Minnesota United

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Report: Simon Dawkins making move to Minnesota

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The Loons are taking a flier on Simon Dawkins.

The London-born Jamaican international hasn’t done a ton since returning to MLS from Derby County, and turned 30 over the offseason, and Paul Tenorio says the player is on his way to Minnesota United.

[ MORE: Chelsea-Barca recap | JPW’s 3 things ]

Dawkins scored 14 goals between 2011-12 with San Jose, but scored just five times in his return to California and was blanked in 14 appearances last season. He registered just 10 shots in those matches.

The left winger would join an attack with Christian Ramirez, Kevin Molino, Ethan Finlay, and a pair of Generations Adidas forwards: Abu Danladi (2017 SuperDraft) and Mason Toye (2018).

MLS Reports: Red Bulls on verge of Argentine signing, and more

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The New York Red Bulls are in the market for a new playmaker, and it appears they’ve found from South America.

The Red Bulls are on the verge of signing Alejandro “El Kaku” Romero Gamarra, a 22-year-old attacking midfielder for Argentine side Huracan, for a $7 million transfer fee according to a report from TYC. The Argentine native played three times for the Argentina Under-20 Men’s National Team at the 2015 Under-20 World Cup and has played in Huracan’s first team since 2013.

All that’s remaining is for El Kaku to sign personal terms with the Red Bulls. The Red Bulls reportedly beat out Cruz Azul for the transfer of the Romero.

[ MORE: MLS stats

If Romero signs for the Red Bulls, he’d replace Sacha Kljestan and countryman Gonzalo Veron, who was selected by D.C. United in the MLS Re-Entry Draft this week, and be following in the footsteps of MLS MVP and fellow Buenos Aires native Diego Valeri to MLS, albeit without European experience beforehand.

Here are some more reports, news and notes from around MLS:

(more…)

RBNY’s Grella heads to Columbus (through Colorado)

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Mike Grella didn’t get to pick No. 20 of the MLS Re-Entry Draft, but that didn’t stop Columbus from getting their hands on the New York Red Bulls veteran.

Colorado selected Grella with the third overall pick, then sent him to Columbus for a second round pick in the 2019 MLS SuperDraft.

[ MLS: Ousted “blacklisted” by MLS? ]

The only other pick was made by Minnesota United, who took Tyrone Mears from Atlanta United.

Grella, 30, is a well-traveled Duke product who has played in England and Denmark. He scored 18 times with 13 assists in 89 matches for the Red Bulls, but missed most of the 2017 season with a pair of knee injuries.

It’s a good gamble for the Crew, and an extra draft pick for 2019. Second-round picks have become long odds to make MLS rosters, with Tommy McNamara and Aaron Long the last impact players to come out of the round. That was in 2014, and both needed changes of scenery before hitting their MLS strides.

MLS Snapshot: SKC wasteful in front of goal, draw MNUFC

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The game in 100 words (or less): Saturday signaled little more than a series of missed chances for the Western Conference’s top teams, as Sporting Kansas City followed up the Vancouver Whitecaps’ 3-0 hammering at the hands of the New York Red Bulls with a disappointing road result of their own: a 1-1 draw with 10-man Minnesota United, a game which the visitors were far and away the better side over the first 60 minutes, and comfortable equals over the following 25 minutes, before creating a flurry of clear-cut chances over the final 10 minutes. Diego Rubio scored his sixth goal of the season to put Sporting KC ahead just before halftime, only to see Brent Kallman equalize six minutes from the end. A late red card resulted in chance after chance after chance for Sporting, all of which went oh so close to snatching three points and moving them to within a single point of Vancouver with a game in hand. Alas, they’ll chase a win in Houston on Wednesday in an attempt to pull even atop the West.

[ MORE: USMNT routs Panama to boost WC dreams in a big way ]

Three Four moments that mattered

45+2′ — Rubio finishes a ball from Blessing or 1-0 — The deft touch from Latif Blessing sets up Rubio, who endured a torrid night last Saturday. Nothing restarts the memory like scoring a goal.

59′ — Melia leaves the game with an injury — There’s no two ways about it: Tim Melia has been the best goalkeeper in MLS this season. No one else is worthy of consideration for such a title. If he’s to miss more than a week or two with what appeared to be a hamstring injury, that’s bad for Sporting.

84′ — Kallman heads home a late equalizer — Abu Danladi floated the ball over every blue shirt but one, Ike Opara, who was expected to mark three Loons on the play. He’s good, but that’s a big ask when the service is this good.

93′ — Shuttleworth denies Espinoza from point-blank range — Now with a man advantage, the final eight minutes of this game were nothing but chance after chance for Sporting. This was the pick of the litter, a header from three yards out that Bobby Shuttleworth somehow managed to save.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Bobby Shuttleworth

Goalscorers: Rubio (45+2′), Kallman (84′)

MLS Snapshot: Atlanta United 2-3 Minnesota United

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The game in 100 wordsDown 1-0 and down a man, Atlanta went to work in front of another massive crowd in Atlanta, blissfully unconcerned with it being Tuesday. Abu Danladi scored a nice goal to put Minnesota up, but Hector Villalba nabbed his 13th goal of the season before Providence alum Julian Gressel slashed a Yamil Asad feed home to give Atlanta its first lead of the night. But right when Atlanta looked set to move into pole position for a first round bye, Christian “Stop Calling Up Wondo, Bruce” Ramirez did his thing to level the score and then Kevin Molino turned it into a shock Loons win.

Five moments that mattered

48′ — Danladi stays hot — When Minnesota tabbed Abu Danladi from UCLA with the first pick in the SuperDraft, it was envisioning bullet goals like this (his third in four matches):

67′ — Bad giveaway to the wrong dude — The first of two poor turnovers that led to goals in five minutes, it was Hector Villalba burying his chance:

72′ — Asad, the playmaker — A terrific pass from the Velez Sarsfield loanee was finished with aplomb by the 8th pick in the SuperDraft in Gressel:

90′ — United, Divided — Marking optional for Atlanta, as Ethan Finlay nods a corner in the direction of Christian Ramirez, who does what finishers do by pushing the ball through a mass of Five Stripes players.

90+6′ — Loony finish — Remind Molino to leave these dramatics with his club when he heads to Trinidad and Tobago for a match-up with the USMNT next week.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverage | Standings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the Match: Kevin Molino