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MLS Ticker: LAFC reportedly chasing Vermeer, D.C. United adds Flores, and more

LAFC are reportedly set to add a talented European goalkeeper ahead of the 2020 MLS season.

After originally being linked with the L.A. Galaxy, Dutch keeper Kenneth Vermeer is set to sign with Bob Bradley’s LAFC. The 34-year-old would occupy an international roster spot for the defending Supporters’ Shield winners, should he officially make the move.

Currently Vermeer is under contract with Eredivisie side Feyenoord, but the club is reportedly ready to let him leave. He’s earned five caps for the Netherlands Men’s National Team, though hasn’t featured since March 2015.

Vermeer has been at Feyenoord since 2014, but has also spent time with fellow Dutch sides Ajax and Willem II. In total, Vermeer has made 245 appearances in all competitions in Europe. He’s won five Eredivisie titles, three Johan Cruyff Shields, and a pair of KNVB Cups.

LAFC currently has only one goalkeeper on its roster heading into preseason camp.

D.C. United adds Peruvian midfielder Flores

Edison Flores is officially on his way to Eastern Conference club D.C. United.

The club announced the permanent transfer of Flores from Liga MX side Monarcas Morelia on Tuesday. Flores, who had been linked with the club earlier this offseason, will become the second Designated Player on the Black and Red roster.

He’s earned 47 appearances for the Peru National Team, scoring 13 goals and adding three assists. Flores, 25, will look to help fill the void left by Wayne Rooney and Luciano Acosta in the D.C. United attack.

“We are excited to add an international player of Edison’s pedigree to the team ahead of the 2020 season,” Dave Kasper, D.C. United General Manager and VP of Soccer Operations, said. “He is an exciting and dynamic attacking player who creates and scores goals. What has really impressed us is his commitment to the team…he is a versatile and gritty two-way player who plays with a real pulse.”

“Edison is a proven international player with Peru and was a major contributor for them in the 2018 World Cup and in their impressive run to the final in the Copa America. We are looking forward to integrating Edison with the team in preseason in preparation for the first game on Feb. 29.”

Flores made the move to Morelia in 2018 and totaled 45 appearances for the Mexican side. He’s also played for Aalborg, Villarreal B, and Universitario on two separate stints.

Rapids bolster attack with signing of Benezet

Nicolas Benezet is remaining in MLS on a permanent deal.

The Colorado Rapids acquired the French winger on Tuesday, after acquiring his MLS rights from Toronto FC. In exchange, the Rapids sent TFC $50,000 in General Allocation Money (GAM) and an additional $50,000 in GAM if Benezet starts 75 percent of all games in 2020.

“We’re delighted to add to our attack someone of Nicolas’ quality,” Colorado Rapids Executive Vice President & General Manager Padraig Smith said. “He’s a goal-dangerous, dynamic player who excels out wide, while also offering us positional depth with his ability to play multiple positions in attack.”

Benezet joins the Rapids after playing a key role in helping TFC reach their third MLS Cup final in four seasons. The 28-year-old arrived on loan to Greg Vanney’s side and went on to score three goals in 12 appearances in all competitions. He scored in TFC’s shocking playoff upset over Atlanta United, booking the Canadian club a spot in the 2019 MLS Cup Final.

Prior to his move to MLS, Benezet spent four seasons with French Ligue 2 side Guingamp, where he made 86 combined appearances. He scored 12 goals and added 10 assists for the club during that time.

The Colorado Rapids missed the playoffs in 2019, but will be eager to return in Robin Fraser’s first full season as head coach.

Crew sign Morris to Homegrown Contract

Aidan Morris is heading to the Columbus Crew on a Homegrown Deal.

The club announced the signing on Tuesday, following Morris’ strong freshman season at the University of Indiana in 2019. He made 22 appearances for the Hoosiers last season, scoring two goals and providing a team-leading eight assists in 2019.

“We are excited to announce that Aidan will be joining the Crew SC First Team after a very successful season with the Indiana Hoosiers,” Crew President and General Manager Tim Bezbatchenko said. “Aidan’s success at the collegiate level speaks to the great work being done by our Academy’s technical staff and we are glad that Aidan will remain a member of our Crew family. We believe that, had Aidan been in the MLS SuperDraft this year, he would have been one of the top three picks in the First Round.”

Morris helped the team win the Big Ten Men’s Soccer Tournament while receiving the Big Ten Freshman of the Year award. Additionally, Morris was named to the 2019 United Soccer Coaches NCAA Division I Men’s All-America Third Team.

He played for the Crew SC Academy from 2017-2019, featuring for the Under-16/17 and Under-18/19 squads. In all, Morris made 42 appearances for Crew SC’s Academy, scoring eight goals.

Impact add defender Waterman from CPL

Thierry Henry bolstered his backline with a Canadian defender from the Canadian Premier League.

The club acquired centre back Joel Waterman on Tuesday, following a transfer from CPL side Cavalry FC. Waterman signed a two-year contract with the club, with player options for 2022 and 2023.

Waterman, 23, played last season with Cavalry FC, helping the team finish atop both the CPL Spring and Fall Seasons’ standings. He played in 25 regular season games, scoring one goal before being selected by Calgary in the second round of the 2019 CPL U-Sports Draft.

“We are happy to welcome Joel to the Impact,” Impact sporting director Olivier Renard said. “He’s a centre-back that can play every position in a three or four man defensive line, and also as a defensive midfielder. He’s a player with the right mentality, and he comes to Montreal following a good season in CPL.”

The Impact missed the postseason in 2019, but have Henry taking charge for his first season as head coach.

Atlanta United sees three players earn U.S. Green Cards

Atlanta United saw three players become permanent United States residents on Tuesday.

Ezequiel Barco, Franco Escobar, and Eric Remedi earned their green cards, which will see them no longer occupy international roster spots on the club’s roster heading into 2020.

Barco, 20, will be entering his third MLS season since arriving from Independiente. He has eight goals and six assists across 49 regular-season and postseason appearances for the Five Stripes.

The 24-year-old Escobar has made 55 appearances across the same span, registering five goals and four assists during the regular-season and postseason. A right back, Escobar has also played in midfield at times under Frank de Boer.

Remedi, 24, arrived from Banfield in 2018 and has earned a spot in midfield. He’s amassed 47 appearances across regular-season and postseason play with one goal and three assists to his name.

The Five Stripes are one of five MLS teams who begin their seasons early due to involvement in the Concacaf Champions League.

Red Bulls sign Academy Product Tolkin to Homegrown Contract

The New York Red Bulls made their 22nd Homegrown Player signing in club history on Tuesday.

Chris Armas’ side signed New Jersey native John Tolkin to an MLS Homegrown contract, making him the 25th academy product to sign with the first team. The 17-year-old been a part of the Red Bulls Academy since 2015 and since has made 79 appearances during the Developmental Academy regular season, recording 15 goals.

“John is regarded as a top young talent not just in our academy, but in the U.S. Youth National Team Pool as well,” Red Bulls Sporting Director Denis Hamlett. “We are proud to have played a role in John’s development so far, and happy to share this day with him and his family as he begins his professional career.”

This past season, Tolkin made 13 appearances for New York Red Bulls II. He’s also featured for the U.S. Under-17 Men’s Youth National Team eight times in his young career.

Report: Fire after Ligue 1 forward Beric

The Chicago Fire are reportedly scouting French Ligue 1 for their next forward.

Raphael Wicky’s side is chasing St. Etienne and Slovenian striker Robert Beric ahead of the 2020 season. Beric had his most productive Ligue 1 season last year, scoring nine times, but has struggled for consistency this year under new manager Claude Puel.

His lone goal this campaign came against derby rivals Lyon. The 28-year-old Beric has only produced double-digit league goals three times in his career, but never in Ligue 1. He’s also played for Rapid Wien, Maribor, and Sturm Graz during his professional career.

Should the Fire acquire Beric, it will help fill the void left by Hungarian striker Nemanja Nikolic. C.J. Sapong scored 13 goals for the Eastern Conference struggles in 2019, but could be moved out wide to make room for Beric.

Fire part ways with defender Marcelo

The Chicago Fire have parted ways with one of their defensive options ahead of preseason camp.

Portuguese defender Marcelo has left the club by mutual consent. The 30-year-old joined the club back in Dec. 2018, and went on to make 16 regular season appearances in 2019.

With Marcelo’s departure, the club has six first team defenders under contract for the upcoming 2020 season.

Raphael Wicky’s side will open the season on March 1st at defending MLS champs, Seattle Sounders.




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