SPORTING KANSAS OPEN PINNACLE
Sporting Kansas City have officially opened their new training facility, Pinnacle, which is located a mile from Children’s Mercy Park and Wyandotte Sporting Fields in Kansas City and cost $75-million.
Formerly known as the National Training and Coaching Development Center, Pinnacle is a collaboration between Sporting, the US Soccer Federation and local healthcare provider Children’s Mercy, which also holds the naming rights to Sporting’s stadium, Children’s Mercy Park.
In addition to serving as the new training home of Sporting KC, Pinnacle accommodates the Children’s Mercy Sports Medicine Center at Village West and the US Soccer National Development Center.
Among Pinnacle’s numerous amenities are five full-size soccer fields, a sports performance lab, an expansive sports performance gymnasium and multiple spaces uniquely specialised for coaching education, including a two-story coaching pavilion.
ATTACKER ON DALLAS RADAR
FC Dallas are on the hunt for a new attacking force and it seems as if they have identified their target. Club technical director Fernando Clavijo has denied rumours that a deal has been completed to acquire 22-year-old Colombian winger Santiago Mosquera from Millionarios for a reported fee of around $3.7 million, but conceded there is interest.
“We’ve been linked to a lot of teams lately,” Fernando Clavijo said. “Some of them have some merit, some of them don’t. He’s one of the players of interest. We haven’t reached anything with the player. Is it someone that we’ve scouted? Of course. Hopefully, we can come to some kind of terms. We’re just working on it. We have been back and forth talking. That’s it.”
Clavijo has expressed a desire to improve the left winger position, an objective signing Mosquera would achieve. But he also said he was very happy with the picks in the 2018 MLS SuperDraft, including 21-year-old Francis Atuahene, the fourth overall pick.
Last season, Dallas thought they found an attacking solution in Designated Player signing Cristian Colman. The young Paraguayan scored in his first competitive match for Dallas in the CONCACAF Champions League, but struggled in the league, scoring his only goals with a brace against Montreal on July 22nd.
“We will try in the preseason to get his confidence [up], obviously,” coach Oscar Pareja said of Colman. “He’s working hard and we are also. With him, it’s a matter of timing and letting him find the net and seeing him becoming the contributor he can be. That’s the expectation that we have.”
There has been discussions regarding Urruti’s future with the club, but Clavijo says he’ll remain in Frisco for the near future.
“We are extremely close to signing him to a two-year-deal,” Clavijo said. “He has a contract in 2018, so it’s not an issue for this season. Now we’re trying to extend his contract two more years. We have already agreed to terms. We haven’t put it in paper yet because of a couple of details here and there but as much as I know we’re extremely happy at FC Dallas that we are going in that direction, and we hope that we can keep Maxi for many more years to come.”
A couple of trades this week have been reported. Toronto FC have traded $337,500 in Targeted Allocation Money to D.C. United in exchange for $225,000 in General Allocation Money and Orlando City have sent a 2018 international roster spot to Montreal Impact for $100,000 in General Allocation Money.
BENEDETTI TRANSFER DELAYED UNTIL SUMMER
Minnesota United FC are still in negotiations to acquire Deportivo Cali midfielder Nicolas Benedetti, but likely won’t be able to sign him until the summer, according to MLSsoccer.com.
Minnesota have been linked to Benedetti for several weeks, with Jeff Rueter reporting last Thursday that the Loons offered Cali a transfer fee of “around $6 million” for the 20-year-old attacker.
Minnesota were initially hoping to bring in Benedetti before the start of the season, but now expect that they won’t be able to land him until the summer window if they do complete a deal.
There is a chance that Minnesota could acquire him late in the MLS primary transfer window depending on how Cali perform in the Colombian Apertura campaign. The MLS primary transfer window will close on May 1st; the Colombian Apertura regular season is scheduled to end on May 6th.
If acquired, Benedetti would immediately become the highest-profile signing in Minnesota’s MLS history. He recorded six goals and nine assists in 30 starts in all competitions last year, and has 16 goals in 88 career appearances in league, Copa Libertadores and Copa Sudamericana play. He was named to Colombia’s preliminary roster for the 2016 Copa America Centenario, but did not make the final roster.
Any Other Business…
Scottish pundit Michael Stewart has suggested in the Scottish Sun that MLS clubs are in a position to compete for players like never before and to expect more Scots to make their way stateside. He reasons that in addition to the cultural and linguistic similarity between the British Isles and North America, the MLS league structure could also prove to be an enticement for players tired of leagues where one or two teams dominate the competition… The average age of South American imports during this transfer window is just 21.57 with 27 the oldest to sign an MLS deal. The shift towards young and hungry footballers is continuing to debunk the myth that MLS is for ageing veterans.