One of the best players in Major League Soccer’s history is going home.
Ignacio Piatti has left the Montreal Impact to sign with San Lorenzo, the Argentine club of former Newcastle center back Fabricio Coloccini and ex-Sunderland man Santiago Vergini.
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Piatti was far and away the Impact’s top player, scoring 66 times with 29 assists in 135 matches. He scored 50 of those goals between 2016-18.
However, the 35-year-old missed all but 11 matches last season with knee injuries.
San Lorenzo sits 12th in the Argentine Superliga, nine points back of the lead on a congested table. Piatti won the Copa Libertadores with Santo before moving to MLS.
The 2020 MLS season is going to test new Montreal boss Thierry Henry, who does have attacking talent through Bojan Krkic, Saphir Taider, and others. But Piatti is a powerful part of the Impact’s run in MLS.
Argentine midfielder Fernando Belluschi is well-traveled, and he’s picked up some tricks along the way.
Now in his first season with storied Argentine club San Lorenzo, the 33-year-old midfielder darted onto a long cross and scored with an extremely classy first touch.
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It’s difficult to even describe the goal, and the video doesn’t provide a close-up look to prove we saw what we think we just saw.
Belluschi either finds incredible power with the outside of his right foot, which seems likely, or he sweeps his left foot behind his body to bury the shot.
Either way, it’s a beautiful sight.
Atlanta United hasn’t officially begun play in MLS just yet, but the team continues to impress this summer by filling out its roster with talent.
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After recently acquiring Trinidad & Tobago and former Premier League forward Kenwyne Jones, the expansion side has completed a move for San Lorenzo attacker Hector “Tito” Villalba.
“Hector is an exciting player, and one of the top young talents in Argentina,” said Atlanta United technical director Carlos Bocanegra. “He is a powerful, pacey attacking player who can play out wide or up top. We really like his competitive and industrious style.”
The 21-year-old came up with San Lorenzo at the age of 10 in the team’s youth system, before making his senior team debut in 2012. In his time with the squad, Villalba made over 100 appearances for the Argentine club and netted 16 goals.
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The young attacker will remain with San Lorenzo on loan for the remainder of 2016, and will join Atlanta in January ahead of the 2017 MLS season.
There are 1,000 reasons we shouldn’t make any Spring MLS predictions regarding who will be left standing in December, and the August transfer window coming with two months left in the Major League Soccer season is one of them.
The New York Red Bulls strengthened again on Tuesday, picking up 25-year-old Argentine midfielder Gonzalo Veron. The move comes one week after New York signed Shaun Wright-Phillips, now No. 98 to his brother’s 99 on RBNY.
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A winger, Veron scored eight times in 52 appearances for Argentine power San Lorenzo, and will bring his attacking prowess to a unit with Sacha Kljestan and Dax McCarty.
Full marks to Jesse Marsch for keeping this basically brand-new unit near the top of the East despite roster tumult that saw Thierry Henry, Eric Alexander, Ambroise Oyongo and Tim Cahill skip town along with coach Mike Petke this offseason.
But, again, considering the league is on a non-traditional schedule that sees loads of transfers in August, those of us who predicted that RBNY would finish near the bottom of the East shouldn’t feel too bad.
Look at the pickups this month alone: RBNY, Montreal and Seattle have all added unexpected pieces. Go back a month with Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Andrea Pirlo, et. al. This is one of the unexpected boons of the unorthodox window, but also disappointing to teams that plan a bit better.
The transfer windows fall before and midway through the European calendar. They fall well before and near the end of the MLS season. That’s not going to change any time soon, but it continues to make the MLS regular season feel a bit unsteady (even given the parity of the league).
Four trophies in a calendar year is not a decent haul for any club in the world, even the mighty Real Madrid. Carlo Ancelotti‘s side lifted its fourth major trophy on Saturday as the UEFA Champions League winners knocked off 2014 Copa Libertadores winners San Lorenzo, 2-0, in the final of the 2014 FIFA Club World Cup.
Sergio Ramos opened the scoring for the Spanish giants with a powerful header in the 37th minute. Toni Kroos‘s corner kick service made its way to the top of the six-yard box where the Spaniard outleapt a pack of San Lorenzo defenders to put his head on the end of the dangerous ball.
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Gareth Bale doubled Real’s lead six minutes after halftime when San Lorenzo goalkeeper Sebastian Alberto Torrico made a mess of the Welshman’s tame effort from 15 yards out. Isco slotted a through ball to put Bale behind the San Lorenzo defense. His left-footed shot didn’t look all that difficult for the ‘keeper to handle, but Torrico couldn’t get to ground quickly enough to smother the effort as the ball deflected off his body and into the back of the net.
Saturday’s triumph, the club’s 22nd-straight victory across all competitions, also marks the fourth trophy Los Merengues have won in 18 short months under Ancelotti, who took over for Jose Mourinho in June 2013. Real currently hold a one-point lead in La Liga (with a game in-hand), the only major trophy Ancelotti is yet to win with the club.
Oceania Champions League winners Auckland City (New Zealand) were victorious in the third-place game of the Club World Cup earlier on Saturday, outlasting Mexican powerhouse and CONCACAF Champions League winners Cruz Azul, 1-1 (4-2 on penalties). Ryan de Vries put Auckland City ahead just before halftime before Joao Rojas pulled Cruz Azul back onto level terms 12 minutes into the second half.