MLS Ticker: Blanco out rest of 2020 with torn ACL, Atlanta United sells Pity, and more

MLS Ticker: Blanco out rest of 2020 with torn ACL, Atlanta United sells Pity, and more

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MLS Ticker: Blanco out rest of 2020 with torn ACL, Atlanta United sells Pity, and more

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The Portland Timbers will be without one of their best players for the rest of the 2020 MLS season.

MLS is Back Tournament Player of the Tournament and veteran midfielder Sebastián Blanco will miss the remainder of the season after being diagnosed with a torn ACL on Tuesday. Blanco suffered the injury in Sunday’s 2-1 league win over the Seattle Sounders and will undergo surgery on September 14th.

The Argentinian midfielder has tallied 33 goals and 39 assists in 121 appearances for the Timbers across all competitions, since joining the club in 2017.

He was named the MLS is Back Player of the Tournament after leading the Timbers to the title and finishing the competition with three goals and five assists in seven appearances. Across all competitions in 2020, Blanco has scored four goals and added seven assist in 13 combined appearances.

Pity Martinez sold to Saudi Arabian club

Atlanta United has announced the sale of Paraguayan playmaker Pity Martinez on Monday to Saudi Arabian side Al-Nassr FC. His departure opens up a Designated Player slot an international roster spot on the Five Stripes roster, but leaves a major hole in the club’s attacking corps.

“We want to thank Pity for his contributions to our club for the past two years,” said Atlanta United Vice President and Technical Director Carlos Bocanegra. “He will forever be a part of Atlanta United’s history after playing an integral part in our 2019 season in which we lifted two trophies. We’ll look to be diligent in our efforts to fill that roster spot during this window.”

Martinez made the switch to MLS in 2019 after joining from Argentinian side River Plate. The 27-year-old has since chipped in seven goals and 13 assists in all competitions, helping the Five Stripes win the 2019 Campeones Cup and U.S. Open Cup.

With Martinez on the way out and fellow attack Josef Martinez continuing rehabilitation on a torn ACL, the Five Stripes will lean on young midfielder Ezequiel Barco and newly-acquired striker Erick ‘Cubo’ Torres to lead the offense going forward.

Report: Galaxy eying Pavon transfer

Cristian Pavon’s loan with the LA Galaxy may be set to expire at season’s end, but the Galaxy are reportedly in talks to acquire him on a permanent deal.

The Western Conference club reportedly might be able to land the winger from Argentinian side Boca Juniors for a fee above $10 million, TyC Sports reported Tuesday. 

Pavon’s buyout fee with Boca Juniors is currently $20 million, but his impact with the club could see the Galaxy make a major move this winter. The Argentinian forward has been one of the club’s top players this season, scoring six goals and adding four assists in nine appearances.

Despite veteran Javier Hernandez being out of the lineup through injury, Pavon has stepped up for Guillermo Barros Schelotto’s side, helping them to a current four-match winning streak. This is the second time that Schelotto has managed Pavon, after also being his manager at Boca in 2017-18.

Rash of injuries sidelines Loons trio

Minnesota United earned an important home win last weekend, but will now be without three key starters for the next few weeks.

Midfielders Osvaldo Alonso and Ethan Finlay and forward Luis Amarilla have all been ruled out for up to two-to-three weeks, the club announced Tuesday. Alonso and Finlay are two important veteran pieces on the roster while Amarilla continues his first season in MLS.

Alonso, 34, is in his second season with the Loons and has made seven appearances so far in 2020. He has been diagnosed with a hamstring injury and will be further evaluated over the next few days.

The 30-year-old Finlay has registered two goals and two assists in eight appearances this season. He is in his fourth season with the club after spending his entire career prior to that with the Columbus Crew. Finlay has been diagnosed with a knee issue.

Amarilla joined on a 12-month loan from Argentinian side Velez Sarsfield back in January. He has made seven appearances to date for the Loons, scoring two goals and adding one assist. He is looking to rebound from an ankle injury.

Minnesota United next hosts FC Dallas on Wednesday night.

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