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Teams make moves on eve of SuperDraft
by Ridge Mahoney, January 11th, 2011 10:58PM
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[MLS] In the final days leading up to the 2011 MLS SuperDraft teams are altering their rosters by acquiring or jettisoning players, and in Toronto a promising young player has been sidelined by an injury.

COLUMBUS. A bit short of forwards after trading away Jason Garey and declining to re-sign Guillermo Barros Schelotto, the Crew has signed Tom Heinemann, who briefly trained with the Crew in 2009 after finishing his college career at Rockhurst University.

Heinemann, 23, has played the last two seasons with Charleston of the USL and Carolina of the NASL. He scored twice as a rookie with Charleston in 2009 and tallied 14 goals playing for both teams last year.

“I am thankful to God for putting me in the place I am now,” said the 6-foot-4, 180-pound native of St. Louis. “I am very happy to come back to a team that has so much credibility and history. I was here once before and look forward to working with the awesome staff and players.”

CHICAGO. Heinemann isn’t the only former RailHawk to land an MLS deal. The Fire has brought aboard Daniel Paladini, a 2006 Galaxy draft pick who played eight matches for Chivas USA in 2008, and Croatian defender Josip Mikulic. Both signed as free agents.

Paladini, 26, was twice named to the USSF D-2 Pro League Best XI. A midfielder, he scored seven goals and registered five assists in 34 games last season for Carolina. Mikulic, 24, is a centerback who has played 48 matches in the last five seasons for NK Zagreb in the Croatian First Division.

“Paladini is a smart, technical midfielder who has excelled with the Carolina RailHawks and will help improve our core of midfielders,” said Fire technical director Frank Klopas in a statement released by the team. “Mikulic is an athletic player with good feet, a focus on defending and strong presence in the back field. He comes to the Fire from a professional environment and has a number of years experience in the Croatian First Division. He is focused on defending and committed to winning.”

Both players will fill needs in areas where the Fire lost players during the offseason. Midfielders Peter Lowry and John Thorrington departed in the Expansion Draft, and the back line has been stripped of veterans C.J. Brown (retired) and Wilman Conde (signed with Mexican club Atlas).

TORONTO FC. Winger Nicholas Lindsay, the Canadian club’s second academy signing, is scheduled to undergo surgery Wednesday to repair an injured knee. An additional surgery and rehabilitation could sideline him for the whole season.

Two surgical procedures will be needed to repair the damage suffered by Lindsay, 18. The second surgery will be performed in four to six months.

“Nicholas made huge strides in the short time he has been with the team and has a bright future ahead of him,” said Earl Cochrane, the interim GM who is director of team and player operations. “We will support him with everything he needs to make a full recovery.”

Lindsay signed a pro contract with TFC in September and made his debut in October. He recorded three assists in his four league appearances. In August, TFC had signed defender Doneil Henry as its first Homegrown player.

CHIVAS USA. On Monday the team announced it had declined the option on midfielder Osael Romero, who arrived last season on loan from Salvadoran club Vista Hermosa.

He played nine league games (five starts) and scored one goal, and also appeared in all three of Chivas USA’s SuperLiga matches. Romero, 24, had been counted on to supply some offensive spark in the wake of Sacha Kljestan’s departure for Belgian club Anderlecht but seldom measured up to the pace and physical play typical of MLS games.



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