D.C. United

Transfer news: Arsenal to re-loan Ceballos; Henderson to leave Man Utd

Premier League transfer news
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Today’s Premier League transfer news includes a second consecutive season of Arsenal signing Dani Ceballos on loan from Real Madrid, Dean Henderson willing to leave Man United in search of a starting job, and PSG rejecting the chance to sign Matteo Guendouzi…

[ MORE: No agreement in meeting between Barcelona, Messi’s father ]

Arsenal completing another loan for Ceballos

Ceballos is reportedly set for a second season on loan at Arsenal with only the procedural medical examination left to be completed. The 24-year-old had other options this options, both on a temporary and permanent basis, but opted for a full season under Mikel Arteta, for whom he impressed in the final stretch of the 2019-20 season. Arsenal are expected to cover 100 percent of Ceballos’ wages.

Henderson willing to leave Man United to be no. 1

Manchester United’s no. 2 goalkeeper has his eyes firmly fixed on becoming the no. 1 at Old Trafford… or elsewhere. Following a successful loan move to fellow PL side Sheffield United, Henderson signed a lucrative new contract this summer — one that will pay him as if he was the no. 1 at many clubs — and that has him desperate for regular playing time.

“Look, 100 percent, the aim is for me to play football next season. I don’t think I want to be not playing after last season, coming off a good season with momentum. … It wouldn’t be clever for me to sit around and not play football, I don’t think it would help any parties at all. ‘You can get many things from training and obviously learn off someone like David and the other goalkeepers and coaches. But I don’t think there’s any substitute for game-time. I went out from Manchester United five years ago, started at Stockport, Grimsby, Shrewsbury and then Sheffield which shows how much I’ve learned, picking up experiences that happen in games because they’re situations that you don’t really get in training.

[ MORE: Bale open to Premier League return, Real “blocked” January move ]

PSG say no thanks to Guendouzi

In further Premier League transfer news, Paris Saint-Germain were presented with the chance to sign 21-year-old Arsenal midfielder Matteo Guendouzi, but the UEFA Champions League runners-up reportedly declined to do so. Guendouzi broke into the Gunners’ first team last season and is expected to either sign a lucrative new contract in the coming months or leave for such a deal elsewhere.

Higuain, Sigurdsson to MLS

Gonzalo Higuain could be on his way to Major League Soccer following a reported approach by D.C. United. The 32-year-old forward has been told by new Juventus manager Andrea Pirlo that he has no future at the club. The same report claims United are also highly interested in Everton midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson.

Rooney: MLS taking advantage of trade structure, hindering American players

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Manchester United legend and former D.C. United Designated Player Wayne Rooney laments the way in which Major League Soccer owners take “advantage” of the league’s trade and transfer system.

MLS’ trade and transfer system, partly influenced by other top American sports leagues, has earned the league the reputation of being the world’s most complicated and complex soccer league in the past. Every season, like in the NBA, NFL, NHL, or MLB, dozens of players are traded within the league, with little to no transparency on the process.

Speaking to Perfect Soccer’s “Ask A Pro Show,” founded and hosted by MLS veteran Quincy Amarikwa, Rooney questioned the way the league’s owners are exploiting their players via the system and said that American players, specifically, are bearing the brunt of it all.

“I didn’t realize it before, but obviously when I got there (MLS), I seen it,” Rooney told Amarikwa, who was his teammate at D.C. United. “My first week, we had a player who, when he finished training, he got told he was getting transferred onto somewhere else. I was like, ‘Why? What’s going on here? Where is he going? What’s going on?’ So, it’s difficult. I spoke to Steve (Birnbaum) a lot. I was like, “Can he do that? Is it that easy to do? Is it that easy to actually move someone on?’ There’s no thought behind it in terms of this person might have a family, children…. a life here. They might get told, ‘You know what? Move on.'”

I know it works that way in basketball (NBA) and in NFL, but those players get paid millions and millions of pounds. So, they look forward to have to do that, where MLS players can’t. They probably get a small percentage of money which won’t even cover the bills, won’t even cover what they have to live on. It’s wrong for that to happen. I think MLS needs to really look at that because, from seeing it, a lot of them owners are taking advantage of the league [structure], which is affecting American players. It might benefit [others]. For me, I went there for 18 months, Zlatan [Ibrahimovic] was there for two years. We benefited from getting good adaptation in the USA, scoring a few goals. But for the guys who you leave behind, which I’ve never gotten to speak to, it still sits wrong with me, deep inside of me, which I don’t think is the case with all foreign players who are coming in.

During his time in the league, Rooney, who left MLS in August 2019 with two years left in his contract, slammed the league for its travel arrangements, which provides its franchises a few charter options per season.

The 34-year-old ended his 18-month spell in the nation’s capital with 25 goals in 52 appearances, before returning to his native England to join Derby County as a player-coach.

Report: DC United, Morelia agree to $5 million-plus fee for Edison Flores

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D.C. United are, slowly but surely, filling in the void left by Wayne Rooney and Luciano Acosta.

The Black-and-Red and Liga MX side Monarcas Morelia have have come to an agreement on the transfer of Peruvian winger Edison Flores, according to The Washington Post’s Steven Goff.

The MLS side will pay over $5 million for the 25-year-old’s services, almost three times the amount that Morelia payed Danish side Aalborg in 2018 for Flores. The winger’s contract with Los Purépechas ran until the summer of 2022.

Flores was a first-team favorite at Morelia – who finished seventh in the recently-finished 2019 Clausura and went on to make a unexpected run into the semifinals before losing to Club America – making 21 appearances for Monarcas last season, and scoring seven goals and recording four assists.

The crafty, left-footed winger is also a staple with the Peruvian national team, accumulating over 43 caps for Ricardo Gareca’s side. Flores featured heavily for Los Incas in the 2018 World Cup and during the 2019 Copa America, which saw Peru make it to the final.

During the offseason, D.C. United has lost key pieces such as Rooney to Derby County, Acosta to Atlas and Lucas Rodriguez to Estudiantes.

Flores appears to be the first of three important signings for the nation’s capital side, who lost to Toronto FC 5-1 in MLS Cup playoffs. The franchise has also been linked to Santos Laguna’s Brian Lozano, Venezuelan striker Gelmin Rivas and Ecuadoran midfielder Christian Aleman.

Hyndman, Hamid seal permanent MLS deals

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Two players who have featured for the U.S. Men’s National Team in the past signed permanent MLS deals on Monday, after spending the all or parts of the 2019 MLS season on loan in the league.

The question is, should we be disappointed? It’s two USMNT-eligible players in their prime who are leaving Europe for regular playing time? Will that playing time get them back in the USMNT picture? Or were their old club teams simply the problem before?

[ MORE: All of PST’s MLS coverage ]

It was a return for Bill Hamid, who was a D.C. United homegrown player and arguably the first player on the team sheet between 2009-2017. Hamid actually returned from Europe in 2018 and spent all of the last year and a half on loan from FC Midtjylland in Denmark.

Hyndman on the other hand signed a permanent deal with Atlanta United, after the former MLS Cup champions signed the 23-year-old midfielder on a loan deal from Bournemouth in the Premier League. It was Hyndman’s fourth club in four years – including three loan moves – and perhaps Atlanta is a place he can put down roots and stay for the long term.

Per both D.C. United and Atlanta United, both players signed multi-year deals. D.C. United reportedly even paid a transfer fee for Hamid.

Both players are solid to good players in MLS, and as Americans, they add quality and don’t cost a team an international spot. But for the U.S. Men’s National Team, it’s unclear how this could affect the pair.

On one hand, USMNT coach Gregg Berhalter has shown a preference to certain players he had in the 2019 January camp, including guys like Nick Lima, Paul Arriola and Christian Roldan, even if performances don’t necessarily merit them playing each match. On the other hand, as someone who has played in Germany, and England, Berhalter surely understands the benefits of challenging yourself every few years to play and train at a higher level. It doesn’t have to be Jurgen Klinsmann levels, where every single year they have to step it up, but finding a new way to freshen things up in a tough environment can have positive benefits for everyone, assuming there is playing time.

For Hyndman, who moved to Fulham’s academy in 2011 at the age of 15, it marks the end of seven years in Europe trying to break in. He had decent half-season spells with Hibernian and Rangers in the Scottish Premier Division, but one can argue that Atlanta United is itself on a higher level of play. That being said, Hyndman has clearly decided that regular gametime is best for his development as a player than relocating to the Netherlands, Italy or Germany to play. He wasn’t likely to get any at Bournemouth, even with their current Premier League struggles.

In Hamid’s case, he took a chance on Europe with FC Midtjylland. However, pretty quickly he realized that it wasn’t the right situation for him and within six months, he was back on D.C. United on loan for the next year and a half.

In both cases, there may have been options to continue their European adventures. Whether it was in the Championship or another “mid-major” European league, in the past, two players entering their primes might have tried to stay in Europe a little longer. But the lure of MLS, with a decent salary, less competition for places and the opportunity to play at home in front of family is a strong one, and the national team will have to adjust with it.

 

Toronto score 4 goals in ET to bounce DCU, Rooney (video)

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The game in 200 words (or less): Toronto FC outplayed D.C. United by a wide margin but needed extra time — and a 13-minute explosion of goals — to book their place in the Eastern Conference semifinals, where they’ll face top-seeded New York City. The Reds led for exactly an hour, thanks to Marco Delgado’s goal just after the half-hour mark, only to throw their advantage away — after failing to convert a number of chances to go 2-0 up — in second-half stoppage time. The 1-1 scoreline lasted for all of about three minutes of game time before Toronto scored not once, not twice, not three times, but four times in the first period of extra time. Now, Greg Vanney’s side will cross its fingers and hope to get Jozy Altidore (quad) and Omar Gonzalez (hamstring), who didn’t play in this one, back for Wednesday’s game against NYCFC.

[ MORE: Lampard “pleased for Pulisic,” praises subs in Chelsea win ]

What did we learn?

  • Worst time for a goalkeeping error: You might be thinking, “Well, yes, duh, of course it is, there isn’t a good time for that.” The playoffs, however, are really not the right time, however, and United learned that the hard way when Bill Hamid failed to hold onto a simple bouncing ball in front of goal. Stefan Frei was lights out for the Seattle Sounders earlier on Saturday and Jesse Gonzalez recovered from a poor start (and was bailed out by three goals scored by FC Dallas), and Quentin Westberg was stellar for Toronto in this one.

  • Set-piece defending, once again: Earlier in the day, we saw Seattle fail to defend set pieces and let Dallas back into their game on multiple occasions. Toronto weren’t any better in the dying seconds of regular time. With under two minutes remaining, this is how they defended a United corner kick…

That’s comically bad for a regular season game in the middle of April, let alone for a dark-horse candidate in the playoffs, up a goal in stoppage time. Every chance counts tenfold in the playoffs, and set pieces are no different.

  • D.C.’s desire still in doubt: To lose in extra time, away from home, is one thing. To capitulate and concede four goals in 13 minutes — almost as if to say you didn’t want to score the late equalizer in the first place — is shameful. Wayne Rooney‘s time in MLS ends with his team down 5-1 in extra time and him being subbed off after 105 minutes.

 

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Man of the match: Jonathan Osorio

Goalscorers: Delgado (32′), Rodriguez (90’+3), Laryea (93′), Osorio (95′, 103′) DeLeon (105’+1)