Two big MLS trades ship scoring firepower to FC Dallas

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Until this morning, you could track back through FC Dallas rosters of the last four seasons and count on one finger – yup, one bony ol’ finger – the number of genuine front-line strikers found hanging around the club in that time.

Now, FC Dallas Stadium is overflowing with them.

Almost too many, even!

The club wasted no time in turning a cool few million from last week’s Brek Shea transfer into talent flowing back into the FCD mix. Today the club announced trades that bring Kenny Cooper and Eric Hassli to Texas.

(Good details on the Eric Hassli trade are here; More on Cooper and the relevant data are here.)

In Dallas, they join Blas Perez, the one, actual top-flight striker to suit-up and boot-up for FC Dallas since – well, since Cooper left FC Dallas back in 2008 to try soccer overseas.

Hassli’s move to Dallas is all about Toronto clearing cap room. (We talked about that in yesterday’s post.) Dallas handed over a conditional second round pick in 2014, a pittance for a man who, just more than a year ago, stood as the DP centerpiece to Vancouver’s attack.

Cooper’s move is more difficult to untangle. As we pointed out a few days back, the list of 18-goal scorers in MLS over the last four years starts and stops at Cooper and Chris Wondolowski. Yes, some of Cooper’s success was about playing alongside Thierry Henry (pictured above, with Cooper), as brainy as he is talented. Still, 18 goals is 18 goals – a fact that seemed curiously lost on New York.

What the Red Bulls get in return is allocation money; FC Dallas has plenty at the moment thanks to the Shea transfer.

We’ll look more later at this trade from #RBNY’s side, at what manager Mike Petke might desire to round out his lineup. Presumably, someone whom Henry enjoys playing with a little more than he seemed to with Cooper.

U.S. Open Cup roundup: Poku lifts Miami; Red Bulls, Cincy win on PKs

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While MLS represents the majority of the remaining clubs in this year’s U.S. Open Cup, one side continues to defy the odds.

[ MORE: Minnesota United adds Hearts midfielder Sam Nicholson ]

Miami FC reached their first quarterfinal in club history after knocking off Atlanta United late on Wednesday, behind a goal and an assist from Kwadwo Poku. The victory for Miami sets up a date with FC Cincinnati — who pulled off an unbelievable shootout win against the Chicago Fire.

Meanwhile, the New York Red Bulls and New England Revolution both advanced on the night with wins over the Philadelphia Union and D.C. United, respectively. The Red Bulls and Revs will meet in the final eight as well.

Sporting KC kept its hope of hoisting a fourth U.S. Open Cup title alive on Wednesday with a 2-0 win over the Houston Dynamo. The 2015 winners will take on FC Dallas — who defeated the Colorado Rapids on Tuesday night.

Here are all the results from tonight’s Open Cup action.

Houston Dynamo 0-2 Sporting KC
New England Revolution 2-1 D.C. United
Miami FC 3-2 Atlanta United
New York Red Bulls 1-1 (5-3 on PKs) Philadelphia Union
FC Cincinnati 0-0 (3-1 on PKs) Chicago Fire
San Jose Earthquakes 2-1 Seattle Sounders
LA Galaxy 2-0 Sacramento Republic

Report: City Football Group set to expand outreach with Girona deal

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City Football Group appears on the verge of adding to its global outreach, and it’s next destination looks to be in Spain.

[ MORE: Are Southampton’s days of selling behind the club? ]

The group of investors, which are known for controlling Premier League side Manchester City, are reportedly nearing a deal to purchase a partial stake in Spanish club Girona — which is set to make its La Liga debut in 2017/18.

CFG is said to be gaining a near “50 percent” stake in the club, with the rest of the club owned by Media Base, a company owned by Pep Guardiola‘s brother, Pere.

Over recent years, CFG has vastly expanded its ownership outreach and currently has a stake in five clubs around the world, with Girona set to be the sixth.

MLS side New York City FC, Australian A-League side Melbourne City FC, Japan’s Yokohama F. Marinos and Club Atletico Torque in Uruguay are all part of the CFG enterprise, alongside Man City.

New York Red Bulls ink goalkeeper Luis Robles to new deal

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The “Iron Man” will keep up his amazing journey with the New York Red Bulls, after signing a new deal with the club on Wednesday.

[ MORE: Wesley Sneijder on verge of joining Los Angeles FC ]

Goalkeeper Luis Robles has extended his contract with the reigning Eastern Conference champions, as the American continues to raise his consecutive starts streak, which stands at 157.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed in the club’s release.

Robles joined the Red Bulls back in 2012 after playing in Germany, and the shot-stopper hasn’t missed a start ever since.

Report: Minnesota United adds Hearts midfielder Sam Nicholson

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Minnesota United has had its shares of ups and down in its debut MLS season, but the Loons are on the verge making an exciting young signing.

[ MORE: Wesley Sneijder closing in on Los Angeles FC move ]

ESPN FC is reporting that Minnesota will sign Hearts winger Sam Nicholson from the Scottish Premier League on a deal that makes him a Loon until 2019.

The young attacker is expected to join the MLS side when the summer transfer window opens on July 10.

Nicholson, 22, has played with the Edinburgh side since his youth days, and made his senior debut with the club in 2013. During his time at Hearts, Nicholson scored 16 goals in all competitions for the team.

Last season, Nicholson missed 16 matches due to a significant knee injury.

According to the report, Scottish sides Rangers and Aberdeen were also among those interested in acquiring Nicholson, while English Championship clubs Bristol City and Barnsley also reached out about the attacker.