BARRY BACK IN MLS
Returning to MLS after three years abroad is defender Shawn Barry, who has signed with Real Salt Lake. Barry was an NCAA standout at the University of Virginia in 2008-09 and helped the Cavaliers win the 2009 College Cup championship before leaving school early to sign a professional contract with Austrian club LASK Linz in 2010.
The 27-year-old South Florida native moved on to Germany’s 2.Bundesliga in 2015, joining FSV Frankfurt, where he made 56 appearances over two years before moving to Poland’s Korona Kielce just last summer.
“He’s got some great professional experience and can play multiple positions along the back line. He’s a guy that can challenge guys on the roster on a weekly basis for playing time,” said RSL general manager Craig Waibel in a club statement.
“He’s a strong, athletic guy who can pass well out of the back. His mid-range passing is phenomenal. He trends more to the way the [coaching] staff wants to play.”
FUENMAYOR TO HOUSTON
Houston Dynamo have signed 21-year-old Venezuelan defender Alejandro Fuenmayor from Venezuelan top flight side Carabobo FC. Fuenmayor already has several professional years under his belt after making his professional debut as a 17-year-old for Carabobo in 2013. He emerged as a regular for the side in 2017, the same year they qualified for their first ever Copa Libertadores, and was awarded a place in the Venezuelan Primera Division’s Best XI.
Fuenmayor will join the Dynamo pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate (ITC) and P1 Visa.
“Alejandro is a young and talented defender who at just 21 years old has already played over 70 professional first team matches,” Dynamo VP and GM Matt Jordan said in a statement. “We are confident that he has the quality as a player and the mentality as a professional to grow and develop with our club. He is a welcomed addition to the Houston Dynamo and will strengthen our back line right away.”
The young defender has made 72 appearances and scored two goals across all competitions for Carabobo FC, and in 2016 and 2017 helped them to the top of Venezuela’s Primera Division. Fuenmayor was a key part of one of the most solid defences in Venezuela during that time period, one that conceded just 37 goals combined in the 2016 Apertura and Clausura, the second-fewest in the league. In 2017, and Carabobo conceded just 25 goals in the combined Apertura and Clausura campaigns.
SAFE PAIR OF HANDS
Philadelphia Union have tied down goalkeeper Andre Blake to multi-year contract by utilising Targeted Allocation Money.
The 2016 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year and a finalist for the 2017 award, Blake was also named an MLS All-Star and MLS Best XI selection in 2016.
“It is a priority for us to build and secure the foundation of the Philadelphia Union, and Andre is as big a part of that foundation as any player,” said Union sporting director Earnie Stewart in a club statement. “Ensuring he will be here for years to come is an important step for our club. We’re delighted to sign him to a new multi-year contract and would like to thank him for his dedication and hard work.”
A star at international level, the Jamaican captain led the Reggae Boyz to an unexpected second-place finish at last summer’s CONCACF Gold Cup, along the way earning the Golden Glove award as the tournament’s top goalkeeper in addition to a place in the tournament’s Best XI.
VETERAN SNAPPED UP BY LAFC
LAFC have bolstered their midfield with the addition of Calum Mallace, who was signed on Wednesday after being selected by the expansion team in Stage 2 of the 2017 MLS Re-Entry Draft.
The 28-year-old divided the 2017 season between the Montreal Impact, where he made seven appearances in MLS regular season play, and the Seattle Sounders, where he was traded to midseason. Since starting his pro career in 2012 with the Impact, he’s made 80 MLS regular season appearances and six MLS Cup Playoffs appearances, scoring one goal and six assists from a holding midfield position.
“Calum is a versatile midfielder with valuable experience in the league,” said LAFC executive vice president of soccer operations and general manager John Thorrington in a statement. “He has the tools to be a successful contributor to LAFC.”
Any Other Business…
Lee Nguyen will not be leaving the New England Revolution this offseason according to new Revs head coach Brad Friedel… Fredy Montero won’t be returning to the Vancouver Whitecaps in 2018 after signing for Portuguese side Sporting CP… Portland Timbers have officially announced the signing of Peruvian international Andy Polo from Mexico’s CA Monarcas Morelia. He will be loaned to the Timbers for the 2018 MLS campaign with an option for the club to purchase him outright.