Maxi Morales has been a key distributor for NYCFC during his time in MLS, but Ronny Deila will have to look to other players to step up over the next month or so.
Moralez has been ruled out four-to-six weeks for the Eastern Conference club due to a knee injury, Deila confirmed Friday in a conference call. The Argentine midfielder left NYCFC’s Sept. 12th match with FC Cincinnati and was later diagnosed with an injury to his MCL.
The 33-year-old has been NYCFC’s best playmaker over the past two seasons, registering 15 goals and 36 assists over that span. He’s made just five starts in 2020 and has one assist to his name this year.
His absence means Gary Mackay-Steven could be used in midfield role to help with production in Moralez’s absence.
NYCFC faces the New England Revolution on Saturday.
RSL signs striker Kreilach to contract extension
Real Salt Lake rewarded forward Damir Kreilach with a multi-year contract extension on Friday.
Kreilach’s extension will see him remain at the club through the 2022 MLS season with an option for the 2023 season. As Kreilach will make above the maximum salary budget charge, the club will determine his roster designation for next season ahead of the 2021 Roster Compliance Date.
“From the moment I came to Real Salt Lake, it felt like I was at home,” Kreilach said. “Everyone welcomed me and my family. At the end of the day, it’s not only about soccer. It’s about life. I’m happy to stay here and continue to be part of the RSL family.”
“I want to thank all of my teammates and coaches as well as staff and fans. I’m looking forward to giving my best on and off the field and be a role model for other young players. And of course I’m looking forward to winning something for RSL because that is what this club and these fans deserve.”
Kreilach originally signed with RSL prior to the 2018 season and eventually scored 12 goals and added eight assists in his first campaign. To date, Kreilach has scored 23 goals and registered 14 assists in 76 MLS regular season matches for RSL.
He currently has five goals and one assist in 11 appearances this season for the Western Conference club.
“When you’re out signing an international player and investing heavily in that player and want them to come in and make an impact, he’s exactly what you’re looking for,” RSL General Manager Elliot Fall said. “He’s a professional. He’s a culture setter. He leads by example. And he produces. He steps up in every big moment. You look at the big moments in the last three years for RSL, Damir plays a role in nearly every one of them. That says all you need to know about him.”
Report: Rapids to sign veteran defender Beitashour
The Colorado Rapids are reportedly set to add a veteran presence to its backline.
Former Toronto FC and LAFC right back Steven Beitashour will join the Rapids, MLS Soccer reported Friday. The 33-year-old will join as a free agent after not being re-signed by LAFC in 2019.
Beitashour started 54 games over LAFC’s first two MLS seasons and also lifted the 2019 Supporters’ Shield with the club. He had previously spent two seasons with TFC, winning MLS Cup, the Supporters’ Shield and Canadian Championship treble.
With Keegan Rosenberry currently occupying the right back position though, Beitashour might see time as a left back in Robin Fraser’s squad. Colorado is currently 10th in the Western Conference with a -2 goal differential.
Defender Brad Smith returns to Sounders
Brad Smith is returning to MLS side Seattle Sounders after a short spell away from the club.
The Western Conference club announced Thursday that Smith is returning to Seattle, the club he won the 2019 MLS Cup with. Smith’s contract was not picked up by English side AFC Bournemouth after the 2019-20 season, forcing him to look elsewhere for playing time.
“We are very excited to bring in Brad, a proven winner who adds even more speed and athleticism to our squad,” Sounders FC General Manager & President of Soccer Garth Lagerwey said. “With Brad being out of contract, this was a uniquely good deal for us, allowing the club to add a high impact player during this unorthodox season.”
Smith started 32 of his 35 MLS appearances for the Sounders in his lone season with the club. He registered eight assists for Brian Schmetzer’s side before returning to England at the conclusion of his loan spell. Smith made three appearances with EFL Championship side Cardiff City, but was not retained at Bournemouth.
The Australian fullback has earned 22 caps to date with the National Team.
Minnesota United adds goalkeeper depth with Zendejas trade
Minnesota United added depth to its goalkeeping corps on Thursday after losing Tyler Miller earlier this season through injury.
The Western Conference club acquired Adrian Zendejas in a trade with Nashville SC for a 2021 fourth round MLS SuperDraft pick and up to $100,000 in General Allocation Money if Zendejas meets certain performance-based metrics. Zendejas is likely to become Dayne St. Clair’s backup with Greg Ranjitsingh and Miller both out.
“While we’ve got loads of faith in young Fred Emmings, we didn’t want it to be, you know, if the situation arose that we put him under that much pressure,” Loons manager Adrian Heath said Thursday during a conference call. “Obviously with Tyler going down and Greg having a minor operation on Friday, we we didn’t feel we could go into the rest of the season with two young goalkeepers. and we you know we wanted to bring somebody in should we need them.”
The 23-year-old St. Clair has started Minnesota’s last three games, earning two wins and keeping one clean sheet. Zendejas has a pair of U.S. Open Cup starts to his name back in his Sporting KC days in 2018.
Minnesota United sits third in the Western Conference and travels to the Houston Dynamo on Saturday.