MLS Rundown: Homegrown Thursday

FC DALLAS SNAP UP HOMEGROWN TALENT

Congratulations to Brandon Servania, who becomes the nineteenth player in FC Dallas history to sign a Homegrown Player contract.

The 5-foot-10, 160-pound midfielder started 20 games for Wake Forest as a freshman last year, scoring three goals and 11 assists as the Demon Deacons (great name for a team) won the Atlantic Coast Conference championship and reached the quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament.

A member of FCD’s academy since 2015, Servania was part of the Under-16 team that brought home the 2016 US Soccer Development Academy national championship and the U-18 team that captured the club’s first Gordon Jago Super Group title at the 2017 Dallas Cup.

AS DO THE RED BULLS OF NEW YORK

New York Red Bulls have brought through another academy product to join their squad for the new campaign after announcing that they have signed defender Kevin Politz to a Homegrown deal.

Politz, 21, joins the Red Bulls after four years at Wake Forest University. The centre back was named an All-American and the ACC Defensive Player of the Year in 2017, anchoring a backline that led the ACC with 10 clean sheets and a 0.56 goals-against average, in addition to helping the Demon Deacons to the quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament.

“We are really excited to add on another quality Homegrown player to our squad,” said New York head coach Jesse Marsch in a club statement. “Kevin has had a great career at Wake Forest both on and off the field, and we are excited for him to continue his career with us.”

ANGER IN AVELLANEDA

Atlanta United are frustrated following their improved offer for young playmaker Ezequiel Barco being turned down by Independiente. That’s nothing compared to the emotion of the player himself, who is said to be INCENSED according to a report from Argentine publication Clarin.

The outlet reported that Atlanta have made a new transfer bid of $14 million up front plus $3 million in performance-based bonus payments as well as 30 percent of any future sale of Barco should Atlanta sell him on before the close of 2019, the year in which many observers expect Barco to seize the spotlight at the FIFA U-20 World Cup.

Depending on how he fares in MLS play, the total package is said to have the potential to rise north of $20 million in total, which would set a league record but Independiente, who rode Barco’s sterling play to the 2017 Copa Sudamericana championship, are unwilling to budge from the $24 million price tag they applied to their prized attacker in previous talks, during which Atlanta reportedly lodged their original offer of $12 million.

For English fans this is a Virgil Van Dijk situation. He’ll leave, just at the right price. Rundown predicts somewhere in the middle, $18 million plus another $4 million in clauses.

MORE MOVEMENT IN ORLANDO

Orlando City forward Dom Dwyer has signed a new three-year deal. He signed for the Orlando club in July from Sporting Kansas City in exchange for up to $1.6 million in allocation money, which was an MLS record at the time.

He appeared in 12 games after joining Orlando, recording four goals and four assists for the club. Between Orlando and Kansas, he recorded nine goals and five assists last year.

Selected by Sporting Kansas in the first round of the 2012 SuperDraft, Dwyer has 61 goals and 13 assists in 140 career MLS appearances. Dwyer became a US citizen last year and recorded two goals in four appearances with the US national team over the summer.

Any Other Business…

Colorado Rapids midfielder Stefan Aigner has begun a two-week training stint with Bundesliga club Hoffenheim to gain fitness ahead of Colorado’s preseason later this month… Veteran duo Ashley Cole and Baggio Husidic have inked new one-year deals with LA Galaxy… Chicago Fire are now close to re-signing Bastian Schweinsteiger as a Designated Player, what this means for Iker Casillas is unknown… Brazilian midfielder Alex has parted ways with the Houston Dynamo, signing with South Korean second-division side Suwon FC after six seasons in MLS.