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MLS Ticker: Schmetzer signs new deal with Sounders, Atlanta United adds Lopez, and more

Brian Schmetzer is staying put.

The Seattle Sounders announced on Monday that Schmetzer has signed a multi-year contraction extension with the team. Schmetzer had been out of contract following the conclusion of the 2020 season, but will return to the only professional team he has ever been the head coach of, as was first reported by SBI Soccer.

“Brian Schmetzer and I have an almost 20-year history of working together,” said Sounders owner Adrian Hanauer in a prepared statement. “Although I never doubted Brian would be back in 2021 and beyond, I am grateful that he will continue to lead Sounders FC for years to come. Brian cares deeply for our club and community, he has a deep understanding of our culture and traditions, and no one is better poised to build upon the organization’s recent success.”

The 58-year-old Schmetzer has helped lead the Sounders to four of the last five MLS Cup Finals, winning the championship game both in 2016 and 2019.

Atlanta United adds Lisandro Lopez to attack

Atlanta United’s attack has become a little deeper and scarier, with the team adding a former Argentine international with a notable track record.

The Five Stripes announced on Monday the signing of veteran striker Lisandro Lopez, who joins on a one-year deal. The 37-year-old forward arrives on a free transfer after his second stint at Racing Club in his native land.

“Lisandro is a veteran goal-scorer who will strengthen our attack and we are pleased to add a player with his experience and qualities to our club,” Atlanta United technical director Carlos Bocanegra said in a written statement. “He brings leadership and a winning mentality, having won various league and cup titles throughout his career, and we feel that he will have a positive influence on our younger roster.”

D.C. United brings back Felipe on one-year deal

Felipe Martins may have had his 2020 season with D.C. United derailed by an ACL injury, but he will have his shot at redemption with the same team this year.

D.C. United announced on Monday evening that Felipe has agreed to a one-year extension that runs through the 2021 campaign. The deal for the 30-year-old midfielder, who was injured last September in practice, comes with an option for the 2022 season.

“Felipe is a veteran leader for our club,” said D.C. United general manager and VP of soccer operations Dave Kasper in a prepared statement. “His presence in both the locker room and on the field, paired with his qualities on and off the ball make him a valuable member for us now and moving forward. We know Felipe will return stronger than ever next season and we look forward to him continuing to play a leadership role for us.”

Chicago Fire president Nelson Rodriguez leaves post

Nelson Rodriguez’s time with the Chicago Fire has come to an end. By his own choice, too.

The Fire announced on Monday that Rodriguez has resigned from his position as team president. Rodriguez originally joined the organization in September 2015 as general manager before taking an expanded role as both GM and president in 2018. He switched to focusing solely on the business side of the Fire last year.

“At this transformational time for the organization and after five years with the Fire, I am ready for a change and I am looking forward to taking on new challenges,” said Rodriguez in a team-issued statement. “I always tried to do what was best for the club and I am grateful to (owner Joe Mansueto) for his enormous support and to Andrew Hauptman for the opportunity originally given to me. The club is moving in an exciting direction and I wish the team, the staff and fans the very best of luck.”

Red Bulls sign Venezuelan teen Carmona

The New York Red Bulls like investing in young players. Monday provided the latest example of that.

The Red Bulls have announced that they have signed midfielder Wikelman Carmona, a 17-year-old Venezuelan that arrives from Dynamo FC Margarita Academy in his native land. Carmona — who played for his country at the Under-17 level in 2019 — will occupy an international roster spot in MLS this season.

“Wikelman is an exciting young player,” said Red Bulls head of sport Kevin Thelwell in the team’s press release. “Our scouting department identified Wikelman through the South American U-17 Championships. He is a versatile offensive midfielder with sound technical abilities and a creative mind. We look forward to his continued development within our environment.”

CF Montreal gives Pantemis contract extension

CF Montreal is keeping a local product right at home.

The Canadian side announced on Monday that goalkeeper James Pantemis has signed a contract extension that runs through the next two seasons and includes an option for 2023. Pantemis, 23, made the first three MLS starts of his career last year.

“This extension is the result of James’ positive development over the past few years,” said CF Montreal sporting director Olivier Renard. “His loan last year benefited him ahead of his MLS debut. He showed us his qualities and convinced us to keep working with him. This academy product has all the trust from the club, but it is now up to him to keep on working and keep progressing.”

Roman Torres signs with Costa Rican side Cartagines

Roman Torres has left MLS and his next destination is in Costa Rica.

C.S. Cartagines announced over the weekend the acquisition of the 34-year-old Torres, who signed a one-year deal. Torres spent last season in MLS, first with expansion side Inter Miami and then the Seattle Sounders.

The Panamanian centerback’s previous contract expired in December, paving the way for his move to Cartagines.

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