By DAN KARELL
Brian Span has found a new home.
The 21-year-old American midfielder was allocated to FC Dallas on Thursday morning in a weighted lottery after signing a contract with Major League Soccer a day prior. Span joins after spending two seasons in Sweden’s Allsvenskan with Djurgårdens.
FC Dallas, which still hasn’t officially hired a new head coach, had the best odds (41.7 percent) of landing Span in the lottery. By winning the lottery, FC Dallas can not take part in any MLS lotteries until next season.
In his two seasons with Djurgårdens, the 6-foot-3 Span scored once in 19 appearances in all competitions. Prior to moving to Sweden, the former U.S. Under-17 residency midfielder spent two seasons at the University of Virginia, scoring 12 goals and adding eight assists in 41 total matches.
Since the end of the season, FC Dallas has parted ways with five midfielders, including former MVP winner David Ferreira.
Here are some more stories from around MLS today:
DE ROSARIO MAKES TFC RETURN, CLUB ADDS HOMEGROWN SIGNING
Toronto’s prodigal son has returned home.
After nearly three seasons away from the club, Toronto FC announced this afternoon at a press conference that they’ve signed hometown hero Dwayne De Rosario to a contract. De Rosario was selected by TFC in the second stage of the 2013 MLS Re-Entry draft. In addition to signing of De Rosario, TFC added 17-year-old Jordan Hamilton to their squad as a Homegrown player signing, the ninth such signing in club history.
Per league and team policy, terms of both deals were not disclosed. However, with the likely Designated Player signings of Jermain Defoe and Michael Bradley soon to be finalized, it’s almost assured that De Rosario is no longer a Designated Player.
“Dwayne’s resume speaks for itself,” Toronto FC general manager Tim Bezbatchenko said in a statement. ”The addition of an MLS veteran with regular season and MLS Cup MVP honors brings a significant piece to the team we are building here at Toronto FC. Dwayne’s impact will add considerable skill and depth to our squad and we look forward to having him serve as a mentor to our younger players.
“Dwayne has had a tremendous MLS and national team career. He has very strong ties to the team and the city and it is only fitting that this is how his story should unfold.”
The former MLS MVP played two full seasons and a part of a third for TFC from 2009-2011, scoring 27 goals and adding 10 assists, both club records. However, De Rosario is coming off one of his worst seasons as a professional, scoring only three league goals in 24 appearances, though he did win the U.S. Open Cup with D.C. United.
BERHALTER TO APPOINT MAASKANT, ONSTAD AS ASSISTANT COACHES
Columbus Crew head coach Gregg Berhalter has reportedly made two new additions to his coaching staff.
According to a report in the Columbus Dispatch, the Crew are set to hire Dutchman Robert Maaskant and long-time MLS goalkeeper Pat Onstad as assistant coaches for next season. The Crew have yet to formally announce the hires.
Maaskant, who has spent his whole career playing and coaching in Europe, was a teammate of Berhalter’s at PFC Zwolle in 1994-1995. The 44-year-old was most recently the head coach of Dinamo Minsk in Belarus.
Onstad comes from Toronto FC where he was the team’s head scout. He also served as an assistant coach for two years before that at D.C. United. While there, Onstad worked alongside Crew assistant coach Josh Wolff.
SOUNDERS SIGN BARRETT, TWO HOMEGROWN PLAYERS
Not long after coming to terms with forward Kenny Cooper, the Seattle Sounders locked up another forward for next season.
The Sounders announced on Thursday that they have signed forward Chad Barrett to a contract. Barrett was selected by the Sounders with the 13th pick in the second stage of the MLS Re-Entry Draft last month. Per team and league policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Last season, Barrett scored just two goals and added two assists in 19 games for the New England Revolution as he struggled to make the starting lineup on a consistent basis. Barrett missed nearly two months early in the season with a hamstring injury was in an out of the lineup ever since, falling behind Juan Agudelo and even Jerry Bengtson.
The Sounders also added to their squad on Thursday with two more homegrown signings, former Stanford midfielder Aaron Kovar and former Wake Forest forward Sean Okoli.
RED BULLS ANNOUNCE PRESEASON PLANS
It had been reported for a while, but the New York Red Bulls finally announced their preseason plans on Thursday.
After players report for training on Jan. 24, the Red Bulls will go on two trips to Orlando, Fla., the second of which coincides with the Disney Pro Soccer Classic between Feb. 17 and March 2. Between Feb. 8-16, their travel plans are still to be determined.
The Red Bulls open the 2014 MLS season with a trip to Vancouver to face the Whitecaps on March 8.
What do you think of this news? Think Span can crack the FC Dallas lineup? Do you see De Rosario starting for TFC next season? Like the hires by Berhalter?
Share your thoughts below.