JOE MASON SWAPS MIDLANDS FOR COLORADO
As reported in Rundown yesterday, Colorado Rapids have followed up their interest in Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Joe Mason by bringing in the striker using Targeted Allocation Money on a one-year loan agreement.
Mason, who will be added to the Rapids’ roster upon receipt of his International Transfer Certificate and P-1 visa, joins Danny Wilson, Tommy Smith, Jack Price, Johan Blomberg and Edgar Castillo on the team’s growing list of recent international signings. Mason played with Jack Price previously for Championship leaders Wolves.
“There’s no doubt that Joe will be a major boost to our frontline,” Rapids general manager Pádraig Smith said in a club statement. “His finishing and movement in and around the box is very intelligent. He’ll not only help us from a goal scoring standpoint, but he’s also the type of player who makes those around him better. We look forward to welcoming him to Colorado.”
During his time in the English Championship, 26-year-old Mason scored 42 times. He previously spent five seasons with fellow Championship side Cardiff City, scoring 22 goals in 97 appearances, and also notched 10 goals in 28 appearances while on loan with Bolton.
“This is an exciting new chapter of my career,” Mason said in a club statement. “I’m very grateful for the support shown by everyone at Wolves during my time there, but the Rapids are an ambitious club and I can’t wait to get to Colorado, meet the guys, and help this team reach its goals.”
DAWKINS ON MINNESOTA RADAR
It’s only been a few days since San Jose Earthquakes and Simon Dawkins mutually parted ways but Dawkins next destination could be announced quickly with interest from Minnesota United. Jeff Reuter is normally a reliable source of information, he stated on social media that the Loons are among the leading candidates for the services of the 30-year-old, who made 43 appearances for San Jose since signing as a Designated Player in 2016.
Rueter also tweeted that Minnesota United are showing interest in Fluminese midfielder Marlon Freitas. The 22-year-old Brazilian was on loan with the Fort Lauderdale Strikers in the NASL in 2015. This would mark another flurry of transfer activity for Adrian Heath’s side, having already signed Bertrand Owundi Eko’o and Frantz Pangop in recent weeks.
BRAD EVANS MOVES TO SPORTING KANSAS CITY
In another follow up story reported by Rundown over the weekend, Brad Evans has now officially departed Seattle Sounders and signed a free agent contract with Sporting Kansas City.
Evans is no stranger to silverware, counting triumphs in four US Open Cup titles, along with the 2008 and 2016 MLS Cups. The 32-year-old versatile defender/midfielder joins Sporting on a one-year deal with an option for 2019 following an injury-shortened 2017 season, in which a herniated disk limited him to 11 league appearances.
“I am thrilled for the opportunity to join Sporting Kansas City and help the club pursue championships,” Evans said in a club statement. “This is an exciting new chapter in my career and I can’t wait to play in front of an amazing fan base at Children’s Mercy Park. I would also like to thank the entire Seattle Sounders organization and their fans for all of their support over the last nine years.”
He should provide depth in several positions for Sporting, including right back, left back, centre back and central midfield.
“We are very fortunate to welcome Brad to our club,” Sporting KC manager Peter Vermes said. “With his mentality and work ethic, we know what he can bring to Sporting KC, and for us to add a player with such high character and experience is an incredible opportunity. We are excited for him to be a part of our locker room.”
LAFC STILL SHORT OF NUMBERS
Fans of Los Angeles FC are understandably a little concerned when looking over Bob Bradley’s squad for the 2018 campaign and seeing that they have only 18 players under contract, less than two weeks until LAFC play Seattle in their first MLS fixture.
MLS has a maximum squad size of 30, so there’s plenty of room to manoeuvre. LAFC are expected to sign Portuguese midfielder Andre Horta before the start of the season and set to ink several preseason trialists to MLS deals this week. MLSsoccer.com suggest that if signed, Horta will be LAFC’s third Designated Player.
It was reported last month that LAFC and Benfica had agreed to a transfer for Horta, but that Braga refused to let him out of his loan to facilitate a move to MLS. Their concerns appear to have receded, with Horta likely set to join Mexico striker Carlos Vela and Uruguayan forward Diego Rossi as LAFC’s three DPs.
LAFC will also expected to sign up to four unsigned players who have been in preseason training with them, one of whom will be No. 3 overall SuperDraft pick defender Tristan Blackmon.
UNION TO PAY BY CZECH
One of the worst kept secrets in MLS during this offseason has been Philadelphia Union’s search for a number 10. Reports out of the Czech Republic suggest that midfielder Bořek Dočkal has flown with his representatives to America to negotiate a possible deal. Union beat writer Jonathan Tannenwald claims that Dočkal would be the “big playmaker target” that has been on the Union’s wish list since the 2017 season ended.
A 29-year-old attacking midfielder, Dočkal moved to Chinese Super League club Henan Jianye last year after an impressive tenure for Czech club Sparta Prague from 2013 to 2017, where he registered 30 goals and 51 assists across all competitions.
Dočkal, who has made 27 appearances for the Czech national team, would immediately provide a huge upgrade at the No. 10 spot, where untested Homegrowns Adam Najem and Anthony Fontana are currently competing for the starting spot while Ilsinho recovers from an injury.
Any Other Business…
In addition to signing Joe Mason, Colorado Rapids have fulfilled the dream of fourth-round draft pick Niki Jackson. The No. 73 overall pick joins the Rapids after three standout seasons at Grand Canyon University, Rapids also pick up Enzo Martinez from USL affiliate Charlotte… South Korean centre back Kim Kee-hee is headed to Seattle Sounders… Following up on yesterday’s MLS Rundown, Orlando City have announced the acquisition of defender Lamine Sane from German Bundesliga side SV Werder Bremen, pending receipt of his P-1 Visa and International Transfer Certificate.
Thank you reading the MLS Rundown, a daily column focused on news, rumours and transfers. If you would like to connect with the writer, please do so on twitter @CT_MLS