Photo by ISIPhotos.com
By DAN KARELL
Benny Feilhaber is hoping he can give Sporting Kansas City some much needed midfield relief.
After joining the team’s long injury list on June 6 and missing the last three Sporting KC games in all competitions, Feilhaber says he’s healthy enough to return to the field this Sunday against the Chicago Fire, if coach Peter Vermes picks him.
“It feels better every day,” Feilhaber told MLSsoccer.com. “I mean, it’s not 100 percent, but it’s good to go. I’m ready to play. We’re not holding anything back in practice. It’s just a little bit of a tape job on my shoulder, which I’m used to with my ankles. I’ll get used to it with my shoulder as well.”
Both Ike Opara and Chance Myers are out for the season with injuries, while Graham Zusi and Matt Besler have been gone since mid-May with the U.S. Men’s National Team. To add to the team’s issues, midfielder Uri Rosell was sold in early June, depleting the squad’s depth even more.
Here are some more notes from around MLS:
IMPACT COMPLETE PIATTI DEAL
Just weeks after the departure of Designated Player Hernan Bernardello, the Montreal Impact have found an Argentine replacement.
Following a long, drawn-out process, the Impact have completed the signing of midfielder Ignacio Piatti to a Designated Player contract, subject to passing a medical exam and the receipt of his international transfer certificate. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but reports in Argentina say that Piatti’s contract with San Lorenzo expired on June 30.
“To be able to get another DP is another important step for the club. It was a long process but we’re excited to bring him here,” Montreal Impact sporting director Nick De Santis in a statement. “We’ve said since last year that we wanted an offensive midfielder and we are adding today a very good player, at the prime of his career, who was a catalyst for San Lorenzo in their last championship and their run in (the Copa Libertadores). He’s very motivated to play in MLS and to be in Montreal.”
One hang-up to the deal is the fact that San Lorenzo are still competing in the Copa Libertadores, the South American Champions League. San Lorenzo have made the semifinals but the tournament has been pushed back later than regular years to make a break for the World Cup.
As long as FIFA allow it, Piatti will remain with San Lorenzo until they’re knocked out of the tournament. From there, he would join up with the Impact for the second half of the MLS season.
Piatti, 29, is of no relation to Valencia’s Argentine midfielder, Pablo Piatti.
PROVIDENCE OFFICIALS INTERESTED IN MOVING REVS TO RHODE ISLAND
The New England Revolution’s hopes to find a stadium to call their own could take them out of the state of Massachusetts all together.
According to a report from WPRI in Providence, R.I., the city’s economic development director has spoken with Revolution officials and the mayor of Central Falls, R.I. has personally spoken to Revolution president Brian Biello over a potential move to the Ocean State.
“I’ve heard they were interested from moving from Gillette [Stadium] and I made a call to the president and expressed the interest of the city in bringing them here,” Central Falls mayor James Diossa told WPRI.com.
The report states that Biello was “receptive” to the idea from Diossa but wouldn’t make any commitments to moving there.
The Revolution are one of the last MLS teams in the league without their own soccer-specific stadium, instead sharing Gillette Stadium with the New England Patriots. Only D.C. United, the Vancouver Whitecaps, the Portland Timbers, and the Seattle Sounders play in stadiums not originally intended for soccer, though the latter three have no issues filling them with more than enough fans.
BERHALTER PREPARING FOR GONZALEZ OFFERS
With Costa Rica’s World Cup success comes a rising awareness of the talent on their squad.
Columbus Crew centerback Giancarlo Gonzalez has been named in a number of media outlet’s “Best XI” of the group stage and his performance with Los Ticos against Mario Balotelli and Italy was one of the more memorable performances of the whole tournament.
While there have apparently been no calls made for him, Crew head coach Gregg Berhalter said at training on Tuesday that he expected there to be interest but would only sell Gonzalez if it was an offer that the club couldn’t turn down.
“We’ll obviously field offers as they come,” Berhalter told MLSSoccer.com. “It’s a market where there’s certainly movement. You see some of these players from the World Cup signing with clubs and stuff like that.
“We’d certainly field an offer, but we’re in no rush to move him along … you would look at it,” he said. “I made it clear that we don’t want to get rid of him, but if something came that you couldn’t turn down, you would have to consider it.”
RAPIDS ACQUIRE ALVAREZ IN TRADE FOR STURGIS
The Colorado Rapids added central midfield depth and became an even younger team with one move on Tuesday.
The Rapids acquired second-year pro Carlos Alvarez in a trade with Chivas USA in exchange for Nathan Sturgis, the club announced. The 23-year-0ld Alvarez has played 11 times for Chivas USA this season and was a four-year star at UConn before being drafted second overall in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft.
Sturgis, 26, had one assist in just six games with the Rapids so far this season, and was acquired from the Houston Dynamo ahead of the 2013 MLS Season in exchange for Omar Cummings. Sturgis will now be playing for his seventh team since signing with MLS in 2006 and being drafted by the LA Galaxy.
The Houston Dynamo have signed a multi-year contract with BHP Billiton for the global resources company to become the team’s exclusive jersey sponsor. (REPORT)
Colorado Rapids midfielder Jose Mari is set to miss at least the next month of action with a left ankle sprain. (REPORT)
What do you think of these reports? Glad to hear Feilhaber is fit enough to return? Do you expect him to play? Do you see Piatti saving the Impact’s season?
Share your thoughts below.