Here are the latest MLS preseason happenings for Monday, Jan. 25.
No. 1 pick Harrison out with injury
It may be his first season as a professional, but New York City FC announced on Monday that 2016 SuperDraft No. 1 pick Jack Harrison is dealing with a pelvic injury. The timeline for his return is not yet known.
“Of course we’re disappointed for Jack as we know how desperate he is to begin training with his new teammates,” said NYCFC head coach Patrick Vieira in an article on the injury.
“But he is young and we’ll put together a treatment plan that will see him return to training fitter and stronger than ever.”
“We were aware he had a problem, but having monitored and assessed the injury further since he joined us, we’ve found that it will take him longer to return to full fitness than we first anticipated.”
"At the moment we’re still assessing the injury and don’t want to put an exact timeframe on it. Hopefully Jack can take part in some of our pre-season, but at the same time we would never rush a player.”
"The important thing is to be patient and treat the injury properly; there is no reason to rush. When he comes back, we want him to feel ready to express and show the talent we know he has. He is a prospect for the future and is going to have a massive part to play in this season for us.”
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Orlando City add Budalic as assistant GM
Orlando City SC have found assistance in the front office as they announced on Monday the addition of Niki Budalic as assistant general manager. Budalic is a former professional player, including for the Montreal Impact, and the Ontario native most recently worked as director of soccer operations for PDL champions K-W United FC.
Orlando City adds to its front office staff prior to the 2016 Season. https://t.co/stz01K52sx— Orlando City SC (@OrlandoCitySC) January 25, 2016
“I have known Niki for several years and am delighted that we have been able to recruit someone with his broad and diverse background in the game,” said owner Phil Rawlins in a statement. “He has a good eye for a player, is a seasoned recruiter of talent and an experienced administrator. I am looking forward to him making an immediate positive impact on our soccer operations.”
“I’m excited to be joining Orlando City at such an important time in the Club’s history,” added Budalic. “I look forward to working with Phil, Adrian and the entire technical staff as we identify, recruit and develop the best talent to further our Club’s success.”
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Quakes' Amarikwa off the market
There's no need to really contextualize this next bit of news, as San Jose Earthquakes forward Quincy Amarikwa had good personal news his club shared:
Best of luck to Amarikwa and his future Mrs.
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Sporting KC name Jake Reid president
Sporting Kansas City made an addition to their front office on Monday as well, as they announced Jake Reid will be the club's new president. Reid previously served as chief revenue officer since 2012, and vice president of ticket sales and services at the club.
"I have been very fortunate to be part of this organization for over five years and I am honored to move into this new role," Reid said in a team statement. "The staff that we have at Sporting Kansas City is amazing and they should be recognized for everything they do day in and day out. I am thankful we have an ownership group who constantly pushes all of us at here to deliver the best fan experience in sports. This is an extremely exciting time and we are all looking forward to a great 2016 season."
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Revs get McCrary
You may have noticed a different look to the New England Revolution's Twitter feed today. But the team account is still putting out some important Revs info, including the official capture of their top SuperDraft pick.
University of North Carolina product Jordan McCrary, drafted 10th overall in Baltimore earlier this month, has signed a contract with the Revs. He will battle for a place in coach Jay Heaps' side as their preseason kicks into full gear with a transition from Massachusetts to Arizona on Tuesday, when the Revolution fly south for a 10-day training camp in Casa Grande, including participation in the Desert Diamond Cup in Tucson.
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THAT Mancini? Yes, that Mancini
On Friday D.C. United escaped the capital city just in time, catching one of the last flights out of Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport before the facility shut down as Winter Storm Jonas swept across the region depositing around two feet of snow.
The Black-and-Red have set up camp at the IMG Academies in Bradenton, Florida, and when they released their preseason roster on Sunday, one name in particular stuck out among the several intriguing trialists.
United are taking a look at Italian striker Andrea Mancini, youngest son of Inter Milan manager Roberto Mancini. The 23-year-old rose through Inter's youth system, then followed his father to Manchester City, where he didn't catch on with the first team but went on loan stints at Oldham Athletic and Italian lower-division side Fano.
He arrives in the US after stints with Real Valladolid B (Spain) and Hungarian sides Honved and Szombathely.
TFC draw a crowd on day 1
Toronto FC held their first training session of the 2016 preseason on Monday, and it drew a pretty impressive turnout at the gate.
No, it wasn't fans who lined up at the Kia Training Ground: It was journalists eager to catch the club's first media availability of the new season. The sidelines of the Reds' indoor pitch were packed to the gills:
TFC aren't at home for very long: On Wednesday they jet off to sunny Southern California for a week and a half, where they'll train hard and meet UC Irvine, Cal State Fullerton, Ventura County Fusion and the LA Galaxy in preseason friendlies.
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White Stripes for the Men in Red
With a new coach, new general manager and a raft of new player arrivals, there's been change aplenty around the Chicago Fire this winter. But as the team gathered at The PrivateBank Fire Pitch on Monday for the first of a week's worth of training sessions in Chicago, dedicated #cf97 fans are also excited about the return of a prominent piece from the club's past glories.
It's a white stripe.
The Fire unveiled their new 2016 home kit on Monday, proudly headlined by the white horizontal stripe across the jersey's chest. It's not just the home of the logo of new sponsor Valspar, it's a design element that will always be associated with Chicago's 1998 MLS Cup triumph and all the other successes of the early years.
Meet Me in Montreal
Like their Canadian rivals in Toronto, the Montreal Impact have gathered for a few days of workouts in their home market before heading south for a training camp in warmer climates. L'Impact trained – and scrimmaged – in the awe-inspiring confines of Stade Olympique on Monday morning, where center back Laurent Ciman's aerial abilities were already on display in a hybridized game of head tennis:
Meanwhile, club president Joey Saputo's conversation with the media touched on Didier Drogba's status, and drew a crowd, as usual:
Impact owner Joey Saputo says he always expected that "as a professional" Didier Drogba would honor his contract with Montreal. #IMFC— Doug McIntyre (@DougMacESPN) January 25, 2016
You Look Familiar
A few months ago, Maxi Urruti was helping the Portland Timbers end FC Dallas' season with a skin-of-the-teeth aggregate victory in the 2015 Western Conference Championship, en route to the MLS Cup title.
Now he's in Frisco, Texas, wearing FCD's kit and plotting trophy raids with his new club.
“FC Dallas is a club that has deserved a title for a few years now,” Urruti said as FCD's preseason opened on Saturday. “Hopefully I will be able to bring that to life with my goals.”
Urruti also said he's "always perceived Dallas as club that wanted to attack," a major factor behind his eagerness to join the Texas side. Read more below...