FREE AGENT SIGNS WITH COLUMBUS CREW
Longtime MLS veteran midfielder Ricardo Clark has signed with Columbus Crew SC, the club have confirmed. Clark, 34, had been with the Houston Dynamo since the summer of 2012. He was out of contract following the 2017 season and signed with Columbus via MLS free agency.
He relocated to Houston with the old San Jose Earthquakes in 2006, winning two MLS Cups with the Dynamo before leaving to sign with German club Eintracht Frankfurt in the summer of 2009.
The former United States international has played in 337 regular season matches in his MLS career, starting 317 matches. He recorded two assists in 28 regular season contests with the Dynamo in 2017, helping the club return to the playoffs after a three-year hiatus.
“We are excited Ricardo chose to join our club as a free agent signing this winter,” Crew SC sporting director and head coach Gregg Berhalter said in a club statement. “Ricardo brings over a decade of MLS and national team experience to our club, which was one of the youngest in the league last season. He is a consistent winner in MLS and adds important depth in our central midfield as we look to return to the MLS Cup Playoffs in the upcoming season.”
Clark has 33 career caps with the US men’s national team, playing for the country at the 2010 World Cup, 2009 Confederations Cup and 2007 Gold Cup and Copa America. Crew SC are currently training in Casa Grande, Arizona. The club will head to Hawaii on Feb. 6 to participate in the Pacific Rim Cup.
RED BULLS SIGN VENEZUELA YOUTH INTERNATIONAL
New York Red Bulls have acquired 18-year-old Venezuelan attacker Cristian Casseres, Jr. as a Discovery Signing. The signing was reported by a Venezuelan outlet in mid-January. Paul Tenorio reported that the two parties had agreed to a deal later in the month.
“What we’ve seen from Cristian has been promising,” Red Bulls head coach Jesse Marsch said in a club statement. “He fits into our style of play and we think he can contribute at the MLS level. I look forward to him establishing himself within the group and competing every day.”
Casseres has been with the Red Bulls for most of their preseason training camp, he recorded both a goal and assist in their 7-0 win against the University of South Florida last Saturday.
Casseres appeared in 13 matches for Venezuelan first-division team Deportivo La Guaira last year. He appeared in seven matches for the Venezuela Under-17 national team in 2017 and was called to a pre-World Cup training camp with the country’s U-20 team.
REAL SALT LAKE TO LAND ONE BUT MISS OUT ON ANOTHER
Real Salt Lake are close to landing one of their central midfield targets, but their pursuit of another has come to an end.
As reported by The Salt Lake Tribune’s Maddie Lee and a Chilean outlet over the weekend, RSL have agreed to a deal to acquire 19-year-old Argentine midfielder Pablo Ruiz on a permanent transfer from Chilean club San Luis de Quillota.
Ruiz, who played in three matches for Argentina at the 2015 U-17 World Cup, joined the Chilean first-division club last summer from Argentine club San Lorenzo. He made 10 league appearances in Chile.
While RSL have agreed to a deal with Ruiz, they are no longer pursuing Tigres midfielder Jesus Dueñas. as sources suggest that talks have stalled and RSL have since backed off.
RSL are said to still be shopping for an impact box-to-box midfielder to push Ruiz, who is viewed as more of a long-term project, and incumbent starter Luke Mulholland. That signing may not happen until after the start of the MLS season, however, with the club still looking at several targets with just over four weeks left until opening day.
Any Other Business…
Minnesota United continue to pursue Colombian midfield playmaker Nicolas Benedetti after an initial $4 million bid… Despite an Italian report that Portland Timbers have acquired Swedish striker Samuel Armenteros on loan from Benevento Calcio, The Oregonian’s Jamie Goldberg corrects that the Timbers are in final discussions with Benevento but no deal is in place yet.