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MLS Ticker: Atlanta United adds forward Mulraney, SKC acquires midfielder on loan, and more

In the same week Atlanta United traded playmaker Julian Gressel to D.C. United, the Five Stripes bolstered their attacking options.

Atlanta United signed Irish forward Jake Mulraney from Scottish Premiership side Hearts. Mulraney played in the Premiership for the last two seasons, and overall his last four in Scotland.

“We’re excited to add another quality attacking player to our club in Jake,” Atlanta United Vice President and Technical Director Carlos Bocanegra said. “He’s a direct player with a lot of pace who can play anywhere across the front three. As he’s in the middle of a season, Jake will be able to get up to full fitness quickly and immediately compete.”

In 53 combined appearances for Hearts in all competitions, Mulraney scored two goals and added 10 assists. He’s also played for EFL Championship side QPR, as well as Scottish second-tier side Inverness CT.

Mulraney has represented the Republic of Ireland’s youth teams in the past, appearing in 11 combined matches for the Under-21, Under-19, and Under-19 teams.

He will look to fight for first-team minutes in Frank de Boer’s side in 2020.

SKC adds midfielder Kinda on-loan

Sporting KC added depth to their midfield for the upcoming MLS season.

The club acquired 25-year-old midfielder Gadi Kinda on a one-year loan from Israeli side Beitar Jerusalem, using Targeted Allocation Money. Sporting KC will also have an option to purchase Kinda from Jerusalem following the end of his loan in Dec. 2020.

“Gadi is a central midfielder who plays box to box and has a great engine,” Sporting Kansas City Manager and Sporting Director Peter Vermes said. “He has good attacking qualities in the final third and his defensive responsibilities are very well engrained in him. We think Gadi will fit well into the way that we play and look forward to welcoming him to the team.”

Since turning professional in 2011 at 17-years-old, Kinda has totaled 200 appearances in Israel. Before making the move to SKC, the playmaker ranked fourth in the Israeli Premier League with a team-best seven goals while also leading the side with four assists.

He’s also appeared for fellow Israeli side Ashrod from 2011-19′. Kinda was born in Ethiopia, but represented Israel’s U-21 Men’s National Team from 2013-17′.

Loons reportedly loan striker Rodriguez to Deportivo Cali

Minnesota United forward Angelo Rodríguez is reportedly on his way  to Colombia on-loan.

First reported by Colombian radio station El Corrillo de Mao, and later confirmed by The Pioneer Press, Rodriguez is joining Deportivo on a year-long loan. Deportivo also has an option to acquire Rodriguez permanently following the end of the loan.

The 30-year-old Colombian native made 43 appearances for the Loons after joining in July of 2018. He would score four goals and register one assist in over 800 minutes of action that season.

Rodriguez totaled nine goals and five assists in all competitions for the Loons in 2019, but the emergence of young forward Mason Toye has left the Colombian on the outside.

Minnesota United is coming off its first-ever MLS Cup Playoff appearance, losing to the L.A. Galaxy in the opening round.

Toronto FC makes third Homegrown signing this week

Toronto FC continued a busy trend this week, signing their third Homegrown Player.

17-year-old Jayden Nelson signed a first team contract on Thursday, becoming the 23rd Homegrown signing in club history. He is coming off a sensational 2019 year, which saw him named Canadian Youth International Player of the Year,

“Jayden is an incredible young player,” Toronto FC GM Ali Curtis said. “Very explosive and dynamic. Not afraid to take players on in the attacking third. We love his mentality – humble but confident. He was the Canadian Youth International Player of the Year, and it is not surprising. Jayden has all the tools to be a top player. He’s only 17, so we need to be measured with his development, but we believe he can be a very important player for both club and country.”

Domestically, Nelson made 14 appearances for Toronto FC II during the 2019 USL League One regular season.

He also recently received his first call-up to the Canadian Men’s National Team, making his senior debut in a friendly against Barbados on Jan. 7th.  Nelson would score his first senior goal for Canada three days later in a second friendly against Barbados.

Nelson joins Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty and and Rocco Romeo, who signed Homegrown Contracts with the club on Wednesday.

Whitecaps sign Metcalfe, Facchineri to Homegrown Contracts

The Vancouver Whitecaps signed a pair of Academy players to Homegrown contracts on Thursday.

Centerback Gianfranco Facchinieri and midfielder Patrick Metcalfe signed contracts with the first team, giving Marc dos Santos a pair of young players to call upon in 2020. Facchineri, along with Metcalfe, become the 20th and 21st Whitecaps FC Academy products.

“This means everything to me,” Facchineri said. “Since I was seven-years-old my dream has been to be a professional footballer. My dream is to not only be a professional footballer but to have a career in football. I want to thank my parents and my sister; they are my three biggest supporters and my three biggest critics. I also want to thank every coach from youth, to the national team program, and the Whitecaps FC Academy for helping me get to this point. I’m excited to get to work.”

The 6-feet defender made 14 starts for the Under-17 and Under-19 sides in the Development Academy in 2018. He later moved up to the Development Squad in 2019.

Metcalfe spent 2019 with the Whitecaps Development Squad, participating in trips to England, Mexico, and South Korea.

“This has been something I have been working towards my whole life,” Metcalfe said. “I would like to thank my parents and my brother for the support that they have always given me, and all the coaches along the way who have had a great impact in helping me earn this opportunity.”



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