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MLS: LA Galaxy Sign Midfielder Joao Pedro

LA Galaxy Joao Pedro MLS
Vitoria SC's Portugues midfielder Joao Pedro (R) vies with Benfica's Peruvian forward Andre Carrillo (L) during the League Cup 2016/17 match between Vitoria SC and SL Benfica, at Dao Afonso Henriques Stadium in Guimaraes on January 10, 2017. (Photo by Paulo Oliveira / DPI / NurPhoto via Getty Images)

In today’s MLS roundup, João Pedro Almeida Machado, a midfielder from from Vitória Guimarães, was signed as a Special Discovery Player using Targeted Allocation money. João Pedro, as he is known, will occupy an International roster spot and will join the LA Galaxy‘s list following the receipt of his ITC and P-1 Visa. Also, Jelle van Damme has been signed to a new deal.

“João is an extremely talented midfielder who has experience playing at a high-level in Portugal,” said LA Galaxy General Manager Peter Vagenas. “He is only 23 years old and has the best years of his career in front of him. We identified him as a top target this offseason and we think he can immediately help strengthen our midfield. We look forward to welcoming João to Los Angeles as we continue to prepare for the upcoming season.”

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As for the rest of the Galaxy’s list, president Chris Klein emphasized a look to the future.

“We have a different culture in our front office, we have a different method with our team,” said Klein. “I’ll start with the team side first – and this is being challenged and questioned, especially now without Bruce, who has done things his way for eight years. People are asking, what is the Galaxy? Are we going to be different? Are we going to see a different LA Galaxy because Bruce is gone?

“What we’ve always been is a club that has won, and has done it in one way – with the most exciting players that you can have, and the most exciting market in the country – but we win at the end of it. Having Bruce leave and having to usher a new group in, [we] have to re-explain: We haven’t changed at all. This is us.”

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Meanwhile, LA Galaxy’s rivals, Los Angeles Football Club, are eyeing Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez to join their ranks. From…

“[LAFC] are going to do everything possible to sign the current Bayer Leverkusen player, whose contract ends in 2018 and could therefore leave for a reduced fee. That’s what has confirmed with sources close to the project. LAFC hope to announce their new manager this spring and dream, a little later, to do the same with Javier Hernandez, aka Chicharito.”

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Adrian Heath, Minnesota United manager, has hired Mark Watson, former San Jose Earthquakes and Orlando City assistant, as assistant manager. Also joining are assistant coach Ian Fuller and goalkeeper coach Marius Rovde.

“Like most coaches, you like to be familiar with your coaching staff, if you are comfortable with them and know how they work on a daily basis that breeds success,” Heath said. “I look back at what Mark and Ian and I did in Orlando and I am very proud of what we achieved. I am delighted we managed to get the three of us back together again.”

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New York City FC left back Ronald Matarrita and Vancouver Whitecaps midfielder Christian Bolanos were named as part of the CONCACAF Male Best XI.

  • Goalkeeper: Keylor Navas (Costa Rica; Real Madrid)
  • Defenders: Ronald Matarrita (Costa Rica; NYCFC), Wes Morgan (Jamaica; Leicester City), Rafael Marquez (Mexico; Atlas), Miguel Layun (Mexico; Porto)
  • Midfielders: Christian Bolaños (Costa Rica; Vancouver Whitecaps), Atiba Hutchinson (Canada; Besiktas), Andres Guardado (Mexico; PSV Eindhoven), Hirving Lozano (Mexico; Pachuca)
  • Forwards: Andre-Pierre Gignac (France; Tigres UANL), Bryan Ruiz (Costa Rica; Sporting CP)
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Finally, over at the Seattle Sounders, forward Seyo Adekoya of UCLA and midfielder Henry Wingo of Washington were signed to Homegrown contracts. Adekoya and Wingo are likely to prove themselves as part of Sounders 2 of the USL.

“We’re pleased to add two promising young players to our roster as we head into the opening of preseason training camp,” Sounders GM Garth Lagerwey said. “It’s vital that we continue to build from the academy and we look forward to seeing what Seyi and Henry can bring to the table.”

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