[MLS 2014 COUNTDOWN]The movement of French players to MLS continued as the Philadelphia Union confirmed the signing of midfielder Vincent Nogueirafrom Sochaux.
More than two dozen Frenchmen have moved to MLS in the last five years. Until now, they've generally fallen into one of two categories: players from the generation of Thierry Henry, drawn to MLS for one last hurrah -- players like Peguy Luyindula, Frederic Piquionne, Mikael Silvestre, Djimi Traore and Peter Luccin -- or players for whom things never worked out in France -- players like Aurelien CollinandSebastien Le Toux who have thrived in MLS.
Nogueira and Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi, signed by San Jose from Ajaccio, fall into a new category. Both are players at the prime of their careers -- Nogueira is 26 and Pierazzi is 28 -- drawn to MLS. Both are legitimate Ligue 1 players -- Pierazzi has played 179 pro matches, Nogueira has played 113 games. Both are midfielders, and both are their club captains.
It should be added that both are leaving the only clubs they've played for in very serious danger of being relegated.
Frenchies in MLS (2004):
GP PLAYER (TEAM)
155 Sebastien Le Toux (Philadelphia)
92 Thierry Henry (New York)
81 Aurelien Collin (Sporting KC)
66 Eric Hassli (FC Dallas)
52 Hassoun Camara (Montreal)
49 Saer Sene (New England)
30 Dimitry Imbongo (New England)
27 Djimi Traore (Seattle)
22 Peguy Luyindula (New York)
21 Frederic Piquionne (Portland)
3 Peter Luccin(FC Dallas)
0 Yann Ekra(Philadelphia)
0 Wandrille Lefevre (Montreal)
0 Vincent Nogueira (Philadelphia)
0 Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi (San Jose)
GP=career MLS appearances.
Note:Traore (Mali) and Piquionne (Martinique) also played internationally for other national teams:
GALAXY SIGNS SWEDE ISHIZAKI.The LA Galaxy will tae another stab at a Swedish winger, signing 31-year-old Stefan Ishizaki, a former Swedish international who spent the past eight seasons with Elfsborg in the Allsvenskan and won a pair of championships. Christian Wilhelmsson played half a season for the Galaxy in 2012, on the 10th stop in a career that has seen him play on 11 clubs in 11 different countries.
“Stefan is an excellent addition to our team,” said LA Galaxy head coach and general manager Bruce Arena. “He is an experienced player, an exceptional passer and a proven winner.”
MYERS REUPS WITH SPORTING KC.Chance Myers, the only player on the U.S. national team's trip to Brazil unsigned for the 2014 MLS season, signed a new contract with Sporting Kansas City and arrived in Tucson, Ariz., to join the team for the 2014 preseason. Myers, a former No. 1 SuperDraft pick, enters his seventh season with the club and is the second-longest tenured player on the Sporting KC roster.
"Re-signing Chance was an important goal of ours in the offseason," Sporting KC Manager Peter Vermes said. "We're looking forward to him entering training camp and another season with our team because he's been one of the core members of this group. We hope to continue the consistency that we've had over that time."
MONTERO TRANSFER FINALIZED. Portuguese club Sporting has exercised its option to buy Fredy Montero from the Seattle Sounders.
Montero, Seattle's all-time leading scorer with 47 goals in MLS play, has scored 19 goals in 20 games in all competitions and is the top scorer in the Portuguese Liga with 13 goals this season for Sporting. He moved to Spain after playing on loan to Colombia's Millonarios.
"Fredy has been and will always be a special member of our family," said Sounders co-owner and general manager Adrian Hanauer of the MLS Sounders original. "Fredy had a wonderful career in Seattle and is continuing that success overseas. Hopefully, his quality of play gives him an opportunity to be added to the Colombia World Cup roster. We wish him well with this next chapter of his career."