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MLS Ticker: Rowe returns to Revolution, RSL adds Luiz on permanent deal, and more

A familiar face is on his way back to the New England Revolution.

Kelyn Rowe has been signed back to the club on Wednesday, after spending 2019 with both Sporting KC and Real Salt Lake. An eight-year MLS veteran, Rowe has totaled 224 league appearances, scoring 29 goals and adding 42 assists,

“Kelyn is a talented player with valuable experience in this league,” Revolution Sporting Director and Head Coach Bruce Arena said. “We are pleased to bring him back to New England and look forward to his contributions on and off the field next season.”

A midfielder, who was also used as a fullback, Rowe made 19 appearances with both SKC and RSL in 2019. He also made one appearance win the MLS Cup Playoffs for RSL.

“New England is a special place to me that feels like home and I’m happy for the opportunity to represent the Revolution again,” Rowe said. “I’m also very excited to work with Bruce. He had me briefly when I was at my best and wants to push me to become greater next season.”

Sporting KC adds veteran Croatian defender Puncec

Peter Vermes will have a veteran European defender coming to Kansas City for the 2020 MLS season.

Sporting KC added Croatian defender Roberto Puncec on Wednesday, signing him to a two-year deal through 2021. There is also an option for the 2022 season and Puncec will occupy an international roster spot on SKC’s roster.

Totaling over 300 appearances in Europe, Puncec has played in Croatia, Israel and Germany. Puncec has played for Meccabi Tel Aviv, HNK Rijeka, Union Berlin, and Varteks in his 12-year professional career.

“Roberto has significant experience playing in Europe over the last several years,” Sporting Kansas City Manager and Sporting Director Peter Vermes said. “He is very excited to be here and we look forward to him integrating into our club and our city.”

A former Croatian Men’s Youth Team player, Puncec will look to help SKC rebound from a disappointing 2019 season. SKC finished 11th in the Western Conference, ten points from the final playoff spot.

Real Salt Lake adds Everton Luiz on permanent deal

Everton Luiz is staying with Real Salt Lake on a permanent deal.

After spending the 2019 season on-loan from Serie A side SPAL, Luiz will remain in Utah after RSL used Targeted Allocation Money on Wednesday to make his move permanent. Luiz, 31, was voted RSL’s Most Valuable Player by his teammates last season.

“We are thrilled to be able to keep a foundational piece of our midfield,” RSL General Manager Elliot Fall said.  “He joined us in 2019 and quickly established himself as a key contributor to everything we are trying to do.”

The Brazilian made 27 appearances for the club, registering two assists and a team-best 73 tackles.

“With such a young team, Everton added a veteran presence and his work-ethic and ability to break up plays while showing some flare was important to our success,” RSL Head Coach Freddy Juarez said.  “He adds to our toughness on the field and his professionalism in the locker room helps set the tone for what we want to do as a club.”

Luiz, a defensive midfielder by trade, has also spent time with Lugano, Partizan Belgrade, St. Gallen, and CRB.

Nashville SC adds veteran Honduran defender Beckeles

A former World Cup veteran is taking his talents to MLS expansion side Nashville SC.

Honduran defender Brayan Beckeles has been signed to an MLS contract, which will see him join Nashville from Olimpia Deportivo. A Green Card holder, Beckeles will not occupy an international roster spot on Nashville’s roster.

“Brayan has been a standout at the domestic and international levels,” Nashville SC General Manager Mike Jacobs said. “His ability to defend at a high level in Liga MX, as well as throughout CONCACAF representing Honduras, makes him someone who would slot in nicely into our back line.”

Beckeles can play either center back or right back and has totaled over 25 career appearances. After beginning his professional career in 2006 with Vida, Beckeles has also spent time with Boavista in Portugal and Necaxa in Mexico.

He helped Honduras qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, playing in all three group stages in the tournament. In total, Beckeles has earned 65 caps for his National Team, most recently appearing in the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup.

Crew adds defender Axel Sjoberg

The Columbus Crew bolstered their defensive backline with a veteran MLS defender.

Caleb Porter will have 28-year-old defender Axel Sjoberg to call on in 2020, after the club signed him Tuesday. A five-year MLS veteran, Sjoberg has made 88 regular season appearances, recording three goals and one assist. 2016 saw Sjoberg named to the MLS Best XI and he was one of three finalists for the MLS Defender of the Year Award.

“We are pleased to welcome Axel Sjoberg to Columbus Crew SC,” Crew SC President and General Manager Tim Bezbatchenko said. “Axel is a defender whose significant experience in MLS makes him a valuable addition to our roster. We look forward to incorporating him into the team and are excited to begin working with him.”

Prior to his time with the Colorado Rapids, Sjoberg played for Swedish second tier side Sollentuna United FF. The defender made 20 appearances that season, and was named the team’s Player of the Year. He also played collegiately with Marquette University.

Report: RSL’s  Saucedo signing with Pumas

Real Salt Lake Sebastian Saucedo midfielder is reportedly on his way to Liga MX.

According to TUDN, Saucedo has completed a free transfer move to Pumas. Saucedo has signed a two-and-a-half year deal with the club, which sees him leave MLS for the first permanent time in his career.

Saucedo, 22, was a 2014 Homegrown signing with RSL and totaled 90 senior appearances with the club. He also spent a one-year loan spell with fellow Liga MX side Veracruz back in 2016. In total, Saucedo totaled five league goals and 11 assists in four seasons with RSL.

He’s earned 19 caps with the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team and since has been included in U-23 duty with Jason Kreis’ team. Saucedo’s new team Pumas, finished 13th in the Apertura this past season.

Inter Miami signs McCarthy

John McCarthy is on his way back to MLS.

Inter Miami added the former Philadelphia Union goalkeeper on Wednesday, signing the 27-year-old from USL Championship side Tampa Bay Rowdies.      McCarthy made 29 regular season appearances with the Rowdies last season, keeping 10 clean sheets.

“With John we are adding more talented depth to Inter Miami,” Inter Miami CF Sporting Director Paul McDonough said. “We feel his experience in the USL and MLS will be valuable to our Club.”

Prior to his move to the USL, McCarthy made 21 MLS appearances in four seasons with the Union. He also made 26 appearances for the club’s USL affiliate, Bethlehem Steel FC, keeping 10 clean sheets.

McCarthy is likely to be the backup at Inter Miami to fellow recent signing, Luis Robles.



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