Edgar Castillo

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Three-team trade in MLS sees USMNT’s Rowe move

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Three players with international caps changed homes on Wednesday when Sporting KC, Colorado Rapids, and New England Revolution flipped assets.

It started with New England sending Kelyn Rowe to Colorado for Edgar Castillo. The Rapids then sent Rowe and $300,000 in allocation money to Sporting KC for Diego Rubio.

[ MORE: PL Player Power Rankings ]

Rowe, 27, mainly operates on the right side of the pitch, but is very versatile. He scored in one of his four USMNT caps, and was a fairly consistent threat in MLS before falling out of favor with Friedel. Rowe has 35 goals and 41 assists in 225 matches for the Revs.

Thirty-two year-old left back Castillo had a fine season with the Rapids, and brings 18 USMNT caps to the Revs. He went the entire 90 minutes in his last two U.S. appearances, both against Guatemala in 2016.

Rubio, 25, joins Kei Kamara atop the Colorado attack, which now can threaten in a few more ways to go with Kellyn Acosta.

Four-times capped by Chile, Rubio scored 11 times with six assists in 28 appearances for SKC this season. He finishes his Kansas City tenure with 20 goals in 65 total appearances for the club.

The moves make sense for all three teams, though KC has to feel the best on the day.

MLS comings & goings: Kitchen, Castillo, Henley arrive for 2018

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The next two weeks, leading up to players reporting for the start of preseason, are sure to be chock-full of signings made by all 23 MLS teams. A handful of key deals have been announced in the last 24 hours alone…

[ MORE: FC Dallas block USMNT call-ups in favor of CCL prep ]

For the last three seasons, the LA Galaxy attempted to play without a functioning midfield. It turned out… well, quite poorly, particularly in 2017 when Curt Onalfo’s Sigi Schmid’s side finished dead last in MLS, for the first time ever. Enter: Perry Kitchen (from D.C. United, for $300,000 in combined allocation money), five-year MLS veteran and fringe-U.S. national team defensive midfielder seeking a new club after two years in Europe (Hearts and Randers). Kitchen, who’s (somehow) still only 25, has more than 150 MLS appearances to his name (plus another 50-plus from his time in Europe). The Kitchen-Jonathan dos Santos/Joao Pedro double-pivot is a fantastic foundational unit. 7/10 — not flashy or sexy, but highly functional and priority no. 1

After finishing 20th in 2017, the Colorado Rapids’ massive rebuild has begun. Enter: USMNT and Monterrey left back Edgar Castillo, and Wolverhampton Wanderers midfielder Jack Price. Castillo is 31 and brings a wealth of experience at the club and international levels. Price, 25, joined the Wolves academy at the age of 8, and never left (save for a pair of loan spells) and made nearly 100 appearances between League One and the Championship. 5.5/10 — plugs a pair of holes with replacement-level (maybe slightly above) starters

For the first half of 2017, Real Salt Lake were arguably the worst team in MLS; for the second half of the season, Mike Petke’s side was inarguably one of the best (and youngest), ultimately missing the playoffs by a single point. So far this winter, RSL have made Brooks Lennon’s loan permanent, signed 26-year-old Spanish forward Alfredo Ortuño, and on Tuesday completed their capture of 23-year-old right back Adam Henley — an American-born Welsh international. As he’s only ever appeared in friendlies for Wales (and never played for U.S. youth national teams), Henley would be eligible for a one-time switch, should his development and play warrant such a move. 6/10 — a starting right back with upside, without giving anything away in a trade

Giles Barnes, 29, has bounced around MLS in recent seasons — from Vancouver, to Houston, to Orlando, all since 2016. Now, the English-born Jamaican international is headed south of the border, to Leon, where he’s been given a Cristiano Ronaldo-like VIP welcome.

Other lesser-known (but perhaps just as impactful) signings in MLS

Columbus Crew SC — 21-year-old Venezuelan midfielder Eduardo Sosa, from Venezuelan side Zamora (FULL RELEASE)

Minnesota United — 24-year-old Cameroonian attacker (2 caps, 1 goal) Frantz Pangop, from Cameroonian side Union Douala (FULL RELEASE)

Omar Gonzalez, Pachuca win Liga MX final in stoppage time, down a man

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Victor Guzman used Pachuca’s first shot on target of the game to score the deciding goal in stoppage time, and Tuzos are champions of Liga MX after a 1-1 draw in Sunday’s second leg of the Liga MX Liguilla final versus Monterrey.

[ MORE: Kidnapped Pulido freed by police ]

Pachuca entered the game with a 1-0 lead, but found things level early before going down a man. But Guzman out-jumped USMNT left back Edgar Castillo for the title-winning goal, giving fellow U.S. back Omar Gonzalez his first Liga MX crown.

Here’s the goal:

Gonzalez was left out of Jurgen Klinsmann’s final 23-man roster for the Copa America Centenario, which begins Friday against Colombia. Castillo was, too, but was called into replace injured Timmy Chandler.

We doubt Gonzalez is thinking about that much right now. He’s more likely thinking about dancing some more:

Castillo called up to take place of injured Chandler on USMNT roster

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The United States men’s national team has applied to have left back Edgar Castillo take the place of Timmy Chandler on the Copa America Centenario roster.

The Monterrey back played well in the Yanks’ 4-0 win over Guatemala in World Cup qualifying, but was passed over for Chandler and others in the 23-man roster for this summer’s tournament in the United States.

[ MORE: USMNT-Bolivia preview ]

But Chandler has picked up a quadriceps strain and Jurgen Klinsmann will add Castillo in his stead.

Perhaps this is a sign that fate is on the Yanks’ side.

Americans Abroad Review: Howard and Cameron keep it clean

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It was offense in the Netherlands, defense in England for Americans in the headlines abroad this week.

Juan Agudelo hasn’t played much for the US under Jurgen Klinsmann, especially not lately, but perhaps a second goal for FC Utrecht will stir the emotions of the USMNT boss. Agudelo latched onto a cross and nodded home in Utrecht’s 2-1 win over the weekend, and video of the goal is here.

Aron Johannsson also produced offense in the Dutch league, though his earned-penalty for AZ Alkmaar was converted by a teammate give Johannsson’s recent struggles from the spot. He has one goal in his last nine games after a setting a remarkable pace with 16 goals through mid-March. AZ drew NEC Breda 1-1.

Anderlecht pulled off a 2-0 win over Lokeren, with Sacha Kljestan getting all 90 minutes in the midfield during the victory. Terrence Boyd played under a half-hour in Rapid Wien’s 0-0 draw with Admira Wacker Modling.

Jermaine Jones would’ve earned a second assist if it were MLS or hockey, but had to settle for playmaker status in Besiktas’ 1-1 draw with Konyaspor on Friday. Ale Bedoya couldn’t repeat his goal-scoring magic for a second consecutive week but did play all 90 minutes and register four shots in Nantes’ 1-0 win over Guingamp.

In England, Danny Williams played 60 minutes as Reading kept hold of its playoff spot for now. The Royals are in sixth place after a 1-1 draw with already-promoted Leicester City on Monday. Oguchi Onyewu‘s Sheffield Wednesday is in a fight for Championship survival, and he played the full match in a 3-3 draw that brought the club that much closer to securing safety.

Bolton posted a clean sheet with Tim Ream running the middle of the defense, while Duane Holmes was an unused sub for Huddersfield Town. That’s likely not his fault, as his club picked up two red cards in a 3-1 loss to Derby County.

The Premier League was relatively kind to Americans, and on a large scale to Tim Howard. The keeper continues to shine for the Toffees as they make their push for the Champions League. He helped blank Sunderland 1-0 on Saturday as they maintain control of fourth place.

Geoff Cameron was strong for Stoke, clearing out a listless Newcastle attack and making a number of strong attacking plays as the Potters bested the Magpies 1-0 at the Britannia Stadium. But Jozy Altidore missed Sunderland duty with a minor injury and Brad Guzan‘s Aston Villa lost to Crystal Palace as the Villans again failed to put their stamp on Premier League safety.

Puebla’s nightmare season continued with a 1-0 home loss to Club America, though DaMarcus Beasley was receiving plenty of credit as a positive note in the match. Edgar Castillo went 90 minutes for Tijuana as the club drew a Jose Torres-less (red card suspension) Tigres 1-1.