NASL Notes: Miami Adds Matuzalem, Indy Raids Sacramento, more

IMAGE, TUTTOSPORT.COM

by JAKE NUTTING

Expansion side Miami FC’s aspirations of building an impressive and experienced roster for its inaugural season are looking more realistic every day.

This week, head coach Alessandro Nesta looked to his native Italy to recruuit Matuzalem Francelino da Silva, a well-worn veteran of the country’s domestic competitions.

Matuzalem was most recently with Hellas Verona, but the Brazilian midfielder has a lengthy resume in Italy, including stops at Parma, Lazio, Bologna, Genoa and Napoli over the past 15 years. He made 75 appearances for Lazio over the course of five years and helped the club capture the Coppa Italia during the 2008-2009 season.

In the middle of his career, Matuzalem left Italy for a successful four year spell with Shakhtar Donetsk in Ukraine. In this period he made 68 appearances, tallied 25 goals, earned player of the year honors in 2004 and was also named club captain.

Ottawa Fury FC

Fury FC picked up a player likely looking for some redemption with the signing of Gerardo Bruna. At only 24, Bruna is by no means over the hill, but his career path has undeniably been a disappointment. Bruna started out as a youth player for Real Madrid and then Liverpool. He never managed to crack into the first team on either side and has been bouncing around the English league system since 2011.

After parting ways with Liverpool, the attacker made his way onto Blackpool’s roster, but he only managed two appearances over the course of three seasons. He then made a brief one-season return to Spain to play for SD Huesca in the second division, and that 17 appearance season was his last productive year. He has since been jumping around the English lower divisions, struggling to find playing time with Tranmere Rovers, Whitehawk and Accrington Stanley.

Indy Eleven

Indy Eleven dipped into the transfer market yet again in its effort to overhaul for the 2016 season.

After picking up centerback Colin Falvey and midfielder Sinisa Ubiparipovic on a transfer from the 2015 Fall Season champions Ottawa Fury FC, the club has gone the same route to acquire forward Justin Braun and Nemanja Vuković from the USL’s Sacramento Republic. Both players were on Sacramento’s championship winning squad in 2014.

Braun, 28, is a player that brings considerably more experience than previous attacking players that have suited up for Indy over the past two years. He began his career with the now defunct Chivas USA in MLS, where he went on to make nearly 100 appearances and scored 24 goals. He then bounced around the league, never finding the same success at Montreal Impact, Real Salt Lake or Toronto FC. His recent stint in Sacramento proved more fruitful, notching 12 goals in 43 appearances.

Vuković, 31, has only one season in MLS under his belt. Before his one year with the Columbus Crew in 2012, the defender played the majority of his career in Montenegro and Greece. His two seasons with Sacramento were surprisingly productive for a defender. He scored five goals and recorded three assists in 65 appearances and was named USL Defender of the Year in 2014.

FC Edmonton

According to head coach Colin Miller, FC Edmonton’s additions this week satiated two desires.

First, keeper Nathan Ingham gives Miller the opportunity to continue his successful track record of helping develop Canadian talent. Miller says he specifically wanted to give the opportunity a young Canadian keeper this season. 2016 will be the 22-year-old’s first professional season after playing college soccer at Florida Gulf Coast University. This past year, the youngster was named his conference’s Goalkeeper of the Year and set the record for clean sheets (26).

The Eddies also looked to filling the gaping hole left with the departure of winger Lance Laing by adding 31-year-old Brazilian Gustavo Salgueiro. A veteran of Brazil’s domestic leagues, Salgueiro is an attack minded midfielder that can play centrally or out on the left wing like Laing.