Top Stories

MLS Ticker: NYCFC adds defender Thorarinsson, Loons acquire Amarilla, and more

NYCFC bolstered its defensive options for the 2020 MLS season.

The club signed defender Gudmundur Thorarinsson from Swedish side Norrkoping. He will occupy an international roster spot with the club, becoming the eighth defender on the first-team roster.

“Joining New York City FC is a big decision for me in my career,” Thorarinsson said. “I’ve only heard great things about the Club and I’m thrilled to get going and start playing football again. I’ve seen the way Ronny works and likes to play football, so that was a really big part of my decision. He likes to play possession football and keep the ball, which I love as well.”

The 27-year-old Icelandic international can play as a left-back or in central midfield. Over the past three seasons, Thorarinsson made 84 appearances in the Swedish Allsvenskan, scoring four goals and registering15 assists.

He’s also played for Norwegian sides Rosenborg and Sarpsborg, Danish side FC Nordsjælland, and Icelandic sides Ípróttabandalag Vestmannaeyja and UMF Selfoss. Thorarinsson has featured in both the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League.

“Gudmundur is a talented player and is a smart footballer on the pitch,” NYCFC head coach Ronny Deila said. “He’s versatile and his technique on the ball is very good which is a tremendous fit for our system. He is also a competitor and goes about business in a professional way. I’ve heard nothing but great things about him as an individual and I’m really excited to welcome him into our team ahead of the season.”

Minnesota United acquire forward Amarilla on-loan

With Angelo Rodriguez now gone, Minnesota United signed a forward to hopefully take the Chilean’s place.

The club signed Paraguayan forward Luis Amarilla on-loan from Argentinian side Velez Sarsfield. Amarilla arrives on a 12-month loan from Velez, with Minnesota United using Targeted Allocation Money (TAM) to acquire him.

“Luis is someone that will be a big addition for us up front,” MNUFC Technical Director Mark Watson said. “He’s a goalscorer. He was a Vélez player but on loan at Católica in Ecuador and watching his goals, his movement, he’s got everything we’re looking for in a striker. Adrian saw him live earlier in the year and was really impressed. On top of it, he’s someone who has a great work rate. He fights, he runs, and he’s going to fit in really well with our club philosophy.”

The 24-year-old spent the 2019 season on-loan from Velez with Universidad Catolica of Ecuador’s Liga PRO. During his time in Ecuador, Amarilla scored 19 goals in 24 appearances to lead the league in the recently concluded Serie A season.

He’s also played for Libertad, 3 de Febrero, and Sol de America, scoring one goal in 35 combined appearances. Internationally, Amarilla has played for the Paraguay Under-20 Men’s National Team, making five appearances.

Amarilla’s deal comes with an option for the Loons to buy following the end of his loan in January 2021. He will occupy an international roster spot.

Report: Red Bulls add goalkeeper Jensen and defender Egbo

The New York Red Bulls have reportedly added a pair of players.

According to ProSoccerUSA, the club has added Danish goalkeeper David Jensen and English right back Mandela Egbo. Jensen, a 27-year-old goalkeeper, comes from Dutch side FC Utrecht while Egbo will join from German second tier side FC Darmstadt. 

Jensen has made 112 appearances for Utrecht since arriving to the club in July 2016. He’s only made five appearances this season since Jeroen Zoet arrived on-loan from PSV. 

Egbo, a 22-year-old right back, will give the Red Bulls needed depth at the outside back position. After starting his career in English side Crystal Palace’s academy, Egbo later moved to Borussia Monchengladbach II in 2015. 

He made the switch to Darmstadt in July 2018, but since has only played in five league matches this season.

Both players should add needed depth to Chris Armas’ side, who seek a return to the MLS Cup Playoffs in 2020.

Union reportedly set to acquire defender Glesnes

The Philadelphia Union are reportedly close to adding depth to its backline for 2020.

Norwegian club Stromgodset announced on Tuesday that center back Jakob Glesnes is set to join the Union, pending personal terms and a medical. His arrival would be the Union’s second new signing of the offseason, following midfielder Jose Martinez.

Glesnes, 25, joined Stromsgodset in 2016 and went on to total 113 appearances. He is coming off a season where he was club captain and has also been capped at the youth levels for Norway.

Should the Union add Glesnes he will join a centerback group that features Mark McKenzie, Jack Elliott and Aurelien Collin.

McKenzie, who is currently on USMNT duty, could miss time this season with the U.S. U-23 Men’s National Team. Qualification for the 2020 Summer Olympics starts in March and, should Jason Kreis’ side qualify for the Olympics, McKenzie could also miss time in the summer.

Crew add former Union goalkeeping coach Hanley as assistant

The Columbus Crew plucked a coach away from one its Eastern Conference rivals.

Tim Hanley was named an Assistant Coach on Caleb Porter’s staff on Tuesday, joining from the Philadelphia Union. Hanley has 35 years of coaching experience which includes winning three MLS Cups.

Hanley served as the Union’s goalkeeping coach in 2018 and has also worked with the San Jose Earthquakes, Houston Dynamo, and L.A. Galaxy. At the collegiate level, Hanley worked as an assistant coach at Stanford University from 2001-2005, helping the Cardinals reach the NCAA Tournament College Cup on two occasions in 2001 and 2002.

“Tim is someone who brings over three decades of coaching experience to our Club,” Crew SC President and General Manager Tim Bezbatchenko said. “As someone who has not only worked in MLS but won trophies in this League, we believe Tim will be a great addition to our technical staff as we continue to put together a team that contends for championships. We are excited to welcome Tim to Columbus Crew SC and look forward to seeing his impact on our squad.”

Before getting into coaching, Hanley had a five-year career as a professional goalkeeper. During his time as a player, Hanley featured for American sides Tampa Bay Rowdies, San Jose Earthquakes as well as Scottish Premier League side Hibernian and Swiss club Servette FC.


Leave a Comment