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MLS Ticker: Sims leaves Red Bulls, Loons transfer Ibarra, and more

Josh Sims will not play a part in the MLS is Back Tournament for the New York Red Bulls.

The Eastern Conference club announced Wednesday that Sims has returned to English Premier League side Southampton following the conclusion of his loan. Sims, 23, made 10 combined MLS appearances in his time in Harrison, N.J., scoring one goal in a 4-3 playoff loss to the Philadelphia Union.

He made a pair of regular season appearances in the 2020 MLS season, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic forcing play to be paused. The former England Youth National Team player has made 27 combined appearances for Southampton’s first time in his time at the club.

“In light of the ongoing effects of the global pandemic and all of the uncertainties that remain, we understand Josh’s wishes to be closer to home and have come to an agreement with Southampton to recall the player,” Red Bulls Sporting Director Denis Hamlett said.

Minnesota United transfer midfielder Ibarra to Pachuca

Romario Ibarra is officially on his way to Mexican club Pachuca on a permanent move.

Minnesota United announced the transfer of Ibarra on Wednesday after the conclusion of his 13-month loan spell there. The 24-year-old joined the Loons in July 2018 and totaled 17 matches with the Western Conference club.

After beginning his youth career in his native Ecuador, Ibarra made his professional debut in 2011. He played a vital role for Pachuca over the Apertura and Clausura seasons, scoring four combined goals and adding two assists in 20 appearances.

Minnesota United faces Sporting KC on July 12th in their first match at the MLS is Back Tournament.

Source: Burke will not be on Union’s MLS is Back Tournament roster

Cory Burke will not play a part for the Philadelphia Union during the MLS is Back Tournament.

Burke, who is finishing up a loan spell with Austrian Bundesliga side SKN St. Poelten, will not be on Jim Curtin’s roster for the upcoming competition, a club spokesperson confirmed to SBI. The Jamaican striker has scored four goals and added one assist in 11 league appearances for Poelten, helping them clinch a berth in next season’s Bundesliga.

The 28-year-old broke onto the scene with the Union in 2018, scoring 10 league goals in 29 appearances. Burke scored two goals in seven appearances last season before going out on loan to Jamaican side Portmore United due to Visa issues.

Kacper Przybyłko, Sergio Santos, and Andrew Wooten will headline the Union’s striking corps in this month’s group stage, which begins against NYCFC on July 9th.

Earthquakes defender Lopez undergoes appendectomy

Marcos Lopez is expected to miss some time for the San Jose Earthquakes.

The San Jose Earthquakes defender underwent an appendectomy to treat acute appendicitis, the club announced Wednesday. The surgery was performed in Orlando and Lopez’s recovery is expected to last between two-to-four weeks.

Lopez, 20, made 18 total appearances (15 starts) during his debut season with the Quakes in 2019, tallying one assist. The Peruvian international has two senior caps for the National Team after making his debut in 2018.

The Earthquakes face the Seattle Sounders on July 10th in their opening match of the MLS is Back Tournament.

Rapids sign veteran midfielder Warner

The Colorado Rapids added a veteran option to their midfield corps.

Defensive midfielder Collen Warner signed a one-year contract with the Western Conference side on Tuesday, which Colorado holds an additional one-year option. Warner joins the Rapids as a free agent after spending the 2017 and 2018 seasons with Minnesota United.

A veteran with 204 combined MLS appearances, Warner has also spent time with the Houston Dynamo, Toronto FC, Montreal Impact and Real Salt Lake.  The 32-year-old’s arrival gives Robin Fraser some needed grit in the heart of the Rapids midfield.

“As we prepare for the MLS is Back Tournament next month, our focus is on continuing the form which saw us start the season with two consecutive wins,” Rapids Executive VP and GM Pádraig Smith said.

“We’re driven by the opportunity to win the first trophy of the season and recognize that this competition format will test teams’ rosters like never before. Collen not only provides additional depth to our midfield, his familiarity with Robin [Fraser] from their time together in Toronto will be an asset in helping him integrate quickly with our group.”

The Rapids kick off play in the 2020 MLS is Back Tournament on July 12th against rivals Real Salt Lake.

Galaxy add Juninho, Sarvas to coaching staff

The LA Galaxy added a pair of former players to their coaching staff effective immediately.

Juninho and Marcelo Sarvas have been added to the club’s Academy coaching staff. Both players played a significant role during their playing days for the Galaxy, helping the club win the 2012 and 2014 MLS Cup titles.

“Juninho and Marcelo are club legends that bring extensive experience to our Academy coaching staff,” LA Galaxy Director of Methodology and Development Juan Carlos Ortega said. “They are intimately familiar with our club, standards and culture and will make a strong impact on our youth players and their development for years to come. We are thrilled to add them to our Academy staff.”

Juninho makes the move to coaching quickly after announcing his retirement as a player. The 31-year-old Brazilian ended his professional career as one of the most successful midfielders in club history, helping the club capture two MLS Supporters’ Shields and three MLS Cup titles. He finished with 189 appearances for the club, the second-most of any midfielder.

“I am honored to return to the LA Galaxy and be a part of developing our youth players on the Academy level,” Juninho said. “The LA Galaxy have given so much to me throughout my career and I am eager to continue to represent this club and invest in our future.”

Sarvas joined the LA Galaxy in 2012 and remained with the team through the end of the 2014 season, helping lead the teams to the 2012 and 2014 MLS Cups. He also played for the Colorado Rapids and D.C. United during his MLS career, finishing with 12 goals and 23 assists in 166 combined appearances.

“It is extremely exciting to join a club that has been so special to me,” said Sarvas. “The Galaxy are a club with rich history, unparalleled success and deep roots in Los Angeles and I look forward to helping cultivate talent in our region to help them become players of high quality and character.”

Atlanta United waives midfielder Luiz Fernando

With Jurgen Damm coming into the fold at Atlanta United, the club has released a midfielder to make way.

Luiz Fernando was waived by the Five Stripes on Wednesday, 11 months after signing an MLS contract. Fernando signed in Aug. 2019, joining from the club’s USL Championship Team, but never made a major impact with the Five Stripes.

The 23-year-old made one first team appearance for Frank de Boer’s side, playing as a substitute against FC Motagua in the second leg of the Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League Round of 16 tie. He scored two goals and registered four assists in 32 appearances with ATL UTD 2.

“We wish Luiz nothing but the best of luck in his future and are grateful for his service to the club over the last two years,” Atlanta United Vice President and Technical Director Carlos Bocanegra said.


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