SMITH DEPARTS IPSWICH FOR COLORADO
Yesterday Rundown was proud to be amongst the first to break the Jack Harrison-Stoke City bid. Today we have a player going in the opposite direction as Ipswich Town’s Tommy Smith has left Portman Road to join up with Anthony Hudson at Colorado Rapids. Hudson was, of course, the subject of the New Manager Profile yesterday.
The New Zealand international signing a two-year contract with a club option for a third season. Smith, 27, is the seventh signing for the Rapids this winter and the third Kiwi, with Kip Colvey and Deklan Wynne also arriving in the wake of former All Whites coach Anthony Hudson.
“Bringing in someone of Tommy’s calibre along the back line was a top priority for us this offseason,” said Rapids executive VP and general manager Pádraig Smith in a club statement. “His experience and leadership will be great assets for us, and we look forward to him joining us in Arizona this week for the start of preseason training camp.”
A left-footed centre back who can also play fullback, Smith is a product of Ipswich’s academy who’s spent nearly the entirety of his professional career with the Tractor Boys aside from a few loan spells.
“It’s a very exciting move for me both personally and professionally,” said Smith. “I’m extremely grateful to Ipswich Town for the faith they’ve shown in me over the past 11 years. I’ll certainly miss the club and its great supporters, and will carry on following their progress. I wish them the very best for the future. But looking ahead, the opportunity to join the Rapids – a club who have a very ambitious vision for the future – was too great. I look forward to playing a key role in bringing that vision to life. Our goal is to bring another MLS Cup to Colorado.”
LARIN NOW AWOL
If you didn’t see this coming, you haven’t been following the triangle involving Besiktas, Orlando City and Larin. As expected, Cyle Larin did not report to the first day of preseason camp for Orlando City SC on Monday.
Larin, who told the Orlando Sentinel in October about his desire to continue his career in Europe in 2018, was pictured earlier in January undergoing medical tests at Turkish side Besiktas, despite Orlando’s insistence that no deal to transfer Larin had been agreed. That resulted into the Lions hiring attorney Marcos Motta to handle the current transfer situation with Larin, and Orlando head coach Jason Kreis reiterated the club’s position on this week.
“First and foremost, Cyle is a contracted Orlando City player,” Kreis told reporters. “He was supposed to be here. Whether or not there will be repercussions for not being here is a little above my pay grade. We look at that situation and say he’s an MLS and Orlando City player until we hear differently.”
Larin was the No. 1 overall pick for Orlando in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft. Since joining the Lions, the Canadian international has scored 43 goals in 87 MLS appearances for the Lions from 2015-2017.
When Kreis was asked if he’s spoken to Larin, he was subtle on his response: “No, not at all.”
Larin’s absence on Monday did not appear to impact his teammates – many that are new to the club. For defender Jonathan Spector, the ongoing situation on Larin is not distracting the overall team.
“It’s something the club is dealing with,” Spector said. “As players, we’re not focused on that. We’re focused on what we’re doing and building as a team. As far as I know, he’s still contracted here, but it’s something I’m not going to comment on any further.”
ANOTHER HOMEGROWN FOR KANSAS
Sporting Kansas City added another Homegrown Player to their roster, signing Fordham defender Matt Lewis. The former Fordham defender signed a one-year contract with the club with options for 2019, 2020 and 2021. Sporting KC signed forward Zach Wright to a Homegrown contract last week.
Lewis was a team captain for the Sporting KC Academy U-18s during the 2013-14 U.S. Soccer Development Academy season. He then became a four-year starter at Fordham University, where he set all-time school records in starts and appearances.
“Matt is a former Academy player who continued to develop and improve throughout his successful college career at Fordham,” said Brian Bliss, Sporting KC Director of Player Personnel. “We look forward working with him again as we begin the preseason.”
Born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri, Lewis attended Rockhurst High School and anchored the Sporting KC U-18 backline throughout the 2013-14 campaign. The centre back was named a finalist for Sporting KC Male Youth Player of the Year at the 2014 Kevin Gray Awards.
Lewis made 84 college appearances from 2014-2017 and in the process became Fordham’s record holder in both categories. He contributed five goals and four assists over his last two seasons. Lewis helped lead the Rams to a pair of Atlantic 10 Championship titles and three NCAA tournament appearances, including a run to the program’s first-ever Elite Eight last month. Lewis and the Rams notably fell 2-1 in the quarterfinals on Dec. 2 to a North Carolina team led by Wright.
In addition to winning 39 career games at Fordham, Lewis earned multiple individual accolades as a college standout. He was an All-Atlantic 10 Second Team selection as a sophomore and junior and received 2017 Atlantic 10 Defensive Player of the Year honours as a senior, guiding Fordham to 11 clean sheets in his final season.
CARMONA’S DEAL NOT IMMINENT
Reports of Carlos Carmona’s inevitable move to Chile have been greatly exaggerated, at least according to Atlanta United GM Carlos Bocanegra. Speaking to assembled media as the Five Stripes opened their preseason this week, Bocanegra flatly denied that the 30-year-old Chilean international would be heading anywhere.
Bocanegra’s assurances come shortly after new reports out of Chile suggested one of its biggest clubs, Colo Colo, is continuing to push for the services of the two-time World Cup veteran. Colo Colo’s interest in Carmona first surfaced late in December.
One report over the weekend from an online fan site called Dale Albo indicated that, as Carmona departed Chile for the United States this weekend, he told assembled media at the airport that he knew the two clubs were in discussions.
Any Other Business…
Montreal Impact have officially announced the acquisition of Algerian international midfielder Saphir Taider as a Designated Player from sister club Bologna FC… Seattle Sounders are among the MLS teams interested in signing Colombian creative midfielder Andres Felipe Roa from Deportivo Cali, according to Seattle-based reporter and columnist Niko Moreno… LA Galaxy have signed Chris Pontius, the 2016 MLS Comeback Player of the Year has signed a free-agent contract.