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Around The Forest: Chelsea sign Olivier Giroud as deadline approaches

Also: Kries cranks it up in Orlando, Thorns add 3 in dispersal draft, D.C. United bring in former U.S. youth international on trial and more!


New arrivals | Thorns FC enjoys banner day adding Purce, Salem, Onumonu in Dispersal Draft | Portland Timbers
Two days of fortune for Thorns FC around the NWSL Dispersal Draft culminated Tuesday with a haul that went beyond what head coach Mark Parsons could have reasonably expected. In Midge Purce, Angela Salem and Ifeoma Onumonu, Portland picked up three players who should be able to compete for playing time immediately – not bad considering the team made its final selection with the 22nd pick, overall.

Major League Soccer

D.C. United invites former U.S. U-20 defender to training camp - The Washington Post
John Requejo Jr., a former U.S. youth international who played in the Mexican leagues for 3 1/2 years, has begun a trial with D.C. United. The 21-year-old free agent is a left back from Santa Barbara County, Calif., who passed up an offer from UCLA to sign with Tijuana. He played primarily in Copa MX matches for three seasons before going on loan to second-division Dorados last summer, starting five matches across all competitions.

Sources: LAFC set to sign Canadian winger Mark Anthony Kaye |
LAFC acquired Kaye's rights after completing a transfer deal with Kaye's former club, Louisville City, for an undisclosed fee believed to be one of the highest paid for a USL player. The 23-year-old left-footed winger played for Canada in last summer's CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Castillo: How David Beckham can back up the glitz in Miami |
It was, probably, the reggaeton remix of the Spice Girls’ “Wannabe,” making surfaces vibrate with its club-level decibels, that tied everything together on Monday afternoon at the Knight Concert Hall at downtown Miami’s Adrienne Arsht Center. The big deal? Another announcement from the David Beckham-fronted ownership group pursuing MLS expansion in Miami. The vibe? Gleefully over-the-top, the soundtrack and sights a mix of urban Latin culture with a nod to Europe. Phone cameras snapped and supporters for the still-to-come-team randomly broke out into chants – it was all so willfully extra, just like the city hosting the event.

After honoring Meram trade request, Berhalter begins work of replacing him |
In less than 10 days, Columbus Crew SC have traded their two highest-scoring players in 2017 to league foes. The process of replacing them begins immediately. The club announced Monday that it had dealt winger Justin Meram to Orlando City SC for a massive haul of funds, including $750,000 in Targeted Allocation Money and $300,000 in General Allocation Money along with a 2019 international roster spot.

LAFC Acquires Defender Dejan Jaković | Los Angeles Football Club
The Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC) announced today the acquisition of defender Dejan Jaković. The 32-year-old center back will join the team in California for preseason training prior to LAFC’s inaugural season in Major League Soccer.

Stejskal: Jason Kreis going all-in with big winter for Orlando City SC |
The Lions’ winter of win-now took a huge leap forward Monday, when the club acquired Justin Meram in a trade with Columbus Crew SC and moved closer to acquiring talented former Sporting Kansas City holding midfielder Uri Rosell from Sporting CP.

Wiebe: There's nothing not to like about Jack Harrison's move to England |
It was a win-win-win-win situation for Jack Harrison, New York City FC, Manchester City and Major League Soccer. And when everyone is winning, deals have a way of getting done. That was the case on Tuesday as Harrison’s seven-figure transfer to Man City was finalized after weeks of reports linking the 21-year-old to Stoke City and Middlesbrough. The midfielder will immediately go out on loan to the latter for the next six months.

United States

Steve Cherundolo joins VfB Stuttgart as assistant coach - Stars and Stripes FC
VfB Stuttgart have revealed former U.S. international Steve Cherundolo as one of Tayfun Korkut’s assistant coaches. The recently promoted club fired Hannes Wolf after a string of bad results, believing that new blood would help avoid a relegation fight.


Chelsea get their target man in Olivier Giroud -
Giroud is reported to be signing an 18 month contract with the Blues, which is an understandable bit of protection for Chelsea to take for themselves in this deal for the 31 year old French international. While Giroud is undeniably talented, with deceptive athleticism that he uses well and a surprising passing touch, he’s also had a rough go of things with Arsenal in recent times.

PSG's Neymar hits back at critics after handshake prank vs. Rennes
Paris Saint-Germain superstar Neymar has defended his gesture towards Rennes' Hamari Traore during the 3-2 Coupe de la Ligue semifinal win on Tuesday. Neymar was accused of showboating during the match and after picking up a late booking for a foul, went to help Traore to his feet but instead removed his hand before making contact.

Arsenal's Mesut Ozil signs new contract through to summer of 2021 - source
Mesut Ozil has ended speculation over his future by signing a new three-year deal with Arsenal, a source close to the player has told ESPN FC. Ozil, 29, was due to be out of contract at the end of the season but will now be tied to the club until the summer of 2021