Franco Jara is on his way to MLS in July 2020.
The current Pachuca striker signed a pre-contract with FC Dallas on Tuesday and will officially join the club as a Designated Player upon the opening of the Secondary Transfer Window in July. Jara, 31, has scored 76 goals in 158 appearances for Pachuca.
“After we saw how well Franco Jara played against us during 2017 Concacaf Champions League matches, I promised myself that I would work to get him in an FC Dallas uniform if that opportunity ever became available,” FC Dallas President Dan Hunt said. “He is a proven goal scorer. We’re confident that when he arrives in North Texas, he’ll be able to contribute right away.”
Jara helped Pachuca win the 2016 Clausura and the eventual Concacaf Champions League, scoring two goals against FC Dallas in the tournament’s semifinals.
The Argentinian began his career with native Arsenal de Sarandi in 2007, eventually scoring nine goals in 49 appearances for the club. He also spent time with Olympiakos, Benfica, and Granada. He’s also earned four caps with the Argentina National Team.
Jara’s arrival will give Luchi Gonzalez a veteran option at striker, with numerous young players in attack.
LAFC midfielder Cifuentes injured at Conmebol Pre-Olympic tournament
Latest LAFC signing Jose Cifuentes was stretchered off on international duty with the Ecuadorian U-20 Men’s National Team.
The 20-year-old midfielder left a 3-0 loss to Colombia on Wednesday with a reported quadriceps injury at the 2020 CONMEBOL Pre-Olympic Tournament.
Cifuentes was making his first start of the tournament, but was stretched off in the 71st minute. A pair of Cifuentes’ LAFC teammates went the distance in the match, as Eddie Segura and Eduard Atuesta both totaled 90 minutes apiece.
The 20-year-old midfielder signed with LAFC from Ecuador’s America de Quito back in Jan. 13. He helped Ecuador’s U-20 side finish third in last year’s FIFA U-20 World Cup.
Whitecaps acquire Erik Godoy on permanent deal
An important piece of the Vancouver Whitecaps backline is returning to the club on a permanent deal.
The Western Conference club acquired centre back Erik Godoy from Atlético Colon with the use of Targeted Allocation Money. Godoy originally arrived in Vancouver on a year-long loan back in Feb. 2019 and has signed a deal with the club through 2022. There is also an option for 2023.
“We are very pleased to get this deal done and welcome Erik back to our club and city,” Whitecaps FC sporting director Axel Schuster said. “Erik had a good first year in MLS and everyone is convinced that he will continue to improve and be an important player for our team.”
The 26-year-old Godoy earned 30 starts across all competitions, registering one goal and one assist. He was honored with the WFC Jock MacDonald Unsung Hero award following the season.
Despite Godoy’s efforts in 2019, the Whitecaps missed out on the playoffs and will be eager to do so in 2020.
Minnesota United adds Jacori Hayes in trade with FC Dallas
Minnesota United added a young midfielder to the mix for 2020.
The club acquired Jacori Hayes in a trade with FC Dallas on Tuesday. In exchange, FC Dallas acquired Minnesota’s 2021 MLS SuperDraft third round pick.
Should Hayes meet certain performance-based metrics next season with Minnesota, the third round pick will become a second rounder. Additionally, FC Dallas could receive up to $100,000 in Targeted Allocation Money pending performance metrics.
Hayes, 24, was selected 18th overall by FC Dallas in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft and appeared in 38 MLS matches throughout three seasons. He scored one MLS goal and recorded three MLS assists for the club in over 1,900 minutes.
Loons sign first Homegrown player in club history
Minnesota United has signed their first Homegrown Player in club history on Wednesday.
The 15-year-old goalkeeper Fred Emmings signed with the club and is a product of the MNUFC Academy. Standing at 6-feet-5. Emmings spent the majority of the Summer of 2019 training with the first team.
“I’m sure Fred is excited. It’s a great milestone for the kid, he’ll always be known as Minnesota United’s first Homegrown Player which is quite nice,” MNUFC head coach Adrian Heath said. “If you see Fred, he’s a huge kid, our goalkeeper coach think he’s got a huge upside. He’s trained with the first team and he’s done terrific when you consider he’s 15 going on 16.”
“He knows this is just the beginning for him. He’s got a long, long way to go. In goalkeeping terms, he’s a baby, but god willing he stays injury free, we feel he’s got a really bright future. But that’s what it is, a future. He’s got a lot to learn but he’s got a lot of natural tools to become a top-class goalkeeper.”
Emmings holds a dual citizenship with both the United States and Luxembourg. In 2019, Emmings spent two weeks with the Luxembourg U-16 Boys National Team, but also spent time with the USBNT U-15’s in 2018.
Atlanta United acquires Jahn, loan out Kunga
Atlanta United added a familiar MLS striker to the mix ahead of the 2020 season.
The Five Stripes acquired and signed striker Adam Jahn from USL side Phoenix Rising FC for an undisclosed transfer fee. In addition, the Five Stripes loaned out Homegrown winger Lagos Kunga for the entirety of the 2020 season.
“Adam brings a wealth of MLS experience and we’re pleased to add him to our roster,” Atlanta United VP and technical director Carlos Bocanegra said. “He is coming off a strong season with Phoenix and will provide additional competition to our attack.”
Jahn is a seven-year professional who has totaled more than 100 appearances in MLS. He spent the 2019 season with Phoenix where he scored 17 goals, and helped lead the team to the regular season title as it broke the USL Championship point total record with 78 points. He also recorded five assists in league play.
The 29-year-old has scored 12 MLS goals in a combined 106 appearances between stints with the Columbus Crew and San Jose Earthquakes.
As for Kunga, he will earn valuable first-team experience with Phoenix in the 2020 season. In 2019, Kunga played two games with ATL UTD 2 in the USL Championship before being loaned to Memphis 901 FC. With Memphis, Kunga scored one goal in 22 appearances.
RSL signs defender Ashtone Morgan
Real Salt Lake added depth to their defensive backline ahead of the upcoming MLS season.
The club signed free agent left back Ashtone Morgan on Tuesday. Morgan brings nine years of MLS experience to the team, and played with Toronto FC from 2011-19. Morgan will fill an international roster slot on RSL’s roster.
“Ashtone is a player who has tremendous MLS and Champions League experience at a very good organization in this league. He’s won a championship in this league and he’s been on our radar for a long time,” RSL General Manager Elliot Fall said. “We’re really excited to add him to our defensive group, which we feel is already excellent and will only get better with his addition.”
Morgan, 28, helped TFC win the 2017 MLS Cup. A product of Toronto FC’s Academy, Morgan registered two goals and 11 assists in 127 MLS appearances. He also helped TFC win five Canadian Championships.
Real Salt Lake will look to return to the MLS postseason in 2020 under Fredy Juarez.
TFC sign pair of players to Homegrown deals
Toronto FC signed a pair of players to Homegrown contracts on Tuesday.
Toronto FC signed midfielder Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty and defender Rocco Romeo as the respective 21st and 22nd Homegrowns in club history. Marshall-Rutty becomes the youngest player in club history to sign for the first team at 15 years of age and has played with Toronto FC II in the USL. Romeo, 19, also played with TFC II in 2019.
“Jahkeele is the top player in his age group across Canada and the U.S, and he is among the top young players in all of North America. He is an incredibly talented young man. While he’s only 15 years old, he plays the game in very mature way,” Toronto FC General Manager Ali Curtis said. “He had interest from many top clubs in Europe. It’s important that we are both patient and aggressive with Jahkeele’s development, but he has the potential to be an incredible player moving forward. We’re also very proud of Jahkeele as he’s done a lot to get to this moment. Happy for Jahkeele, happy for his family, and we are excited about working with Jahkeele moving forward.”
Marshall-Rutty made three appearances with Toronto FC II during the 2019 season. He also appeared with the Canada U-15 Boys’ National Team last year.
Romeo appeared in 10 matches for TFC II during the 2019 USL One regular season. He also went on a short loan spell to Danish second division side HB Köge, where he made eight appearances.
“We’re excited to have Rocco on a first team contract. He gained valuable experience last year playing in Europe, with our USL team, and training at times with the first team. Rocco is a talented, strong, athletic young central defender with a competitive personality. His competitive personality is incredible. It’s also very important to the development of a young player, and it’s infectious, and we love it,” Curtis said. “He strives to get better every single day, and we’re looking forward to working with him. And, it has to be noted that we are also very happy for Rocco’s family as they have supported him to get to this point, and in all ways.”