A Football Club Hotel?

Torino, Italia (November 20, 2019) —

A new hotel opened last August and last night had its official opening ceremony. This official ribbon cutting featured special guest Giorgio Chiellini. What makes it unique is that it is the first Italian hotel, and quite possibly the first hotel anywhere to be in collaboration with a football club. Welcome to the J | Hotel.

Juventus has partnered with Lindbergh Hotels, one of the major exponents of Italian tourism, and Juventus. The hotel, which officially opened its doors on August 24, is situated in the heart of the area known as the J | Village, near the Allianz Stadium and J | Medical, and is grounded between the Juventus Training Center and WINS-World International School.

The J | Hotel is unique because an entire wing is dedicated to rooms reserved for the First Team players while also offering services to the public. The rest of the guest room come in a variety of categories. There are also meeting and business spaces on-site.

Guests are guaranteed a “champion’s rest” on beds that are the same as those assigned to the first team players. In most rooms, the minibars are included in the rate, and in all of them, there is a SKY connection to watch all Juve matches on TV.

With the trend around the world for stadiums to be part of larger developments for economic reasons, it is likely that the J | Hotel will not be the only football team to partner with a hotel brand.

Russo Law and Soccer Briefs offers a quick glance on stories making news in the world of football.

MLS Expansion Draft 2019| Complete Player List Sorted By Team and Estimated Ranking

MIAMI, Fla. (November 17, 2019) —

This year’s MLS Expansion Draft kicks off at 5:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday, November 19, 2019.

A key point is that once a player has been claimed from a club’s list of eligible players, Nashville SC and Inter Miami may no longer select players from that club’s list. So if Inter Miami’s Sporting Director Paul McDonough is going to pick anyone from his former club, he will only be able to tap into his knowledge of Atlanta United once in the expansion draft.

While there aren’t really many big-time goal-scorers to be found in the pool of available players, there is a wealth of pricey veteran defenders. And both expansion teams are already building up strength in midfield/ defensive midfield, they appear to not have much need at those positions in Tuesday’s draft.

For those who want to watch live, MLSsoccer.com’s 2019 MLS Expansion Draft live studio show will bring fans all of the selections in real-time, providing expert analysis on each team’s picks.

With a pool of 220 players, no clear cut favourites and only ten being selected, any attempt to create a “mock draft” is highly speculative at best. Only 4.5 % of the pool is being chosen by Miami or Nashville. That, my friends, makes predictions a guessing game. Disclaimers provided (what else would you expect?), let’s dive into the player pool and highlight a few players to watch.

PLAYERS AVAILABLE FOR SELECTION IN 2019 MLS EXPANSION DRAFT

Available Player List – Sorted By Team

MLS ClubPlayer NamePos.Pts.*
 Atlanta UnitedJustin MeramM96
 Atlanta UnitedMichael ParkhurstD77
 Atlanta UnitedJeff LarentowiczM66
 Atlanta UnitedBrek SheaD52
 Atlanta UnitedFlorentin PogbaD50
 Atlanta UnitedBrandon VazquezF39
 Atlanta UnitedDion PereiraM33
 Atlanta UnitedMikey AmbroseD3
 Atlanta UnitedKevin KratzM1
 Atlanta UnitedJon GallagherD0
 Atlanta UnitedJose HernandezD0
 Atlanta UnitedAlec KannGK0
 Atlanta UnitedBrendan MooreGK0
 Atlanta UnitedLuiz FernandoM0
 Chicago FireBastian SchweinsteigerD161
 Chicago FireNicolas GaitanM145
 Chicago FireNemanja NikolicF120
 Chicago FireDavid OustedGK64
 Chicago FireMarceloD42
 Chicago FireDiego CamposD14
 Chicago FireAmando MorenoM8
 Chicago FireCristian MartinezM5
 Chicago FireStefan ClevelandGK0
 Chicago FireElliot CollierM0
 Chicago FireRichard SanchezGK0
 Colorado RapidsTim HowardGK99
 Colorado RapidsDanny WilsonM61
 Colorado RapidsAxel SjobergD8
 Colorado RapidsNiki JacksonF4
 Colorado RapidsKofi OpareD3
 Colorado RapidsAbdul RwatubyayeD2
 Columbus Crew SCHector JimenezD71
 Columbus Crew SCFederico HiguainM65
 Columbus Crew SCWaylon FrancisD63
 Columbus Crew SCLuis ArgudoM57
 Columbus Crew SCDavid GuzmanM55
 Columbus Crew SCConnor MaloneyD36
 Columbus Crew SCYouness MokhtarM28
 Columbus Crew SCRicardo ClarkM19
 Columbus Crew SCRomario WilliamsF16
 Columbus Crew SCEduardo SosaM14
 Columbus Crew SCJosh WilliamsF10
 Columbus Crew SCJon KempinGK8
 Columbus Crew SCBen LundgaardGK0
 Columbus Crew SCEdward OpokuM0
 FC CincinnatiEmmanuel LedesmaM117
 FC CincinnatiRoland LamahM81
 FC CincinnatiKekuta MannehF77
 FC CincinnatiDarren MattocksF72
 FC CincinnatiPrzemyslaw TytonGK57
 FC CincinnatiCaleb StankoM51
 FC CincinnatiJustin HoyteD35
 FC CincinnatiAlvas PowellD34
 FC CincinnatiFanendo AdiF24
 FC CincinnatiForrest LassoD19
 FC CincinnatiCorben BoneM8
 FC CincinnatiNazmi AlbadawiM1
 FC CincinnatiHassan NdamD0
 FC CincinnatiLogan GdulaD0
 FC CincinnatiJimmy HagueGK0
 FC CincinnatiBen LundtGK0
 FC CincinnatiJimmy McLaughlinM0
 Los Angeles Football ClubJordan HarveyD148
 Los Angeles Football ClubTyler MillerGK139
 Los Angeles Football ClubSteven BeitashourD114
 Los Angeles Football ClubLee NguyenM70
 Los Angeles Football ClubMohamed El-MunirD38
 Los Angeles Football ClubJosh PerezM28
 Los Angeles Football ClubAdrien PerezM17
 Los Angeles Football ClubPeter-Lee VassellM10
 Los Angeles Football ClubDanilo da SilvaD9
 Los Angeles Football ClubRodolfo ZelayaF9
 Los Angeles Football ClubDejan JakovicD6
 Los Angeles Football ClubJavier PerezM1
 Los Angeles Football ClubLamar BatistaD0
 Los Angeles Football ClubPhillip EjimaduGK0
 Los Angeles Football ClubAlejandro GuidoM0
 LA GalaxyZlatan IbrahimovicF272
 LA GalaxyUriel AntunaM129
 LA GalaxyFavio AlvarezM87
 LA GalaxyJorgen SkjelvikD85
 LA GalaxyChris PontiusM51
 LA GalaxyPerry KitchenM32
 LA GalaxyServando CarrascoM21
 LA GalaxyEmil CuelloM14
 LA GalaxyDiedie TraoreD13
 LA GalaxyMatt LampsonGK2
 LA GalaxyJuninho Vitor JuniorM2
 LA GalaxyTomas Hilliard-ArceD0
 LA GalaxyJoão PedroM0
 League Pool GKCharlie LyonGK0
 Minnesota United FCEthan FinlayM111
 Minnesota United FCAngelo RodriguezF93
 Minnesota United FCBrent KallmanD75
 Minnesota United FCMiguel IbarraM60
 Minnesota United FCAbu DanladiF45
 Minnesota United FCRasmus SchullerM45
 Minnesota United FCLawrence OlumM26
 Minnesota United FCWilfried Moimbe-TahratD22
 Minnesota United FCMarlon HairstonM18
 Minnesota United FCCarter ManleyD0
 Minnesota United FCAlly Ng’anziM0
 Minnesota United FCWyatt OmsbergD0
 Minnesota United FCBobby ShuttleworthGK0
 Montreal ImpactEvan BushGK128
 Montreal ImpactMaximiliano UrrutiF114
 Montreal ImpactBacary SagnaD87
 Montreal ImpactRudy CamachoD70
 Montreal ImpactJorge CorralesD56
 Montreal ImpactZachary Brault-GuillardD47
 Montreal ImpactAnthony Jackson-HamelF43
 Montreal ImpactOmar BrowneM38
 Montreal ImpactKen KrolickiM19
 Montreal ImpactRod FanniD17
 Montreal ImpactAmar SejdicM2
 Montreal ImpactJeisson VargasF0
 New England RevolutionJuan AgudeloM95
 New England RevolutionEdgar CastilloD83
 New England RevolutionJuan CaicedoF75
 New England RevolutionMichael MancienneD52
 New England RevolutionJalil AnibabaD28
 New England RevolutionCody CropperGK24
 New England RevolutionBrad KnightonGK21
 New England RevolutionBrian WrightF2
 New York City FCEbenezer OforiM71
 New York City FCSebastien IbeaghaD65
 New York City FCJesus MedinaM53
 New York City FCBen SweatD50
 New York City FCTony RochaD41
 New York City FCGary Mackay-StevenM34
 New York City FCEric MillerD28
 New York City FCBrad StuverGK20
 New York City FCDaniel BedoyaM1
 New York City FCJuan Pablo TorresM1
 New York City FCLuis BarrazaGK0
 New York City FCJeff CaldwellGK0
 New York City FCAbdi MohamedD0
 Orlando City SCBrian RoweGK143
 Orlando City SCLamine SaneD118
 Orlando City SCWill JohnsonM87
 Orlando City SCRobinhoM72
 Orlando City SCSacha KljestanM66
 Orlando City SCCarlos AscuesD63
 Orlando City SCKyle SmithD48
 Orlando City SCShane O’NeillD36
 Orlando City SCCristian HiguitaM33
 Orlando City SCDillon PowersM27
 Orlando City SCAlex De JohnD18
 Orlando City SCGreg RanjitsinghGK7
 Orlando City SCAdam GrinwisGK0
 Philadelphia UnionHaris MedunjaninM196
 Philadelphia UnionMarco FabianM91
 Philadelphia UnionAurelien CollinD21
 Philadelphia UnionWarren CreavalleM20
 Philadelphia UnionOlivier MbaizoD16
 Philadelphia UnionJoe BendikGK13
 Philadelphia UnionFabinhoD1
 Philadelphia UnionMichee NgalinaF1
 Philadelphia UnionRJ AllenD0
 Portland TimbersZarek ValentinD63
 Portland TimbersClaude DielnaD58
 Portland TimbersAndy PoloM49
 Portland TimbersAndres FloresM39
 Portland TimbersJeff AttinellaGK37
 Portland TimbersTomas ConechnyM34
 Portland TimbersRenzo ZambranoM34
 Portland TimbersDairon AsprillaM31
 Portland TimbersModou JadamaD2
 Portland TimbersAljaz IvacicGK0
 Portland TimbersKendall McIntoshGK0
 Real Salt LakeNick RimandoGK138
 Real Salt LakeKelyn RoweM38
 Real Salt LakeJoão PlataM25
 Real Salt LakeJustin PortilloM5
 Real Salt LakeLuke MulhollandM1
 Real Salt LakeTony BeltranD0
 Real Salt LakeAlex HorwathGK0
 Real Salt LakePablo RuizM0
 San Jose EarthquakesHarold CummingsD71
 San Jose EarthquakesMarcos LopezD61
 San Jose EarthquakesPaul MarieD15
 San Jose EarthquakesCarlos FierroM11
 San Jose EarthquakesFrancois AffolterD3
 San Jose EarthquakesEric CalvilloM2
 San Jose EarthquakesLuis FelipeM2
 San Jose EarthquakesKevin PartidaD1
 San Jose EarthquakesMatt BersanoGK0
 San Jose EarthquakesJimmy OckfordD0
 San Jose EarthquakesAndrew TarbellGK0
 Seattle Sounders FCHarry ShippM93
 Seattle Sounders FCVictor RodriguezM73
 Seattle Sounders FCRoman TorresD63
 Seattle Sounders FCSaad Abdul-SalaamD50
 Seattle Sounders FCChad MarshallD41
 Seattle Sounders FCWill BruinF27
 Seattle Sounders FCAlex RoldanM23
 Seattle Sounders FCJonathan CampbellD17
 Seattle Sounders FCJustin DhillonF9
 Seattle Sounders FCLuis SilvaF8
 Seattle Sounders FCEmanuel CecchiniM6
 Seattle Sounders FCBryan MeredithGK0
 Sporting Kansas CityBenny FeilhaberM102
 Sporting Kansas CityKrisztian NemethF89
 Sporting Kansas CityBotond BarathD85
 Sporting Kansas CitySeth SinovicD80
 Sporting Kansas CityAndreu FontasD38
 Sporting Kansas CityNicolas HaslerD28
 Sporting Kansas CityGedion ZelalemM16
 Sporting Kansas CityJimmy MedrandaD13
 Sporting Kansas CityEric DickGK1
 Sporting Kansas CityRodney WallaceD1
 Toronto FCJustin MorrowD100
 Toronto FCLaurent CimanD57
 Toronto FCTsubasa EndohM50
 Toronto FCDrew MoorD47
 Toronto FCEriq ZavaletaD41
 Toronto FCPatrick MullinsF31
 Toronto FCNicolas BenezetM28
 Toronto FCAshtone MorganD14
 Toronto FCRyan TelferD5
 Toronto FCJon BakeroM0
 Toronto FCCaleb Patterson-SewellGK0

A note about the points used to rank the player pool: The points gathered come from this years’s MLS Fantasy Game. While that is obviously a less-than-ideal way to rank a player’s potential, it is an attempt to provide some guidance based on a player’s performance over the 2019 season. A player who has a ‘0’ for his score doesn’t mean that he is not worth a look. It simply reflects that he lacked playing time during the past season.

The Russo Soccer Top 50 Players in 2019 Expansion Draft

Peruvian International Winger Andy Polo of the Portland Timbers (left) is among the players available to Inter Miami CF or Nashville SC. | photo: Portland Timbers

Overview

With teams only being able to protect twelve senior roster slot players, most teams left second and/or third string goalkeepers unprotected. Also, players who have announced their retirement but who are under contract until the end of the year were also naturally left unprotected. Zlatan Ibrahimovitch of the LA Galaxy has announced his departure from MLS, and thus was a natural choice to make the Galaxy’s unprotected player list. The list also features more than a few high-priced older players.

Players To Watch

Forwards

Atlanta United’s Brandon Vasquez is a strong choice to be selected by Inter Miami CF. Vazquez signed with Atlanta United as a Discovery Signing via transfer from Club Tijuana on Dec. 2, 2016. He made eight appearances as a substitute as a forward/winger in MLS and two starts in US Open Cup in 2018. Vazquez scored just a minute into his MLS debut at Real Salt Lake on April 22, 2017 and added two goals and an assist in two US Open Cup starts in 2017. This past season saw him have limited time, appearing in 11 matches, scoring 2 goals and adding 1 assist across 637 minutes played. He was recently added to the US Under 23 Men’s National Team, coached by Inter Miami’s Jason Kreis, ahead of their 2-0 win in a friendly against Japan. Vasquez was in that squad and earned an appearance, coming on in the 72nd minute.

Atlanta United’s Brandon Vasquez, a top choice in the expansion draft. | Photo: Atlanta United FC

New England Revolution forward Juan Caicedo is also a player to watch. The Colombian joined the Revs from Independiente Medellin and has experience playing in the Colombian first division. He has tallied 89 goals in nearly 300 appearances across all competitions through nine professional seasons in the top divisions of Colombia and Argentina and has experience in the Copa Libertadores and Copa Sudamericana. He appeared in 27 games for New England, starting 13 and scoring five goals.

Juan Fernando Caicedo | Photo: New England Revolution

Montréal Impact forward Maximiliano Urruti would offer a combination of skill and MLS experience. The 28-year old Argentine originally came to MLS in 2013 as a high-profile signing by Toronto FC from Newell’s Old Boys of Argentina. The Impact acquired him via a trade with FC Dallas in December 2018. He made 31 appearances for the Les Montréalais during the 2019 season, starting 27 of those matches and netting 4 goals on a team that failed to create enough scoring chances and often struggled to find a rhythm under former coach Remi Garde.

Maximiliano Urruti, Impact de Montréal | Photo: TSN

Midfielders

LA Galaxy’s Uriel Antuna, already a Mexican international, is one of the top players in the expansion draft. The 22 year-old speedy winger who is on loan from Manchester City has drawn interest from both Chivas de Guadalajara and Portuguese giants Sport Lisboa e Benfica. Antuna is believed to have signed a contract extension with City through 2022. He remains on loan with the Galaxy through the end of the season but his future beyond that point has not been determined. He scored 6 goals and contributed 5 assists for the Galaxy during the 2019 season.

Uriel Antuna, 22, of the Los Angeles Galaxy, left, shown competing with LAFC’s Lee Nyugen, another player available in this year’s expansion draft. | Photo: USA Today

Seattle Sounders midfielder Victor Rodriguez is an experienced, versatile, attacking threat who can play on either wing or as an attacking midfielder. The veteran has over 127 appearances in LaLiga dating back to the 2012-13 season he spent with Real Zaragoza. Rumours in a Seattle say that Rodriguez wants to return to Spain for personal reasons. However he might be a gamble someone’s willing to take, because he might well be the best available player and has a low cost-to-skill ratio. He helped to seal the victory over Toronto in MLs Cup with a wonderful shot from the edge of the penalty box that eluded goalkeeper Quentin Westberg in the 76th minute. After winning the MLS Cup MVP, he’s no longer flying under the radar, either. I could see Miami selecting him and using TAM money to give him a raise, also making his trips home to Barcelona much easier.

Victor Rodriguez | Photo: Lindsey Wasson / Seattle Sounders FC

Haris Medunjanin isn’t typically mentioned in discussions about marquee players brought into MLS from overseas in recent years. But given the season he had in 2019 for the Philadelphia Union, perhaps he should be. A former Bosnia and Herzegovina national team player, at 34 years of age, is among a bunch of veterans left unprotected by their teams. Medunjanin has played a key role in the Union’s offense since arriving from Israeli club Maccabi Tel Aviv in 2017. Positionally, he has played as a deep-lying No. 10 given his wide range of passing. But when Philly adopted a new system in 2019, he took on more defensive responsibilities as a No. 6. He’s also very durable, starting all 34 of the Union’s games this past season. Off the pitch, he has embraced the role of being a veteran leader and role-model for younger players, providing advice and constructive criticism on their play. On this point, he told mlssoccer.com: “I know myself when I was younger, it was harder and you played with a lot of more-experienced players and they would be like cursing you out when you did something wrong,” Medunjanin said. “Like that you learn, and sometimes as a player we should be hard on the younger players to get better.” Medunjanin is out of contract, so the choosing team would have to strike a new deal with him.

Haris Medunjanin of the Philadelphia Union is near the top of our list of available players | Photo: The Athletic

Atlanta United FC’s Justin Meram, a veteran MLS winger who spent five seasons with the Columbus Crew, was traded to Atlanta and was a contributor to both the regular season and the U.S. Open Cup during the 2019 campaign. He also plays on the Iraq National Team. He quickly became a fan favourite in Atlanta. “I’m very thankful for the fans bringing me in as one of their own from the get go,” he said. “They didn’t really look back on the past year I had, a little bit of the struggles. They looked at me as, ‘This guy could help.’ That gave me a little bit of confidence coming in.”

Jun 29, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta United forward Justin Meram (14) reacts after scoring his second goal of the match against the Montreal Impact during the second half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Orlando City midfielder Robinho (Francisco Wellington Barbosa de Lisboa) at age 24, is still a player with potential. The native of Recife, PE, Brazil was acquired by Orlando from Columbus Crew during the summer transfer window. The Brazilian midfielder last played for Ceará Sporting Club in Brazil’s First Division during the second half of the 2018 season, where he made two appearances in the Brazilian First Division – Serie A – following a loan stint at Santa Cruz Futebol Clube of Brazil’s Third Division during the first half of the 2018 season. While at Santa Cruz, Robinho made 37 appearances across all competitions for Santa Cruz, scoring eight goals. Robinho shows signs of being a creative player who can help unlock defenses with his movement and pace. He can provide some speed and quality out on the edge of the pitch and is an affordable player.

Robinho | Foto: Divulgação

It’s worth noting that an Atlanta United veteran who has had an exemplary career in MLS is also on the list of available players. I would of course be referring to none other than midfielder Jeff Laurentowicz, 36, who studied and played at Brown University.

Defenders

Orlando City SC Lamine Sané is one of the top ranked defenders among available players. The 32-year-old French born Senegalese international just completed his second season with the Lions, after spending the previous two seasons with Bundesliga side Werder Bremen. Sané is the vocal leader of the back line, shouting out instructions from the first to the last whistle. He featured in 26 games this season at Orlando, starting all but one of those matches. Orlando City coach James O’Connor brought Sané to the forefront this past season, moving to a four-back defensive platform and placing him alongside the Swede Robin Jansson. Sané’s height, at 6 feet, 4 inches (1.72 m) is an asset, allowing him to cut down corners and crosses.

Aug 3, 2019; Orlando, FL, USA; Orlando City defender Ludovic Lamine Sane (22) and FC Dallas midfielder Santiago Mosquera (11) fight for the ball during the second half at Exploria Stadium. Photo: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Olivier Mbaizo of the Philadelphia Union could be a good choice for either Miami or Nashville. The 22-year-old right back from Douala, Cameroon hasn’t seen much playing time with the Union, losing some time to injuries, and thus didn’t make the top 50 list above. However, he has much potential, is not overpriced, and already is a regular on the national teams of his native Cameroon. It came as a surprise to many followers of the Union to see him among the unprotected players. Mbaizo is also likely to have some significant sale value in the future. This month, he has played for Cameroon’s national team at the under-23 men’s Africa Cup of Nations. He was on the field for every minute of the group stage, and helped set up the lone goal in a 1-0 win over Mali. The team, however, ended up finishing third in the group stage and fell short of the semifinals.

Olivier Mbaizo, Philadelphia Union | Photo: Philadelphia Union

Los Angeles Football Club defender Mohamed El-Munir is fast and displays excellent control on the ball. The Libyan international has 19 caps for his country and made 15 appearances for LAFC this past season.

Mohamed El-Munir | Photo: Los Angeles Football Club

San Jose Earthquakes defender Marcos Lopez, who is only 20 years old, would be a choice based on potential future dividends. The native of Callao, Peru transferred to San Jose from Sporting Cristal Lima and signed a multi-year contract ahead of the 2019 season. Lopez is a young left back that has already made an international appearance with Peru in August 2018 at the age of 18 when he appeared in a game against Germany. He can also play further up the pitch as a left winger. Lopez has a very successful first season with Sporting Cristal Lima, helping the club have a +62 goal differential, the best in the Peruvian league, and helped them earn qualification to the Copa Libertadores group stage. He played in 18 games for the Quakes in 2019, starting 15. This month he was called to the Peru National Team for a pair of international friendlies against Colombia (played last Friday at Hard Rock Stadium) and Chile.

Marcos Lopez (right) | photo: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Goalkeepers

Among the numerous goalkeepers on the unprotected list, several have accumulated significant experience in MLS. Most teams. Among them are Orlando City’s Brian Rowe, who is 31, and longtime Impact de Montréal keeper Evan Bush, who is 33.

Evan Bush of the Impact de Montréal has been consistently good for several seasons. An MLS original with the Impact, Bush completed his eighth season with Montréal. In 2018, he had a career-high 10 clean sheets and was the MLS’ top goalkeeper according to the Audi Player Index. He had a breakout season in 2015, starting 31 games, after only starting 15 games across his first three MLS seasons. He was a finalist for the 2015 Concacaf Goalkeeper of the Year award, following an outstanding Concacaf Champions League campaign in 2015 that saw him win the CCL Golden Glove award.

Montreal Impact goalkeeper Evan Bush (1) blocks a shot on goal by the San Jose Earthquakes during the first half of an MLS soccer match in San Jose, Calif., on March 2, 2019. | Photo: THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Tony Avelar

Brian Rowe of Orlando City SC is another available keeper. The 31-year-old goalkeeper completed his eighth season in MLS in 2019, after beginning his career in Los Angeles with the Galaxy in 2012. He earned 7 clean sheets in 2019, playing in 32 games for Orlando City. Rowe was exceptional in 2016 with the Galaxy, where he recorded 31 appearances, earning nine clean sheets and earning a 1.07 goals-against average en route to the playoffs. During that 2016 season, Rowe allowed the fewest goals (33) in MLS by any goalkeeper that appeared in a minimum of 30 matches. Rowe also finished third in MLS with 113 saves.

A younger choice at goalkeeper would be Los Angeles Football Club’s Tyler Miller. The 26-year old keeper started 28 games for LAFC this past season. He posted nine clean sheets in the process. Miller was the number one choice at goalkeeper up until last summer’s Gold Cup.Thereafter, he split time with Pablo Sisniega, whom LAFC chose to protect in the expansion draft. A player of Miller’s calibre is a tempting choice for either Inter Miami or Nashville. By leaving him unprotected, LAFC might be hoping he is selected, thus ensuring that none of their other unprotected players can be taken. It would be one way of solving the debate at goal keeper, and not having to renegotiate a contract for Miller, who is out of contract in Los Angeles.

LAFC GK Tyler Miller | Photo: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Danish goalkeeper David Ousted of the Chicago Fire, 34, is also available. Ousted has been a starter for most of his six seasons in MLS, including five with the Vancouver Whitecaps. He is considered one of the more consistent keepers in the league, and holds numerous club records for Vancouver including wins, clean sheets and starts. He was finalist for goalkeeper of the year honours in 2015 with the Caps, who also won the Voyageur Cup (Canadian Championship) that year.

David Ousted | Photo: Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press

Two 40 year-old goalkeepers were left unprotected, but both have already announced their retirements. Nick Raimondo of Real Salt Lake was one of the best goalkeepers in MLS history. The legendary Tim Howard has also announced his retirement from the game.

Conclusion

Whatever the results of this expansion draft, there are certainly some quality players that Inter Miami and Nashville can acquire to assist them in building their initial rosters. The players they select can of course also be used in trades for other players, draft choices, allocation money or international player slots, so it’s not necessarily the player you obtain, but what you could acquire in exchange for that player.

It’s an interesting time of the year in MLS.

La liste des joueurs protégés par l’Impact de Montréal en vue du repêchage d’expansion | List of Protected Players

MONTRÉAL – 16 Novembre, 2019 11:48 heure de l’est

Communiqué:

L’Impact de Montréal a dévoilé samedi la liste de ses 12 joueurs protégés en vue du repêchage d’expansion, qui aura lieu ce mardi 19 novembre à 17:30 HE.

L’Impact a protégé les joueurs suivants:

  • le gardien Clément Diop,
  • les défenseurs Victor Cabrera, Daniel Lovitz et Jukka Raitala,
  • les milieux de terrain Bojan, Lassi Lappalainen, Orji Okwonkwo, Ignacio Piatti, Samuel Piette, Saphir Taïder, Shamit Shome et Ballou Tabla.

Les joueurs membres du programme Génération adidas de la MLS qui n’ont pas gradué à la fin de la saison 2019, de même que les joueurs formés au club faisant partie de l’effectif et âgés de 25 ans et moins, sont exclus du processus, c’est-à-dire Jason Beaulieu, Mathieu Choinière, Clément Bayiha, James Pantemis, Daniel Kinumbe, Karifa Yao et Thomas Meilleur-Giguère.

Joueurs Non-Protégé

Les joueurs suivants peuvent donc être sélectionnés lors du repêchage d’expansion:

  • Zachary Brault-Guillard
  • Omar Browne
  • Evan Bush
  • Rudy Camacho
  • Jorge Corrales
  • Rod Fanni
  • Anthony Jackson-Hamel (Il est disponible au repêchage puisqu’il est un joueur formé au club âgé de 25 ans et plus.)
  • Ken Krolicki
  • Bacary Sagna
  • Amar Sejdic
  • Maximiliano Urruti
  • Jeisson Vargas.

L’Inter Miami CF et Nashville SC, qui amorceront leurs activités en MLS l’an prochain, pourront chacun sélectionner cinq joueurs parmi les joueurs non protégés des autres équipes, excluant les équipes qui ont vu un de leurs joueurs être choisi par le FC Cincinnati l’an dernier, soit D.C. United, les Vancouver Whitecaps FC, le FC Dallas, le Houston Dynamo et les New York Red Bulls.

Notons que les équipes pourront perdre un joueur maximum lors de ce repêchage.


List of protected players by Montreal Impact ahead of MLS expansion draft

The Montreal Impact unveiled on Saturday its list of 12 protected players in preparation for the expansion draft taking place this Tuesday, November 19.

The Impact protected goalkeeper Clément Diop, defenders Victor Cabrera, Daniel Lovitz and Jukka Raitala, as well as midfielders Bojan, Lassi Lappalainen, Orji Okwonkwo, Ignacio Piatti, Samuel Piette, Saphir Taïder, Shamit Shome and Ballou Tabla.

Players who are members of the Generation adidas program who haven’t graduated at the end of the 2019 season, as well as homegrown players part of the roster and aged 25 and under, are not part of the process. Those players are Jason Beaulieu, Mathieu Choinière, Clément Bayiha, James Pantemis, Daniel Kinumbe, Karifa Yao and Thomas Meilleur-Giguère.

Unprotected Players

The following players can be selected during the expansion draft:

  • Zachary Brault-Guillard
  • Omar Browne
  • Evan Bush
  • Rudy Camacho
  • Jorge Corrales
  • Rod Fanni
  • Anthony Jackson-Hamel (available, even though he’s a homegrown player, because he’s aged 25 and over.)
  • Ken Krolicki
  • Bacary Sagna
  • Amar Sejdic
  • Maximiliano Urruti
  • Jeisson Vargas.

Inter Miami CF and Nashville SC, who will both play their inaugural MLS season in 2020, can each pick five players among those who are not protected from other teams, excluding the teams that saw one of their players chosen by Los Angeles FC last year. Those teams are D.C. United, Vancouver Whitecaps FC, FC Dallas, Houston Dynamo and the New York Red Bulls.

Teams can lose only up to one player during the expansion draft.

Thierry Henry Est Le Nouvel Entreineur De L’Impact De Montréal

Il s’est engagé pour deux saisons, plus une en option, avec le club canadien.

MONTRÉAL, Québec (le 14 novembre 2019) —

Thierry Henry (42 ans) est de retour en MLS. L’ancien joueur des New York Red Bulls a été officiellement nommé entraîneur de l’Impact de Montréal ce jeudi.

L’ancien coach de l’AS Monaco s’est engagé pour deux saisons, plus une en option.

« Thierry Henry partage notre vision de vouloir élever cette organisation en nous aidant à atteindre nos objectifs sur le terrain, mais aussi à l’extérieur, » a commenté Kevin Gilmore, le président de l’Impact, dans un communiqué. « Il est un compétiteur et un leader qui s’est illustré au plus haut niveau tout au long de sa carrière. Il amène ses aptitudes avec lui à Montréal, un endroit où il veut être. »

Henry retired from his stellar playing career in 2014 after playing his last three seasons with the Red Bulls. Henry began his managing career with the Arsenal Academy in 2015 before becoming an assistant to Roberto Martinez with the Belgian Men’s National Team, earning a third-place finish at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Last season, Henry took his first assignment as a head coach, taking over from Leonardo Jardim and assuming command of AS Monaco in October 2018. However, he struggled with the team, and in twenty games as manager, amassed 5 wins, 4 draws and 11 defeats, before his dismissal by the club’s directors.

There are currently four French players on the Montreal roster: Rudy Camacho, who played at Sedan, Zakaria Diallo, former player at Dijon and Brest, former Olympique de Marseille standout Rod Fanni and French international Bacary Sagna.

Henry retrouvera par ailleurs au club son ancien coéquipier au Barça, Bojan Krkic (29 ans), qui lui a souhaité la bienvenue sur les réseaux sociaux.

Henry Will Call Le Stade Saputo Home 📷: Flickr

« C’est un honneur de devenir entraîneur-chef de l’Impact de Montréal et de revenir en MLS, » a déclaré Thierry Henry dans le communiqué.

« C’est une ligue que je connais bien où j’ai passé de très bons moments. Être au Québec, à Montréal, qui a un énorme héritage multiculturel, c’est quelque chose d’extraordinaire. J’ai toujours eu un oeil sur ce club et maintenant j’y suis. »

Thierry Henry

La reprise de l’entraînement est programmée pour la mi-janvier.

Canadian Midfielder Jay Chapman Acquired by IMCF

MIAMI, Fla. (November 13, 2019) —

Inter Miami CF has acquired midfielder Jay Chapman from Toronto Football Club in exchange for $100,000 in General Allocation Money (GAM).

TRADE RECAP:

TO MIAMI TO TORONTO
M Jay Chapman$100,000 GAM

“With Jay we are bringing on a versatile attacking midfielder with good experience in the league and at the international levels,” said Paul McDonough, Inter Miami CF’s sporting director. “We are pleased to bring him to Inter Miami and continue his development.”   

For his part, “Chappers” was enthusiastic. After sending out via Instagram (@jaychaps) his thanks to TFC players, fans and staff, he posted on his Twitter account:

The native of Brampton, Ontario began his youth career in the Toronto FC Academy before attending Michigan State University. In 2015 he returned to Toronto where he signed a Homegrown Player contract. He is represented by Beswicks Sports Ltd.

The 25-year-old made 88 appearances for the Reds, scoring six goals and making five assists in that time. He also made 15 appearances for Toronto FC II in the USL, tallying three goals and one assist.   

Toronto FC midfielder Jay Chapman (14)celebrates after scoring against Orlando City during second half MLS soccer action in Toronto on Friday, May 18, 2018.
Photo: Nathan Denette / THE CANADIAN PRESS

The midfielder has also represented Canada on the international stage, initially playing at the U-17 level. He made appearances in the 2011 CONCACAF U-17 Championship, where the Canadian team earned a silver medal, and the 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cup. He also made four appearances at the U-23 level. He has earned two caps on the senior squad, beginning in 2017. In his first senior appearance he scored a goal against Bermuda in a 4-2 win.

“Jay has been part of the club for a long time and we are wishing him nothing but the very best in his next endeavour. Having signed a homegrown contract in 2015, Jay has been part of teams over the years that have won a lot for the club,” said Toronto General Manager Ali Curtis in a press release. “While we believe the trade is good for TFC, it presents a solid opportunity for Jay to start a new chapter in his life and playing career. Jay will be missed but having been with both our academy and first team, he will always be part of the TFC family.”

Video: Toronto Football Club

From 2012 to 2014 Chapman played at Michigan State University, making 64 appearances for the Spartans, scoring 12 goals and recording 14 assists. In 2014, he was named a First Team All-American, a Mac Hermann Trophy semifinalist, and Big Ten Midfielder of the Year. He finished that season with five goals and five assists.   

With this transaction, Chapman becomes the second Canadian player on the Club’s roster, after David Norman, Jr. For Chapman, the move to Miami represents opportunity, as he showed a lot of promise but was lost in the midfield numbers game with the Reds. He should be inspired by Canadian national teammate Mark-Anthony Kaye (LAFC) as an example of what moving to an MLS expansion side who are forming an identity can present in terms of opportunity. For Toronto, the club received value for Chapman, instead of losing him for nothing since he was out of contract (expires on Dec. 31).

The Rosanegro now has seven players ahead of the 2020 season. The Club also maintains control of its first and fourth round picks in the MLS SuperDraft presented by adidas and enters the 2019 Expansion Draft with the first overall pick on Nov. 19, where Inter Miami and Nashville FC can select up to five league players each.

IMCF Acquire Homegrown Player Rights to GK Drake Callender From San Jose Earthquakes

Club trades 2nd-round pick in 2020 MLS SuperDraft pick.

MIAMI, Fla. (November 12, 2019) —

Inter Miami CF has acquired the Homegrown Player Rights to goalkeeper Drake Callender from the San Jose Earthquakes in exchange for the first pick in the second round of the 2020 MLS SuperDraft (No. 27 overall).   

In addition, San Jose can receive up to $150,000 in General Allocation Money (GAM) if Callender meets certain performance-based metrics.   

TRADE RECAP:

TO MIAMI TO SAN JOSE
GK Drake Callender 1st pick in 2nd round of MLS SuperDraft
up to $150,000 GAM (performance based)

“Drake is a driven, young goalkeeper who impressed at the collegiate level both on and off the pitch,” said Inter Miami CF Sporting Director Paul McDonough. “We are pleased to trade for his Homegrown Rights and will explore him coming to South Florida sometime in the future.”  

The 22-year-old currently plays NCAA Division I soccer at the University of California, Berkeley, where he is studying legal studies and considering going to law school and working in a law-related field once his playing days are done. In four years at Cal, he’s made 52 appearances and kept 15 clean sheets. The goalkeeper made a career-high nine saves on two separate occasions, once in his first year against Oregon State University and once as a 2nd year (sophomore) against the University of Portland. 

Awards Received at Cal:

  • United Soccer Coaches NCAA All-Far West Region First Team, 2017
  • All-Pac-12 First Team for the 2017 season.
  • Preseason MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List, 2018
  • Preseason All-Pac-12 Team, 2018
  • United Soccer Coaches NCAA All-Far West Region Third Team, 2018
  • All-Pac-12 Second Team honours, 2018

The 6-foot-3 goalkeeper was invited to the U.S. U-23 Men’s National Team training camp in September. The training camp is coached by Inter Miami’s Jason Kreis and part of the U.S.’s campaign to qualify for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.  

Callender joined the San Jose Earthquakes Academy in 2013 and remained with the team through the 2015-2016 season before entering Cal.  

Video Created by Onfield Management. (Callender notes that he was 19 when this season began, not 21 as identified in the video. He also told Onfield Management that he identifies as African-American.)

Inter Miami Acquire Midfielder Victor Ulloa During Trade Window


Inter Miami also receives 1st pick in Stage One of Re-Entry Draft
.

MIAMI, Fla. (November 11, 2019) —

The trade window opened today for 55 hours as part of the Major League Soccer’s off-season calendar, and newcomers Inter Miami CF wasted no time.

Making a trade with FC Cincinnati, Miami acquired midfielder Victor Ulloa and the No. 1 overall pick in Stage One of the 2019 MLS Re-Entry Draft.

In exchange, Inter Miami has sent $50,000 General Allocation Money (“GAM”), a natural third-round pick in the 2020 MLS SuperDraft and the 26th overall pick in Stage One of the Re-Entry Draft to Cincinnati.  

TRADE RECAP:

TO MIAMI TO CINCINNATI
M Victor Ulloa$50,000 GAM
1st pick, 2019 MLS Re-Entry Draft, Stage 126th pick, MLS Re-Entry Draft, Stage 1
3rd pick in 2020 MLS SuperDraft

“Victor brings valuable experience and league knowledge to our roster,” said Inter Miami CF Sporting Director Paul McDonough. “He is a proven defensive midfielder with quality leadership skills we value at our organization.”  

Ulloa, 27 years-old, plays in a holding midfield position. He featured in 26 games for FC Cincinnati in 2019, starting 22, scoring one goal and contributing 2 assists. This will be his second expansion team adventure in as many years, as he joined Cincinnati for the club’s inaugural season after playing at FC Dallas for eight years.

Playing at the FC Dallas Academy, he was the first Homegrown Player in FC Dallas history, and the eighth in MLS to reach 100 appearances, on June 3, 2017. Ulloa also became the seventh Homegrown player in MLS to play 10,000 minutes in 2018.

He signed his first professional contract in 2010 and made his First Team debut for FC Dallas in October 2011. With FC Dallas, Ulloa made 173 appearances in all competitions, tallying six goals and seven assists from his midfield position. He helped guide the club to the 2016 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup title and the 2016 Supporters’ Shield.  

Ulloa’s versatility is one of his strengths. “I would say absolutely,” he added. “I can play in different systems. I’m a very tactical and smart, organized player and I like to have the ball at my feet. There’s always room for improvement. I would like to connect more passes forward and break lines and give the team more options going forward.”

As a holding midfielder, Ulloa acts as the anchor to the midfield, connecting it to the backline. He is adept at being able to break lines by executing swift passes to the forwards using his vision and passing accuracy.

Ulloa scores for FC Dallas in a 2016 game vs. Colorado. Video: Altitude Sports
Statistics: Transfermarkt.us

Since he was out of contract at Cincinnati, Inter will have to agree to terms with him on a new contract. From the Cincinnati perspective, they at least received assets for Ulloa, rather than nothing.

From Miami’s view, although Ulloa, as an out-of-contract player, would have been available in the Re-Entry Draft, getting him now leaves that re-entry pick open for the team to select someone else. Inter Miami thus acquired a starting midfielder for only $50,000 GAM, a third-round SuperDraft pick and also received a higher Re-Entry Draft spot. That’s a good deal. The Club also maintains control of its first, second and fourth round picks in the SuperDraft (as of November 11).

This signing was Inter Miami’s sixth player on its inaugural roster.