Inter Miami have brought in one of MLS’ top goalkeepers ahead of its inaugural campaign.
Former New York Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles has joined Inter Miami on a free agent deal. He joins the expansion side after spending eight seasons with the New York Red Bulls. Robles, 35, has won three MLS Supporters’ Shield in his career and won the 2015 Goalkeeper of the Year award.
“Luis has had a storied MLS career and we are excited that it will continue in Miami,” Inter Miami’s Sporting Director Paul McDonough said. “We look forward to his contributions ahead of our inaugural MLS season.”
Robles started 238 MLS regular season games for the Red Bulls, keeping 72 clean sheets in that time. He is the 16th player signed to the club’s inaugural roster, joining fellow MLS veterans Ben Sweat and Alvas Powell.
Robles wasn’t the only veteran to join Inter Miami on Monday. The expansion side also announced the signing of veteran defender A.J. De La Garza, who arrives as a free agent from the Houston Dynamo.
Atlanta United acquires Brooks Lennon
Brooks Lennon is on the move to Atlanta United.
The Five Strips acquired Lennon from Real Salt Lake on Monday. In exchange, RSL will receive $150,000 in General Allocation Money (GAM) and $150,000 in Targeted Allocation Money (TAM).
Lennon, 22, has made 86 league appearances for RSL in three seasons, scoring three goals and adding 10 assists. After working through RSL’s residency program, Lennon spent two years in English Premier League giants’ Liverpool’s academy.
“Brooks is a versatile young player and we are pleased to add him to our club,” Atlanta United Vice President and Technical Director Carlos Bocanegra said. “In addition to his vast experience on the international level with U.S. Youth National Teams, he has proven to be a reliable starter in MLS. He can play both fullback and wing positions and we expect him to have an integral role in our long-term plans.”
Lennon has also worked through the ranks with U.S. Soccer, featuring for the Under-17, U-18, and U-20 Men’s National Teams. He has a combined 20 appearances between all three teams, scoring 14 goals.
Loons reportedly pushing for Mannone deal
Minnesota United is pushing hard to bring Vito Mannone back to the Loons in 2020, and are reportedly ready to make him the highest-paid goalkeeper in MLS, according to multiple reports on Monday.
Mannone, currently under contract until May 2020 with EFL Championship side Reading, is also being scouted by other teams from England and Italy. The 31-year-old won 2019 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year honors as he and his teammates earned their first Audi MLS Cup Playoff berth in club history.
The Italian goalkeeper made 34 league appearances for Adrian Heath’s team, while finishing second in MLS with 129 saves, and allowing the third-fewest goals in the Western Conference (43). He also posted 11 shutouts.
MLS draws up conference lineup
Nashville SC and Inter Miami now know which side of the MLS conference divide they will each reside on for 2020.
The league is expanding to 26 teams for next season and each conference will be gaining a new member to swell to 13 teams each. Inter Miami will join the Eastern Conference while Nashville heads into the West.
Nashville can reasonably expect its stay out West to be a short one, however. The next three teams to join the league, Austin FC in 2021, and Sacramento Republic and St, Louis FC in 2022, are all on the other side of the Mississippi River, which will likely lead to a conference swap for the Tennessee club.
In addition to the alignment, the league announced it will continue with the 34-game schedule for next year, but, for the first time in league history, not every team will play each other. Teams will play a home and home against the other 12 teams in their conference and they will see only 10 of the 13 sides on the other side. MLS will release each team’s inter-conference opponents with the full schedule.
FC Dallas deals Badji to Nashville SC
Nashville acquired forward Dominique Badji in a trade with FC Dallas on Monday. In exchange, Dallas will receive $175,000 in 2020 Targeted Allocation Money and $150,000 in 2020 General Allocation Money. Dallas will receive an additional $75,000 in General Allocation Money should Badji meet certain performance-based metrics with Nashville in 2020.
“Dominique is a menace to play against,” Nashville SC General Manager Mike Jacobs said. “Versatile enough to play centrally and on the flanks, his combination of pace, strength and tenacity makes him a constant goal threat.”
A 2015 MLS SuperDraft selection, Badji has totaled 36 goals and 16 assists in 141 appearances between both FC Dallas and the Colorado Rapids.
The 27-year-old helped the Rapids clinch a spot in the 2018 Concacaf Champions League, before being traded to Dallas for midfielder Kellyn Acosta.