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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.

Inter Miami hires Diego Alonso as first head coach

Inter Miami hires Diego Alonso as first head coach
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Inter Miami finally has its first manager.

Diego Alonso is the man for the honor, the 44-year-old a two-time CONCACAF Champions League winner.

He led Pachuca to the Clausura 2016 title and a third place finish at the 2017 Club World Cup. He won 42 percent of his matches at Pachuca and 56 percent during his time with Monterrey.

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Inter Miami CF Sporting Director Paul McDonough said this about the hire, via the team’s web site.

“In Diego we found a manager that fits our culture and has a strong desire to build a winning club for our fans. He brings a lot of experience and championship-winning mentality as we begin our drive to be among the best clubs in the Americas. We have big aspirations for our club and believe Diego has the right drive, passion and leadership to accomplish our goals.”

A well-traveled striker during his playing days, Alonso was capped eight times.

Alonso will have some interesting ingredients for his first team. There’s plenty of MLS experience in goalkeeper Luis Robles, defenders Roman Torres and Alvas Powell, and forward Juan Agudelo.

Teenage playmaker Matias Pellegrini is the club’s first Designated Player, and more are sure to come in January. Pedro has been most recently linked, joining a long list of names connected to David Beckham’s long-awaited MLS project.

Report: Inter Miami set to hire Diego Alonso as first head coach

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Inter Miami are reportedly on the brink of announcing their first-ever head coach.

[MORE: Chicago Fire announce the arrival of Raphael Wicky]

According to ESPN’s Jorge Ramos y su Banda, David Beckham’s new expansion side have reached an agreement to appoint Diego Alonso as the team’s first head coach. The report states that an official announcement from the MLS side is set for Monday.

Alonso, 44, most recently was at the helm of Monterrey, winning the Concacaf Champions League with the deep-pocketed Mexican club in May of 2019. Prior to his time with Rayados, Alonso was in charge of Pachuca, where he won the Clausura in 2016 and Concacaf Champions League in 2017 during his four-year spell with the club.

As a player, Alonso’s 16-year career saw him play in Mexico, Argentina, China, Spain and his native Uruguay. In addition to his club career, Alonso recorded eight caps with the Uruguayan national team.

Inter Miami, who will debut in MLS in March against LAFC, had reportedly been in talks with Patrick Viera and Carlo Ancelotti recently.

Less than a month removed from preseason, the Florida franchise has yet to complete its roster, although the Beckham and company are set to sign MLS veterans Juan Agudelo and Roman Torres at “significantly lower salary figures,” according to The Athletic’s Paul Tenorio.

Rogelio Funes Mori scores bicycle kick stoppage time winner in Liga MX

Funes Mori bicycle kick
JULIO CESAR AGUILAR/AFP via Getty Images
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Rogelio Funes Mori is having himself quite a month.

Monterrey’s 28-year-old Argentine forward scored against Al-Sadd and Liverpool at the Club World Cup, then came back to Mexico and did one better.

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Mori left his feet to chest trap a stoppage time loose ball, then blasted a bicycle kick home to win the first leg of the Liga MX Apertura final over visiting Club America on Friday.

It’s an exquisite bit of balance and coordination, his second-straight league match with a goal.

Mori has 15 goals and an assist in 24 matches for Rayados this season. He’s closing in on 100 for his time with the club, and it’s a safe bet the century mark will be breached soon enough.

Rogelio is the twin brother of former Everton and current Villarreal defender Ramiro Funes Mori.

Columbus Crew set to break transfer record for Liga MX playmaker

Lucas Zelarayan Tigres UANL Columbus Crew
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Another Liga MX star is set to join Major League Soccer, according to reports.

Lucas Zelarayan, 27, could join Columbus Crew on a transfer record deal in the next few days, giving Caleb Porter a new playmaking midfielder.

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Patrick Murphy of Massive Report says the deal will hit $8 million.

The Argentine has been with Tigres since 2015, recording 23 goals with 14 assists in 139 matches. He was the 19th ranked performer in the league this season, according to SofaScore.

Zelarayan would join Vancouver’s Lucas Cavallini, who moved from Puebla, and Sporting KC’s acquisition of Alan Pulido from Chivas as club record purchases.

Columbus general manager Tim Bezbatchenko previously added midfielder Darlington Nagbe and defenders Vito Wormgoor and Axel Sjoberg this offseason in a bid to help Porter turns the Crew into a playoff side.