The dog days of August are upon us, so why not sit back and relax with this week’s MLS Big – 5?
• Galaxy Welcome Giovani Dos Santos
Mexican international Giovani Dos Santos practiced with his new Los Angeles Galaxy teammates for the first time on Tuesday, and that groan you heard was MLS coaches across the country bemoaning their own diminished title chances.
The addition of the 90 times capped attacker gives Galaxy coach Bruce Arena an embarrassment of riches to choose from from the midfield forward.
Dos Santos joins other recent L.A. additions Steven Gerrard and Sebastian Lletget in a formidable Galaxy attack that already features 2014 MLS MVP Robbie Keane, veteran supersub Alan Gordon, rising U.S. star Gyasi Zardes, rebounding American youth international Jose Villarreal and current U.S. U20 star
Bradford Jamieson IV.
L.A.’s signing of the 26 year old Dos Santos flies in the face of the big name imports like NYCFC duo Frank Lampard (37) and Andrea Pirlo (36), Montreal’s new recruit Didier Drogba (37) and Dos Santos’ new Galaxy mate Steven Gerrard (35).
The young veteran could shape up as a leader of the next wave of Galaxy stars with the likes of Zardes (23), Lletget (22), Villarreal (21), Jamieson IV (18) and perhaps Jack McBean (20) leading the attack, while Omar Gonzalez (26) marshalls the young defense corps that could include former U.S. youth international 20 year old U.S. Oscar Sorto.
2) Red Bulls Rising With Win – Sign Argentine DP
While New York City FC has generated most of the soccer related headlines in their shared New York media market, the region’s original MLS franchise are quietly having a fine season, led by Bradley Wright-Phillips who has just been joined by his brother Shaun.
The brother act got off to a flyer Saturday night with a 3-1 win in Philadelphia, with Bradley scoring on an assist from Shaun, who also earned a pk that Sacha Kljestan buried moments after he stepped onto the field.
New York further strengthened its squad with the signing of attacker Gonzalo Veron from Argentine club San Lorenzo. The 25 year old becomes the first DP signing of the Ali Curtis, Jesse Marsch era. Coach Marsch said that Veron can play any one of four attacking positions, an area of the field that has suddenly gotten much deeper for the Red Bulls.
Veron could see action as soon as Sunday when the Red Bulls host cross river rivals NYCFC.
3) McInerney Traded to Columbus
The Montreal Impact have sent Jack McInerney to the Columbus Crew for a second round pick in next year’s SuperDraft.
McInerney, who turned 23 the day after the trade, was surplus to requirements following the Impact’s signings of Didier Drogba and Costa Rican international Johan Venegas.
McInerney represented the U.S. YNT from U15 up to U23 and was selected to the full side for the 2013 Gold Cup.
McInerney turned pro out of Bradenton High School, Florida and was selected with seventh pick of the first round of the 2010 MLS SuperDraft by the Philadelphia Union.
12 goals in the 2013 season for Philadelphia earned “Jack Mac” that Gold Cup call up, although the striker failed to see the field.
McInerney who has four goals this season, joins a Columbus offense led by Kei Kamara, the league’s second leading goal scorer and Ethan Finlay, MLS’s top assist man.
4) Seattle Look to La Liga For Boost
Slumping Seattle signed veteran Austrian midfielder Andreas Ivanschitz in hopes of arresting a slide from first in the league to sixth place in the Western Conference.
After starting his career with Rapid Vienna, Ivanschitz moved on to play for Greek giants Panathinaikos before making the jump to the Bundesliga with Mainz.
The free kick specialist has earned 69 caps for his native Austria.
5) A Tale of 2 Strikers: Jozy Gets the Boot While AJ Moves Up
Former AZ Alkmaar strikers and current U.S. teammates Jozy Altidore and Aron Johannsson are coming off very different weeks with Altidore earning a red card for his petulant behavior versus New England, just as news broke that Johannsson had transferred from AZ to Bundesliga club Werder Bremen.
Johannsson had reportedly been seeking a move to MLS, although his asking price was said to be a potential stumbling block to MLS sides.
The $5 million fee proved no such impediment to Bremen who were happy to sign the 24 year old U.S international to replace Schalke bound Franco Di Santo.
Meanwhile with Michael Bradley out of action and Sebastian Giovinco limited by injury, acting captain Altidore blew an opportunity to show leadership with Toronto, instead picking up a straight red card for kicking out at Revolution defender Jose Goncalves in Saturday’s 3-1 loss to New England.