Giovanni Reyna Signs New Long-Term Contract with Borussia Dortmund

Giovanni Reyna isn’t going anywhere…

The 18-year-old half-Argentine American soccer player and U.S. Men’s National Team international has signed a new long-term contract with Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund until 2025.

Giovanni Reyna 

Reyna, who made his USMNT debut earlier this week against Wales, is regarded as one of the most promising talents in the Bundesliga.

Sources told ESPN there was interest in Reyna from the Premier League and La Liga, but he was focused solely on continuing his career with Dortmund.

BVB are a big club that can challenge for titles and are in all the important competitions,” Reyna said. “Young players in particular have the chance to develop here.

“I have already learned a lot in Dortmund and I want to learn a lot more in future. I look forward to being with BVB in the long term.”

Reyna signed an initial three-year deal when he agreed to join Dortmund from MLS side New York City in November 2018. He arrived at BVB in July 2019 and went on to make his debut in February 2020.

He has been an ever-present this season, making 12 appearances for Dortmund, scoring twice, and contributing five assists.

“It’s a great thing for Borussia Dortmund to have a player like Gio, he has a lot of potential,” coach Lucien Favre said at a pre-match news conference on Friday. “If he continues like this, then he’ll be an extremely important player for BVB throughout the future.”

Sporting director Michael Zorc added: “Gio’s development in recent months has been incredible. He will definitely be an important part of Borussia Dortmund’s sporting future.

“I am personally very pleased that he has decided to extend his contract with BVB in the long term with complete conviction.”

Reyna is part of Borussia’s highly rated bunch of young attackers along with Jadon Sancho and Erling Haaland.

Reyna’s debut for the USMNT was due to happen earlier this year, but the fixture schedule was interrupted due to COVID-19. Reyna has now followed in father Claudio Reyna‘s footsteps in playing for the USMNT.

Federico Higuain to Play Alongside Brother Gonzalo Higuain at Inter Miami

It’s a case of brotherly love for Federico Higuain

Inter Miami has signed the 35-year-old Argentine footballer from D.C. United in exchange for $50,000 in general allocation money, the club has announced.

Federico Higuain

The move means long-time MLS veteran Federico will join his younger brother Gonzalo, 32. at the 2020 expansion team, with D.C. honoring the former’s wishes to play alongside his brother.

“Federico has been a great player in this league,” said Paul McDonoughInter Miami CF COO and sporting director. “We were thrilled to add more attacking depth, experience and playmaking ability to our roster when this opportunity presented itself.”

Since joining MLS in 2012, Federico has scored 60 league goals and notched 68 assists in 217 appearances, while helping lead the Columbus Crew to the MLS Cup final in 2015.

Gonzalo Higuain made the move from Juventus to Inter Miami in September after the culmination of a lengthy pursuit of the former Napoli and Real Madrid striker.

The older Higuain signed with D.C. for the 2020 season as a player and development coach, but he expressed his desire to play alongside his brother in Miami and the club honored that request.

Inter Miami beat the Houston Dynamo 1-0 on Saturday afternoon for its second-straight win.

Nashville SC Acquires Jhonder Cadiz on Loan from Portugal’s Benfica

Jhonder Cadiz is ready to kick things up in Major League Soccer

MLS expansion side Nashville SC has a new Designated Player, with the club announcing they acquired the 25-year-old soccer player and striker on loan from Portuguese giants Benfica.

Jhonder Cadiz

Cadiz spent last season on loan in France with Dijon and becomes Nashville’s third DP signing, with the MLS club having an option to buy.

“Jhonder has been an outstanding striker at the highest of levels in both European and South American competitions, and we think his game is tailor-made for Major League Soccer,” said Nashville SC General Manager Mike Jacobs. “The combination of his athleticism and clinical ability around the box made him heavily sought after. We feel fortunate to be able to add him to our club.”

Cadiz, who scored two goals in 15 appearances with Dijon last season in Ligue 1, racked up 10 the previous season for Portugal’s Vitoria Setubal, leading him to sign a five-year contract with Benfica in June 2019.

“I’m very excited to join Nashville SC and to be a part of this inaugural year for the club,” Cadiz said in a statement. “I’m incredibly motivated to showcase my game in Nashville and Major League Soccer and to help the club reach every goal in 2020 and beyond.”

Nashville returns to action Saturday against Atlanta United.

Gonzalo “Pity” Martinez Headed to Saudi Pro League’s Al-Nassr FC

Gonzalo “Pity” Martinez is headed to the Middle East…

Atlanta United FC have transferred the 27-year-old Argentine soccer player, an MLS All-Star midfielder, to Al-Nassr FC of the Saudi Pro League.

Gonzalo "Pity" Martinez

The transfer fee wasn’t disclosed. The transaction opens a designed player spot and an international spot on United’s 2020 roster.

Martinez tallied two goals and two assists in seven MLS matches this season. He added two goals and two assists in three games in Champions League competition.

In his first season with Atlanta in 2019, he was named an MLS All-Star with five goals and nine assists and helped the team win the U.S. Open Cup and the Campeones Cup.

“We want to thank Pity for his contributions to our club for the past two years,” said Atlanta United vice president and technical director Carlos Bocanegra. “He will forever be a part of Atlanta United’s history after playing an integral part in our 2019 season in which we lifted two trophies. We’ll look to be diligent in our efforts to fill that roster spot during this window.”

The native of Argentina transferred from River Plate and joined Atlanta as a designated player on January 24, 2019.

Austin FC Signs Cecilio Dominguez as the Team’s Designated Player

Cecilio Dominguez is headed to Central Texas…

The 26-year-old Paraguayan professional footballer has signed with Austin FC as the MLS expansion side’s first Designated Player.

Cecilio Dominguez

Dominguez moves to Austin from Argentine giants Independiente, where he spent last season after moving over from Club America.

Dominguez will remain on loan for the remainder of the 2020 season before joining his new team in January of 2021.

“Cecilio is the type of player we wanted for our first Designated Player signing. He’s a young but experienced, attacking international who joins us from one of the biggest clubs in South America,” said Austin FC head coach Josh Wolff. “His dynamic forward play will translate well to MLS.

“He is an attacking player well known to Liga MX fans, with a broad skillset, good movement off the ball and the ability to come inside and create scoring opportunities by himself. He can score with both feet and his head, and he is a true team player. His club experience in Mexico, Paraguay, and Argentina, alongside his national team history with Paraguay, adds a significant threat to our forward line. He’s a player fans will be pleased to see when we start play in 2021.”

Dominguez, who is the club’s second signing, scored eight goals and provided six assists in 42 games for Independiente, and scored 21 goals in 74 matches for America prior to that.

Austin FC sporting director Claudio Reyna said he had no shortage of suitors for his services.

“He chose Austin FC as opposed to staying in Argentina with the likes of Boca Juniors showing serious interest,” said Reyna.

“Both ways it shows the belief we have in him and likewise him in our staff and the way we’re absolutely going to get him back to his highest level. He just turned 26 and has so much to look forward to. It’s the challenge we talk about with every player … there’s no doubt that he’s going to find his form and be a really impactful player for us.”

Dominguez, who has also had stints at Paraguayan clubs Nacional and Cerro Porteno, has appeared 17 times for his country but has yet to score.

Diego Rossi Wins MLS is Back Tournament’s Golden Boot Award

It’s Diego Rossi’s golden moment…

The 22-year-old Uruguayan professional footballer and Los Angeles FC forward has won the MLS is Back Tournament’s Golden Boot award.

Diego Rossi

Rossi scored seven goals in five tournament matches to earn the trophy.

The highlight of Rossi’s tournament performance came on Saturday, July 18 in LAFC’s 6-2 victory over El Tráfico rival LA Galaxy when he scored four times, becoming the 13th player in MLS history to achieve the feat.

Rossi’s five combined goals and assists in that match tied the all-time league record, becoming the first player to accomplish this twice in his MLS career.

He also scored a goal in LAFC’s opening 3-3 draw against the Houston Dynamo on July 13 and scored a brace in the club’s 4-1 victory over Seattle Sounders FC on July 27 in the knockout round.

By winning the Golden Boot, Rossi has earned $10,000 for the LAFC Academy through the ‘Audi Goals Drive Progress’ program, a multi-year initiative launched by Audi and dedicated to expanding the breadth of academy resources through contributions toward player education, housing and transportation.

Of Rossi’s seven goals, five came in the tournament’s group stage and count toward the regular season. The Uruguayan leads the league in the race for the 2020 MLS Golden Boot with six regular season goals entering return to play in home markets.

Diego Valeri Helps Lead the Portland Timbers Into the MLS is Back Tournament Semifinals

Diego Valeri is celebrating a major win…

The 34-year-old Argentine footballer and Andy Polo each scored after entering the match as substitutes, helping lead the Portland Timbers to a 3-1 win over New York City FC in the last MLS is Back tournament quarterfinal near Orlando on Saturday night.

Diego Valeri

Sebastian Blanco also scored and had an assist for the Timbers, who haven’t conceded a non-penalty-kick goal in either of their games in the knockout phase.

Portland will face the Philadelphia Union in a semifinal on Wednesday night, after Philadelphia defeated Sporting Kansas City 3-1 on Thursday. The winner will advance to the August 11 final against either Orlando or Minnesota.

Jesus Medina scored a first-half penalty kick to give NYCFC an early lead. New York exits the tournament having lost three of its five matches, after forcing Portland goalkeeper Steve Clark into just two saves.

Valeri entered at halftime and broke a 1-all tie 20 minutes later. He controlled a diagonal pass into the penalty area, played a quick square ball to Jaroslaw Niezgoda, ran onto Niezgoda’s return pass and struck a first-time shot past Sean Johnson.

Polo required only a minute after his 75th-minute entrance to put the game out of reach. With several options to play a pass during an attack, Polo instead opted for a ferocious 25-yard curling shot from the left side that skimmed off a diving Johnson’s fingertips on its way inside the far post.

Before halftime, New York led for 16 minutes until Blanco struck an opportunistic equalizer, when Maxime Chanot deflected Jose Villafana‘s low cross from the left. Blanco collected the half-clearance about 15 yards from goal, then curled a right-footed shot beyond Johnson’s dive and inside the right post.

Medina opened the scoring in the 27th minute after drawing the penalty kick himself, when he went to the ground after tangling with Portland defender Larrys Mabiala.

Robert Sibiga ruled a foul and awarded the kick, and Medina stepped up and drove a left-footed shot to the left of Clark, who had guessed to his right.

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.

Sebastian Soto Signs with Norwich City

Sebastian Soto is switching sides… 

The 20-year-old Chilean and Mexican American youth international soccer player has completed his move to English Championship side Norwich City, the club has revealed.

Sebastian Soto

Soto arrives on a free transfer, signing a three-year deal plus an option of another year after his contract with 2.Bundesliga side Hannover 96 expired. 

As Soto’s application for a work permit was denied, he’ll be forced to go out on loan for the first year of the deal, with a move to Dutch Eerste Divisie side Telstar among the possibilities.

“It’s a proud feeling. It’s super exciting to join Norwich City,” Soto said.

“The facilities here are really impressive. From the minute I arrived here, it’s given me a lot of excitement.

“Being a young player, it’s nice to hear that the head coach gives us a chance. It was a big factor in me moving here.

“I’m striker that loves scoring goals. I love being part of a good team that plays good football.”

Soto made five first team appearances for Hannover, and much was expected following an impressive set of performances for the U.S. Under-20 side at least year’s FIFA U20 World Cup.

But once it became apparent that Soto wouldn’t sign a new deal with Hannover, his place in the first team was compromised with injuries and overall competition for places also playing a part.

Norwich was recently relegated from the Premier League, but if Soto makes the most of his loan move, it could be a case of good timing. 

Top scorer Teemu Pukki will be 31 by the time Soto’s presumptive loan would end, which might put the American in a better position to contend for a starting spot. The club did recently sign 23-year-old Luxembourg forward Danel Sinani.

Employment regulations will change when the UK leaves the European Union in January 2021, making it easier for Soto to get a work permit.

Soto signed with Hannover in 2018 after rising through the youth system at MLS side Real Salt Lake. He made a positive first impression at Hannover, scoring 17 goals in 24 appearances with Hannover’s U19 team during the 2018-19 season. He made his first team debut later in that campaign.

LAFC’s Diego Rossi Scores Two Goals Against Seattle Sounders to Extend Goal Lead in ‘MLS is Back Tournament’

Diego Rossi has extended his lead…

The 22-year-old Uruguayan professional footballer scored his competition-leading sixth and seventh goals of the MLS is Back Tournament, as he led his Los Angeles FC team to a 4-1 win overthe Seattle Sounders on Monday night in the round of 16 near Orlando.

Diego Rossi

Latif Blessing added a goal before halftime for LAFC, which avenged a 3-1 loss to Seattle in last year’s Western Conference final. 

Los Angeles’ Brian Rodriguez added his second goal of the tournament to seal the team’s meeting with Orlando City in a quarterfinal on Friday. 

Forward Bradley Wright-Phillips left the game at halftime for Los Angeles due to an apparent injury.

Will Bruin scored his first goal in more than 15 months for the Sounders, who were perhaps fortunate not to lose by more on a night they were outshot 25-11 overall and 8-4 in efforts on target.

With reigning MLS MVP Carlos Vela opting out of the tournament for LAFC, Rossi has picked up the slack to move two goals in front of Toronto FC‘s Ayo Akinola in the tournament Golden Boot race, with TFC already eliminated.

Rossi put LAFC in front from the penalty spot in the 14th minute. Rossi won the opportunity by inducing Xavier Arreaga into a clumsy challenge, and he finished past Stefan Frei‘s dive with a shot inside the right post.

In the 82nd minute, Rossi capitalized on another error from Arreaga error to score a second goal before Rodriguez added his insurance tally in the 89th minute.

https://twitter.com/MLS/status/1287974017895366656?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1287974017895366656%7Ctwgr%5E&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fsports.mynorthwest.com%2F1117526%2Fsounders-fall-4-1-lafc-rossi-pair-goals%2F%3F