LEE NGUYEN GETS HIS MOVE
Rundown makes no bones about liking the cut of Brad Friedel’s jib. The legendary goalkeeper, who was supposedly finished when he left Liverpool went on to make 451 appearances, demands and commands respect. In dealing with Lee Nguyen’s antics in the off-season, Friedel was firm but fair. He didn’t give journalists much opportunity to use his words to cause controversy, keeping his answers short and focusing on the squad who hadn’t gone AWOL.
Moments before the transfer deadline, a deal was struck with Los Angeles FC to trade the want-away midfielder. Nguyen has moved for at least $350,000 in General Allocation Money and $350,000 in Targeted Allocation Money. Revolution could ultimately receive $950,000 in allocation money as well as LAFC’s natural first-round pick in 2019 or 2020 MLS SuperDraft should certain conditions be met such as should LAFC trade Nguyen this summer or sign him to a new and improved contract.
“On behalf of the club, I’d like to thank Lee for his years of service,” said Revolution GM Michael Burns as he retained his dignity in a club statement, being far more cordial than Rundown would have been. “Every decision is made in the best interest of the club, and we feel this move helps strengthen our team now and puts us in the best position to succeed in years to come.”
Brad Friedel spoke about the playmaker with a measured approach. “He thanked us for everything, I thanked him for everything and I wished him best of luck,” The New England Revolution head coach said. “I’ve said many, many times, there’s never been a personal issue at all between Lee and myself. I sincerely hope he enjoys his time at LAFC.”
Rundown would be so bold as to suggest that New England Revolution will be seeking further reinforcements in the mid-season transfer window, which runs from July 10th to August 8th.
“We’re pleased with [the roster] and when the transfer window opens in July, we hope to add at least two more faces if we can get the deals over the line,” Friedel wasn’t about to reveal any targets but does want to conduct some business. “Before you ask your question, no I will not tell you who we’re thinking about. We’re really happy with the squad, happy with the team spirit and looking forward to the Montreal [Impact] game [this Saturday].”
SAM NICHOLSON DEPARTS LOONS FOR RAPIDS
In another trade to occur just before the Primary Transfer Window closed, Scotland’s Sam Nicholson has traded Minnesota United for Colorado Rapids. The deal sees the winger head to Colorado along with an international roster spot in exchange for defender Eric Miller and $50,000 in General Allocation Money.
The former Hearts star has scored two goals and provided two assists in 20 appearances for the Loons since joining last summer and appeared in all eight of the Loons’ MLS matches this year.
Miller, now 25, made 30 starts for Colorado last season and has 86 career MLS appearances under his belt, but has yet to see match action in 2018 under new head coach Anthony Hudson.
“We’re very pleased to add another key element to our attack,” said Rapids Executive VP and GM Padraig Smith in a club statement. “Sam is a high-intensity player who looks to break lines and get forward. He also has a very high soccer IQ, fits our system very well, and will be a quality addition to our locker room. We look forward to welcoming him to Colorado.”
The trade represents a homecoming for Miller, a native of Woodbury, Minnesota, as well as a chance at regular playing time with Minnesota’s first choice full-backs Marc Burch and Tyrone Mears injured at the moment.
“We wish Sam all the best in Colorado and thank him for his contributions to the club,” said Loons sporting director Manny Lagos in a cub statement “Adding a quality, versatile defender like Eric right now is important. We look forward to building on key areas of our roster moving forward and this allows us to do just that.”
WELCOME TO MLS
Two transfers to take place see New York Red Bulls bring in a young full-back and Los Angeles FC raid the English Championship.
Red Bulls have signed Ethan Kutler to an MLS contract from New York Red Bulls II. Kutler becomes the seventh player from the club’s USL side to pen a first-team contract. Kutler signed with Red Bulls II ahead of the 2017 season after the senior side made him their second-round pick (39th overall selection) in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft. The former Colgate player has made 25 USL appearances, scoring one goal and contributing two assists.
Kutler joins Tyler Adams, Aaron Long, Vincent Bezecourt, Florian Valot, Stefano Bonomo and Dan Metzger as players the Red Bulls have signed from their USL club.
Meanwhile Hull City will be without the services of Norwegian forward Adama Diomande after he made the move stateside to bolster the Los Angeles FC forward line. He will occupy an international slot on LAFC’s roster pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate and P-1 visa.
Diomande previously played under LAFC coach Bob Bradley in 2015 at Stabaek IF in Norway, where Diomande scored 25 goals and added three assists in 26 appearances before moving on to Hull City. He has 10 international caps to his name for Norway.
“Adama is a quality goalscorer who brings the experience of playing at a high level in Europe,” LAFC coach Bob Bradley said, while slightly overestimating Hull City. “We believe he will have a strong impact in MLS.”
CRACKDOWN ON OFFENSIVE CHANTING AT LAFC
Los Angeles FC and The 3252 Independent Supporters Union have issued a joint statement condemning a certain offensive goal kick chant. Rundown isn’t even sure it can make reference to the word but it does begin with a ‘p’.
“LAFC and The 3252 does not support or condone the use of offensive language and inappropriate chants. They have no place at Banc of California Stadium and within our Club.” Strong language used by the club and supporters group as they requested all supporters to hold each other accountable to eliminate the offensive chant, declaring that any fans identified as participating would be removed from the stadium and have their membership revoked.
Any Other Business…
LAFC’s Marco Urena will undergo surgery this week for facial fractures suffered in Sunday’s 1-0 win over the Seattle Sounders, keeping the Costa Rican sidelined for at least a month and possibly much longer… Portland Timbers coach Giovanni Savarese is officially a United States citizen after he was naturalised in a ceremony on Monday morning… FC Dallas have announced Homegrown defender Chris Richards and academy midfielder Thomas Roberts are training Bayern Munich for 10 days as part of the partnership between the MLS side and the Bundesliga giants sealed this past February… Sporting Kansas City’s Designated Player Felipe Gutierrez has undergone successful sports hernia surgery this week and will be out of action for two to three months… With Venezuelan Rolf Feltscher suffering a shoulder injury in training and is expected to be out for four months, LA Galaxy are considering a move for AC Milan defender Ignazio Abate in the mid-season window.
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