The 39-times capped Mexico veteran has inked a deal with the Vancouver Whitecaps, joining a strengthened unit which came within a point of winning the West last season.
Juarez, 29, was unveiled as a midfielder by the ‘Caps, though he’s primarily played right back in his club career. He’s played at Celtic, Real Zaragoza, Club America, Monterrey, and Pumas.
Last capped by El Tri in 2012, Juarez has played every position except goal, center attacking mid, and center forward in his career (picture a ‘U’ on the pitch).
“I’m so happy and excited for this new stage in my career,” Juarez said. “It’s an opportunity for me to keep growing in a new league and to be a part of an amazing club in Vancouver. From the moment they showed interest me, Carl Robinson and the Whitecaps staff have made me feel very important. I promise to put all my effort into this club and do my best to help us achieve our goals.”
An MLS mock draft is always tricky given the wildly varying opinions on players from the college game. This year, it’s even trickier as clubs without picks and some with multiple first round picks may be looking to move up and down even more than the norm.
Here’s how we think the draft could play out:
LAFC – Tomas Hilliard-Arce, CB, Stanford
LA Galaxy – Jon Bakero, FW, Wake Forest
DC United – Francis Atuahene, FW, Michigan
Montreal – Joao Moutinho, LB, Akron
Minnesota – Wyatt Omsberg, CB, Dartmouth
Orlando City – Ema Twumasi, FW, Wake Forest
Montreal – Chris Mueller, FW, Wisconsin
New England – Mo Adams, MF, Syracuse
New England – Chris Lema, MF, Georgetown
Real Salt Lake – Justin Fiddes, LB, Washington
FC Dallas – Marcelo Acuna, FW, Virginia Tech
San Jose – Brandon Bye, RB, Western Michigan
Sporting KC – Ed Opoku, FW, Virginia
Atlanta – Alex Roldan, MF, Seattle
Chicago – Mason Toye, FW, Indiana
New York Red Bulls – Alan Winn, MF, North Carolina
Vancouver – Tristan Blackmon, RB, Pacific
Sporting KC – Jon Gallagher, FW, Notre Dame
New York City FC – Daniel Musovski, FW, UNLV
Houston – Mo Thiaw, FW, Louisville
Columbus – Brian White, FW, Duke
Seattle – Tim Kubel, MF, Louisville
Toronto FC – Oliver Shannon, MF, Clemson
There are a few players to keep an eye on for the later rounds that I won’t project for the first round due almost exclusively to first person bias (Some I’ve seen play in college, others at other levels). Afonso Pinheiro from Albany produced like crazy until this season, and Bowling Green defender Alexis Souahy has a skill set that could really transmit to the MLS level.
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) The Portland Timbers have acquired winger Andy Polo on loan from Liga MX club Monarcas Morelia for the upcoming season.
The 23-year-old native of Peru played in 25 matches last year for Morelia and made six starts with two goals.
He’s also World Cup-bound, having appeared in Peru’s two-legged playoff against New Zealand in November. Peru won 2-0 on aggregate. Overall, he’s appeared with the Peruvian national team 15 times since his senior debut in 2016.
“Andy is a versatile, young player who will add another element to our attack, and we believe that he has further upside to his development,” Timbers coach Giovanni Savarese said in a statement.
The Timbers used targeted allocation money and have a purchase option. Polo’s arrival is pending a physical and receipt of a visa.
He will occupy an international roster spot.
Montreal to nab Algerian DP Taider from Bologna
Photo by Mario Carlini / Iguana Press/Getty Images
Tutto Bologna reports that Algerian playmaker Saphir Taider, 25, is set to sign with the Impact on a contract through 2020.
On loan to Montreal last season, Dzemaili went back to Bologna. Taider is coming back the other way and will reportedly be a Designated Player.
Taider isn’t as consistent a player as Dzemaili, but presents a skill set that should be a massive problem for MLS midfields.
He has 42 caps with five goals for Algeria, and was once property of Juventus. He spent parts of four seasons at Inter Milan, with loan stints back to Bologna, at Sassuolo, and a unremarkable time at Southampton.
Atlanta United Picks: 14, 36
Needs: They’ve signed a number of defenders this offseason, but wouldn’t be surprised to see them take someone to do the dirty work — at back or center defensive mid.
Chicago Fire Picks: 15, 38
Needs: A youngster behind Bastian Schweinsteiger and Dax McCarty in the center of the park. Maybe Joao Moutinho from Akron, though he shouldn’t drop this far.
Colorado Picks: 25, 27
Needs: Attacker — The club has a number of good defenders and new coach Anthony Hudson has brought a few in, too. Forward or attack-minded midfielder seems the player here.
Columbus Picks: 21, 32, 44 Needs: Attacking talent — Justin Meram wants out, Federico Higuain is quite the veteran, and Ola Kamara may be wanted by La Liga clubs. Trading up may be the call.
DC United Picks: 3
Needs: FW, CAM — An electric attacker is atop DC’s wish list, and there are a few in this draft, but DC will also like the idea of trading down to scoop a couple picks. Thought of them when I saw this Tweet;
Source: New England Revolution trying to move up to a top spot in the draft. Big fan of defender Joao Mutinho. Could they trade their #8 and #9 picks?
FC Dallas Picks: 11, 29, 34
Needs: Anywhere — FCD’s academy has been so productive that the club can take massive home run swings and be happy just hitting on one.
Houston Dynamo Picks: 20, 43
Needs: Defender — There’s an outside shot for a midfielder or goalkeeper here, but with Erick Torres, Romell Quioto, and Alberth Elis, it’s fair to assume attacker isn’t the desired outcome.
LAFC Picks: 1, 24 Needs: Everywhere (It’s their first year, after all). Selecting first overall, LA would do well do deal for more picks, though it’s probably hard for Bob Bradley to overlook center back Tomas Hilliard-Arce of Stanford as a center back for a decade.
LA Galaxy Picks: 2, 40
Needs: CB, ST –An out-and-out big body center forward is a good idea, especially with no guarantees that Gyasi Zardes comes back from the form wilderness.
Minnesota United Picks: 5, 28, 41
Needs: Center back, full back, defensive mid — The Loons are pretty set at forward and playmaking midfielder, and have Alex Kapp as a young backup to Bobby Shuttleworth between the sticks. Anywhere else is possible.
Would love to land: Joao Moutinho, Akron
Montreal Impact Picks: 4, 7, 37
Needs: Expect the Impact to take a swing at an attacker with one of their first two picks, and go best available player with the other.
New England Revolution Picks: 8, 9
Needs: Center midfield — Whether a box-to-box CDM or an heir to Lee Nguyen, New England needs presence in the middle of the park.
New York City FC Picks: 19, 42
Needs: Defender — Finding functional, U.S. born backs is always a good idea. When your parent club keeps finding you legitimate elite attacking prospects, there’s every reason to choose backs.
New York Red Bulls Picks: 16, 31, 39
Needs: Forward — RBNY has produced Homegrown talent everywhere, but it’d be interesting to see them find someone to develop behind Bradley Wright-Phillips.
Orlando City Picks: 6
Needs: Anywhere but midfield — With Sacha Kljestan, Josue Coleman, Yoshimar Yotun, and a number of X-factors, it seems more likely Orlando looks to find a defender or forward.
Philadelphia Union Picks: None
Needs: Assuming they find some picks, defenders and a developmental center forward could be the play.
Portland Timbers Picks: None
Needs: Could go anywhere given the shift in manager, but a winger seems possible.
Real Salt Lake Picks: 10, 33
Needs: Center midfield, goalkeeper — An heir apparent to Kyle Beckerman and Nick RImando seems appropriate here.
San Jose Earthquakes Picks: 12, 30, 35
Needs: Who knows who Mikael Stahre wants, and really the Quakes seem halfway decent all over the park. A young, shifty forward would be the play if available.
Seattle Sounders Picks: 22, 45
Needs: Forward — Don’t really need anyone, but Clint Dempsey‘s getting a bit older. Jordan Morris isn’t and Will Bruin’s here, too, so any position is possible.
Sporting KC Picks: 13, 18
Needs: Like TFC and Vancouver below, KC can take the best players available.
Toronto FC Picks: 23, 46
Needs: Maybe wingback depth or a Michael Bradley or Jozy Altidore understudy? Best available player is the call here.
Vancouver Whitecaps Picks: 17, 26
Needs: Another team that can go best available player, though wide midfielders or backs seem a decent shout.