Rundown and MLS Football hopes everybody had a very Merry Christmas and is still full of festive cheer here for another big day of transfer news, updates and rumours on Boxing Day.
SANTA KLAUS COMING TO TOWN
In a story absolutely brimmed with holiday spirit, it’s rumoured that Greek striker Stefanos Athanasiadis is weighing up a potential move to MLS. The 28-year-old is nicknamed ‘Klaus’, which is just delightful for any transfer rumour in December.
Athanasiadis has spent the last few months playing for Israeli club Maccabi Haifa, but the bulk of his career has been at Greek side PAOK. The veteran forward also has international experience, having amassed twelve international caps after appearing for both the U19 and U21 sides earlier in his career.
There’s no club, no fee, no contract and no timescale reported but it was worth it for the headline, yeah? Please? Come on!
NEW YEAR, NEW GOALKEEPER
D.C. United must replace long-time first-choice goalkeeper Bill Hamid for the 2018 campaign after his decision to leave and try to his hand in Europe. One man on the radar for United is David Ousted, who had his contract option declined by Vancouver Whitecaps.
In return for Ousted, the Whitecaps would receive a late round draft pick and should he sign, he would challenge Steve Clark and Travis Worra for the starting jersey.
HENRY RETURNS TO CANADA
Vancouver Whitecaps have brought Doniel Henry back to Canada for another stint in MLS, landing the Canadian international via MLS’s Allocation Process. The 24-year-old defender, who began his career with Toronto FC, joins Vancouver after spending the last few years on the books of English side West Ham United.
“Doneil is an athletic center back who’s strong in the air. He likes to defend, and will be a good complementary piece to our core of defenders,” said head coach Carl Robinson in a club statement. “His experience in Europe will serve him well. Doneil has a point to prove and we look forward to bringing him in.”
Henry has spent time with several clubs in different leagues during his travels overseas, including English outfit Blackburn Rovers, AC Horsens in Denmark, and Cypriot side Apollon Limassol. The first Toronto academy product to sign an MLS deal back in 2010, Henry made 70 appearances for the club during his first stint in MLS. At international level, Henry has 22 international caps to his name.
REVOLVING NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION DOOR CONTINUES TO SPIN
It’s been a busy December for New England, they have traded forward Kei Kamara to Vancouver and secured deals to bring back forwards Teal Bunbury and Brian Wright, defender Andrew Farrell and goalkeeper Brad Knighton.
More news comes from French sports paper L’Equipe that Benjamin Angoua is set to re-join Guingamp for what remains of the Ligue 1 season after seeing his contract option declined.
HEAT IN THE KITCHEN
In the last edition of the MLS Rundown, the news of Perry Kitchen’s potential transfer to LA Galaxy was mentioned in Any Other Business. Let’s flesh out the deets with news that the former D.C. United and Hearts player could join LA Galaxy to bolster the midfield options of a team that endured their worst in MLS history in 2017, ending the season in joint-bottom place with just 32 points.
Kitchen is currently with Danish club Randers and has a contract until mid-2019 but according to ESPN FC’s Jeff Carlisle it’s unknown if the club would demand any sort of transfer fee in return for Kitchen – make no mistake readers, they would. No player with another 18 months on his contract who has STARTED seventeen of his club’s last nineteen fixtures is leaving on a free.
The fly in the ointment is D.C. United, who still hold Kitchen’s MLS rights since they were clever enough to offer him a contract after his initial deal expired following the 2015 season. Drafted by D.C. as the third overall pick in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft, Kitchen was a key player in each of his five seasons with United. He made at least 30 starts in every season he was at the club, recording 10 goals and 10 assists in 158 appearances with United.
KLJESTAN BAN INCREASED
Following an investigation by the league into the halftime incident between Toronto FC and the New York Red Bulls during the second leg of the Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs’ Conference Semifinals, Red Bulls midfielder Sacha Kljestan has been issued an additional game suspension and an increased undisclosed fine as a result of his altercation with stadium security personnel.
It doesn’t end there as both Toronto FC and New York Red Bulls, along with Red Bulls Head Coach Jesse Marsch, have been issued undisclosed fines for their respective roles in the incident.
Kljestan will serve his two-game suspension during his first two matches of the upcoming 2018 MLS season.
Any Other Business…
Carlos Carmona is a transfer target from Colo Colo in his native Chile, previously the Chilean international appeared for Coquimbo Unido and O’Higgins before moving on to Italy… MLS legend Predrag Radosavljević, known commonly as Preki, is to be added to the coaching staff at Seattle Sounders… Vancouver Whitecaps defender Jordan Harvey is heading to LAFC if you believe his twitter feed… Former MLS and US national team forward Ante Razov will join Bob Bradley’s coaching staff at LAFC, he spent last year across town with LA Galaxy and previously served as an assistant for Seattle in the 2015 and 2016 seasons.