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News in Brief: Atlanta, Juninho, Venegas, and MLS Expansion Targets

by on 15 December 2016

According to MLSsoccer.com and Grant Wahl, Atlanta is Winning the Offseason

Sam Stejskal had some very complimentary things to say about Atlanta’s approach to team building by paying big dollars for young designated players.

“It’s still very, very early, but it’s hard not to be impressed by the way Atlanta have started. With their emphasis on young South American stars, established vets and an already thriving academy, they’re building like FC Dallas but spending like NYCFC. Their model looks great on paper, and I can’t wait to see how it translates to the field starting in March.”

Sports Illustrated’s Grant Wahl took it a step further, saying that Atlanta will be more prepared than Minnesota United FC.

Juninho to Minnesota? Not likely, but would be a great pick up as the first Designated Player for Minnesota

Another tidbit in the Stejskal piece was that former Galaxy player Juninho might be returning to MLS and that Minnesota would hold the right of first refusal on the holding midfielder.

“Because he was sold for a transfer fee greater than $500,000, Juninho would go through the allocation process if he returned to MLS. Atlanta will soon hold the first spot in the allocation order, though they’ll reportedly use that to sign goalkeeper Brad Guzan. That’d give fellow expansion club Minnesota the first crack at acquiring Juninho if he returned to the league, followed by Chicago, Houston and Columbus.”

Juninho would be a great pickup for Minnesota, as his salary would not be too large, he has experience in the league, and is only 27 years old. Plus, Stejskal suggests that it would be an one year loan deal, with the option to sign. That structure would be perfect for a team still looking to build their squad on a budget.

Johan Venegas has kind words for his former team (Montreal Impact) and his new team Minnesota United FC

Right now, Venegas is saying all the right things. Above all, he’s a great MLS player and surefire starter for Minnesota.

Don Garber puts forth 10 potential MLS expansion targets

My personal favorites are Tampa (that stadium is in an amazing location), Detroit (as long as it’s DCFC), and Raleigh (so I have an excuse to visit my only aunt still alive). What non-financial reasons do you have to support some of the cities on that list in their bid for an MLS expansion franchise?

Star Tribune hires Megan Ryan for the Minnesota United FC beat

Our own Brian Quarstad had this to say about Megan:

“She wrote for me at IMS while she was attending the U for journalism and writing for the Daily. She’s very smart and a huge soccer fan with Barcelona being her favorite team. She interned for the Trib for a while before interning down in Texas and then taking a job for a couple of years in Pittsburgh. We messaged today and she’s absolutely thrilled to be back and to be covering MNUFC.”

One more thing…

This video is pretty cool. Truly, soccer is the world’s game.

 

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  • nathan3e

    The obvious problem with trying to definitively project in December: For every seemingly obvious plus one can easily attach a yes, but….addendum. South American stars in Atlanta? Definitely. Are they overpaying in transfer fees and salaries to bring those players to a new league in a new country? Also yes. People underestimate how difficult that can be. Ever Banega is currently failing miserably in Italy. Is he now a bad player?

    Declaring outright that one team is better than another team before a ball has been kicked is just clickbait. Do a Google search and see what MLS experts thought of the Ali Curtis plan when he was hired. The plan that has transformed that club from a tedious soap opera into what it is today.

    • Bill Stenross

      Yep. We’ll see. I’m glad MN is spending smart. A lot of MLS teams have success on a budget. Hope MN can do the same.