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MLS News: Savarino joins Atletico Mineiro, TFC acquires winger Piatti, and more

Real Salt Lake star Jefferson Savarino is on the move to Brazil after previously being linked to a move away from the MLS club.

The club transferred Savarino to Brazilian Serie A side Atletico Mineiro for a club-record fee on Friday. Savarino’s transfer comes two weeks after SBI reported the possibility of the Venezuelan’s move away from the Western Conference side.

The 23-year-old originally joined RSL on loan from Zulia in 2017 and made his move permanent after the season. He totaled 91 appearances with the club, scoring 22 goals and registering 21 assists. Savarino helped RSL to MLS Cup Playoffs appearances, including a first round win over the Portland Timbers in 2019.

“We want to thank Jefferson for his contributions to Real Salt Lake’s success during his three years with the club and wish him the best of luck throughout his career,” Real Salt Lake General Manager Elliot Fall said.  “We have our sights set on several players to replace him on the roster and are in the process of doing our due diligence to ensure that we bring in players that can contribute on the field, but also fit into our locker room and into our community.”

He’s also earned 13 caps for the Venezuelan National Team, scoring his first senior goal in a 3-0 friendly win over the USMNT last June.

Toronto FC adds Piatti as Designated Player

Toronto FC signed an experienced Argentinian winger to their attack ahead of the 2020 MLS season.

The club signed Argentine winger Pablo Piatti as their third Designated Player on Friday from La Liga side Espanyol. He will leave Espanyol on Saturday to join TFC at their training camp in Los Angeles.

The 30-year-old was in his fourth season with Espanyol, where he totaled 95 appearances. He scored 14 goals and registered 19 assists in all competitions, appearing in La Liga, the Spanish Copa del Rey, and the UEFA Europa League.

“Pablo comes to TFC with an exceptional pedigree,” Toronto FC President Bill Manning said. “He brings big game experience to our team, having played in close to 300 games in La Liga, as well as competing in the UEFA Champions League. We believe he’s the type of dynamic player who is going to enhance our attack and TFC fans are really going to enjoy watching him play.”

Piatti began his career with Estudiantes, before making the move to Almeria in 2008. He also played five seasons with fellow La Liga side Valencia, scoring 15 goals in 110 appearances.

Internationally, Piatti has one cap to his name with Argentina. He joins a TFC attack which features Alejandro Pozuelo and Jozy Altidore.

FC Cincy re-signs midfielder McLaughlin

FC Cincinnati retained a familiar face in their midfield corps, hoping to make a better run in MLS this season.

The club re-signed midfielder Jimmy McLaughlin on Friday, after he was on trial during this preseason. He is the last remaining active player to enter the season on FC Cincinnati’s roster for each of the club’s five seasons and will occupy an international roster spot in 2020.

McLaughlin missed the 2019 MLS season after suffering an ACL injury. During his three years with FC Cincy in the USL Championship, McLaughlin made 104 appearances while scoring 13 goals and adding 11 assists across all competitions.

“Jimmy has shown his quality and has demonstrated a strong work rate on the pitch during preseason,” General Manager Gerard Nijkamp said. “He remained focused and put in the required work to get back to full health after a tough injury. We are excited for Jimmy to compete for our club on the pitch in 2020, he is a great representative of what it means to be part of FC Cincinnati.”

FC Cincinnati opens the 2020 regular season on March 1st against the New York Red Bulls.

LAFC mutually parts ways with forward Perez

Josh Perez will be in search of a new club.

Perez and LAFC mutually agreed to part ways on Friday, after the forward spent two seasons with the club. He played in 16 matches for the Western Conference club in all competitions, tallying one goal and one assist.

The 22-year-old joined from Fiorentina, where he made one appearance in two seasons with the Serie A club. He also went on loan with Serie C side Livorno and USL Championship side Phoenix Rising.

Perez has totaled 29 appearances internationally between four different U.S. Youth Men’s National Teams.

LAFC opens the 2020 regular season at home against Inter Miami on March 1st.

Nashville SC loans Lancaster to USL side Louisville City FC

Nashville SC loaned midfielder Cameron Lancaster to USL side Louisville City SC for the 2020 season.

The club announced the roster move on Thursday, which sees the 2018 USL Golden Boot Winner rejoin his former club. He will join John Hackworth’s side for the remainder of preseason as well as the USL Championship season.

“Adding Cam to our roster for the 2020 season is instrumental to what we are trying to do in Louisville,” Louisville City Head Coach and Sporting Director John Hackworth said. “Cam was a big part of our club’s USL Championship titles, and we look forward to him helping us pursue our third star.”

Lancaster was a breakout star for Louisville City during the club’s 2018 USL Championship Title run. After scoring in his season debut in April of that season, Lancaster proceeded to set the USL Championship single-season scoring record, notching 26 total goals.

The 27-year-old scored 36 goals in 79 combined appearances for Louisville City after coming from England. Lancaster’s career began with Tottenham, where he made one appearance for the English Premier League club.


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