MLS Decision Day 2019 – Here’s What Is At Stake

MIAMI, Fla. (October 5, 2019) —

The last day of the MLS season is upon us. It’s called “Decision Day.” For most fans of soccer around the world, that means a final chance for some clubs to survive relegation, or for a club to seal the championship. For MLS, which follows the model of North American sports leagues, the final round of the season is a chance for some clubs to secure a place in the postseason tournament, known as MLS Cup.

For this season, MLS made some changes which definitely gives more emphasis to the regular season and rewards teams for better performances. The post season was revised to a single elimination format which involves single games at the home of the higher seed, rather than two legs that flattened the odds. This means teams are vying to finish high enough in the table to secure a very important home matches in MLS Cup.

All games kickoff Sunday, October 6 at 4 p.m. EDT.

Fixtures For Round 34

What’s at Stake? Here are the main 2019 MLS Decision Day Storylines:

  • In the Eastern Conference, three teams – D.C. United (4th place / 49 points), New York Red Bulls (5th / 48 points) and Toronto FC (6th / 47 points) – will be playing for the final spot available to host a playoff game.
  • In the Western Conference, four teams – Portland Timbers (46 points), FC Dallas (45 points), San Jose Earthquakes (44) and Colorado Rapids (42 points) – are competing for two playoff spots.
  • The Seattle Sounders FC and Minnesota United are tied for second in the table on 53 points. They play each other in Seattle at CenturyLink Field; the winner secures the No. 2 spot in the Western Conference.
  • The Los Angeles Galaxy can assure themselves of having a home game in the playoffs with a win over Houston. Last year, Houston’s win at Carson cost the Galaxy a spot in the playoffs. Zlatan and company are hoping to set the record straight this time.
  • Chasing the Golden Boot Award: LAFC’s Carlos Vela is tied for MLS’s most goals in a season record, set last year by Atlanta’s Josef Martínez, at 31 goals. If Vela scores Sunday, he gets the record. Currently at 29 goals for the season, LA Galaxy’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic is chasing Vela for 2019 top scorer and the record.

Probing 2019 MLS Decision Day Questions:

Eastern Conference: Should Teams Watch out for the Revolution?

With the Eastern Conference qualifiers already set in stone, Atlanta versus New England looks to be the most interesting match of Round 34 on this side of the league.

Atlanta can lock up the number 2 seed in the East with a win against New England combined with a Philadelphia loss or draw.

Ironically, despite winning a lot of matches in their three-year history, the Five Stripes still have not won on decision day. In 2017, Atlanta drew 2-2 with Toronto FC at home. The following season, they were crushed 4-1 at BMO Field. On Sunday they’ll face a dangerous New England Revolution side that come into Mercedes-Benz Stadium on a high.

New England has been looking like a time on the rise under Bruce Arena, riding some serious momentum. New England clinched the seventh and final playoff spot in the east with a 2-0 win over top-seed New York City FC, a team that recently defeated Atlanta United 4-1 in the Bronx.

Toronto FC currently sit sixth in the table, just one point behind the Red Bulls from New Jersey.

Atlanta United has not done well versus the Reds, while the team from New Jersey has won in Atlanta before. It’s reason enough for Atlanta to want to avoid playing either of these sides right away in the first round of the playoffs.

New England comes into Atlanta with nothing to lose. They are in the playoffs, something that looked impossible until Arena took the helm. The pressure sits squarely on Atlanta United. This is Arena’s first visit to Atlanta with the Revolution. The way he sets up New England today could tell us how he may approach a potential playoff rematch. Expect New England to stay compact and look for the counterattack. Columbus Crew used this trategy in Atlanta on September 14th and came away with a win. Frank de Boer’s team failed to find the necessary attacking solutions, and were subsequently punished in transition. How will De Boer adjust? It should be a study in tactics.  

Western Conference: Can Los Angeles Football Club Finish With The Most Points In History?

LAFC has been the dominant team this season, with only a couple of blips on the radar. They will likely use the final game of the season to remain focused. As the top seed, after this game they will have a first-round bye that will give them two-and-a-half weeks’ rest. With a win, LAFC have a chance to finish with the most points in a single season. Will they do it?

Can Colorado actually sneak in to the playoffs?

The Rapids had been building up momentum for months. After starting the season 0-9-2, they rallied under interim coach Conor Casey toward something resembling respectability. Robin Fraser took over as the Colorado Rapid’s head coach in late August, with his only previous managerial gig having been with Club Deportivo Chivas USA.

“By the end of the first session, I thought that not only were they a good team, that they have a really good spirit, and a lot of belief in themselves,” Fraser said. “That’s when I felt like this could be a really fun project.”

Now, on the last round of the season the Rapids have a chance, though admittedly a slim one, of making the playoffs. Can they do it? To reiterate, despite having started the season winless through 11 games the Rapids are still alive heading into the final round.

If Colorado upsets LAFC — the best team in the league, already owning the Supporters’ Shield and with the top playoff seed already clinched — and Dallas loses to Kansas City and San Jose loses to Portland, the Rapids are in. Even if the ‘Quakes draw with the Timbers, Colorado can still qualify through tiebreakers if they win by two goals or more. This ‘perfect storm’ isn’t exactly likely. LAFC is the top team, Dallas is at home, and Kansas City is playing only for pride. But wouldn’t it be a great story of overcoming odds?

Colorado has been scoring goals. Kei Kamara and Diego Rubio are both in the double digits (13 and 11, respectively), while Andre Shinyashiki and Jonathan Lewis have come on stronger. Fraser wants to inject a possession style of play but joining so far into the season has made that difficult. Yet he’s optîistic.

“I really admire the character of the team. They care about each other, and I think you see that in how they play, adds Fraser.”

No matter what happens on Sunday, that’s something to build on and carry over. And if they can get into the playoffs they will definitely be a team to watch.

Which club, the Portland Timbers or San Jose Earthquakes, will stumble into the playoffs?

Their game at Providence Park in Portland is the only semi-do-or-die matchup on the schedule in Round 34. Despite going a combined 1-7-3 in September, at least one of them will drag themselves into the playoffs on Sunday afternoon. Portland has played its last three games to a draw. Portland can lose this game and still get into the postseason torunament if Dallas also loses. The Earthquakes, who need a win, won the first meeting between the teams, 3-0.

There is a sense that both teams might be approaching unhappy endings.

This could very well be Diego Valeri’s last game as a Timber. Negotiations over a new contract have not gone well, and the two sides have different demands. Valeri has been the face of the Timbers since his arrival in 2013. He’s gone above and beyond — not just on the pitch, but as an ambassador in the community as well. Yet neither side looks likely to budge at the moment. This might be it.

Moving past Valeri’s situation, the Timbers have had a strange and trying year, summed up by Brian Fernandez’s goal drought and red card that has him suspended for this all-important finale.

San Jose sits just below the playoff line on 44 points. But if you had offered them this position at the beginning of the season — win one, final game and you’re in — surely they would have taken it. The club has done much better under head coach Matías Almeyda in his first year with the team, who has imparted an exciting style of play.

San Jose has slumped late, however. They have lost eight out of 10 since early August. Either opponents have figured them out or Almeyda’s physically demanding high press has ground them down. There are also rumours out of Mexico that Club de Fútbol Monterey are looking for a new manager, and, you guessed it, his name is Matías Almeyda.

Almeyda is a bigger name that most people realise, having been successful in his native Argentina and leading Chivas Guadalajara to the CONCACAF Champions League title just last year Earlier this week, he admitted that links with Monterrey and a return to Liga MX made him “happy.” How quickly the sand can shift in the world of soccer.

Is Seattle or Minnesota a real contender?

The victor of the Sounders-Loons game at CenturyLink Field in Seattle will lock up the No. 2 seed in the west, and home-field advantage all the way to the conference final. However, If Real Salt Lake wins in Vancouver and the LA Galaxy win in Houston, whichever side loses the match at CenturyLink Field would drop to fifth.

Seattle seems to feel rightly disappointed by this year’s performance: “I think anytime we don’t compete for the Supporters’ Shield, with the talent that we have, is a fail,” midfielder Cristian Roldan said this week.

“Maybe it’s more of a redemption-type game for us,” goalkeeper Stefan Frei said. “We’ve had so many opportunities to make a statement game, and we’ve squandered quite a few of them. … We’ve been very, very fortunate. Let’s be honest. I think our season has been not the best. It was nice to finally start on top, but the remainder of the year has been a struggle. At some point, we have to make that statement.”

Minnesota has qualified for the playoffs for the first time. Their highlight moment of the season was a 2-0 away win at LAFC, which is also LAFC’s only loss since El Tráfico on July 19th. Carlos Vela was absent that match. But with the MVP favourite reinstated last weekend at Allianz Field, Minnesota still ground out a 1-1 draw. The Loons formula against Los Angeles was to stay compact, give LAFC possession in less dangerous areas, and have a ruthless mentality on the counter.

The Loons are playing with confidence, no matter the opponent.

Who Will Win The Golden Boot?

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is second in the goal-scoring race with 29 goals. In fron is Carlos Vela of LAFC, who has 31 goals, a mark which places him in a tie with Atlanta United Josef Martínez for the most goals in a single MLS season. Zlatan had this to say:

“I am trying to score goals every game, that is part of my responsibility, part of what I have to do to help my teammates,” I have 29 goals in 28 games. If I would have the same amount [of] games like the other ones, it would be different. But now I’m chasing someone that has more games than me. If we score we score, we’ll have to see what the end number will be. If there still is a possibility, we’ll try.”

Still, the LA Galaxy star insists the ultimate aim is to achieve team glory.

“I prefer the collective win, when we win that game, that is more important,” he said. “With the collective success the individual success comes with it. If I can do good for my team, with my team, I know I’m doing good. I’m not focusing on the individual bonuses, I always say it’s like a bonus. Without my teammates those things would not be possible. If I win, it’s my team that wins. Whoever wins the Golden Boot has to think it’s not because of him, it’s because of his teammates.”


Credit to The Athletic for providing inspiration and perspective.

L’Impact de Montréal Couronnée Champion Du Canada 2019 | Montreal Impact Crowned 2019 Champions of Canada

Les Montréalais remporte la Coupe des Voyageurs et Qualifie Pour La Ligue Des Champions de la Concacaf.

Montreal Brings Home The Voyageurs Cup; Earns Spot In Concacaf Champions League. Note: English language content below.

TORONTO, Ont., Canada (September 26, 2019) —

Le Bleu-blanc-noir a mis la main sur la 10è coupe des Voyageurs de son histoire après une séance de tirs au but lors du match retour de la finale du Championnat canadien hier soir au BMO Field à Toronto.

« Ça fait beaucoup de temps que j’attends ça, de prendre un trophée dans mes mains. »

Ignacio Piatti

«Ça fait beaucoup de temps que j’attends ça, de prendre un trophée dans mes mains, s’est exclamé Ignacio Piatti en français, prenant le temps de remercier aussi l’ancien entraîneur de l’équipe et ses adjoints. Aujourd’hui, c’est magnifique d’avoir gagné. C’est une victoire d’équipe. »

Lors du match aller, au Stade Saputo de Montréal, l’Impact s’était forgé une avance de 1-0 au cumulatif des buts, grâce à une superbe frappe de Piatti.

La formation montréalaise était privée des services du milieu de terrain Saphir Taïder, qui a reçu une suspension d’un match en raison d’une accumulation de cartons jaunes.

Tsubasa Endoh a encaissé un but à la 70e minute pour les Reds. Malgré des opportunités les montréalais n’ont pas réussi à finir le match en temps régulier.

Aux tirs de but, Bojan Krkic, Daniel Lovitz et Rudy Camacho ont réussi à déjouer Alex Bono à trois reprises pour permettre à l’Impact de s’imposer 3-1.

Toronto avait dominé, mais le vent a tourné en faveur du Bleu-blanc-noir à la 84e minute, lorsque Chris Mavinga a écopé d’un carton rouge pour avoir fauché Lassi Lappalainen devant la demi-lune de la surface de réparation. Toronto évoluait à 10 joueurs.

Le onze montréalais a tenté de fermer les livres à la 90e minute. Une frappe de Piatti a toutefois percuté la barre horizontale, forçant la tenue d’une séance de tir de barrage.

Grâce à cette victoire, le Bleu-blanc-noir participera à la 12e représentation de la Ligue des Champions de la CONCACAF, qui s’amorcera en février 2020.

« C’est une grosse victoire. Particulièrement cette année, avec plus d’équipes en lice, la compétition est plus sérieuse. Ça prouve que le soccer est en ascension ici. De pouvoir représenter Montréal, le Québec et le Canada évidemment, c’est spécial, c’est certain », a déclaré Samuel Piette.

« Ils ont mis les efforts nécessaires et ont fait ce qu’ils avaient à faire sur le terrain. Et ils le méritent, a déclaré l’entraîneur-chef de l’Impact, Wilmer Cabrera. Pour les partisans, pour la ville de Montréal et pour ce club. »

L’Impact tentait de mettre la main sur la coupe des Voyageurs pour une première fois depuis 2014, tandis que le Toronto F. C. visait un quatrième titre canadien consécutif.

C’était la dixième fois que Montréal remportait la Coupe des Voyageurs et la première depuis 2014. Avec cet victoire, L’Impact s’est qualifiée pour la Ligue des Champions de la Concacaf 2020 qui commencera en février 2020. Montréal rejoindra les équipes déjà qualifié au tournoi: UANL, Cruz Azul, Leon et Club America (Mexique), Portmore United (Jamaïque), et Atlanta United et Los Angeles Football Club (MLS).

Plus des renseignements sur le championnat canadien


Highlights Courtesy of One Soccer

The Montrealers Take Home The Voyageurs Cup


Montreal Impact defeated Toronto Football Club 3-1 on penalty kicks at BMO Field last evening to win the 2019 Canadian Championship. Toronto’s 1-0 victory on the night meant that the two-game aggregate score was tied at 1-1. Per competition format, the match went straight to penalties.

Absent from the match was Impact midfielder Saphir Taider, who was out due to card accumulation.

The Impact posted a 1-0 win in the opener of the home-and-away series last week at the Stade Saputo thanks to a goal by Ignacio Piatti. He nearly gave Montreal the win late in the second half but his shot hit the crossbar (see video clip above).

Montreal would have surely taken the lead in the 65th minute but for a blatant handball that was missed by the match officials. Despite the protests of the Impact players, VAR is not part of the Canadian Championship competition rules.

Tsubasa Endoh scored Toronto’s goal in the 70th minute. The Reds Chris Mavinga was given a red card in the 85th minute for taking down Lassi Lappalainen just outside the box.

Montreal carried its late momentum into the penalty-kicks session, scoring on all three opportunities. Rudy Camacho, Bojan and Daniel Lovitz converted from the spot for Montreal. Alejandro Pozuelo scored on Toronto’s first attempt but Jozy Altidore hit the crossbar and Patrick Mullins had his shot saved by goalkeeper Clement Diop.

Jonathan Osorio hit the post with Toronto’s fourth attempt, sealing the result.

“We became stronger and our stronger and our confidence grew,” said Impact coach Wilmer Cabrera.

It was the tenth time that Montreal has won the Voyageurs Cup and its first domestic title since 2014.

The Impact thus earn a berth in the 2020 Concacaf Champions League with the victory. Montreal will join UANL, Cruz Azul, Leon and Club America from Mexico in the 2020 CONCACAF Champions League, which begins in February 2020. Other qualified teams include Jamaica’s Portmore United and MLS sides Atlanta United and Los Angeles Football Club.

Starting Lineups

After the match and the on field celebrations, the team went to the locker room, where a celebration with Montreal Impact President Kevin Gilmore broke out.

Gallery (Images: Canadian Press and Montreal Impact)

More information on the 2019 Canadian Championship

Relive Igancio Piatti’s goal from the first leg of the championship in Montreal:

MLS: 2019 Secondary Transfer Window Updates, Part 2

Miami, Fla. (Thursday, July 11, 2019) –

Transfers, Transactions, and Reports for the second day of the MLS Secondary Transfer Window:

Toronto Football Club

Toronto FC has been active in preparing for MLS’ Secondary Transfer Window by announcing the signing of Zamora F.C. (Venezuela Primera División) winger Erickson Gallardo, via the use of Targeted Allocation Money. Gallardo, 22, will be eligible to play this weekend as the Reds take on the Impact de Montréal at Stade Saputo, a/k/a “Le Classique Canadien” for those in Québec, subject to receipt of his International Transfer Certificate (“ITC”).

After making his debut in 2014, Gallardo has made 116 combined appearances for Zamora F.C. In the past three seasons, he made a total of 91 appearances (64 starts) and recorded 10 goals and 19 assists. Gallardo was part of Zamora’s last three league championships in 2015, 2016 and 2018. In the second leg of the 2018 Apertura Final, he scored the winning goal.

“Erickson is a talented attacking player that will improve our team. He has good character and is excited to earn the respect of his teammates, meet our great fans, and he and his wife are looking forward to settling into the City of Toronto,” TFC General Manager Ali Curtis said. “He has speed, can shift directions quickly and can open up the game for himself and others. Mid-season can sometimes be challenging to step into a new team, particularly for young, international players. With that said, we’re excited to get him going because we believe he can make an impact now, and in the future.”

He won his only senior cap with the Venezuela National Team in a June friendly draw against Ecuador.

Back on June 3, TFC made another key move by also acquiring U.S. International defender Omar Gonzalez on a transfer from Atlas Fútbol Club (Guadalajara) of Liga MX.

Toronto used its first-place position in the allocation ranking to sign Gonzalez using TAM (Targeted Allocation Money), subject to Gonzalez passing a medical exam, as well as the receipt of his ITC. He will then be eligible for the roster on July 9 when the transfer window re-opens.

Gonzalez, 30, was in his first season with Atlas, having made 36 appearances with two goals since joining the squad in July 2018.

“Adding Omar will improve our team. He is a great competitor that will approach every training session and match with a high level of intensity. He’ll also be able to add a greater presence in the air for us, both offensively and defensively. And, while he has won numerous trophies during his career on the club and international level, he is hungry to be part of championship team in Toronto,” said Toronto FC General Manager Ali Curtis. “We were looking for a very specific profile of player. Omar’s a good guy. He will fit in well with the group, and he will be a welcome addition to the locker room and daily environment.”

Gonzalez began his professional career after being selected third overall by LA Galaxy in the 2009 MLS SuperDraft. In seven seasons with the Galaxy, Gonzalez made 223 combined appearances (MLS, MLS Cup Playoffs, U.S. Open Cup, Concacaf Champions League) with 17 goals and 13 assists. With the Galaxy, he won three MLS Cups (2011, 2012, 2014), two MLS Supporters’ Shields (2010, 2011), was named to the MLS Best XI four times (2010, 2011, 2013, 2014) along with MLS Defender of the Year (2011) and MLS Rookie of the Year (2009).

In December 2015, Gonzalez was sold and signed with C.F. Pachuca (Pachuca) of Liga MX. While with Pachuca, he made 87 combined appearances with three goals and four assists. Gonzalez won three trophies with Pachuca including, the Clausura Liga MX championship (2016), 2016 Liga MX championship and the 2016-17 Concacaf Champions League.

Gonzalez has earned 49 caps for the U.S. Men’s National team. He was part of the U.S. 2013 and 2017 Concacaf Gold Cup winning sides; and the roster for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. His most recent cap came on March 27, 2019 in a 1-1 friendly match against Chile. Gonzalez was recently on the U.S. squad for the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup.

“Greg gave me a clear picture of what the team is like, where he sees the team going and where I can fit into that picture. He sold me on coming here,” said Gonzalez. “Wherever you want me to play, I’ll do it. I’ll play my role; team comes first. On the left, on the right, it doesn’t matter. I’ve got to step up; do what I’ve got to do to help the team get wins.”

The addition of Gallardo, as well as defender Omar Gonzalez (who signed with TFC on June 3), gives Manager Greg Vanney the type of players that were much-needed – a pure winger and a big defender.

New England Revolution

Longtime dormant in the transfer marketplace, the decision to hire Bruce Arena as the sporting director and head coach in May came with it a pledge that he would have the latitude to invest in the roster. A veteran coach of Arena’s caliber would certainly not be interested in taking the job and continuing the club’s low-budget, penny-pinching (aka cheap) mentality.

That pledge turned into reality Wednesday, as the Revs announced the signing of Gustavo Bou as a Designated Player from Club Tijuana of Liga MX. It is reported that New England has paid a club-record transfer fee ($6-7 million USD) to acquire the Argentine striker.

The forward, who is nicknamed ‘La Pantera’, was the most expensive signing in the ten-year history of the Xolos. His professional career spans 12 seasons in the first divisions of Argentina, Ecuador and Mexico. He has scored 85 goals with River Plate, Olimpo de Bahía Blanca, Liga de Quito, Gimnasia de La Plata, Racing Club y Xolos de Tijuana.

“He’s an experienced player,” said Arena. “He’s going to help generate attacking chances for us – whether that’s scoring goals or setting goals up or moving in the right spots to help others. He’s a player with a lot of experience, a lot of quality, and a real good track record.”

Bou, 29 years old, brings knowledge and vast on-field experience to the Revolution squad. His reputation is that of a creative player who has demonstrated an ability to play across the attacking front four, but who is most comfortable on the left wing. “In a pinch he can play the number nine position – which he’s really not natural – and he can play the 10, he can play the seven, the 11,” said Arena. “He can play a bunch of spots. Positions close to goal is where he needs to play.”

Bou has been in form recently, with seven goals and two assists in his final six games with Tijuana, and has scored at least once in all six of those contests. He ranked in the top five league-wide in both goals (10) and assists (five) in Liga MX’s 2019 Torneo Clausura.

Bou will be available for the Revolution pending completion of his medical exam, and receipt of a P-1 Visa and his ITC.

Related: El delantero argentino Gustavo Bou dejó al Xolos de México y jugará en la MLS

Atlanta United FC

Atlanta United made their sixth Homegrown Signing in club history on Tuesday, announcing that 18-year-old defender George Campbell has been signed to a homegrown contract, effective January 1, 2020. Born in Chester, PA, Campbell joined the Atlanta United academy in 2016-17.

“George has shown remarkable progress at each step in his development and he’s earned a professional contract with our club,” Atlanta United Vice President and Technical Director Carlos Bocanegra said. “As a member of our inaugural Academy teams in 2016, he’s worked hard to utilize the club’s pathway to the professional level, highlighted by his form in USL this season – most of which came before his 18th birthday.”

He’s spent a majority of the 2019 season with USL affiliate Atlanta United II, where he has 11 appearances. Campbell was named Man of the Match on his professional debut back in March, and has been one of the team’s top performers defensively.


Rumoured Transfers:

Sporting Kansas City

Report: Sporting KC linked with Portuguese wing back Luis Martins

Sporting KC is hoping to make a few moves during the secondary transfer window and reportedly has been linked in serious discussions with one player so far.

According to the Kansas City Star, SKC is interested in Portuguese left back Luis Martins..

Martins was most recently with Portuguese side Chaves, where he joined in 2018. Chaves struggled in Liga NOS (Primeira Liga), Portugal’s top division, finishing in 16th place on 32 points and were relegated to the second division. Martins played in 15 of Chaves’ 34 league games, scoring one goal and playing another six games in Taça do Portugal competitions for Chaves this year. With their relegation this year, Martins and Chaves mutually agreed to terminate his contract with the club, effective June 30, 2019, which makes Martins available for Kansas City to sign on a free transfer.

Martin has also spent time with Benfica and Gil Vicente in Portugal and Spanish side Granada CF while appearing for Osasuna and Maritimo on-loans.

His arrival to SKC would give Peter Vermes another option in defense as the team is without several players due to injury. The club is recently coming off a 1-0 win over the Chicago Fire on Saturday.

In order to sign Martins, Sporting Kansas City would need to acquire an international roster spot, which they can do via a trade with another MLS club.

Club Internacional de Fútbol Miami

It was previously reported here that Inter Miami CF have been linked with two Argentine players, Julián Carranza and Matías Pellegrini, and that deals to transfer these two players have been reached. While there is no word from Inter yet, based on what has been said about the timing of the first player announcement, we should hear something during this secondary transfer window.

Any players who are transferring to Miami during this window would likely be loaned out until the end of the year. (If the reports about Carranza and Pellegrini are correct, those players could be loaned back to their clubs in Argentina or elsewhere for the fall. As an aside, the Superliga Argentina will have a new format for 2019-20 , with 24 teams playing a 23-week season starting in July 2019 and ending in December. The second half of the year, January to May, will be set aside for the Copa de la Superliga.

“We’ll definitely have players signed by the summer,” Sporting Director Paul McDonough said, without getting into further details or a more specific timeline for their first player. “I want to make it a surprise.”


Outbound Transfer

Los Angeles Football Club

Defender Niko Hämäläinen returns to Queens Park Rangers

Finnish-American fullback Niko Hämäläinen has left Los Angeles Football Club due to the conclusion of his loan with the MLS club.

Hämäläinen was loaned by the London-based English Championship (2nd Division) club in February 2019 on a six month term. His loan was not extended by LAFC. During his time in the City of the Angels, the 22-year-old made three appearances, including one start.

“We would like to thank Niko for his contributions to our Club during the first half of the season, and wish him great success moving forward,” said EVP & General Manager John Thorrington.

A former member of the FC Dallas academy, Hämäläinen joined Queens Park back in 2014 but has only made three league appearances for the club to date. QPR had also previously loaned Hämäläinen to Dagenham & Redbridge on a short-term loan in 2015..

Bienvenidos al ‘Show’ de Pozuelo

Toronto Football Club adquirió a Pozuelo, quien tuve un partido espectacular en su debut.

La llegada a Toronto fue complicado.

Han sido unos meses complicados para Alejandro Pozuelo, quien decidió concluir su aventura en el Genk belga, y finalmente llegó oficialmente a Toronto FC recientemente.

Ahora con el club canadiense, antés de su debut ante NYCFC, solo esperaba poder hacer su debut junto a sus nuevos compañeros el viernes. Dijó, “Puedo estar listo para el viernes, si el entrenador quiere”, Pozuelo le dijo a la página oficial del club.

First Press Conference of Alejandro Pozuelo at Toronto.

Todos esperaban que Alejandro hagaría su debut ante los neoyorquinos y club tienía “confianza que Pozuelo está en un estado físico apropiado para jugar sin ninguna limitación”. Hablando de la vida en Toronto Pozuelo dijo, estoy muy encantado en estos primeros días. “Estoy muy feliz”.


“Toronto es la mejor opción para mi. “He estado aquí apenas unos días, pero la gente en la ciudad y en el club son familia. Es como en España, la gente es interesante.”

Alejandro Pozuelo, Toronto FC

“Mi esposa y mis hijos son lo más importante en mi vida”, añadió Pozuelo. “Me dan soporte cuando las cosas no van bien. Si mi esposa e hijos están felices, yo también lo estoy, y esta es la mejor ciudad para ellos”.

Anticipación Antes Su Primer Partido.

En el campo, Pozuelo no pudo esperar para ver acción. Estaba ansioso y hambriento por conseguir puntos, y ayudar a los Escarlatas a llegar a las alturas alcanzadas en 2017 cuando ganaron el histórico triplete.

“Una cosa importante para que yo llegara aquí, es que quieren ganar”, dijo Pozuelo. “Es importante. Tenemos que ganar, necesitamos jugar bien. El club tiene una muy buena filosofía”.

Partidazo En Su Debut

No pudo estar mejor en el día en el que se puso por primera vez la camiseta del Toronto en el terreno de juego.

Fue titular y, a los 29 minutos, ya demostró por qué lo habían fichado. Una gran asistencia para que Altidore inaugurar el marcador. Pura magia del ex del Betis.

Pero su actuación se iba a endulzar todavía más en la segunda mitad. Ha sido el último en llegar y ya fue el designado para lanzar el penalti que supuso el 2-0. Lejos de ponerse nervioso, el andaluz decidió lanzar ‘a lo Panenka’ para deleite de su afición.

No terminaría allí. El ‘show’ de Pozuelo no podría terminar de otra manera que de una manera grande. Recibió el balón en el borde del área y, cuando todos esperaban un disparo fuerte, decidió morder el balón al portero con un lóbulo casi perfecto. Como si se tratara de una pena máxima ‘a la panenka’.

Una actuación estelar en su estreno en la MLS. Pura magia que ya demostró durante su etapa en la Liga Española, en el Real Betis, donde dio sus primeros pasos como profesional.

Pozuelo had a sensational start to his Toronto career.