ALEJANDRO ROMERO GAMARRA JOINS RED BULLS
A long and protracted transfer chase has come to a satisfying conclusion as New York Red Bulls have finally signed Argentine winger Alejandro Romero “Kaku” Gamarra from Argentine side Huracan pending receipt of his P-1 visa and ITC, Rundown finds it amazing that Gamarra will be the first Young Designated Player in Red Bulls history.
Gamarra, now 23-years-old, has been a regular for the brilliantly named Club Atlético Huracán over the past three years after breaking through with the club originally during the 2013-14 campaign. He also has 23 total appearances in continental competitions, playing a major part in his side’s 2015 and 2016 Copa Libertadores challenge.
Kaku was first linked in December to New York Red Bulls and was reported on 27th December in Rundown as a transfer that could signal the end of Red Bulls’ reliance on Bradley Wright-Phillips.
“When we identified Kaku, he quickly became our top off-season target,” Red Bulls sporting director Denis Hamlett said in a club statement. “He fits the profile of the player we are looking for: highly skilled, creative, and hard-working. During our discussions, we realised that we are adding a good player and great young man to our team. We look forward to seeing him continue to grow as part of the New York Red Bulls.”
Gamarra is New York’s second midfield addition of February, following the signing of 18-year-old Cristian Casseres Jr. to the Red Bulls 2018 squad. After the departure of Sacha Kljestan, both Kaku and Casseres Jr. will be required to cover his contribution.
KENDALL WASTON SIGNS EXTENSION
Costa Rican international Kendall Waston certainly sounds happy to have agreed a contract extension with Vancouver Whitecaps in an exclusive interview with Away From the Numbers.
“Since the first day I arrived in Vancouver, I’ve loved this city,” Waston said. “I feel very comfortable, happy, and it feels like home for me and my family. I am really thankful and grateful to my coaches as they have helped me with the little details that have improved my game. I am also thankful to my teammates and everyone that works throughout the organization and supports this great club. My priority is to continue to improve every day and make history for this city and all our amazing supporters.”
Waston has agreed a new contract to the end of the 2019 season, with an option for 2020. Having joined the Whitecaps during the 2014 season, he has made 89 MLS regular season appearances, five MLS Cup Playoffs appearances, and helped the ‘Caps to the Canadian Championship title in 2015. Last season, he served as team captain.
“Kendall has ascended to being one of the best centre backs in the league, and we’re delighted to have him during the prime of his career,” said Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson in a club statement. “He’s a national hero in his country, and has also delivered for his club when he’s been needed most. We are excited that Kendall and his family have committed their future to this club and city.”
Waston was named Whitecaps’s Player of the Year in 2015 and 2017, he was also an MLS Defender of the Year finalist in 2015 and 2017. He was also named to the MLS Best XI in both seasons and has earned 24 international caps.
DC UNITED BRING BACK CHRIS ODOI-ATSEM
D.C. United have brought back defender Chris Odoi-Atsem for the 2018 season, signing the 22-year-old to a one-year contract with options for 2019 and 2020. Odoi-Atsem was drafted 12th overall by D.C. in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft, and the University of Maryland product made nine MLS appearances in his rookie year, in addition to two U.S. Open Cup appearances.
“Chris is an athletically gifted young talent who has the tools to be successful in this league,” Dave Kasper, D.C. United general manager said in a club statement. “Last season, he proved that he can make the jump to the professional level and we’re excited to continue working with him in the 2018 season.”
DAWKINS TAKES THE ROAD AWAY FROM SAN JOSE
Midfielder Simon Dawkins has mutually parted ways with San Jose Earthquakes. The Quakes had an off-season clause to buyout the guaranteed contract on their Designated Player, and the 30-year-old Dawkins will be placed on the waivers list.
Dawkins made 43 appearances for the Quakes since signing as a Designated Player in 2016, after a loan spell during 2011 and 2012, scoring five goals and providing two assists but he hadn’t played in the league since the beginning of August.
Any Other Business…
Columbus Crew have bid $1 million for 20-year-old Ecuadorian attacker Adolfo Munoz from Nacional as the Crew look to replace Ola Kamara and Justin Meram… As reported in Rundown on 12th January, Los Angeles FC are still looking to acquire 21-year-old midfielder Andre Horta from Benfica, ESPN’s Jeff Carlisle reports that LAFC are nearing a deal. Ager Aketxe’s contract at Athletic Bilbao has been terminated, paving the way for his move to Toronto FC.