CAN JACK DO IT ON A WET TUESDAY IN STOKE?
According to Ives Galarcep, English Premier League club Stoke City has offered NYCFC $4.5 million for Harrison, with incentives that could push the final amount to $6 million. The new offer follows a $3 million bid that NYCFC declined last week.
Harrison was born in Stoke-on-Trent, England and grew up in the Manchester United academy before moving to Massachusetts for high school. He played one season of college soccer at Wake Forest before being selected with the first overall pick in the 2016 MLS SuperDraft.
The English U-21 international had 10 goals and six assists in 34 regular season appearances last year and has 14 goals and 13 assists in 55 games in his two-year MLS career.
“I think everyone dreams of playing in the top leagues in Europe,” Harrison said when asked about the Stoke reports at MLS media day on Saturday in Los Angeles. “Obviously growing up in England and everything it’s always been a dream of mine to play in the Premier League, but as of right now I’m still a New York City player.
“As to the Stoke City rumours, nothing’s official yet so I’m still a New York City player right now and that’s where my mindset is at. As I said before, my agent deals with all that stuff, so I just leave it to him.”
HUGE TRADE INVOLVING LA GALAXY & CREW
Columbus Crew SC and the LA Galaxy made official over the weekend a deal that will send Ola Kamara to the Galaxy in exchange for Gyasi Zardes and at least $400,000 of Targeted Allocation Money. The deal includes an additional $100,000 in payments to Columbus if the Norwegian international scores at least 12 league goals in 2018.
“We are very excited to bring Ola to Los Angeles,” Galaxy coach Sigi Schmid said in a club statement. “He has been one of the league’s most productive forwards during his two seasons in MLS and we believe he will be a great fit in our attack. We look forward to him joining our squad.”
Kamara has hit the net 34 times over 59 league appearances in two seasons in Columbus as Crew SC reached the Eastern Conference final. But a report from Sam Stejskal in early January indicated he has been eager to leave the club. He had previously been linked with a move to the Colorado Rapids and also potentially a mid-table side in La Liga.
Zardes, meanwhile, may be getting a much-needed fresh start after a dismal 2017 campaign with only two goals and two assists in 24 league appearances. At one point, Zardes’ offensive struggles led to Schmid experimentally slotting him in at right back. If only he was playing alongside Alex Hunter…
Crew could have a found a bargain if Zardes can regain his peak form. Just three years prior to last season’s misery, Zardes hit 16 league goals in the 2014 league campaign, a tally that lifted him into regular action with the US national team.
“Gyasi is a talented forward that has been successful in this league and with the US men’s national team,” Columbus sporting director and head coach Gregg Berhalter said in a club statement. “He is a high character individual and has a bright future in Major League Soccer and with our club. In addition to what we know Gyasi will bring to our playing system, we have received significant additional resources to help the club as we build our roster for the 2018 campaign.”
Zardes scored six league goals in each of the 2015 and 2016 seasons and gradually played more often as a wide attacking midfielder rather than an out-and-out striker. Overall, he has 34 goals and 17 assists in 131 league appearances.
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES SIGN US YOUTH INTERNATIONAL
San Jose Earthquakes have announced the signing of US youth international Eric Calvillo to a multi-year contract. Calvillo, a 20-year-old midfielder who can play centrally or on the right, comes to San Jose after two seasons with the NASL’s New York Cosmos under current Portland Timbers head coach Giovanni Savarese. Before that, he represented the US at the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup.
“Eric is a player that we have identified as a highly talented prospect,” Earthquakes GM Jesse Fioranelli said in a club statement. “With a significant amount of professional and youth national team experience at just 20 years old, we believe our club can support his development as he takes on MLS.”
After scoring one goal in three appearances during his Championship-winning rookie season in 2016, Calvillo tallied three goals and one assist in 16 league appearances (13 starts) in 2017. In his 13 regular season starts, the Cosmos had a 5-2-6 record. Calvillo, a native of Southern California, was also twice named to the NASL’s Team of the Week. He earned Player of the Month honors in July.
Internationally, Calvillo has represented the US at the U-15, U-17 and U-19 levels. In addition to making the 21-man roster for the 2015 U-17 World Cup, he wore the captain’s armband for the US at the 2016 U-19 Copa del Atlantico against the likes of France and host-nation Spain.
TWO TO DEPART KANSAS CITY
Sporting Kansas City are exploring deals for forward Soony Saad and defender Kevin Ellis, The Kansas City Star’s Sam McDowell reports. SKC manager Peter Vermes confirmed to McDowell that neither player will join the team for the first wave of preseason camp in Scottsdale, Ariz. He added that Saad is involved in “player movement” talks and said that the team are “trying to find the best fit for everyone.”
Saad joined SKC for his second stint with the club last year but played only sparingly in 2017, totalling zero goals and one assist in 12 league appearances. The 25-year-old scored eight goals in 58 matches from 2011-2014 with SKC before leaving the club for a two-year stint in Thailand.
Ellis, 26, will also not join SKC for preseason after he and the club mutually agreed to a leave of absence late last summer. He has five goals and five assists in 68 MLS appearances since turning pro in 2011.
Any Other Business…
American youth international midfielder Emerson Hyndman is interested in a move from English Premier League side Bournemouth to an MLS club, according to Metro US’s Kristian Dyer… There are rumblings out of Italy, where reports claim that Juve legend Claudio Marchisio is considering a move to MLS at the close of the current Serie A campaign.