JACK HARRISON SIGNS TWICE IN ONE DAY
Rundown can only admire the big brass balls on the City Football Group. Just a day after Middlesbrough were said to have upped the ante in the race to sign England U21 star Jack Harrison from New York City FC, reportedly tabling an offer of $8.5 million after Stoke City offered $4.5 million, Harrison has now signed for Premier League Manchester City for just $5.6 million and then been loaned out immediately to Middlesbrough. Hopefully you followed all that.
Instead of making a permanent transfer to Middlesbrough or Stoke, Harrison switches from New York City to their sister club at a reduced transfer fee but will spend the rest of the current campaign in the North East with Tony Pulis’ Middlesbrough.
What this does mean is that Harrison will get first team football immediately with Middlesbrough looking to mount a promotion push under Pulis. Whether Jack is fit to start immediately having been off for the winter break in MLS, is another matter.
WOLFF IN SOUNDERS CLOTHING
Yes, Rundown is aware the headline doesn’t make any sense. Be that as it may, Seattle Sounders are set to assign some Targeted Allocation Money to bolster their midfield engine room with another Scandinavian import, reports the Seattle Times, pending receipt of Magnus Wolff Eikrem’s International Transfer Certificate and P-1 Visa.
The Norwegian attacking midfielder Magnus Wolff Eikrem will join the Sounders early this week. Eikrem most recently played for Swedish side Malmo FF, helping them win the past two Allsvenskan league titles, but is now a free agent.
The newspaper confirmed the impending signing with Sounders general manager Garth Lagerwey.
“He’s 27, so he’s in the prime of his career,” Lagerwey told the Times’ Geoff Baker. “We got him on a free transfer, so he’s a similar profile to [Kelvin] Leerdam and Victor Rodriguez … where we can try to make the team a little deeper and a little better.”
Seattle already have Swedish international Gustav Svensson on their roster, and fans fondly remember the contributions of midfielder Erik Friberg, a Swede who wore Rave Green in 2011, 2015 and 2016.
A product of the youth academy at Norwegian club Molde, Eikrem played under Manchester United legend (also known as Super Sub, Baby-Faced Assassin) Ole Gunnar Solskjaer there and also spent several years in the English giants’ system. Subsequent destinations included Cardiff City and Dutch side Heerenveen before he landed at Malmo. Eikrem is billed as a playmaker but can fill multiple roles in midfield, and represents useful depth and competition alongside the likes of Svensson, Rodriguez, Nicolas Lodeiro and Cristian Roldan.
BEASLEY IS DYNAMO ‘THROUGH AND THROUGH’
DaMarcus Beasley is remaining with the Houston Dynamo in 2018, which will be his fifth consecutive season in Houston as previous reported on Rundown.
The four-time World Cup participant was upbeat as he answered questions following a Dynamo training session, saying that he feels like ‘part of the family.’
“I had a couple different teams with offers, good teams, but at the end of the day I’m a Dynamo through and through,” Beasley said. “I have been here a while. I like the direction of the club with what (general manager) Matt (Jordan) and (president) Chris (Canetti) are trying to do with this project.”
Beasley, 35, has appeared in 86 games since arriving in Houston in the summer of 2014. As coach Wilmer Cabrera’s first choice at left back, he started 22 games last season.
Rundown would suggest that if it was 35-years-old and the club he had been for five years with offered a contract for another season, it would also describe itself as part of the family and sharpish.
URI ROSELL TO ORLANDO
Okay, this one might take some explaining. With fellow MLSfootball contributor Craig Shuman (@CraigShumanMLS) unavailable, Rundown is the best entity for the job.
Journalist Paul Tenorio reports that former Sporting Kansas City defensive midfielder Oriol “Uri” Rosell is close to joining Orlando City SC, an acquisition that would hinge on the Lions brokering a trade with FC Dallas for possession of the top spot in the MLS allocation order.
The Allocation Process is the mechanism used to determine which team has first priority to acquire a player listed on the Allocation Ranking List, of which Rosell is a member owing to the fact he is a former MLS player returning to the league after joining a non-MLS club for a transfer fee greater than $500,000 (Sporting KC sold him to Portuguese side Sporting CP in 2014 for an undisclosed fee). FCD presently sit atop the allocation order, while Orlando are sixth on the list.
A Spaniard who spent most of his youth carer in FC Barcelona’s famed academy system, Rosell was a key member of SKC’s 2013 MLS Cup triumph, shielding the back line and orchestrating buildup play with impeccable distribution. A star at the base of Peter Vermes’ dominant midfield from 2012-14, Rosell still sits at or near the top of several modern MLS statistical categories for passes, touches and passing accuracy.
Since departing Kansas in June of 2014, Rosell has played in the Portuguese leagues, mainly on loan stints at smaller clubs while remaining on Sporting CP’s books.
Any Other Business…
Atlanta United have waived forward Jacob Peterson… Portland Timbers appear close to finalising the acquisition of Paraguayan midfielder Cristhian Paredes from Club América, with The Oregonian reporting that the former youth international has joined the Timbers for his medical.