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Thursday’s MLS Sweep: Sounders nurture their Colombian pipeline, Luis Gil says no to the Midwest

Posted on 25 February 2010 by Breton Bonnette

Luis Gil will sign with the defending champs, Real Salt Lake after stating very clearly that he will not speak with the Kansas City Wizards and would like to be closer to his California home. The Wizards, a bit perturbed as you can imagine, will grant the 17-year old’s wishes getting an international spot, a 2nd round 2011 MLS SuperDraft pick, and a 25% future sell-on clause in return. RSL have had a mixed history with significant youth in their squad as of late. Everyone remembers the 2005 #1 dud in Nik Besagno and many RSL fans are still waiting for Alex Nimo to contribute. The difference is, however, that Gil drew the attention of both Arsenal and Real Madrid before opting to sign with Major League Soccer. It should pan out nicely for RSL with Andy Williams and Javier Morales tutoring Gil in preparation to hopefully see some time in 2010. RSL’s hopes for the kid are similar to those that the Union have for their youth. With 17-year old Jack McInerney and 18-year olds Amobi Okugo and Danny Mwanga, many are interested to see how this season will pan out.

Claudio ‘El Piojo’ Lopez will join Kevin Hartman as yet another Kansas City Wizard veteran castoff after Peter Vermes said goodbye to the Argentine legend this past weekend. In two seasons, Lopez grabbed 13 goals and contributed 15 assists to two mediocre Wizard seasons. At 35 and rising contract needs, the Wizards were somewhat forced to let go of the striker. Welcome to the starting line-up Teal Bunbury, can you match El Piojo in your first year?

The Sounders have held on to Fredy Montero, signed Jhon Kennedy Hurtado permanently, and now are on the verge of landing yet another Colombian starlet. 18-year old striker Miguel Montaño will apparently report to camp in early March according to Sounders GM Adrian Hanauer and ProstAmerika. His biggest strength is his pace but at just 18, it could be some time before he sees significant minutes. Then again, Fredy Montero is only 4 years his senior and has flourished. With two other Colombians in the squad, the biggest fear of transition to a new country, new set-up could be a bit easier for the youngster. In fact, both Montero and Montaño share the same agent. It seems there’s the making of a long Colombian pipeline in Seattle.

Steve Nicol and the New England Revolution have signed another no-name African prospect in 23-year old Niouky Desire. If you remember his most recent discoveries – the Gambian duo Sainey Nyassi and Kenny Mansally- I’ll give Nicol the benefit of the doubt on this one. Only problem is,  Nicol says that the Senegalese midfielder “could be as good as Pat Phelan or Michael Videira”. Well that’s incredibly underwhelming for Revs fans. I’m pretty sure that “as good as a Shalrie Joseph” would have been a better fit for Revs fans’ expectations. Then again with Phelan, Videira, and now Desire fighting for that second central midfield spot alongside Joseph, it’s clear Nicol is hoping for one of these guys to develop into someone comparable to the departing Jeff Larentowicz.

Quick Notes:

All eyes are on the labor disputes due to expire today. Maybe if we ignore it, it’ll all go away?

The Wizards released four – one of which is of signficance. Defensive midfielder Kurt Morsink got the axe after over 40 appearances for Kansas City.

Will somebody please sign fellow UPenn alum and former RBNY goalkeeper Danny Cepero? Nothing made me happier than his Major League Soccer debut. Remember that turf bounce over the head of Columbus keeper Andy Greunebaum? So step up MLS squads and sign the guy – because I said so.

Former William and Mary standout and Revs shotstopper Adin Brown has returned from Norway to play for future MLS squad Portland Timbers. Could be a good guy to have on your team in 2011.

Houston Dynamo alum Stuart Holden played the full 90 in a crappy 4-0 loss to Tottenham in FA Cup play. Holden, however, was one of the lone bright spots for the ugly Wanderers, making his passes, looking dangerous, and supplying Bolton with dangerous dead balls.

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