MLS Ticker: Higuain reportedly linked to D.C. United, Ebobisse signs extension, and more

MLS Ticker: Higuain reportedly linked to D.C. United, Ebobisse signs extension, and more

Major League Soccer

MLS Ticker: Higuain reportedly linked to D.C. United, Ebobisse signs extension, and more

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Federico Higuain is reportedly on his way to D.C. United.

The former Columbus Crew playmaker is finalizing a deal to join the Eastern Conference side in a player-coach role, according to the Washington Post. Higuain is recovering from an ACL injury which forced him to miss most of the 2019 season with Columbus.

Higuain, 35, would also become an assistant coach for the Black and Red, as well as playing. He joins Julian Gressel, Edison Flores, and Yamil Asad as offseason acquisitions for Ben Olsen’s side.

In 207 combined MLS appearances, Higuain has scored 59 goals and registered 68 assists. The brother of Juventus forward Gonzalo, Federico would give the Black and Red valuable experience following the loss of Wayne Rooney and Luciano Acosta this offseason.

D.C. United opens the 2020 MLS regular season at Audi Field on Saturday against the Colorado Rapids.

LAFC deals for top allocation order spot

LAFC could be adding another top player prior to the start of the 2020 MLS season.

The club announced Wednesday that it has acquired the No. 1 spot in the MLS Allocation Ranking from Nashville SC. In exchange, Nashville SC received a combined $350,000 in General Allocation Money in 2020 and 2021, as well as LAFC’s natural second-round selection in the 2022 MLS SuperDraft, and the No. 24 spot in the Allocation Ranking.

The defending Supporters’ Shield winners have lost three key pieces this offseason, seeing Tyler Miller, Lee Nguyen, and Walker Zimmerman all leave. However, Kenneth Vermeer and Bradley Wright-Phillips have joined the club, giving Bob Bradley a pair of experienced options heading into the season.

Nashville SC grabbed a sizable amount of Allocation Money from the Western Conference side and could also make additional moves ahead of its debut season in MLS.

LAFC opens regular season play on Sunday against Inter Miami CF while Nashville hosts Atlanta United a day prior.

Timbers, Ebobisse agree to contract extension

Jeremy Ebobisse has committed his future to the Portland Timbers.

The Western Conference club announced Wednesday that they’ve agreed to a multi-year contract extension with the striker. 2019 marked Ebobisse’s third season with the Timbers, in which he finished with 11 goals in 34 league games.

“Jeremy is a proven player with a very bright future,” Timbers GM and President of Soccer Gavin Wilkinson said. “We have a great deal of confidence in Jeremy as a person and a player, and we are thrilled to have him re-sign the with Timbers and reward him for his dedication, professionalism and hard work.”

Since being the No. 4 overall pick in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft, Ebobisse has  totaled 15 league goals and seven assists. He helped the Timbers to a MLS Cup Finals appearance in 2018, eventually losing 2-0 to Atlanta United.

Rising through the ranks of U.S. Soccer, Ebobisse has earned two caps with the U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team and one cap with the USMNT. He was recently named to the 50-player preliminary roster for the upcoming Concacaf Olympic Qualifying tournament.

The Portland Timbers open the 2020 MLS regular season on Sunday at Providence Park vs. Minnesota United.

Whitecaps, Ricketts agree to contract extension

The Vancouver Whitecaps have locked down forward Tosaint Ricketts through the next two MLS seasons.

Ricketts signed a contract extension on Tuesday which will keep him in Vancouver through 2021. The Canadian forward arrived at the club in August 2019 and will look to make a major impact in 2020.

“We are building a roster here in Vancouver that includes a number of young professionals and it is important to have some experienced players who set the right tone and help guide the next generation,” Whitecaps Sporting Director Axel Schuster said. “Tosaint is a great example for all our players, he provides leadership and at the same time knows when to have a little fun. We are very pleased to have Tosaint at our club.”

In four MLS seasons to date, Ricketts has totaled 14 goals and four assists between Vancouver and Toronto FC. He’s won one MLS Cup, one Supporters’ Shield, and two Canadian Championships in his career.

Marc dos Santos’ side host Sporting KC in their regular season opener on Saturday.

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