Eugenio Pizzuto Signs with Ligue 1’s Lille OSC

Eugenio Pizzuto is headed to France…

The 18-year-old Mexican professional footballer joined French Ligue 1 club Lille OSC, the team has confirmed.

Eugenio Pizzuto

Pizzuto captained Mexico at the under-17 World Cup in 2019 and was awarded the Bronze Ball for his performance as El Trireached the final.

“I feel confident in myself,” Pizzuto said at a news conference. “I think I’ll be able play this year without any problem.

“Like in any team, if you are the new guy you have to come in and work really hard so you can win a place in the starting 11 or on the bench, but I’m just going to work and do my best to be on the field.”

Pizzuto joined Lille on a free transfer after coming through thePachuca youth system.

Hector Herrera and Hirving Lozano also came through the youth system and were signed to European clubs.

Pizzuto only made one appearance in Liga MX, fracturing his fibula and dislocating his ankle in a horror injury just nine minutes after coming off the bench against Leon last January.

“About the injury, I’m much better, I’m just finishing the last things to be back on the field, but I’m 100% to play for Lille,” Pizzuto added.

The Ligue 1 season begins on Saturday, August 22 with Lille taking on Rennes at home.

The team was in fourth position when the 2019-20 Ligue 1 season was ended on April 28 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Erick Torres Signs with Atlanta United

Erick Cubo Torres is headed to The Big Peach

The 27-year-old Mexican professional footballer has signed with Atlanta United after placing Josef Martinez on the season-ending injury list.

Erick "Cubo" Torres

Martinez, the 2018 Major League Soccer MVP, tore the ACL in his right knee in Atlanta’s season-opening 2-1 win over Nashville SC on February 29. He underwent surgery on March 18.

By being placed on the season-ending injury list, Martinez won’t be able to play in any MLS competitions for the remainder of the 2020 season. Per MLS roster rules, the Martinez move allowed Atlanta to obtain roster relief in the form of an open roster spot, as well as salary budget relief up to $250,000 to sign a replacement.

Atlanta has struggled in Martinez’s absence, failing to score a single goal while losing all three games at the MLS is Back tournament. That run of results led to the team parting ways with manager Frank de Boer on July 24.

“Josef’s rehab is progressing well and is going to plan; however, it was important for us to make this move as it gives us roster relief and flexibility for the rest of the 2020 season,” Atlanta United Vice President and Technical Director Carlos Bocanegra said. “We will miss his ability and leadership on the field this season, but we look forward to having him back at the start of preseason next year.”

In Martinez’s place, the Five Stripes acquired Torres, who was out of contract after spending the last two years with Liga MX side CD Tijuana. Having played previously with two other MLS teams — the now-defunct Chivas USA and the Houston Dynamo — Torres is familiar with the league, and has the added benefit of holding a green card, meaning he will count as a domestic player.

“‘Cubo’ is a natural goal-scoring forward who will bolster our frontline and we’re pleased to add a player of his quality to the team,” Bocanegra said. “He has consistently shown his finishing abilities in MLS, Liga MX and on the international stage, and we expect him to immediately contribute to the second half of our season.”

Torres was at one point considered an up-and-coming star in Mexico, breaking in with Guadalajara as a 17-year-old in 2010. He was loaned to Chivas USA in 2013, scoring 23 goals in 51 league and cup appearances over the next two seasons.

Following Chivas USA’s folding after the 2014 season, MLS purchased Torres’ contract, making him a Designated Player. He eventually landed in Houston, though his form was uneven during his tenure there. He went 23 league and cup appearances without scoring and was twice loaned to Guadalajara and Cruz Azul during that time.

Torres bounced back in 2017, scoring 14 goals in 31 league and playoff appearances, five of which came from the penalty spot. Torres returned to Mexico in 2018 with Pumas and later Tijuana, but has struggled to find success since. Over the last two years, he has scored nine goals in 45 league and cup appearances. At the international level, Torres scored one goal in seven appearances for Mexico.

Jurgen Damm Reportedly Headed to Atlanta United This Summer

Jurgen Damm is set to play Major League Soccer

The 27-year-old Mexican winger is set to leave Tigres UANL for Atlanta United this summer on a free transfer after running down his contract, according to ESPN.

Jurgen Damm

Multiple outlets in Mexico have reportedDamm’s imminent departure, with MedioTiempo suggestingDamm’s contract with the MLSclub will be three-and-a-half years.

Damm has made over 200 appearances in Liga MX, but has found regular playing time difficult of late with Tigres, partly due to injury, and has opted for a change of scenery. Damm has won four Liga MX titles in his time at Tigres and has 12 caps for the Mexico national team.

“After consulting with my family, the best thing for me is to take a different direction in June and there’s nothing but thanks towards this institution [Tigres],” said Damm in a press conference on Tuesday. “I’ll fulfill my contract, I tried to give my best, I always tried to be professional, but what you look for is more continuity. [Tigres] gave me opportunities and I didn’t make the most of them.”

“I’m not going to say where [I’m going], I’m not going to speak more, I told the directors that I won’t renew,” he added. “It’s not an economic issue. I never asked for more money.”

Damm was on the verge of tears when making the announcement, having joined Tigres from Pachucain 2015. The player, who has a German passport, was regularly linked with a move to Europe.

Tigres president Miguel Angel Garza had stated on Monday that the club intended to renew Damm’s contract and that the player was open to the idea.Damm was free to talk to clubs six months before his contract was up and will leave Tigres after the 2020 Clausura season.

Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez in Talks to Transfer to LA Galaxy

Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez may be heading to a new galaxy…

The LA Galaxyare in talks with the 31-year-old Mexican professional footballer, who plays as a striker for Spanish club Sevillaand the Mexico national team.

Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez,

A Galaxy spokesperson told ESPN that the club continues to speak to Hernandez and Sevilla about a transfer. A report from Marcastated that Sevilla is willing to part with Hernandez for a $10 million transfer fee, which would be a Galaxy record, but the Galaxy spokesperson said no deal was in place, nor was one imminent.

Galaxy general manager Dennis Te Kloese told the Los Angeles Times about the possible acquisition of Hernandez, adding: “I think he could be good for us. We’ll give it a serious try.”

Hernandez, Mexico’s all-time leading scorer with 52 goals, is in his first season with Sevilla after moving last summer from West Ham Unitedfor $8.7 million, but he has found playing time hard to come by. Hernandez has made just 15 league and cup appearances, scoring three goals.

The Mexico legend would be tabbed to replace Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who, after scoring 31 league and playoff goals last season, departed the club and eventually signed for AC Milan

Given his Mexico roots, Hernandez figures to be a massive box office draw, should he sign with the Galaxy.

After breaking in with Liga MXside Chivasin 2006 and spending four years with the club, Hernandez has spent the bulk of his career in Europe, suiting up for the likes of Manchester UnitedReal MadridBayer Leverkusen, West Ham and eventually Sevilla.

At club level, Hernandez has scored 156 goals in 424 club appearances. He was on two Premier League-winning sides with Manchester United in 2010-11 and 2012-13, and he won the 2006 Apertura with Chivas.

At international level, he has been part of three World Cupsquads with Mexico, making 109 appearances.

Diego Alonso Named Head Coach of Inter Miami CF

Diego Alonsois headed to Miami…

Inter Miami CF has appointed the 44-year-old Uruguayan football coach and former player as their first ever head coach, the club has announced.

Diego Alonso

Alonso most recently served as head coach for CF Monterrey in Liga MX, where he led them to the 2019 CONCACAF Champions Leaguetitle.

“In Diego we found a manager that fits our culture and has a strong desire to build a winning club for our fans,” the club’s sporting director Paul McDonoughsaid in a statement.

“He brings a lot of experience and championship-winning mentality as we begin our drive to be among the best clubs in the Americas. We have big aspirations for our club and believe Diego has the right drive, passion and leadership to accomplish our goals.”

Prior to coaching Monterrey, Alonso guided Pachuca to the CONCACAF Champions League crown in 2017. He also coached clubs in Paraguay and Uruguay before moving to Mexico.

Inter Miami’s inaugural season opens on March 1 at LAFC.

The club also announced the signings of defender Denso Ulysse and goalkeeper Drake Callenderlast week, while they also traded for United States international Juan Agudelo.

Matias Almeyda To Continue as the San Jose Earthquakes’ Manager

Matias Almeyda isn’t going anywhere…

The 45-year-old Argentine former-footballer-turned-manager has confirmed that he’ll  remain manager of the San Jose Earthquakes and won’t be leaving to take up the reins at Liga MX side C.F. Monterrey.

Matias Almeyda

Since Almeyda was named the Quakes manager last year, there have been speculation that Almeyda would depart. Various reports last week had Almeyda exiting the Quakes to join up with LosRayados, who subsequently hired Antonio Mohamed.

Speaking at his season-ending press conference, Almeyda confirmed that he’s had several offers from different clubs over the course of the year, as well as one national team from South America. He added that his agent, Lalo Hernandez, had met with Monterrey officials.

“I thanked them that they thought about me,” said Almeyda about Monterrey with the help of a translator. “And keeping in mind the contract that I had here, I told them that I cannot keep going with these talks because my mind is here in San Jose and my players. And with the directors, we’ve talked about having project and moving up the hierarchy in this club and which I believe in, and which I’ve projected my life here now.”

Almeyda admitted that the Monterrey job was attractive, but that he sees his future in San Jose.

“A club like Monterrey is tempting to any coach, because they have a very rich squad, a marvelous club, and it’s a club in which any coach would dive in head first,” he said. “If I was in Monterrey and the same thing would have happened, I would have stayed in Monterrey because I keep my word. Many Mexican journalists have called me, throughout these days, which we spoke about. I publicly apologize because I never responded to their calls. So everything that was spoken was their own imagination and lies. That’s why I want to be honest with myself. I’ve been honest with people in San Jose, and I’ve been honest with the approach that Lalo Hernandez had there. I have nothing left to say but thank you to those people.”

Almeyda has previously managed River Plateand Banfield in his native Argentina, as well as Liga MX side Chivas. He said that in his previous stints, he had always left by mutual agreement, and not because he simply wanted to leave for a better job. Almeyda admitted that of the offers he received after his tenure with Chivas ended in 2018, San Jose’s offer was the lowest one economically.

“Coaches always get mad when we get fired,” he said. “We have to be coherent and keep going when we have a contract, although the tempting offers are 10 times larger than where you at.”

He added, “I have a group of players for which I’m grateful for what they put in. There’s staff, directors and owners who have given me all that they can. I’m only left to say that I’m grateful being in this place. I’m hopeful that this place will keep growing, that we can grow in terms of hierarchy every day. That’s why changing clubs doesn’t even cross my mind.”

In terms of next season, Almeyda said he didn’t expect there to be many changes to the Quakes’ roster and that the team would be selective in terms of its reinforcements. This despite the fact that while San Jose recorded a 23 point improvement this season, it failed to reach the MLS Cupplayoffs, losing nine of its last 11 games.

Giovani dos Santos Kicks Winning Penalty in Club America Debut

Giovani dos Santosis debuting with a banger…

The 30-year-old Mexican professional footballer kicked the winning penalty in his Club America debut as the Liga MX giants overcame Houston Dynamo 6-5 on penalties in the quarterfinal of the Leagues Cup on Wednesday after the game had finished 1-1 after 90 minutes.

Giovani dos Santos

Nico Benedetti had given America the lead in the 73rd minute inside BBVA Stadium, but veteran DaMarcus Beasleystruck a golazo from a tight angle five minutes from time to take the game to penalties after a close-fought 90 minutes.

Dos Santos, a former Barcelonaforward, entered the field in the 57th minute with the score at 0-0 in his first appearance for a Mexican club and was involved in the build-up as Colombian Benedetti latched onto a Nico Castilloback-heel to break through the Dynamo defense and finish.

Houston coach Wilber Cabrerahad made changes to his usual starting XI for the team’s first Leagues Cup game, but the Texan team battled hard in the first half and was the more dangerous side, with America not appearing secure at the back.

But Las Aguilas improved after the break, took the lead through Benedetti and looked to be on course for victory, until 37-year-old Beasley’s late equalizer for the Dynamo.

America goalkeeper Agustin Marchesinsaved Romell Quioto‘s first penalty and Roger Martinezhad the opportunity to win it in round five of the shootout, but his spot kick went over the bar. Dos Santos’ winner came after Samuel Junquahad failed to convert his penalty for the Dynamo.

America will face the winner of Real Salt Lakeversus Tigresin the semifinal of the tournament on August 20, with LA Galaxytaking on Cruz Azulin the other side of the draw.

The Leagues Cup final is on September 18 in Las Vegas.