Invitees for MLS Player Combine announced

Here are the 53 collegiate players that will participate in the MLS Player Combine, Jan. 8-12. The players will  showcase their talents in front of representatives from all 22 MLS clubs during the combine.

There will be six games (Jan. 8, Jan. 10 and Jan. 12).

All invited players will be eligible for selection in the 2017 SuperDraft, Friday, Jan. 13 at the LA Convention Center.

First Name Last Name School Pos. Hometown/Citizenship
Lalas Abubakar University of Dayton DF Accra, Ghana; Ghana
Michael Amick UCLA DF Sunnyvale, CA; USA
Brandon Aubrey University of Notre Dame DF Plano, TX; USA
Kwame Awuah UConn MF Toronto, ON; Canada
Nazeem Bartman University of South Florida FW Cape Town, South Africa; South Africa
Kyle Bjornethun Seattle University DF Snohomish, WA; USA
Brandt Bronico UNC Charlotte MF High Point, NC; USA
Russell Cicerone SUNY-Buffalo MF/FW Bloomfield Hills, MI; USA
Suliman Dainkeh University of Maryland DF Reston, VA; USA
Michael DeGraffenreidt University of Louisville DF Baltimore, MD; USA
Guillermo Delgado University of Delaware FW Tres Cantos, Spain; Spain
Nick DePuy UC Santa Barbara FW Irvine, CA; USA
Francis de Vries Saint Francis University (Penn.) DF Christchurch, New Zealand; New Zealand
Reagan Dunk University of Denver DF Dallas, TX; USA
Jack Elliott West Virginia University DF/MF London, England; UK
Wuilito Fernandes UMass-Lowell FW/MF Praia, Cape Verde; Cape Verde
Alec Ferrell Wake Forest University GK Westlake, OH; USA
David Goldsmith Butler University FW Bristol, England; UK BIO
Jorge Gomez Sanchez Temple University FW Talavera De La Reina, Spain; Spain
Julian Gressel Providence College MF Neustadt an der Aisch, Germany; Germany
Sam Hamilton University of Denver MF Evergreen, CO; USA
Niko Hansen University of New Mexico FW Sacramento, CA; USA/Denmark
Jacori Hayes Wake Forest University MF Bowie, MD; USA
Joe Holland Hofstra University MF London, England; UK
Walker Hume UNC Chapel Hill DF San Angelo, TX; USA
Daniel Johnson University of Louisville MF Duluth, GA; USA
Aaron Jones Clemson University DF Great Yarmouth, UK; UK
Eric Klenofsky Monmouth University GK Lincoln Park, NJ; USA
Austin Ledbetter SIU-Edwardsville DF St. Charles, MO; USA
Zeiko Lewis Boston College MF Pembroke, Bermuda; Bermuda
Connor Maloney Penn State University DF Harrisburg, PA; USA
Napo Matsoso University of Kentucky MF Louisville, Kentucky; Lesotho
Billy McConnell Indiana University DF Richboro, PA; USA
Jake McGuire University of Tulsa GK Chino Hills, CA; USA
Lindo Mfeka University of South Florida MF/FW Durban, South Africa; South Africa
Robert Moewes Duke University GK Dortmund, Germany; Germany
Brian Nana-Sinkam Stanford University DF Lititz, PA; USA
Chris Nanco Syracuse University FW Brampton, ON; Canada
Jakob Nerwinski UConn DF Lawrenceville, NJ; USA
Chris Odoi-Atsem University of Maryland DF Mitchellville, MD; USA
Evan Panken University of Notre Dame MF Edina, MN; USA
Danilo Radjen University of Akron DF Broadview Heights, OH; USA
Robby Sagel Penn State University DF Las Vegas, NV; USA
Eddie Sanchez University of Portland MF/FW Canby, OR; USA
Auden Schilder University of Washington GK Bellingham, WA; USA
Justin Schmidt University of Washington DF Albuquerque, NM; USA
Colton Storm UNC Chapel Hill DF Mechanicsburg, PA; USA
Christian Thierjung California FW Dove Canyon, CA; USA
Tanner Thompson Indiana University MF Loomis, CA; USA
Felix Vobejda UCLA MF/DF Bielefeld, Germany; Germany
Chris Wehan University of New Mexico MF Laguna Niguel, CA; USA
Jordan Wilson University of Kentucky DF Auchterarder, Scotland; UK
Brian Wright University of Vermont FW Ajax, ON; Canada
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Major League Soccer announces plans for future expansion

Major League Soccer is looking to expand again.

Commissioner Don Garber laid on the league’s plans for expansion Thursday afternoon. It was announced that the next expansion cities are expected to be revealed sometime next year, with the goal of beginning in 2020.

The league will accept bids for the 25th and 26th franchises until the end of January.

Garber added that the franchise fees for those two teams would be $150.

Atlanta United and Minnesota United FC will bring MLS to 22 franchises when they join next year. LAFC will be No. 23 in 2018. The Miami project, backed by David Beckham is still scheduled to be the 24th Miami FC is still on target to be the 24th team, but Garber offered caution.

“If we can’t close the deal in Miami we’ll figure out who will be our 24th team,” Garber said.

According to MLS, the following 10 markets have expressed interest in securing an mls_logo-svgexpansion team: Charlotte, Cincinnati, Detroit, Nashville, Raleigh/Durham, Sacramento, St. Louis, San Diego and Tampa Bay.

“There is tremendous interest in professional soccer across the United States and Canada,” Garber said in a release. “Since announcing plans to expand to 28 clubs late last year, many potential ownership groups have contacted us, and numerous public officials have stated their desire to bring an MLS expansion team to their city.

“We look forward to reviewing expansion applications in the coming months and conducting formal meetings in 2017 with possible team owners.”

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U.S. men’s national soccer team will kick off 2017 in San Diego

Bruce Arena’s first game as U.S. men’s national soccer team coach is set for Jan. 29 against Serba at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego.

The game will kick off at 1 p.m. Tickets will go on sale Monday.

Arena is preparing for his second tenure as coach of the U.S., having replaced Jurgen Klinsmann in November.

The game will come at the end of the annual January camp.This is not a FIFA date. The U.S. resumes World Cup qualifying, in March with a home game against Honduras and a trip to Panama.

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Monrovia’s Ashley Sanchez honored by U.S. Soccer

Ashley Sanchez of Monrovia was selected the U.S. Soccer young female player of the year.

The announcement was made Tuesday U.S. Soccer. ussoccerlogo

Sanchez, who will be attending UCLA in the fall, played in two women’s world cups this year. She was the captain for the U.S. U-17 team and then joined the U-20 team. She received 47 percent of the vote with midfielder Andi Sullivan receiving 27 percent.

Sanchez became the first U.S. youth player to score in both the U-17 and U-20 Women’s World Cups in the same year.

At the U-17 tournament, Sanchez scored three goals and finished her career at U-17 level with 21 goals. She started all six games at the U-20 tournament, finishing with one goal and two assists.

Sanchez has committed to UCLA.

“It was a memorable year for sure, and even though we fell short at both World Cups, I know the experiences that me and my teammates had will last a lifetime,” Sanchez said. “It’s a huge honor to win this award and I’m really appreciative of everyone who voted for me. I also want to thank all of my teammates and coaches on the U-17s and the U-20s. They are great players and great friends and hopefully a bunch of us will reach our goals of playing for the full team one day.”

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Galaxy acquires midfielder Miguel Aguilar in trade

The Galaxy announced that acquisition of midfielder Miguel Aguilar from D.C. United in exchange for a 2018 fourth-round MLS SuperDraft pick.galaxy

Aguilar, originally from Sacramento, was a first-round pick by DCU in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft. He made 17 appearances during his rookie season and six last year before being loaned to USL Richmond Kickers.

Aguilar, 23, played at the University of San Francisco.

The Galaxy will also receive a 2019 fourth-round draft pick.

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MLS commissioner Don Garber confirms expansion of Targeted Allocation Money

Targeted Allocation Money or TAM will increase to $1.2 million for each team, MLS commissioner Don Garber confirmed at a press conference in Toronto, Friday.

Last year, teams were given $800,000. The increase will give teams a bit more flexib3ility on the league’s $3.6 million cap.

TAM is designed to help teams attract top talent outside of the three Designated Player spots.


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LAFC and Orange County Blues FC announce partnership

Los Angeles Football Club and the USL’s Orange County Blues FC announced a new partnership that will expand player development and create a loan system between the two franchises.

LAFC is set to join MLS in 2018. lafc

“We are incredibly excited about this partnership, which will contribute significantly towards our goals of building a competitive roster in 2018 and growing the game here in Southern California,” LAFC Executive VP of Soccer Operations John Thorrington. “In the OC Blues, we have a fantastic partner with an owner and staff who closely align with our vision to bring world-class professional soccer to Southern California.”

The deal will provide LAFC the ability to loan players to the Blues as soon as the 2017 season.

“We are thrilled to launch this exciting new era in Orange County soccer with our LAFC affiliation,” Orange County GM and Executive VP of Soccer Operations Oliver Wyss. “This partnership will significantly enhance the quality of our first team and strengthen the bonds between the two clubs. Together we will expand opportunities for coaching education and focus on all aspects of player development.”

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Start of MLS off-season calendar will keep teams extremely busy

It  has already been a busy off-season for the Galaxy and it will only get busier with the official start of the MLS off-season calendar.

Here is a quick primer of what’s ahead for MLS for the next 10 days.

Sunday, Dec. 11
  • Half-Day Trade Window from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. ET
  • No trades involving players will be permitted after 12 p.m. ET up until the conclusion of the Expansion Draft
Monday, Dec. 12
  • Expansion Draft Protected Player List and eligible Free Agents made public
Tuesday, Dec. 13
  • Expansion Draft held at 2 p.m. ET
  • Beginning at 5 p.m. ET, Free Agents may engage in negotiations with all MLS clubs.
Wednesday, Dec. 14
  • List of players eligible for selection in the Waiver Draft made public
Thursday, Dec. 15
  • Waiver Draft held at 2 p.m. ET
  • Beginning at 5 p.m. ET, clubs may no longer sign or trade their own Re-Entry eligible players (player-trade blackout window)
  • List of players available in Stage One of the Re-Entry Draft made public
Friday, Dec. 16
  • Stage One of the Re-Entry Draft held at 3 p.m. ET
Wednesday, Dec. 21
  • Starting at 11 a.m. ET, clubs may no longer sign or trade their own Re-Entry eligible players (player-trade blackout window)
  • List of available players in Stage Two of the Re-Entry Draft made public
Thursday, Dec. 22
  • Stage Two of the Re-Entry Draft held at 3 p.m. ET
January 7-12, 2017
  • 2017 adidas MLS Player Combine
Friday, Jan. 13, 2017
  • 2017 MLS SuperDraft presented by adidas
Monday, Jan. 23, 2017
  • 2017 MLS preseason begins
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Jelle Van Damme and Giovani dos Santos selected to Best XI

Galaxy midfielder Giovani dos Santos and defender Jelle Van Damme were selected to the MLS Best XI, recognizing the league’s top players at each position on the field as determined by media, MLS players and MLS club staff.galaxy

In his first season with the Galaxy, Van Damme, 33, developed into the key to the Galaxy defense, making 28 starts. He was a finalist for both the MLS Defender and Newcomer of the Year awards. He ranked third in the league in blocked shots (27) and in the top 10 in interceptions (95).

Dos Santos,27, was also in his first full season with the Galaxy. He was one of two players this season to record double digits in goals scored (14) and assists (12).

Here is the complete team

2016 MLS Best XI

Goalkeeper: Andre Blake (Philadelphia Union)

Defenders: Matt Hedges (FC Dallas), Axel Sjoberg (Colorado Rapids), Jelle Van Damme (LA Galaxy)

Midfielders: Mauro Diaz (FC Dallas), Giovani dos Santos (LA Galaxy), Sacha Kljestan (New York Red Bulls), Ignacio Piatti (Montreal Impact)

Forwards: Sebastian Giovinco (Toronto FC), David Villa (New York City FC), Bradley Wright-Phillips (New York Red Bulls)

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Steven Gerrard officially announces retirement

Steven Gerrard’s playing career is officially over.

Gerrard, who announced earlier this month that he would not be returning to the

Galaxy's Steven Gerrard celebrates his first MLS goal against the Earthquakes in a MLS soccer game at the StubHub Center, Friday, July 17, 2015, Carson, CA. The score at halftime was tied 2-2.Los Angeles Galaxy vs. San Jose Earthquakes.Photo by Steve McCrank/Staff Photographer

Galaxy’s Steven Gerrard celebrates his first MLS goal against the Earthquakes in a MLS soccer game at the StubHub Center, Friday, July 17, 2015, Carson, CA. The score at halftime was tied 2-2.Los Angeles Galaxy vs. San Jose Earthquakes.Photo by Steve McCrank/Staff Photographer

Galaxy, called it a career Thursday.

“Following recent media speculation surrounding my future I can confirm my retirement from playing professional football.I have had an incredible career and am thankful for each and every moment of my time at Liverpool, England and LA Galaxy,” Gerrard said. “I feel very fortunate to have had the career I’ve had but none of it would have been possible without the support of so many people.

“As a teenager I fulfilled my childhood dream by pulling on the famous red shirt of Liverpool, and when I made my debut against Blackburn Rovers in November 1998 I could never have imagined what would then follow over the next 18 years.”

Gerrard spent xx years with Liverpool before joining MLS and the Galaxy in July of 2015. He spent 12 years as captain and finished with 186 career goals.

Gerrard also made 114 appearances for the England national team.

“I am excited about the future and feel I still have a lot to offer the game,” Gerrard said. “I am currently taking my time to consider a number of options and will make an announcement with regards to the next stage of my career very soon.”




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