[MLS 2014 COUNTDOWN] Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi, the 28-year-old captain of Corsican club Ajaccio, says his move to the San Jose Earthquakes was the fulfillment of a life-long dream.
"Since I was young," he told the online version of France Football, "I dreamed of the United States. It's the country that truly attracted me. So it's logical that MLS interested me as a fan. It's the fulfillment of a dream to sign there. Everything moves quickly in the league when the Americans want something."
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Pierazzi, who has been taking English lessons for several months, says he follows MLS closely.
"The stadiums are new," he said. "They're always full, and the level of play has improved."
Pierazzi leaves Tuesday for California.
"It's not the worst place [to live] in the United States, that's clear," he joked. "Better, it hardly ever rains."
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Eric Alexander (2008)
Nick Rimando (2000)
Sean Johnson (2010)
Tally Hall (2007)
Chris Wondolowski (2005)
GOOD NEWS FOR CAPS FANS.Jay DeMerit, the popular Vancouver Whitecaps captain, will return for the 2014 season. That was some good news for 'Caps' supporters after several weeks of bad news on the player front.
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DeMerit, the first player signed by the MLS Whitecaps, has been their captain since 2011. He returned from a ruptured Achilles tendon suffered in last season's opener that threatened to end his career.
"Vancouver has always felt like home and together with my wife, we have a sense of purpose and belonging here in BC," the 34-year-old defender DeMerit said in a statement released by the club. "The fans of this club have always been tremendous. They deserve to have success and they deserve players who reflect the loyalty that they show us. With the strong nucleus we have created over the past few years, together with the young talent we will help grow, I believe the future of this club is bright and I look forward to being a part of it.”
Vancouver lost star Camilo, who controversially bolted to Mexico club Queretaro, had the player it eyed at the SuperDraft, Andre Blake, go to Philadelphia as the No. 1 pick in a last-minute trade the Union orchestrated with D.C. United, and then found out that another Jamaican, Andre Lewis, taken with the No. 7 pick, had in fact signed a contract with the NASL New York Cosmos.
(MLS and the Cosmos were working on a deal to bring Lewis to Vancouver for the start of training camp.)