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MLS Ticker: Zusi out for season, Nashville adds Bwana in trade, and more

Graham Zusi has constantly been an influential piece for Sporting KC, but the veteran defender will not play a role in the final stages of this MLS season.

Zusi underwent successful foot surgery on Wednesday to repair a midfoot sprain in his left foot and will miss the rest of the 2020 season. His expected timeline is 4-5 months, meaning he could miss the early stages of next season due to rehabilitation.

The 34-year-old has made 20 appearances for Sporting KC this season, contributing to four shutouts and recording one goal and one assist. His 294 regular season appearances since joining SKC out of the 2009 MLS SuperDraft are tied with teammate Matt Besler for the most in club history.

Zusi’s absence could see 20-year-old Jaylin Lindsey jump in at right back for Peter Vermes’ side. Lindsey has made nine appearances in 2020, registering one assist.

Sounders trade Homegrown midfielder Bwana to Nashville

Nashville SC bolstered its roster one day after earning a shutout win over FC Dallas.

21-year old winger Handwalla Bwana was acquired by the expansion club in a trade with the Seattle Sounders. In exchange, the Sounders received Jimmy Medranda and $225,000 in General Allocation Money (GAM). The Sounders could also receive an additional $25,000 in GAM, if Bwana meets certain performance-based metrics.

“Handwalla is one of the exciting young attacking prospects in the league, and we feel very fortunate to be able to add him to our group,” said Mike Jacobs, Nashville SC General Manager. “His ability to threaten defenses both on and off the ball makes him a constant attacking presence, and his work rate on both sides of the ball make him a menace to play against.”

Bwana signed with the Sounders as a Homegrown player in Jan. 2018, but now joins Nashville after three seasons with his hometown club. Since making his debut in March of that year, Bwana totaled 34 combined appearances for Brian Schmetzer’s side, scoring four goals and adding three assists.

At the collegiate level, Bwana made 39 appearances at the University of Washington, recording 12 goals and 13 assists. Among his achievements in college, Bwana earned All-Pac-12 First Team, Second Team and Pac-12 Freshman of the Year honors.

D.C. United make approach for FC Tulsa head coach Nsien

D.C. United continues its search for a new head coach and have reached out to a lower league side in hopes of finding its new leader.

USL side FC Tulsa announced Tuesday that D.C. United made an approach to speak with current head coach Michael Nsien. The Black and Red are seeking a permanent replacement for Ben Olsen, who was fired earlier this month after 10 years at the helm.

“Last week, we were notified that D.C. United wanted to speak with our head coach Michael Nsien about their head coaching vacancy,” FC Tulsa president James Cannon said in a statement.

Nsien, who was signed but never played for the LA Galaxy in 2005, took charge of FC Tulsa initially on an interim basis in June 2018. He would later take permanent charge ahead of the 2019 season and since then has propelled the club to the 2020 USL Playoffs.

D.C. United are currently under the temporary charge of assistant coach Chad Ashton. The club remains in last place in the Eastern Conference, but kept its playoff hopes alive with a 2-1 victory over FC Cincinnati on Sunday to snap a nine-game winless streak.

Up next for D.C. United is a trip to Atlanta United on Saturday.

Revs’ forward Penilla out for season following foot surgery

The New England Revolution will be without one of its attacking options for the remainder of the 2020 MLS season.

Cristian Penilla underwent successful surgery on Wednesday to fixate a left foot fracture, however will miss two-to-three months. Should the Revolution make MLS Cup, Penilla is likely to miss due to rehabilitation.

The Ecuadorian playmaker suffered the injury in the first half of New England’s 2-1 away win against New York City FC on Oct. 11. Penilla has made 17 appearances in 2020, registering four assists on the year currently lead the Revolution.

Penilla joined the club ahead of the 2018 MLS season from Mexican side Pachuca and since has totaled 80 career appearances, 18 goals, and 19 assists in the regular season. With Penilla ruled out for the season, Kekuta Manneh, Gustavo Bou, and Tajon Buchanan will likely all see time on the wing in Bruce Arena’s system.

Sporting KC signs Harris to Homegrown Contract

Sporting Kansas City added a young forward to the mix who boasts U.S. Youth National Team experience.

The Western Conference club announced the signing of Wilson Harris as a Homegrown Player. Harris, 20, signed an MLS contract through 2021 with options for both 2022 and 2023.

After completing quarantine procedures, Harris will be available to feature for Peter Vermes’ side this MLS season.

In three USL Championship seasons with Sporting KC II, Harris made 56 appearances while scoring 23 goals. He notably became the youngest USL Championship player to eclipse 20 career goals while averaging 0.64 goals per game in the USL.

Internationally, Porto has represented the U.S. Under-20, U-18, and U-16 Men’s National Teams in the past.


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