[MLS TRANSACTIONS] Two Western Conference powers completed deals to solidify themselves at key positions for the future. The champion Los Angeles Galaxy reached
an agreement with Brazil's Sao Paulo for the permanent transfer of Juninho, who has spent the last three seasons on loan. Real Salt Lake acquired the rights to former striker
Robbie Findley from the Portland Timbers following his return from England, where he spent two seasons at Nottingham Forest.
Juninho, rated No. 1 in the 2012 Soccer America positional rankings for central defenders, is only 24 but has already appeared in 87 regular-season games, scoring 13 goals while adding eight assists.
He set career-highs in 2012 by appearing in 32 regular season games while adding seven goals and four assists. He provided the cross for Omar Gonzalez to head in the equalizer in the Galaxy's 3-1 MLS Cup win over Houston.
He has four goals in 10 Concacaf Champions League appearances to make him the club’s all-time leading scorer in the competition.
The 27-year-old Findley, third in Real Salt Lake history with 29 goals in four seasons, left after 2010 to move to the English Championship.
Portland, which received allocation money for Findley, selected the speedy forward in the expansion draft in November 2010, thereby acquiring his rights and forcing RSL to deal with them in order to bring him back to Salt Lake.
Findley scored in RSL's 2009 MLS Cup triumph and played on the USA's 2010 World Cup team but struggled to get playing time in England.
“RSL has played a huge role in my career and I’m very excited to be back in Utah,” Findley said in a statement. “RSL is a team that is consistently at the top of the table and always has plenty of talent. Jason Kreis and the coaching staff are very dedicated and know what it takes to be successful. I’m very ready to get back into Rio Tinto Stadium and enjoy the phenomenal atmosphere that our supporters bring to every game.”
-- CHICAGO acquired midfielder Jeff Larentowicz and the No. 30 pick in the 2013 SuperDraft from COLORADO for the No. 11 pick in the 2013 SuperDraft, allocation money and a 2013 international slot.
-- LOS ANGELES signed Brazilian midfielder Juninho on a permanent transfer from Sao Paulo (Brazil).
-- REAL SALT LAKE acquired the rights to forward Robbie Findley (ex-Nottingham Forest) from PORTLAND for allocation money.
-- PHILADELPHIA sent Colombian defender Carlos Valdes to Inde. Santa Fe (Colombia) on a year-long loan.
-- TORONTO signed Brazilian midfielder Julio Cesar (ex-Sporting Kansas City) as a free agent.