Wayne Rooney may have left D.C. United, but the MLS club is reportedly beginning a chase for another European star.
Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric is being targeted by the Black and Red ahead of the 2020 season. Modric, 34, has been with Los Blancos since 2012, where he’s won 15 major trophies with the La Liga side.
The 2018 Ballon d’Or winner helped Croatia to a runners-up finish at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, winning the Golden Ball award. He’s earned 127 caps with the Croatian National Team, scoring 16 goals.
Should Modric make the move to MLS, he will be the third Ballon d’Or winner to do so. His arrival would give Ben Olsen’s side a major boost in attack, following the losses of both Wayne Rooney and Luciano Acosta this offseason.
D.C. United lost to Toronto 5-1 in the opening round of the 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs.
Report: FC Cincinnati adding Japanese striker Kubo
FC Cincinnati is reportedly close to adding an experienced European striker to their roster.
KAA Gent and Japanese striker Yuya Kubo is set to join the club this week as he is expected to fly to Cincinnati. The 26-year-old forward totaled 25 goals in 71 combined appearances for the Belgian First Division side.
Kubo spent most of the 2018-19 season on loan with FC Nuremberg, but struggled in front of goal. He only scored one Bundesliga goal in 22 appearances for the team, who eventually were relegated to the second-tier.
He’s also earned 13 caps with the Japanese National Team, scoring two goals.
FC Cincy finished bottom of the Eastern Conference in 2019 and scored the fewest amount of goals (31).
Sagna says goodbye to Impact after two seasons
Bacary Sagna will not be returning to the Montreal Impact in 2020.
The French veteran defender announced via social media he will not be returning to the club. Sagna joined the Impact in 2018 and went on to total 35 league appearances, scoring two goals and adding two assists.
Sagna. 36, made 26 appearances for the Impact in 2019, holding down the right back positions at the club. The former Arsenal and Manchester City defender is now a free agent, allowing him to sign with whatever club he wishes.
The Impact will try to improve off a disappointing 2019 season which saw them fire two head coaches.
Real Salt Lake re-signs veteran defender Silva
Marcelo Silva is returning to Real Salt Lake for the 2020 MLS season.
The club re-signed Silva on Monday, with the Uruguayan returning for his fourth season in Utah. Since joining the club in 2017, Silva has totaled 49 combined league appearances for RSL, scoring two goals.
“Marcelo has shown himself a standout center back at the MLS level. In the last three years he has proven that he can be a high-level contributor to a winning MLS side on a weekly basis,” RSL General Manager Elliot Fall said. “In pairing him with Nedum Onuoha, Justen Glad, and Eric Holt, we have a group at that position that can compete with any in the league.”
A former member of the Uruguay U-20 Men’s National Team, Silva has also played for Real Zaragoza, Valladolid, Las Palmas, Almeria, and Danubio in his career. He helped RSL reach the Western Conference semifinals of the MLS Cup Playoffs in 2019, eliminating the Portland Timbers in the opening round.
With Silva’s re-signing, RSL now has seven defenders under contract for the upcoming season.
Meram to not return to Atlanta United in 2020
Justin Meram joined Bacary Sagna as another MLS player who will not return to his club in 2020.
The veteran winger announced on social media he will not return to Atlanta United for the upcoming season. Meram’s option was declined following the 2019 season, after making 20 league appearances and scoring four goals for the club.
Meram, 31, has totaled 259 combined MLS appearances during his nine-year career. After starting his career with the Columbus Crew, Meram was acquired by Orlando City via trade in 2018. However, his spell with the Lions was short as he returned to the Crew late in the 2018 season.
In total, Meram has registered 43 goals and 37 assists in regular-season play for his career.
Dynamo sign Palomino to Homegrown Contract
The Houston Dynamo made a Homegrown signing on Monday.
Marcelo Palomino signed a first-team contract with the Dynamo, becoming the 11th Dynamo Academy alumnus to sign a contract. Palomino joins defender Erik McCue and midfielder Memo Rodriguez as the third Dynamo Academy alumnus on the current First Team roster.
The midfielder has been a member of the Houston Dynamo Academy since the age of 11 and was named Dynamo Academy Player of the Year in three consecutive seasons from 2016-18. The 18-year-old is the 24th player that the Dynamo have under contract for 2020.
“Marcelo has grown up in our Academy program and was a standout at each age group to earn this opportunity with the First Team,” Dynamo Senior Vice President and General Manager Matt Jordan said. “We understand this is a process, and we look forward to this next step for Marcelo. We also look forward to seeing him continue to compete for opportunities within the National Team program as he continues to grow and develop. I’d also like to recognize the hard work of our Academy staff over the years to help prepare Marcelo for this next step in his career.”
Palomino has appeared for numerous U.S. Youth National Teams, most recently appearing for the U.S. Under-20’s in Sept. 2019 under current Dynamo head coach Tab Ramos.
The Dynamo aim to return to the MLS Cup Playoffs in 2020 after missing the playoffs in each of the last two seasons.