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MLS Ticker: Heber out with torn ACL, Toronto FC loans midfielder, and more

NYCFC is already without playmaker Maxi Moralez and will now be without one of its top goalscoring options.

Heber has been ruled out for the remainder of the 2020 MLS season due to a torn ACL suffered in Wednesday’s loss to Toronto FC. The Brazilian came on as a substitute in the match, but left in the 88th minute in the eventual 1-0 defeat.

The 29-year-old is in his second season for the Eastern Conference club after joining from Croatian side HNK Rijeka in March 2019. Heber scored 16 combined goals in his first season at NYCFC, but didn’t find the same success under Ronny Deila.

He scored one goal and added three assists in 14 combined appearances this season, but will now miss NYCFC’s chances at an MLS Cup title in Deila’s first season.

Toronto FC loan midfielder Okello to Danish club

A second Toronto FC academy product is headed to Denmark on loan.

TFC announced Friday that midfielder Noble Okello has been loaned to Danish second division side HB Koge. Okello will join center back Rocco Romeo at Koge until the start of 2021.

“He’s a player we feel like has a very bright future, but he’s now 20. We need him to get some minutes,” TFC head coach Greg Vanney said Friday. “The club in Denmark was really interested in him in a way that he was going to go there and be a big player for them in terms of minutes, in terms of expectation.”

Okello, 20, signed with the Reds as a Homegrown Player in Jan. 2019, becoming the 19th player in club history to sign for the first team from the TFC academy. He made one appearance for the MLS side this season, but now can grab important minutes elsewhere to continue his development.

Rapids/SKC Sunday MLS match postponed due to COVID-19

The Colorado Rapids scheduled Sunday match with rivals Sporting KC has been postponed to a later date.

The club announced on Saturday that the decision to postpone the match was made after the Rapids confirmed four positive COVID-19 cases on Friday (three staff members and one player).

“Following the initial tests results, the Rapids immediately suspended training and all players and team staff went into self-isolation while additional testing and extensive contact tracing took place, among other health and safety protocols,” the club said in a statement. “No additional positive results for players or staff were received following additional rounds of testing.”

A rescheduled time to play this match will be determined by the league at a later date. Both Colorado and SKC last played on Wednesday and now will have to wait until the first weekend of October to play its next match.

RSL adds pair of players to first team deals

Real Salt Lake continued bolstering its squad for future seasons with its latest  pair of signings.

Andrew Brody and Noah Powder became the latest players to sign first-team deals on Friday, joining Bode Davis, who signed earlier this week. Both Brody and Powder will join RSL’s roster in 2021, but remain with USL affiliate Real Monarchs until then, the club announced.

Powder, 21, featured in 30 regular season matches for the Monarchs in 2019, scoring two goals in over 2,600 minutes of action.  In the playoffs, he notched two assists and scored in the USL Championship Final to secure the club’s first title. To date, Powder has nine goals and seven assists in 90 USL matches.

He previously played for New York Red Bulls II and Orange County SC before moving to Utah.

“I’m grateful for this opportunity from this great organization,” Powder said. “I am extremely grateful for my time as a Monarch and want to thank their staff in helping me reach my goal. As a Monarch the main goal is to play well and earn a chance with Real Salt Lake.  I’m excited for this opportunity and ready for what’s to come in the near future.”

The 25-year-old academy product Brody joins RSL after a playing the last few seasons in the USL Championship from 2016-20. With 99 regular season appearances, he is the Monarchs all-time games played leader and he also made one playoff appearance in 2018.

To date, Brody has played over 7,700 minutes and has scored seven goals and seven assists. In addition, he spent six months on loan at FC Pinzgau Saalfelden in Austria’s third division in 2019.

“Ever since joining the Academy at 16 the goal was always to sign for the first team,” Brody said. “Although it took longer than I expected, I couldn’t be happier to finally achieve that goal. I’m excited to get going and show the team what I can do.”

RSL continues its regular season this weekend against Minnesota United.


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