Toronto FC and the LA Galaxy swapped defenders in the last hours before the MLS roster freeze on Thursday, highlighting a relatively quiet day for teams looking to make a deal.
TFC acquired central defender Kyle Davies from the LA in exhcange for defender Dasan Robinson, giving the Reds a promising young talent for the future and the Galaxy a veteran as they make their push for the Supporters' Shield and beyond.
“We are acquiring a young central defender with leadership experience and I feel Kyle will fit into our plans both now and long-term,” Toronto FC head coach and technical director Aron Winter said in a statement from the club.
Davies, 22, joined the Galaxy in May and did not make an appearance for them this season. He played in three games, with two starts, for FC Dallas, in 2010 and 11 games, including 10 starts, for them in 2009. He was also briefly with Real Salt Lake and served as the captain for the US U-20 national team in the 2009 CONCACAF U-20 Championship and the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup.
Robinson, 27, was obtained on July 28 from the Chicago Fire, who acquired defender Dan Gargan in the deal. He made just one appearace for Toronto FC, Aug, 18, in Panama City in the 2-1 win over Tauro FC in a CONCACAF Champions League Group C match.
Robinson is perhaps best known for his five-plus seasons spent with the Fire, including a rookie season in 2006 and his second year in 2007 that saw him start 23 games each season. He started 17 last season for the Fire, but has battled injuries in the past. He was originally drafted into the league by former Fire head coach Dave Sarachan, now the associate head coach with the Galaxy.
Whitecaps add Trinidad & Tobago defender
The Vancouver Whitecaps shored up their defense with the addition Thursday of Trinidad & Tobago center back Carlyle Mitchell, pending his international transfer certificate.
"Carlyle is a young, athletic prospect that provides additional depth to the centre back position," said Tom Soehn, Vancouver's acting head coach and director of soccer operations.
Mitchell, 24, joins the Whitecaps after starting his professional career with Joe Public FC in the Trinidad & Tobago Professional Football League. In 2009, the defender helped Joe Public to the league championship, Trinidad & Tobago Cup (FA Trophy), Trinidad & Tobago Classic, and Trinidad & Tobago Pro Bowl titles. In 2010, he helped the Eastern Lions to a runners-up finish in the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Club Champions' Cup competition behind Puerto Rico Islanders.
The native of Arima, Trinidad & Tobago also appeared for Joe Public in two editions of the CONCACAF Champions League. The defender faced 2012 MLS expansion club Montreal Impact in the group stage of the inaugural 2008-09 competition before facing MLS Eastern Conference side Columbus Crew during the group stages of the 2010-11 competition.
RSL sign two new midfielders
Real Salt Lake, meanwhile, announced the signing of two midfielders, Nico Muniz and Yordany Alvarez.
Alvarez was recently named USL Pro MVP and is fresh off of a successful season with Orlando City, where his side earned the league championship. The 26-year old Cuban comes to RSL via a loan arrangement through the end of the year, and he could be available for selection as early as this weekend, depending on finalization of the necessary paperwork.
“When you are the MVP of the league that is a really good start,” said RSL GM Garth Lagerwey. “That’s a really good foundation. Everybody is going to have an adjustment trying to come up to our level and have the same impact, but certainly we’re excited to add Yordany on loan, and hopefully he’ll do well for us. I think he gives us some experienced depth at that defensive midfielder spot ahead of the playoffs.”
Muniz is an Albuquerque native who spent last season in the RSL-Arizona academy program. Prior to that, he experienced a stint training as an amateur in Spain. Although, he has signed a deal with RSL, the creative midfielder will train with the squad for the remainder of the season but will not be eligible for action until 2012.
Sporting KC add Orlando City defender
Sporting Kansas City had two players in their sights on Major League Soccer’s roster deadline, but the club was only able to nail down one of the two.
Sporting announced Thursday that they had come to terms with Kenyan defender Lawrence Olum, but manager Peter Vermes said roster limitations prevented Nick Cardenas from joining the team after a training stint with the club. Olum joins Kansas City from Orlando City SC, where he made 21 appearances in the club’s inaugural season. He will be added to the team’s roster pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate and won’t require an international roster spot.
“He’s a seasoned guy,” Vermes said. “Sometimes guys like him that go through the lower divisions get seasoned pretty quickly. I think he’s got some qualities that translate to MLS very well. At the same time, he’s played more than enough professional games that it’s not like it’s going to take an amazing amount of time to get him caught up to the game.”
Vermes said Olum could play comfortably in central defense or defensive midfield and at right back in a pinch. The 27-year-old landed with Orlando City SC in 2011 after previous stints in the lower divisions with the Portland Timbers, Minnesota Thunder and Austin Aztex following four years at Missouri Baptist University.
“He’s a good passer of the ball,” Vermes said. “I think he’s a good ball winner and reads the game. He’s also very good in the air and athletic. All those things translate well to our game and the league.”
Union pick up Harrisburg City midfielder
Just before today’s roster freeze deadline, the Union announced the signing of midfielder Morgan Langley from the club’s USL-Pro affiliate, the Harrisburg City Islanders.
Langley appeared in 20 games and scored two goals for Harrisburg this season, helping the Islanders advance to the USL-Pro championship game. Prior to that, the 22-year-old native of Hawaii starred for Division III Swarthmore, setting school records for career points (95), career assists (27) and single-season points (42).
The Union have had good luck signing players from the City Islanders before. Last year, they acquired ex-Islander Sheanon Williams, who quickly emerged as Philly’s starting right back and one of their most important players.
Langley had been training with the Union with fellow Islander Sainey Touray, a 21-year-old Gambian striker, since the beginning of the week.
Quakes add USL striker
The San Jose Earthquakes, meanwhile, acquired forward Maxwell Griffin on loan from 2011 USL Pro Division Champion Orlando City Soccer Club for the remainder of the 2011 MLS season. Per league and team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Griffin was among the top goal scorers in the USL Pro Division in 2011, finding the net nine times in 22 games. He spent several weeks training with San Jose during the 2011 MLS preseason, including a 10-day trip to Southern California to play Chivas USA, LA Galaxy and the Ventura County Fusion.
He originally signed with the Austin Aztex, members of the USSF Division II, out of college, but was retained by the club after its merge with Orlando at the conclusion of the 2010 season. He scored 10 goals in 29 appearances with the Aztex and was named 2010 USSF Division II Rookie of the Year.
The UCLA product played in Westwood from 2005 to 2008. He scored 28 goals for the nationally-ranked Bruins, helping to lead the team to four consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances. As a senior, he led UCLA with 10 goals.
Griffin trained with the Earthquakes on Thursday and is available for selection for Saturday’s game against the Houston Dynamo on Saturday at Robertson Stadium.
DEADLINE DAY TRANSACTIONS
Sporting Kansas City: IN — DF Laurence Olum (from Orlando City SC, USL Pro)
Philadelphia Union: IN — MF Morgan Langley (from Harrisburg City Islanders , USL Pro)
Real Salt Lake: IN — MF Nico Muniz (from RSL Academy), MF Yordany Alvarez (Orlando City)
Vancouver: IN — D Carlyle Mitchell (from Joe Public FC)
San Jose: IN — F Maxwell Griffin (Orlando City)