1. Rumors heat up about Dos Santos, Hernandez.
We’ve heard this stuff before, but MLS is supposedly on the hunt for Mexican national team stars Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez and Giovanni dos Santos.Spain-based El Periódico Mediterráneo reported Tuesday that Dos Santos could be leaving Villarreal of La Liga to sign with MLS and play for the Galaxy, which already has the maximum of three Designated Players.
Defender Omar Gonzalez, who signed a DP deal last summer, is always among the players mentioned as possible transfer targets, but ESPN analyst Taylor Twellman said during an ESPN2 telecast Sunday that the league is looking at tweaking its mechanisms to accommodate high-profile players.
On Tuesday afternoon, Seattle Sounders general manager Garth Lagerwey said MLS's league office will hold a conference call with club executives on Wednesday to explain the new player acquisition mechanisms that are expected to include a "core player" that will allow teams to in effect have four players above the maximum salary, currently at $436,250.
“They’re going to tell us all about the new rule,” Lagerwey told the Seattle Times. “It’s been hinted to us that there might be some other options and stuff out there. They’re going to walk us through … I don’t know if it’s what they think it’ll look like, I don’t know if it’s been agreed to by the union, that’s stuff that we’ll learn tomorrow."
Dos Santos managed just one goal and three assists in 27 games for Villarreal during the 2014-15 season. He has played 86 times for Mexico and scored for his country in a 2-2 tie earlier this week against Costa Rica.
2. Venue switched for Manchester United-Earthquakes friendly.
Citing logistical complications for Manchester United’s visit to the U.S. this month -- an extra hour of travel each way -- promoters of the International Champions Cup North America have announced United will play the Earthquakes at 18,000-seat Avaya Stadium instead of 60,000-seat Kabam Field on the campus of UC Berkeley.
The game, to be played July 21 at 8 p.m., will follow by a week a Quakes-Club America friendly at Avaya that is already sold out. Manchester United will be based in San Jose and train at Avaya Stadium for this game as well as a match at Levi’s Stadium, home of the San Francisco 49ers, against Barcelona.
Last year the Quakes played then-La Liga champion Atletico Madrid at Candlestick Park, which is being demolished. This season it has already played league games at three venues: Levi’s Stadium, Stanford Stadium, and Avaya, which hosted its first match in the spring.
On United's 2014 tour, its new manager, Louis van Gaal, complained about the team's long flights between cities and the traffic delays from its hotel to practice facilities and stadium while based in Los Angeles.
No player in league history has scored two goals in a game at the rate attained by Portland’s Fanendo Adi.
His latest double helped down Cascadia Cup rival Seattle, 4-1, at Providence Park on Sunday. Timber Joey fired up his chainsaw twice to commemorate strikes by Adi that broke open a 1-1 tie and propelled Portland to its fifth win in the last six matches.
Adi has scored two goals in a game three times this season and since playing his first game for Portland in May of last year has done it seven times. He’s never scored a hat trick and only three times has scored once in game. On average, he scores twice in a game in nearly one- quarter of the games he starts (seven out of 29 starts).
4. Orlando City will field its own USL team next season.
There will be at least nine MLS teams with their own USL affiliate in 2016; Orlando City will join the ranks and terminate its current affiliation from Louisville City SC at the end of the current season.
The Lions have named staff coach Anthony Pulis, son of Premier League manager Tony Pulis, as head coach of the USL team. OCSC follows in the steps of the Galaxy, Red Bulls, Montreal, Portland, Real Salt Lake, Seattle, Toronto and Vancouver.
Before launching operations in MLS this season, Orlando City was the USL affiliate of Sporting Kansas City. Striker Dom Dwyer played for both teams in 2013 and helped both win their respective league titles.
“The USL is excited for the prospect of returning to the Orlando area,” said USL president Jake Edwards in a statement announcing the deal. “Central Florida has a great USL tradition, and a market hungry for high-level professional soccer. This marks a continuation of the USL's focus on broadening its footprint in the southeastern United States.”
5. Toronto FC hires academy director.
Former Ligue 1 centerback Laurent Guyot takes over as Toronto FC’s academy director on Aug. 1.
Guyot, 45, has left his post as head coach of the France U-16 national team to join the staff of TFC. For the past two years, he has also worked as an instructor for the Elite Formation Coaching Licence (EFCL) program, which is a partnership between the French soccer federation (FFF) and MLS.
As a player he appeared in 290 Ligue 1 matches and 36 Ligue 2 games for FC Nantes, Toulouse and Guingamp and represented France at youth levels from U-18 to U-21. He started his coaching career with Nantes in 2002 and holds both a youth coaching license and professional license from FFF.
Guyot joins a staff directed by head coach Greg Vanney, who was the team’s academy director prior to being hired as Ryan Nelsen’s replacement last August. Thomas Rongen preceded Vanney as the team’s academy director.
“I am very happy and proud to join Toronto FC,” said Guyot in a team statement announcing the hire. “I understand the importance of this position having worked in the same role for FC Nantes and most recently for the French U-16 and U-17 national teams. I am looking forward to working with our academy coaches and sharing the responsibility of growing and developing our young players.”