but it didn’t stop Guzan from voicing his opinion on Hamid’s preseason comments that he was better than the former Aston Villa keeper.

“When you hear things like that, being a goalkeeper in this league or across the world, there’s something about being in the goalkeepers union, having respect for your colleagues, having respect for the position, carrying yourself in a professional way,” Guzan said postmatch. “Some of us maybe lack in some of those areas.”

“It’s disappointing when you see fellow colleagues who are possibly going to be on the same team at some point,” Guzan said. “But that’s for him. You’d have to ask him more about those comments.”

Hamid’s comments were shocking to say the least as Guzan has won 54 more caps more with the USMNT than Hamid and has an MLS Cup title to his name. Hamid was named Man of the Match in D.C.’s opening weekend victory making two saves, while Guzan saw Paul Arriola and Luciano Acosta beat him in the loss.

Both keepers will hope to be competing for time under new USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter later this year.

JoAnn Neale, Gary Stevenson given promotions in MLS League Office

Two members of Major League Soccer’s League Office have earned promotions.

JoAnn Neale has been promoted to President & Chief Administrative Officer, while Gary Stevenson will assume the title of Deputy Commissioner and President of Business Ventures. Neale, Stevenson, and current Deputy Commissioner Mark Abbott will continue to report to MLS Commissioner Don Garber.

Neale joined MLS in 1998 as legal counsel and will now take responsibility for strategic planning and information technology, while maintaining oversight of all aspects of the human resources and administration and facilities departments.

Stevenson joined MLS in 2013 and is a highly accomplished executive in the sports industry since 1980. He currently oversees the domestic and international commercial business of MLS which includes Soccer United Marketing (SUM) Media and Broadcasting, Digital, Club Services, Marketing, Consumer Products, Special Events, and Content Media and Distribution.

“This structure enhances outr league office by maximizing the skill, experience, and dedication of Mark, JoAnn, and Gary and everyone on our leadership team,” Garber said. “This is a period of explosive growth in all areas of the league. We look foward to continuing to build on our momentum, and to delivering the greatest experience in sport to our fans.”

Minnesota United adds 18-year-old Hamis Ng’anzi

Minnesota United added a young midfielder to the mix on Monday.

The club announced the acquisition of Tanzanian midfielder Ally Hamis Ng’anzi on a one-year loan with an option to buy. Ng’anzi joins from Czech Republic side MFK Vyskov.

The 18-year-old Ng’anzi led Tanzania’s U-17 and U-20 MNT’s through the African Cup of Nations and earned the captain’s armband with both teams. Most recently, he played with the U-23 MNT and joined Vyskov in late 2018.

It is expected that Ng’anzi will be sent to USL affiliate Forward Madison. Madison will kick off their inaugural campaign on April 6th.

 

 

Comments

  1. Guzan’s distribution is beyond terrible and he let in a howler. Probably picked the wrong time to start running his mouth.

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    • Hamid was just wanting to be back in the discussion. it was a good move by him to get people talking about him again. Now if he backs it up on the field he’ll just have to set things right with – as Guzan said – the rest of his goal keeper teammates. He has a good way to go get ahead of Steffan… And so does Guzan….

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    • We live in a world where running one’s mouth is seen as a virtue (see the comment by Master of the Obvious). Apparently, it’s a good thing to put down colleagues in order to make a name for yourself.

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    • I doubt that Hamid will ever have a resume half as good as Guzan. The proof is on the field, not from someone’/s mouth. Guzan started for several years in the EPL, Hamid couldn’t make it even in the Danish league. As for the howler, when I saw the replay, it looked like the ball had a lot of spin and took a very wicked hop with a change in direction at high speed.

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      • Guzan last year was on the league champion with a solid defense, 1.24 GAA 65.9% saves. Hamid came back to a midtable DC team that was fairly generous on defense, 0.86 GAA 81% saves. That’s .38 G/game more and 15% fewer saves. Extra goal each 3 games. Plus Guzan is 34 and will be like 37 or 38 as a backup in 2022. I think it’s a fair question whether the real answer is nunya for the Nats, but Hamid, however mistake plagued, is better than Guzan. And then Steffen is better than both. And then Horvath, Hamid, and a few others should compete for the 2nd and 3rd keeper shirts. Not Guzan, who can’t put up good numbers anymore even on a top MLS team.

      • I have been campaigning for Frei to get his chance. Better GAA and save % than Guzan, solidly down near 1 goal/game. People forget about him because he’s also Swiss, but they didn’t lock him down.

        Robles I have nightmares from the Haiti game. But I would like to see the keeping position opened up and done by performance. When the keeping quality was high they could pull this apprenticeship stuff where there was an annointed backup who was the heir apparent. But right now it’s Steffen then Everybody Else so there should be no protected apprentice. It should be who stands on their heads and pitches national team shutouts gets to stay. Well, really, the whole team needs to go back to that principle and not what does your resume say, what snob value does your club team have.

  2. Kid from arsenal u18 F. Balogun has been on fire and scored for their u23s today. He is 17 and U.S. Eligible. Has like 16 goals in 13 appearances for the u18s but might looks to be breaking into u23s now

    Reply

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