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Report: RBNY midfielder Felipe, NYCFC’s Harrison could play for USMNT

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The U.S. Men’s National Team has seen a rise in dual nationals representing the Stars and Stripes in recent years, and that trend could continue with two of MLS’ most promising midfielders interested in enhancing their international careers.

[ MORE: PST names Best XI for the 2017 MLS season ]

According to MSG Network’s Kristian Dyer, New York Red Bulls midfielder Felipe Martins is in the midst of a finalizing his American citizenship, while New York City FC attacker Jack Harrison has spoken with U.S. Soccer about potentially representing the U.S..

Martins already has his green card — which opened up an international slot for the Red Bulls this season –but obtaining citizenship in the near future would make him eligible for selection for the USMNT ahead of the 2022 World Cup qualifying cycle.

The 27-year-old had also previously applied for permanent residency in Canada back in 2013 while Martins was with the Montreal Impact, however, his aspirations to represent the nation never transpired.

Meanwhile, Harrison recently represented the England Under-21s in October, but he too could be on track for U.S. citizenship over the next few years if he remains in MLS.

[ MORE: Justin Meram talks Crew’s good form, facing Atlanta and more ]

In Dyer’s report, he notes the rising interest in Harrison from English clubs, though, and a potential move back to the United Kingdom would hurt the former Manchester United academy member’s chances of joining the USMNT.

Harrison is only in his sophomore season with NYCFC, but the young Englishman has garnered plenty of attention after scoring 14 goals and adding 13 assists thus far for the Bronx side.

MLS Snapshot: RBNY trounce VAN, clinch East’s final playoff spot

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The game in 100 words (or less): Just when we were oh so sure the Vancouver Whitecaps had solidified themselves as the cream of the Western Conference crop, Carl Robinson’s side lands flat on its collective face in suffering a 3-0 defeat away to the New York Red Bulls a week later. A win would have put Vancouver seven points clear (for the time being) of everyone in the West. Instead, Sporting Kansas City feature in one of two games in hand later on Saturday with a chance to close the gap to one. New York, meanwhile, needed just three more points to clinch the sixth and final playoff place in the Eastern Conference, which they did thanks to another standout, two-assist performance by Sacha Kljestan. The 32-year-old set up goals scored by Daniel Royer and Felipe to take his average to 17 assists per season for the last three years. Bradley Wright-Phillips bagged the other goal (assisted by 18-year-old stud Tyler Adams).

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

Three moments that mattered

33′ — Kljestan feeds Royer to make it 1-0 — Kljestan tallied his 50th assist in just under three seasons since returning to MLS, which positions him among pristine company. Royer still has plenty of work to do after getting on the end of Kljestan’s ball.

58′ — BWP dinks it past Ousted for 2-0 Wright-Phillips should be lauded for the cheeky finish after carrying the ball 40 yards, but the real story here is the ball from Adams. Watch it and feel safe in knowing he’s ready for the call, USMNT fans.

72′ — Felipe hits a laser for 3-0 — Make that 51 assists for Kljestan, who still had lots of work to do once inside the penalty area. The ball back for Felipe looks simple enough after all he did to keep it in bounds and create a bit of separation for himself.

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Man of the match: Sacha Kljestan

Goalscorers: Royer (33′), Wright-Phillips (58′), Felipe (72′)

MLS levies one-game suspension to Orlando City’s Perez Garcia

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He may have gotten away with it over the weekend, but Orlando City’s Matias Perez Garcia will now face the wrath of MLS’ Disciplinary Committee.

[ MORE: USA, Canada, Mexico ask FIFA for faster World Cup bid process ]

The Lions midfielder has earned a one-match suspension and an undisclosed fine after kicking out at New York Red Bulls midfielder Felipe during Sunday’s 1-0 win.

Upon replay, it was clear that Perez Garcia and Felipe both went to ground after jostling for the ball before the former aimed a kick at the right thigh of the Red Bulls player.

Perez Garcia will miss his club’s next match when Orlando hosts the LA Galaxy on Saturday afternoon at Orlando City Stadium.

Report: Red Bulls, Impact working trades involving Felipe Martins, Ambroise Oyongo, top allocation spot


The New York Red Bulls’ winter of coaching staff and roster turnover is nowhere complete, according to multiple reports with sources close to the club.

The 2014 MLS Eastern Conference finalists are reportedly locked in trade negotiations with the Montreal Impact over a swap deal involving 23-year-old Cameroonian Ambroise Oyongo, 24-year-old Brazilian playmaker Felipe Martins and the No. 1 spot in the MLS allocation order.

According to a report by Empire of Soccer’s Dave Martinez on Tuesday, with Jesse Marsch now in charge of the Red Bulls, the former Impact head coach has a strong desire to acquire Felipe, who played under Marsch in 2012 and notched four goals and 10 assists in his first MLS season.

[ RELATED: Where in the World Is (Ex-Red Bull) Juan Agudelo? ]

To reunite with Felipe, Marsch is reportedly willing to part ways with Oyongo, who the Red Bulls only just signed on a permanent basis earlier this month following a stellar 2014 on-loan season in which the Cameroonian national team left back began the season as second-choice and ended the year a vital piece to the club’s run to the conference finals..

A straight swap of Felipe and Oyongo would seem to greatly favor the Impact, thus Goal.com’s Ives Galarcep reported on Tuesday that “any [Impact]-Oyongo deal would involve top allocation spot,” which given recent reports of the Red Bulls’ interest in US national team midfielder Sacha Kljestan, would suggest they’re positioning themselves to acquire Kljestan through the only mechanism by which he could return to MLS: the MLS allocation order.

source: Getty ImagesMontreal currently sit first in the allocation order, with RBNY currently 14th of 20 teams. The LA Galaxy, who last week traded Marcelo Sarvas perhaps to make room on the roster and under the salary cap for Kljestan, received the Colorado Rapids’ No. 3 spot in the allocation order in exchange for the Brazilian midfielder.

[ MORE: Maloney to Chicago a done deal? ]

Kljestan played college soccer at Seton Hall University, located in South Orange, New Jersey, just seven miles from Red Bull Arena.

According to Galarcep, the Red Bulls are also close to completing the signing of 22-year-old center back Andrew Jean-Baptiste, who was drafted No. 8 overall by the Portland Timbers in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft, most recently played for Chivas USA and was not selected in the Dispersal Draft in December.

MLS Preview: Philadelphia Union at Montreal Impact

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No question that two of the league’s most interesting teams will be at Stade Saputo on Saturday, when the surprising Montreal Impact meets the young and surprising Philadelphia Union.

Montreal has been highly organized and far more adept at collecting points than anyone might have expected under Marco Schallibaum, an MLS newbie who is proving that foreign managers with no experience in the league can sometimes quickly find their feet. (He’s bucking a general trend that says otherwise, one now playing out more typically at Chivas USA.)

Don’t let Montreal’s fourth-place standing in the Eastern Conference fool you; in terms of points per game (2.0), only one other club has done so well. The fact that Montreal is fourth is reflective of Major League Soccer’s unstable scheduling practices; while the Impact has played just 10 matches, some clubs have played as many as 14.

And consider that Montreal keeps getting healthier. Captain Davy Arnaud (pictured, on the right) should return from the concussion issues that has kept him out recently. Midfield teammate Felipe and underrated outside back Jeb Brovsky (who will be wearing a mask) could be in for a return to the lineup.

And now it looks like veteran Italian center back Alessandro Nesta is healthy enough to get back on the field.

A busy May around Stade Saputo means that some Impact regulars can surely use a break. Then again, Justin Mapp is having the kind of season that has eluded the once-promising midfielder in recent years, so you hate to see any mounting momentum slip away. And second-year man Andrew Wenger is benefitting from regular playing time.

Philadelphia never earns many style points, but Hackworth’s young team is grinding out points at a surprising rate, currently fifth in the East. So many of the close wins are about MLS scoring leader Jack McInerney and those great instincts near goal, used to wonderful effect in accumulating a league-leading five game-winners.

But grinders or no, Hackworth’s team is chalk full of interesting parts.

Brazilian playmaker Kleberson needed time to get fit, but he has helped stabilize the Union’s midfield possession.

Conor Casey, now healthy again, has linked with McInerney to form a solid forward pairing.

McInerney played a more withdrawn role last week, proving that he can be more than a pure goal scorer.

In the back, young goalkeeper Zac MacMath hasn’t always been perfect, but the mistakes are coming at a slower rate than years past.

In center backs Amobi Okugo and Jeff Parke and in outside backs Sheanon Williams and Ray Gaddis, the defense has solid parts to build around, even if the cohesion has not always been there.

Few would have picked these teams as playoff favorites as the season begin in March, but they both have the look of one now, especially in Montreal’s case.

Kickoff is 7 p.m.; the official match preview from MLSSoccer.com is here.