ACCAM MOVES FOR $1.2 MILLION
Philadelphia Union have acquired attacker David Accam from the Chicago Fire in exchange for $1.2 million in combined Allocation Money. The signing was announced at the 2018 MLS SuperDraft, which will be reviewed in depth over the coming days on MLSfootball.
The price tag for Accam’s services included $300,000 in General Allocation Money and $900,000 in Targeted Allocation Money. Somewhat under the radar of 2017 MLS Golden Boot Winner Nemanja Nikolic’s 24-goal season and the arrival of German superstar Bastian Schweinsteiger, Accam enjoyed his best MLS season in 2017, scoring 14 league goals and adding eight assists.
With the Union, Accam will have the opportunity to be the focal point of an attack from the wing while still playing alongside a capable striker in CJ Sapong, who himself posted a career best MLS season with 16 goals in 2017.
BARCO, ATLANTA, YOU KNOW THE DRILL
Rundown absolutely refuses to allow Ezequiel Barco to be top of the billing yet again. However, his move to Atlanta United has finally been officially announced as they sign the 18-year-old Argentine attacking midfielder from Independiente as a Young Designated Player. Barco will be added to Atlanta’s roster pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate and P1 via.
Barco joins Atlanta for a reported MLS-record transfer fee of $15 million, exceeding the $10 million Toronto FC reportedly paid to acquire Michael Bradley from AS Roma in 2013. According to ESPN.com, the deal also includes a stipulation that Independiente receive 30 percent of any future transfer fee paid to Atlanta for Barco up to and through December 2019, and 10 percent of any such fee paid thereafter.
“Securing a player of Ezequiel’s caliber is another significant moment in Atlanta United history,” Atlanta United president Darren Eales said in a club statement. “This transfer further demonstrates the commitment of our club to bring top level, dynamic young players to Atlanta and to MLS. We are excited to welcome Ezequiel to our club and our city.”
DYNAMO SHORE UP CENTRAL MIDFIELD
Houston Dynamo have secured El Salvador captain Darwin Cerén, sending $100,000 in General Allocation Money (GAM) and $75,000 in Targeted Allocation Money (TAM) to the San Jose Earthquakes.
Since joining MLS with Orlando City in 2015, Cerén has appeared in 75 regular-season games, notching 2 goals and 6 assists. Cerén has proven a disruptive force in the middle of the field, with the Dynamo citing a 76.64 tackle success rate (6th overall since 2015) and his 85.78 pass completion percentage as amongst the top 10 for midfielders with at least 5,000 minutes game time. For El Salvador, Cerén has earned 41 caps and scored two goals since making his international debut in 2012.
“Darwin is a young, but experience and talented player. He will bring intensity, quality and support in all aspects to the team. As a defensive midfielder he wins every ball he chases and has a fantastic technical ability to control the ball,” said Dynamo head coach Wilmer Cabrera. “On the field he is a leader and has a lot of experience in MLS. We are very happy and excited that he is joining us, because he will help improve the team in all aspects ahead of a very tough season.”
NEW YORK CITY ARE STILL BUSY
New York City FC have brought in their seventh offseason addition, signing 27-year-old Norwegian striker Jo Inge Berget. A forward capable of playing centrally or on either wing, Berget has played in the top divisions of Norway, England, Scotland, and Sweden. Starting out his career at Tippeligaen side FC Lyn Oslo in his native Norway in 2008, Berget joined Udinese shortly after his debut, although he never made an appearance for the Serie A club, instead spending the next three years on loan back at Lyn and at Stromgodset.
A permanent switch to Molde followed which saw Berget make his name with 17 league goals in 63 appearances, including the opener in a title-deciding game vs. Tromso, giving Ole Gunnar Solksjaer’s men their first league championship. He helped Molde to retain their title in the following year before Solksjaer took Berget with him to Cardiff City in the English Premier League in 2014 but opportunities were limited for the 6-foot-1 forward in the Welsh capital.
Following a brief loan spell at Celtic, Berget reignited his career by signing for Malmo FF in January 2015 and it was there where he scored two goals against former side Celtic to help his team reach the UEFA Champions League group stages where they faced off against Real Madrid later that year.
Berget arrives at NYCFC as a Swedish champion, finishing the 2017 Allsvenskan season as his team’s top scorer with 10 goals as Malmo secured back-to-back league titles.
“I feel delighted, I’m really looking forward to getting to New York and getting to play in MLS for one of the best teams and hopefully we’re going to win a trophy this year,” Berget told NYCFC.com.
“New York has been up there at the top, but they’ve never won, so hopefully we can make a change to that. I know about the coach and some of the players there and they like to play offensive football. I think it’s going to suit me really well.
“When New York comes in for you, it’s a big deal – it’s a nice city and it’s a good club. For me and my family, it was an easy decision in the end.”
Berget earned his first international cap with Norway in January 2012 and he’s since gone on to earn 20 caps, scoring two goals.
Any Other Business…
Portland Timbers have signed forward Foster Langsdorf as an MLS Homegrown Player for the 2018 season, the second the club has signed since the inaugural season in 2011. He joins defender Marco Farfan, who became the club’s first Homegrown player last year… Toronto FC have signed midfielder Liam Fraser to a Homegrown Player contract. Fraser, 19, joins the TFC first team after playing the past two seasons in USL for Toronto FC II. The Toronto FC academy product is the 16th player to sign a first-team contract with the club.