The P-1 visa is still on its way, but confident that obstacle is perfunctory, Real Salt Lake has announced the signing of Argentina forward Sebastián Jaime. Terms of the deal were (of course) undisclosed, but as General Manager Garth Lagerwey confessed in the club’s statement, the former Union Española’s acquisition will provide some needed help in the absence of RSL’s first choice number nine.
“When we lost Alvaro Saborio for a long period of time we knew we had to consider all our attacking options,” said Lagerwey, whose team was dealt a blow when the Costa Rican international broke a metatarsal while preparing for the World Cup. “We had scouted Sebastian Jaime going back to 2012 and decided now was the right time to bring him in.”
News of the deal started to leak out earlier this week, with Chilean outlets reporting the 27-year-old had ceased training with Union. After helping the club to two trophies last season, Jaime had parlayed his 44 Primera División goals into a move north.
“We are excited to add a versatile player like Jaime who can comfortably play in either forward role in our system,” Lagerwey said, describing a player that sounds a little like another Argentine that used to inhabit Rio Tinto: Fabián Espíndola.
If Jeff Cassar can get Espíndola’s production out of Jaime, Real Salt Lake will have their bridge between now and Saborío’s late-season return. Even if Jaime takes some time to settle, RSL’s new attacker joins Robbie Findley, Olmes Garcia, João Plata, and Devon Sandoval to augment what was already enviable depth at the position.
Sporting Kansas City could be adding some European flair to its midfield this offseason.
According to multiple reports, the MLS club is in negotiations to sign French midfielder Yohan Croizet, who currently plays for Belgian first division side KV Mechelen. Croizet, who reportedly cost Mechelen a transfer fee worth more than $1 million, has started all 15 games he’s played for his side this season but has been substituted off on seven occasions and Mechelen are currently struggling in the league, sitting in 13th place with 18 points from 18 games.
Croizet hasn’t played since November 17, and appears on his way out.
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Sporting Kansas City coach Peter Vermes, a Hungarian-American, is no stranger to the European market and has brought over plenty of diamonds in the rough from Europe to star with Sporting KC. Some previous examples, though in different positions from Croizet, include current winger Gerso, Krisztián Németh, Uri Rosell, and Aurelien Collin.
It will be interesting to see where Croizet plays in the Sporting KC side should it sign him, and how he works with Benny Feilhaber, who is turning 33-years old in January.
Arsenal will face a team with an English connection in the UEFA Europa League Round of 32.
The Gunners were paired with Swedish side Ostersunds in the Europa League knockout stage draw Monday, with matches set to be played on February 15 and February 22. Ostersund are managed by Englishman Graham Potter, who played in the Championship and lower in England before starting his managerial career with Ostersunds in 2010 in the fourth tier of Swedish soccer.
[READ: UCL draw+analysis]
Ostersunds surprised many earlier this year winning the Swedish Cup to qualify for the Europa League, and then advanced out of a group that included Hertha Berlin and Athletic Bilbao.
It represents an interesting draw for Arsenal, which will have to balance the squad during a tough February. The weekend prior to the first-leg match is the second leg of the North London derby against Tottenham, and following the second match with Ostersunds is a showdown with Manchester City.
Here’s a look at how the rest of the draw shook out:
The Round of 16 draw for the UEFA Champions League did not disappoint.
[ MORE: Champions League schedule ]
We have some monster clashes with Chelsea facing Barcelona, once again, and the reigning champs Real Madrid paired with the favorites Paris Saint-Germain.
With five Premier League teams remaining, Tottenham have been handed a tough draw against Italian champions Juventus who were also runners up in the UCL last season, while Manchester City, Manchester United and Liverpool will all be rather happy with their draws.
United have been drawn against Spanish side Sevilla, Liverpool will face FC Porto and Man City clash with Basel.
Below is the draw in full, while UEFA has also released the schedule for the games with Man City, Spurs, Liverpool and Man United all playing their second legs at home.
The 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup saw a lot of young faces in competition, and one name that really seemed to stick came from Canada’s national team.
[ MORE: Five players LA FC should consider selecting in MLS Expansion Draft ]
Vancouver Whitecaps attacker Alphonso Davies has been doing it for both club and country since making his Major League Soccer debut in 2016, and now the young Canada international could be making a massive leap.
According to CTV Edmonton, the 17-year-old has been contacted by Premier League side Manchester United for a trial in January.
Davies would need clearance from the Whitecaps to join the Red Devils to train, however, with it being MLS’ offseason it’s hard to imagine the Cascadia club not allowing the former Edmonton Strikers player to seize the opportunity.
In 2017, Davies appeared in 26 matches for the Whitecaps and registered one assist for Carl Robinson’s side.
Davies has already become a regular with the Canada national team, after previously receiving call ups from the Under-15, U-18 and U-20 teams.