The first MLS international transfer window of the season closes on Monday night and reports have several MLS teams scrambling to make some late additions to their squads. The next international window opens in the summer.
Here's the rundown of the names in the news:
Kai Herdling: The Philadelphia Union are rumored to have worked out a loan deal for the 27-year-old Hoffenheim forward which could potentially run through December.
Luis Advincula: The Houston Dynamo are reportedly chasing this Sporting Cristal winger with paperwork already being exchanged, according to this article.
José Erick Correa: Chivas USA may be landing an in-form striker from Boyacá Chicó, who has six goals in league play and has been called up to the Colombian national team this week.
Andreas Dober: The Austrian right back is reportedly in Portland negotiating a move to MLS. He currently plays with TSV Hartberg, which has given him the all-clear to leave.
Wilmer Crisanto: The Honduran Olympic right back has been linked to FC Dallas and D.C. United. But his contract status with Honduran side Victoria is still unclear.
Arnold Peralta Another Under-23 Honduran player is rumored to be heading to D.C. United with a contract already on the table. This report has a rumored seven-month loan from Honduran club Vida with an option to buy.
Daniele Paponi: The Italian forward from Bologna was reportedly heading to the Chicago Fire on trial. The MLS club says that they have sought out information about Paponi but they say they've not been directly in contact with him.
Transfer rumors have always swirled around Seattle Sounders star Fredy Montero.
But the latest one is interesting based on the timing and the club names.
The Sounder At Heart blog unearthed a tweet by Henry "El Bocha" Jimenez, a high-profile Colombian reporter based in Bogota, who claimed that Montero is in the crosshairs of Dutch giants Ajax and English side Liverpool FC.
Sounders GM Adrian Hanauer has already gone on the record recently, telling Goal.com last month: "I think it's impossible to say no [to a big offer]."
Although he's created plenty of havoc, the 24-year-old Colombian has not registered a goal or assist thus far in 2012.
Freddy Montero(Sounders Seattle), en la mira de Liverpool y Ajax de Holanda.
— Henry Jiménez (@BochaJimenez) April 15, 2012
As mentioned on an ExtraTime Radio mailbag a week back, Egypt could be one of the new hotbeds of MLS talent since the league is in crisis right now.
And it turns out that Erik Solér may have been listening. Reports out of Egypt are saying that the Red Bulls have signed goalkeeper El-Hany Soliman.
Breaking: El-Hany Soliman's brother Amr has confirmed that Hany has signed with the #NYRB on a 3 year-deal. #Egypt #Ittihad #MLS
— Egyptian Footy (@egyFT) April 10, 2012
But, well, not so fast. RBNY beat writer extraordinaire Brian Lewis of the New York Post says let's hold our horses a bit.
I'm told the Red Bulls haven't signed anyone, including Soliman. They're working on a few attacking options before the window closes. #RBNY
— Brian Lewis (@NYPost_Lewis) April 10, 2012
The 27-year-old Soliman has manned the nets 24 times for the Egyptian national team (currently managed by former New York coach Bob Bradley) and has spent his entire eight-year pro career with Union Alexandria. He'd be brought in presumably to wear the No. 1 shirt ahead of Ryan Meara, who's impressed five games into his rookie season.
Erik Soler wasn't kidding when he said he'd work to find a home for Luke Rodgers.
The English striker, who was denied a visa to ply his trade in the US on Friday, appears to be headed to Lillestrøm in Norway, according to reports in the Norwegian press.
"The Englishman has signed a contract that extends the season, and joins LSK from the tips of sports director Erik Soler."
Rodgers had 10 goals and three assists in 25 games across all competitions for RBNY last season.
This past winter, rumor had it that former D.C. United captain Ryan Nelsen might return to the nation's capital. The 34-year-old centerback had played out his contract for Premier League side Blackburn Rovers, and was looking to finish his career with the club that developed him from a good college player into a world-class professional.
But then Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp offered him a six-month contract to move to White Hart Lane and provide depth and experience to a club that is this season challenging for cups and pushing for a UEFA Champions League spot. He couldn't say no.
He also has proven his worth to the gaffer. On Wednesday, Nelsen scored in Spurs' 3-1 win over Bolton in the FA Cup quarterfinals, and after the match, Redknapp clearly stated his intentions regarding the longtime New Zealand international.
"I had been chasing him for years and he's only on a six-month contract," Redknapp was quoted as saying in Thursday's New Zealand Herald, "so we'll have to give him a new one at the end of the season."
Frankie Hejduk is a legend in Columbus. His eight years playing for the Crew, including captaining them to the 2008 MLS Cup title, made him a fan favorite. (Drinking beers in the parking lot with the diehard supporters when he was suspended for a game didn't hurt his Q rating at Crew Stadium either.)
Now, after he finished his career with the LA Galaxy last year, it looks like the Crew might abide the dude again.
“There’s some Crew players that just resonate,” Crew President and GM Mark McCullers told The Columbus Dispatch recently. “Brian McBride still resonates. Frankie resonates and that certainly has value for us. I would love to have Frankie in the organization."
Get it churnin', DaMarcus!
Would love to come back to the club that gave me my first chance! The Chicago Fire is like my family.. #fireforlife
— DaMarcus Beasley (@DaMarcusBeasley) March 2, 2012
Beasley, who turns 30 later this year, is currently a starter with Puebla in the Mexican Primera.
The Michael Ballack-to-MLS drumbeat is getting a little bit louder now, it seems.
Goal.com is reporting today that the former Germany captain is in discussion with the league to bring him to MLS this season, citing unnamed sources from both sides of the negotiation. The article lists five teams that would be interested in Ballack's services: Chicago, Montreal, New York, Philly and Seattle.
Based on comments from the player himself, though, it seems that his most likely destination is the Red Bulls.
Fans in New York shouldn't be leaping for joy just yet, though. For one, even players that have shown a legitimate interest in the league have been known to spurn MLS (see: Anelka, Nicolas). Secondly, even if Ballack does sign, his contract with Bayer Leverkusen doesn't end until June 30, and his agent, Michael Becker, said that he won't be leaving before the Bundesliga season is done.
Today could be the day that the Dynamo land two forwards ahead of the 2012 season.
In addition to reacquiring Brian Ching, Costa Rican reports say the club are also close to signing Cristian Lagos from a club called Santos. An executive from the Costa Rican side confirmed it, according to this tweet by a reporter
— Juan Carlos Agüero(@juankaguerom) February 16, 2012
He made news on Wednesday, getting revenge against his former club Liga Alajuelense, by scoring two goals in a 3-1 win by Santos.
(PHOTO: Al Dia / Costa Rica)