Here are the top 15 soccer stories we’re following today.
1. UNION, D.C. SWAP
Perhaps the most surprising news on Tuesday came with the announcement that D.C. United traded defender Ethan White and their first spot in the allocation order in exchange for veteran defender Jeff Parke and the Union's sixth-place spot in the allocation. Although many may be scratching their heads at this one, United general manager Dave Kasper explains the reasons his side made the move, while Jeff Parke cites something else as the reason he had to leave Philadelphia.
2. EDU TO PHILLY?
With the Union now holding the top spot in the order, Goal.com reported on Tuesday that the club is trying to bring in US national team veteran Maurice Edu. As for the Union, club CEO Nick Sakiewicz says there is money to be spent as he heads off to Europe. In the meantime, the club has added a new member to its coaching staff, with recently retired hometown hero Chris Albright returning to the club as assistant technical director.
3. MORE D.C. NEWS
White wasn’t the only defender leaving D.C. United on Tuesday, as the club officially announced that Dejan Jakovic has joined Japanese side Shimizu S-Pulse. However, there could be another new arrival on the cards as it seems a deal for Fabián Espíndola is nearly complete.
4. AGUDELO TO STOKE
Juan Agudelo announced via Twitter Wednesday that he has officially joined Stoke City of the English Premier League. The player still hasn’t recevied his work permit, however, so he is expected to be loaned out to a European club for six months, and then again until such a time that he can play in England.
5. SOUNDERS IN FOR PAPPA?
Are the Seattle Sounders planning a move for former Chicago Fire player Marco Pappa? The 26-year-old from Guatemala has most recently been linked with a move to the Montreal Impact, but he could certainly fill a gap in the Sounders roster.
6. ADDING TO THE CREW
A day after adding Michael Parkhurst, the Columbus Crew made another new addition to their squad. They made a deal on Tuesday to bring in Hector Jimenez and a first-round draft pick from the LA Galaxy in exchange for allocation money and the Crew's second-round pick. Columbus head coach Gregg Berhalter believes his side was fortunate with the timing of the deal, and also has some insight about what Parkhurst brings to the table.
7. AND THE WINNER IS…
Tuesday saw a weighted lottery take place between the San Jose Earthquakes and Real Salt Lake to see which team would acquire Generation adidas player Billy Schuler. The San Jose Earthquakes came away with the former University of North Carolina striker.
8. LABA AIN’T LEAVING
With three new Designated Players now on the books for Toronto FC, does that mean Matias Laba’s days in the Canadian city are numbered? Not according to TFC head coach Ryan Nelsen, who has said this: “I love Matty, I brought him in, so we will try and move hell and high water to try and keep the man.” With an overwhelming positivity surrounding Toronto FC right now, TSN looks at the impact Tim Leiweke has had on the club.
9. YEARS IN THE MAKING
Better late than never right? After being linked with Adolfo “Bofo” Bautista for years now, Chivas USA finally got their man on Tuesday. Having been a key figure for the MLS side’s sister club in Mexico, Chivas USA will be hoping for more of the same in MLS.
10. ROUTES TO SUCCESS
The US national team is in Brazil now but, with over two weeks of the training camp still to go, how have some of the younger players found their first January camp experience so far? Plus, when you look at the current group and how each player made his way into soccer, it reveals some interesting figures about how the current crop of players arrived at this stage.
11. BUILD IT IN BOSTON
The New England Revolution's investor/operator Jonathan Kraft recently sat down with Kyle McCarthy of the New England Soccer Journal to talk about all things New England, including how the team fared in 2013, their impressive Homegrown players and, perhaps most interestingly, the quest for a soccer-specific stadium.
12. HIGH CALIBER
With their new head coach finally secured, FC Dallas can now properly turn their attention towards shaping the team. With that in mind, Dan Hunt, vice president of the club's ownership group, has reiterated that the club is looking to sign an international Designated Player.
13. GEIGER TO WORLD CUP
FIFA has just released the list of referees and assistants for this summer's World Cup and it seems the US national team won't be America's only presence on the field at the tournament. Mark Geiger has been selected as a referee, and his assistants include countryman Mark Sean Hurd and Canada's sole representative, Joe Fletcher.
14. MOVING ORLANDO CITY
With Orlando City joining MLS in 2015, the question still remains of what to do with their USL PRO franchise. Obviously the club can’t stay in Orlando and on Tuesday the Orlando owners held an exploratory visit to Louisville, Ky., meeting several key figures whilst there. While the club plans to explore several markets, president Phil Rawlins liked what he saw in Louisville.
15. PORTLAND 1976
As we look forward to Thursday's SuperDraft and the potential stars whose careers it could launch, it’s interesting to look back and see how far things have come. It’s hard to imagine things that happened back in the old NASL collegiate draft system happening today, such as in 1976, when the Portland Timbers drafted a college basketball star.
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