News Rundown

MINNESOTA’S RAMIREZ ON THE OUTSIDE LOOKING IN

It was well known that 27-year-old Christian Ramirez drew interest from Liga MX before penning a new deal with Minnesota United prior to their entry into Major League Soccer in 2017. A new report from Taylor Twellman on ESPN reveals that Ramirez was a wanted man even as the season was underway with $1.5 million offer from an unnamed Liga MX side during the summer.

“They [MNUFC] had a $1.5 million offer from Mexico last summer where they had the opportunity to either sell him, or they made the other decision in keeping him,” Twellman reported before Minnesota took on Seattle Sounders. “But I‘m not sure he’s their starting No. 9 from here on out. Unless Adrian Heath can find another way to change this team, it’s a little bit of a conundrum from him.”

Ramirez went on to end the 2017 campaign with 14 goals but has been battling an ankle injury thus far in 2018. He was a substitute as the Loons went down 3 – 1 at CenturyLink Field but did score his first goal of the season.

Rundown can only wonder if Minnesota had received an offer for Ramirez during the off-season just past, perhaps Adrian Heath wouldn’t have been quick to decline for a player that has been with the club since the North American Soccer League days.

STEPHANE MBIA NOT THE ANSWER FOR FIVE STRIPES

Despite Atlanta United desperately needing a defensive midfielder and Cameroon international Stephane Mbia being an available option, it appears that an agreement cannot be made.

Twitter account AllezLesLions reports on Cameroonian players around the footballing world and revealed that the two sides were unable to come to terms on a contract, even though Mbia visited Atlanta to meet with club officials and attended their 5 – 0 victory over LAFC on April 7th.

Atlanta need reinforcements after the departure of Carlos Carmona but Mbia will continue training with European side Sevilla.

FROM MOTHERWELL TO VANCOUVER

A summer target for Vancouver Whitecaps is 21-year-old French defender Cedric Kipre, who currently plays his football for Motherwell, according to a report from The Scottish Daily Mail.

Kipre has a contract in place with the Scottish Premier League club until the end of the 2019-20 season, but could move to MLS for a fee of roughly $1.4 million, the Daily Mail reports.

Kipre came through the Paris St. Germain youth system before moving to English Premier League side Leicester City in 2014 and then to Motherwell in 2017. The Frenchman has made 32 starts this season, Motherwell are seventh in the Scottish top flight.

WYNNE ANNOUNCES HIS RETIREMENT

Marvell Wynne has called time on his 13-year career, announcing his retirement this past weekend. In his career he played for four MLS sides and earned several medals. With Toronto in 2009 he won the Canadian Championship before following up with Colorado Rapids to earn both Eastern Conference and MLS Cup honours in 2010.

Wynne was the No. 1 overall selection by the New York Red Bulls in the 2006 MLS SuperDraft and has earned fame for his blazing speed and imposing physique. He has amassed more than 2,000 minutes in seven consecutive seasons and nine overall. He is currently one of just 37 players to appear in 300 MLS matches.

The 31-year-old ended his career with San Jose Earthquakes, last playing in October 2016. Wynne was part of the US Under-20 team who made it to the Round of 16 in the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship. He would go on to start all three matches for the US at the 2008 Olympics, as USA finished third in their group. He has five international caps with the US men’s national team, most notably starting a World Cup qualifier in Costa Rica ahead of the 2010 World Cup.

STADIUM UPDATES

Los Angeles FC have officially opened the Banc of California Stadium with a presentation featuring LA mayor Eric Garcetti, MLS commissioner Don Garber, LAFC executive chairman and co-owner Peter Guber along with fellow co-owners including Magic Johnson, Mia Hamm-Garciaparra, Nomar Garciaparra and Henry Nguyen. In attendance was Carlos Vela, Diego Rossi and club GM John Thorrington. The Banc of California Stadium will hosts its opening match on April 29th when the visitors will be Seattle Sounders.

Over in Minnesota, the club has been forced to open a season ticket waiting list after all available 14,500 season tickets for TCF Bank Stadium officially sold out for 2018. The same season ticket cap of 14,500 will also apply for the brand new Allianz Field when Minnesota United’s new soccer stadium opens up in 2019 so if there is a 100% renewal rate, some Loons fans may be waiting a while to get their hands on a season pass.

Any Other Business…

Zlatko Junuzovic has announced the end of his six-and-a-half year run at SV Werder Bremen with rumours persisting that the Austrian free kick specialist will head to MLS. Philadelphia Union, Chicago Fire and Orlando City SC are said to be suitors… Houston Dynamo are poised to sign Swedish left back Adam Lundqvist, according to Montreal-based soccer journalist Nick Sabetti and corroborated by his colleague Jeremy Filosa… Speaking of Dynamo, they have added experienced player Luis Gil on loan from Liga MX side Queretaro FC after traded their natural fourth-round pick in the 2019 MLS SuperDraft, plus additional future considerations, to Real Salt Lake for the player’s MLS rights for the rest of the 2018 season.

Thank you for reading the MLS Rundown, a twice-weekly column focused on news, rumours and transfers. If you would like to connect with the writer, please do so on twitter @CharlieTangoFM