MLS Rundown: Welsh International To Real Salt Lake

FROM BLACKBURN TO UTAH

American Soccer Now’s Brian Sciaretta has broken the story that that Real Salt Lake are closing in on 23-year-old Tennessee-born Welsh international fullback Adam Henley.

Henley came up through the Blackburn Rovers youth system, playing for the club’s first-team from 2011 until last May. He’s currently without a club. He made 80 appearances for Blackburn in the English Premier League and Championship prior to leaving the club following the end of last season. His last first-team appearance came in August 2016 under former Houston Dynamo manager Owen Coyle.

Henley has two international caps with Wales, coming off the bench in friendlies against the Netherlands in November 2015 and against Ukraine in March 2016.

BACKUP GOALKEEPER TO ORLANDO

Rundown will admit that’s a slow news day. However, some Orlando City fans will appreciate the signing of Adam Grinwis as backup to Joe Bendik.

Grinwis, 25, joins after playing the past three years in USL. Last year, he featured for Saint Louis FC, and prior to that he played for the Rochester Rhinos for two seasons, where he helped them win the USL regular season title and USL Cup in 2015.

“Adam impressed in our pre-season friendly last season and has a track record of success in the USL,” Lions general manager Niki Budalic said in a club statement. “His athleticism, character and competitiveness will fit in well with our group of goalkeepers.”

GABRIEL SOMI TO NEW ENGLAND

New England Revolution have announced the signing of Gabriel Somi on a free transfer. Now 26-years-old, he joins the Revolution from Swedish club Ostersunds FK, who are due to play Arsenal in the upcoming round of the Europa League.

“We are very pleased to add a versatile player in Gabriel who has the ability to help contribute at both ends of the field,” Revolution general manager Michael Burns said in a club statement. “We look forward to seeing the impact he will have on the field in 2018 and beyond.”

The Swedish-born Somi is a left-footed player, capable of playing from left back on up the field into the left wing. Playing for Ostersunds from 2016, he featured 18 times, scoring three goals and three assists. He helped the club to the Swedish domestic cup title in 2016 and featured regularly as they progressed to the Europa League knockout stage this season.

CREW NO LONGER FOR LIFE

Talk is rife that attacking pair Justin Meram and Ola Kamara have both asked to be moved by Columbus Crew SC this offseason. While the uncertainty around the club’s future was a factor in both players’ decisions to request a trade or transfer, according to the sources, it was not the only factor.

Kamara’s desire for a new contract – he made $482,500 in 2017 according to the MLS Players’ Union – also played a role in his asking out of Ohio. ESPN’s Jeff Carlisle reported that the striker wanted a new deal over the summer, and Jeff Rueter reported in December that the 28-year-old was being targeted by the LA Galaxy. The sources said that the 29-year-old Meram, who signed a new deal with Crew SC last March, is seeking a new challenge, not a new contract.

While both players have made their desire to leave Columbus clear, whether they depart Crew SC is another matter. Both have multiple years left on their contracts, and the reports indicate that Columbus are asking for a high price for each, which may ultimately include a combination of players or allocation money.

Any Other Business…

LA Galaxy are tracking out of favour Dijon defender Adam Lang, according to French outlet L’Equipe… Turkish clubs Fenerbahce and Trabzonspor have expressed interest in New York Red Bulls’ Kemar Lawrence… FC Dallas and Toronto FC are among the sides interested in acquiring Argentine defender German Conti from Colon de Santa Fe in Argentina’s top flight, according to a report from an Argentine newspaper… Montreal writer Nilton Jorge reports the Impact are in talks with Ligue 2 midfielder and Congolese international Remi Mulumba, as well as Uruguayan striker Rodrigo Aguirre… Uruguayan journalist Wilson Mendez that 21-year-old center back Yeferson Quintana is “close” to moving to MLS from Peñarol.