MLS Offseason Notebook: Whitecaps sign Bolanos, Berhalter signs extension, more


By Ryan Brister

Gregg Berhalter signs contract extension with Crew SC: Just a month after leading Columbus to the MLS Cup Final, Gregg Berhalter has inked a multi-year extension to his contract. His previous deal was set to expire after the 2017 season. In addition to being the head coach, Berhalter is also the Sporting Director for the Crew, giving him full authority over personnel decisions.

Christian Bolanos signs with Vancouver: Costa Rican international Christian Bolanos has reportedly signed with the Vancouver Whitecaps. At 31, Bolanos comes with significant experience in Europe, most notably for FC Copenhagen, where he scored 14 goals in 101 appearances. Most recently, he was playing for Saprissa, a side you might find familiar from their CONCACAF Champions League appearances.

Diego Fagundez signs extension with New England: Homegrown player Diego Fagundez has extended his contract with the New England Revolution. A member of Uruguayan youth teams, Fagundez has garnered interest from European clubs, but is opting to stay in MLS. Fagundez, who is still only 20, has 28 goals in his MLS career, and set the mark for a teenager in the league.

San Jose signs Simon Dawkins as designated player: Former Derby County winger Simon Dawkins has been transferred to the San Jose Earthquakes. Dawkins came up through Tottenham Hotspur’s academy, but never played with the senior team. As part of a relationship Spurs had with the Earthquakes, Dawkins went on loan to San Jose for 2011 and 2012, scoring fourteen goals in 53 games.

Reportedly, it is the transfer fee that pushes Dawkins over the designated player threshold. He joins San Jose’s existing DPs Chris Wondolowski, Innocent Emeghara, and Matias Perez Garcia. Before the season starts, the Earthquakes will have to reduce their four DPs to three; targeted allocation money would be the simplest method of doing so.

Emanuel Pogatetz leaves Columbus for Union Berlin: Former Columbus Crew SC defender Emanuel Pogatetz has returned to Germany and signed with Union Berlin. Since signing with the Crew in 2014, Pogatetz made 21 appearances for the club. His playing time was severely diminished by the end of the 2015 season, and he did not appear in any of Columbus’ playoff games.

Patrick Nyarko traded to DC: The Chicago Fire have traded winger Patrick Nyarko to DC United in exchange for a second-round pick in the SuperDraft. Nyarko, 29, had spent all eight years of his pro career with the Fire since being drafted by the club in 2008. He scored 19 goals in his 196 appearances for the club.

StubHub Center could potentially host NFL team: Three NFL teams are seeking to move to Los Angeles this year, but neither of the stadiums being proposed will be ready until 2018 at the earliest. This has lead to speculation that the LA Galaxy’s StubHub Center could serve as a temporary host to the NFL; ESPN reports that the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders have had discussions regarding the venue. The Galaxy are used to sharing their stadium; Chivas USA played 10 seasons there.



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