Brian Rodriguez Signs with Club America from LAFC

Brian Rodriguez has joined the Club

The 22-year-old Uruguayan soccer player has officially signed with Club America from LAFC, the MLS club announced.

Brian Rodriguez Club America will pay $6 million, with LAFC also receiving a percentage of any future sale, according to ESPN sources.

“Brian has been an important piece of our attack and a huge reason for all of our success since his arrival in 2019,” LAFC president & general manager John Thorrington said in a team release. “He is a player who is capable of special things, and this move will be a great opportunity for him to continue to develop in a competitive environment.”

Rodriguez, a winger, arrived at LAFC in August of 2019 with big expectations after the MLS side spent around $8 million to secure him from Penarol and make him a young designated player.

Rodriguez, a three-time member of the league’s 22-Under-22 list, helped push his team to the Supporters’ Shield in his first season. In 2021, he had a brief stint on loan with Almeria in Spain’s second division.

He has found his place threatened, though, by the summer arrivals of forwards Gareth Bale and Denis Bouanga.

Rodriguez told TUDN earlier this month that he would be open to a move to Club America, noting that it “would be a great leap.”

The winger will look to regain the attention of Uruguay‘s national team after being left out of World Cup qualifiers and friendlies in 2022.

Rodriguez first debuted with Uruguay in 2019, but has failed to earn international minutes since late last year. Later this year, Uruguay will kick-off their World Cup run with group stage matches against South Korea, Portugal and Ghana.

National team manager Diego Alonso previously coached in Liga MX with Pachuca and Monterrey, as well as with Inter Miami in MLS.

At Club America, Rodriguez will join fellow Uruguayans Jonathan RodriguezSebastian Caceres and Federico Vinas.

The giants from Mexico City currently sit third in the 2022 Apertura standings after winning its last five games

LAFC, along with Rodriguez, recently met Club America in a friendly on August 3 at Los Angeles’ SoFi Stadium. In a double-header friendly that began with LA Galaxy defeating Chivas 2-0, Club America narrowly beat LAFC on penalties after a 0-0 draw in regulation time.

Cesc Fabregas Signs with Italian Club Como

Cesc Fabregas is Italy bound…

The 35-year-old Spanish professional footballer has signed a two-year deal with second-tier Italian club Como.

Cesc FabregasThe former Barcelona, Arsenal and Chelsea midfielder, an ex-Spain international, became a free agent after his release from Ligue 1 side AS Monaco in the close season.

Como finished 13th in Serie B last season following their promotion from the third tier in 2020-21.

They announced Fabregas’ arrival in a video on Instagram with the caption: “All the rumours are true, yeah.”

Speaking at his presentation on Monday, Fabregas said: “The MLS was not part of my plans. I wanted to remain in Europe and I believe this is the right project for me.

“I wasn’t interested in money, I wanted to join a long-term project that I would be enthusiastic about. I’m very ambitious and I would like to help Como return to where it deserves, that is in Serie A. I’m here to play and to win games. I see a long-term future with this club.

“Como offered me not just a two-year contract as a player but a long-term project. Last season at Monaco was rather difficult but the past is in the past and now I’m looking ahead. The important thing is that I’m here. I’m not only here to play but to give a helping hand off the pitch in what will be a long-term project.”

Fabregas was part of Spain’s World Cup-winning team in 2010 and won the Premier League twice with Chelsea.

Como club administrator Dennis Wise added: “Cesc will be a part of this club long term. I believe it’s a great signing. It’s not just a two-year contract as a player, as Cesc will become a Como shareholder.”

Luca de la Torre ThisClose to Transfer to La Liga’s Celta Vigo

Luca de la Torre is joining La Liga

The 25-year-old half-Spanish soccer player, a United States international and Heracles, is thisclose to being transferred to LaLiga side Celta Vigo for a fee near $2 million, sources have told ESPN.

Luca de la Torre,Marca was the first to report that the American is heading to Celta.

One source indicated that de la Torre is set to travel to Vigo and will have a medical on Friday. If all goes well, he will officially sign with the club.

The deal, if completed, would amount to a significant step up in competition for de la Torre, after spending the last two seasons in the Netherlands with Heracles, the most recent of which ended in the club’s relegation to the Eerste Divisie.

Spain is a highly technical league that few American players have played in.

Current Celta manager Eduardo Coudet is familiar with American soccer, however, having played for the Philadelphia Union in MLS and the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers of the now defunct North American Soccer League.

Last month, de la Torre told ESPN that he had an agreement with Heracles that he would be transferred after his second year with the club, regardless of the division the club was playing in. All told he made 64 league and cup appearances for Heracles, scoring two goals.

“There’s always been an agreement between myself and the club that I would transfer this summer, with one year left on the contract,” he told ESPN during last month’s slate of games with the U.S. men’s national team.

Heracles’ relegation, combined with the fact that the U.S. is headed to the World Cup in November, made the move necessary for de la Torre, who is eager to cement his spot on the U.S. team ahead of this November’s World Cup in Qatar, after making a late climb up the U.S. depth chart.

Since the start of 2022, he’s made seven appearances — three of the starts — while recording two assists. In that time, he has impressed U.S. manager Gregg Berhalter with his technical ability in the center of midfield, and it’s very likely he’ll be on the plane to Qatar. He has 11 appearances total with the U.S.

A native of San Diego, Calif., de la Torre played for high-level youth sides Nomads Soccer Club and the San Diego Surf. He moved to English side Fulham in 2013, progressing through their academy and making his professional debut in 2016. But a lack of playing time with the Cottagers meant leaving for Heracles, where he succeeded in proving that he could play on a consistent basis.

“It was a really great move for me,” he told ESPN last month. “I played a lot of minutes in a really good league, and I put myself back into the picture for the national team, which was the whole point of making that move in my career.”

Liga MX’s Club America Signs Nestor Araujo & Jurgen Damm

Nestor Araujo and Jurgen Damm has joined the Club

Liga MX giants Club America have announced the signings of the 30-year-old Mexican professional footballer and the 29-year-old Mexican professional footballer.

Nestor Araujo & Jurgen DammThe news was made official on Friday, just eight days away from the team’s 2022 Apertura season-opener against Atlas on July 2.

Club America will pay Celta Vigo up to $4 million for Araujo, with $3 million up front and the rest determined by performance-related incentives, according to Spain’s Faro de Vigo.

The central defender has signed a three-year deal with Las Aguilas, reported ESPN MX.

Damm, who has been part of Club America’s preseason training, will have a six-month contract with a possible six-month extension.

Damm has yet to play an official match in 2022 after Atlanta United exercised an offseason buyout of his guaranteed contract in February. Prior to his stint in MLS from 2020-21, he played for Tigres in Liga MX.

Araujo is returning from Europe after a four-season stay with Celta Vigo in LaLiga. He was a key figure for the mid-table Spanish side that narrowly avoided relegation when he arrived in 2018. The veteran will look to continue claiming regular minutes ahead of an expected spot on Mexico’s roster for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

The signings of Araujo and Damm follow Club America’s headline-stealing addition of Uruguay forward Jonathan “Cabecita” Rodriguez earlier this week.

On Wednesday, Las Aguilas gained a 5-2 preseason win over Leon at San Jose EarthquakesPayPal Park. Manager Fernando Ortiz and his roster will soon head back to Mexico City, where they will prepare for next week’s start of the 2022 Apertura.

Watford’s Cucho Hernandez to be Transferred to MLS’ Columbus Crew

Cucho Hernandez is headed to the U.S.

The Columbus Crew has reached an agreement for the transfer of the 23-year-old Colombian professional footballer from Watford, according to ESPN.

Cucho HernandezColumbus will pay a club-record fee of just more than $10 million, the source said, confirming multiple reports.

Hernandez will initially occupy a Young Designated Player slot for the Crew and be under contract through the 2025 season.

In 25 Premier League appearances during his lone season in England, Hernandez scored five goals and registered two assists. Watford was relegated to the English Championship after finishing in 19th place last season.

Prior to his time at Watford, Hernandez played three seasons on loan in Spain’s LaLiga: one with Huesca after helping the club earn promotion, then a season with each Mallorca (2019-20) and Getafe (2020-21). He scored 11 goals over those three seasons after a 17-goal campaign in Spain’s second division.

Hernandez has two appearances with the Colombian national team, including the most recent in a friendly against Saudi Arabia earlier this month.

He is expected to be available to play for Columbus, which traded U.S. international Gyasi Zardes to the Colorado Rapids earlier this season, after the Major League Soccer transfer window opens July 7.

The Crew (4-5-4, 16 points) are in 11th place in MLS’ Eastern Conference and have exceeded two goals scored just three times in 2022 and only once since March 12.

D.C. United’s Kevin Paredes Signs with Bundesliga Club Wolfsburg

Kevin Paredes is heading to Germany…

Wolfsburg has signed the 18-year-old Dominican American professional soccer player from D.C. United for what the Major League Soccer team said was a $7.35 million transfer fee.

Kevin Paredes

The German club said Paredes signed a contract until the end of the 2025-26 season.

D.C. said the transfer fee is its record high for a sale. The deal includes additional money contingent on performance and a percentage of any future transfer fees.

“Despite his age he’s already gained some experience at first-team level, and as well as the left wing he can also play in the center,” Wolfsburg sporting director Marcel Schafer said. “In addition, he brings pace and dynamism, he’s very agile and nimble on the ball, covers a lot of ground on the pitch and has a really good mentality.”

Paredes came through the D.C. youth academy before making his professional debut as a 16-year-old for Loudoun United, the Washington-based club’s reserve team, in 2019.

The Virginia-born player returned to D.C. in 2020 and went on to make 41 appearances across all competitions, scoring three goals and setting up two more.

“Kevin’s rapid rise from our academy to a first-team starter is a testament to his desire, talent, and commitment,” D.C. president of soccer operations Dave Kasper said in a statement.

 

Paredes has two goals in five appearances for the United States under-16 team. He attended senior national team camp last month but injured his left ankle and left before the exhibition against Bosnia and Herzegovina.

 

https://twitter.com/VfLWolfsburg_EN/status/1487117451871596549

Portland Timbers Transfer MLS Legend Diego Valeri to Argentina’s Lanús

Diego Valeri is heading home…

The 35-year-old Argentine professional footballer and Portland Timbers midfielder  is heading home to Argentina.

Diego Valeri

The Portland Timbers have announced an agreement with Lanus for the transfer of the 35-year-old Argentine professional footballer and former Major League Soccer (MLS) MVP.

Lanus plays in Argentina’s top division.

A nine-year veteran of the Timbers, Valeri scored 100 goals and 104 assists in 306 matches across all competitions.

He’s the team regular season leader for both goals (86) and assists (91). Valeri is just the third player in MLS history to reach 80 goals and 80 assists in regular-season play. He was named the MLS Cup‘s Most Valuable Player in 2015 when the Timbers defeated the Columbus Crew for the league championship.

In 2017, he was honored as the league MVP after scoring 21 goals with 11 assists. He was a five-time MLS All-Star and in 2020 was named one of the league’s 25 greatest players.

“I do not believe there has been a more impactful Designated Player signing in the history of MLS than Diego Valeri,” Timbers owner Merritt Paulson said in a statement. “He changed what clubs looked for in a DP — not a brand to put fans in the seats and sell sponsorships, but a rising European level talent who chose to make America his home and legacy.”

Valeri also became a beloved member of the Portland community, known for painting playrooms for foster children and jumping into pickup futsal games. Valeri and his family were ardent supporters of the Portland Thorns, the National Women’s Soccer League team. Valeri is a product of the Lanus academy, which he joined at age 9. He went on to play 158 matches with the senior team from 2003-13.

In addition to the transfer, the Timbers and Lanus agreed to a testimonial match in Portland next year, during which Valeri will play a half for each team. Details were not yet announced.

Upon his retirement, Valeri will become an ambassador for the Timbers.

Carlos Ferreira ThisClose to Deal with Houston Dynamo

Things are turning out dynamo-ite for Carlos Ferreira

The Houston Dynamo are closing in on a deal for the 22-year-old Paraguayan football player, a Paraguay youth international and Libertad player, according to ESPN.

Carlos FerreiraESPN sources claim Ferreira is expected to fly to Houston in the next few days to finalize the deal, with the agreed transfer fee around $6 million.

If the deal is completed, Ferreira will join a Houston side in need of attacking help, with Dynamo’s 36 goals in 2021 tied for the second-worst mark in Major League Soccer.

Ferreira began his professional career in his native Paraguay with Olimpia in 2016. He subsequently was loaned to Paraguayan second tier side Independiente FBC, where he scored 13 goals in 19 matches in 2018.

Later that year he moved to Liga MX side Morelia — now Mazatlan — where he went on to score 16 goals in 52 league and cup appearances.

In 2020, Ferreira was loaned to Libertad in his home country, where he has scored 34 goals in 78 league and cup appearances.

At international level, Ferreira has represented Paraguay at under-17, under-20 and under-23 level, but has yet to make an appearance with the senior team.

FC Dallas Star Ricardo Pepi Completes $20 Million Move to FC Augsburg

It’s official… Ricardo Pepi is headed to Alemania

The 18-year-old Mexican American professional soccer player, a forward for FC Dallas and the United States international team, has completed a move to Bundesliga side FC Augsburg.

Ricardo Pepi ESPN previously reported that Pepi was set to move to Augsburg in a deal worth $20 million plus add-ons, the most for a homegrown player in Major League Soccer (MLS) history.

Sources said Dallas will also receive a 10% sell-on percentage for any future moves.

“Moving to Europe after the conclusion of the MLS season was my dream,” Pepi said in a statement Monday. “I believe FC Augsburg and the Bundesliga will prove the perfect settings for me to gain match practice at the top level as a youngster.

“The efforts the FCA club officials put in to sign me were really impressive. As a result, I felt right away that FCA was the right club for me. I can’t wait to meet my new teammates and I want to integrate into the team as quickly as possible. I can hardly wait to get going!”

Pepi enjoyed a remarkable year in 2021 that resulted in his first call-up to the U.S. national team in September. He recorded a goal and two assists in his international debut against Honduras and now has three goals in seven appearances for his country.

Pepi scored 13 goals in 31 league appearances this season for Dallas.

FC Augsburg are embroiled in a relegation battle in Germany’s top flight, sitting in 15th place on 18 points after 17 games.

“We are delighted that Ricardo has decided to join Augsburg despite interest from a number of top clubs around the world,” Augsburg executive Stefan Reuter said.

“We were able to provide him with a clear sporting plan for his future development that convinced him to come here. We are certain that he will continue to improve here in Augsburg and that we’ll have a lot of fun together over the coming years.”

FC Dallas Reportedly Transferring Ricardo Pepi to Augsburg for Club-Record Fee

Ricardo Pepi is thisclose to a lucrative deal to play in Germany…

The 18-year-old Mexican American professional soccer player, an FC Dallas and United States international forward, is close to finalizing a deal with Bundesliga side FC Augsburg, according to ESPN.

Ricardo Pepi

The sources said that if the deal is completed, the transfer fee would be in the neighborhood of $20 million plus add-ons, with a 10% sell-on percentage going to Dallas in any future moves.

The base transfer fee would be the highest for a homegrown player in Major League Soccer history.

Alphonso Davies‘ move from the Vancouver Whitecaps to Bayern Munich was in excess of that number, but that included incentives.

Pepi’s arrival in Augsburg would see him bolster an attack in desperate need of goals. Augsburg is in 15th place, just above the relegation zone. Its haul of 17 goals in 17 games is tied for the fourth-worst mark in the Bundesliga as it headed into the winter break.

Bundesliga rivals Wolfsburg were thought to be the frontrunners to land Pepi, but now it appears that Augsburg have won the race to sign the American.

Pepi has seen his reputation and form skyrocket in the last 12 months. He scored 13 goals in 31 league appearances this season for Dallas. That resulted in a call-up to the U.S. men’s team where he scored three goals — all in World Cup qualifiers — in seven appearances.

All told, Pepi has scored 16 goals in 57 league and playoff appearances for Dallas.