Rave Report: Three newest signings add depth in attack

Changes afoot with Toronto FC, a new boss for Chivas USA and more movement around MLS.

Sounders FC has been quite active within the walls of Starfire this week, announcing the re-signing of Lamar Neagle and Marcus Hahnemann and the addition of Homegrown Players Sean Okoli and Aaron Kovar. Also on Thursday, Seattle announced that it signed 2013 Stage Two Re-Entry selection Chad Barrett, adding to the depth at forward.

The 28-year-old forward played last season with the New England Revolution, netting two goals and two assists in 19 appearances to give him 44 goals and 29 assists in his nine MLS seasons. In 2011, he had seven goals and five assists in 27 matches to help the LA Galaxy win the Supporters’ Shield and MLS Cup.

Barrett, Okoli and Kovar mark the fourth, fifth and sixth additions for Sounders FC with more sure to come in the coming weeks. Next Thursday, Seattle holds four picks in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft and the club holds MLS rights to Tristan Bowen and Corey Hertzog and the No. 2 slot in the Allocation order.

Seattle’s current positional breakdown is as follows:
(Note: Italics indicate a secondary position for the player)

Goalkeeper – Josh Ford, Stefan Frei, Marcus Hahnemann.

Right back – DeAndre Yedlin, Zach Scott, Dylan Remick, Will Bates.

Center back – Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Patrick Ianni, Chad Marshall, Zach Scott, Djimi Traore.

Left back – Leo Gonzalez, Dylan Remick.

Right midfieldClint Dempsey, Brad Evans, David Estrada, Lamar Neagle, Sean Okoli.

Central midfield – Osvaldo Alonso, Brad Evans, Shalrie Joseph, Andy Rose, Clint Dempsey.

Left midfield – Alex Caskey, Aaron Kovar, Brad Evans, Lamar Neagle.

Forward – Chad Barrett, Will Bates, Kenny Cooper, Clint Dempsey, David Estrada, Obafemi Martins, Lamar Neagle, Sean Okoli, Eriq Zavaleta.

TIMES CHANGING IN TORONTO

On Thursday, Toronto FC formally announced the return of 2011 MLS MVP Dwayne De Rosario, as the 35-year-old Toronto area native signed with TFC after spending most of the last three seasons with D.C. United. And while the six-time MLS Best XI midfielder and four-time MLS Cup champion is an impact signing despite scoring just three goals in 2013, the headlines in Toronto are much bolder, as the Canadian club is rumored to be bringing in 31-year-old England National Team striker Jermaine Defoe and, in another big coups in MLS, 26-year-old U.S. National Team midfielder Michael Bradley.

Defoe has played most of his career with Tottenham Hotspur, scoring 90 goals in 11 seasons for the Premier League club. He also has 19 goals in 55 caps for England and has been connected strongly to Toronto FC for months.

Bradley, meanwhile, is a move that picked up a lot of steam over the last 24 hours, as reports from ESPN and Italian news outlets have the AS Roma midfielder coming to MLS on a transfer that would make waves throughout the league and for U.S. Soccer.

Nothing has been formally announced by Toronto FC regarding either player, but Sounders FC’s meeting with The Reds on March 15 – Toronto’s regular season opener – is bound to be a spectacle at CenturyLink Field.

CHIVAS NAMES CABRERA HEAD COACH

Wilmer Cabrera was a hot commodity as a Colorado Rapids assistant coach and on Thursday, he parlayed his time with Colorado and the U.S. U-17 National Team into his first MLS head coaching position, as he was named Chivas USA’s 11th Head Coach. The former Colombian National Team player spent five years guiding the U.S. U-17s before assisting Oscar Pareja for two seasons with the Rapids. He replaces Jose Luis Real, who was one of three coaches for Chivas USA in 2013.

MORE MLS MOVES

The Chicago Fire landed perhaps the cream of the Homegrown Player crop in signing Harrison Shipp on Thursday. The 22-year-old forward had 23 goals and 24 assists in 83 matches at Notre Dame, captaining the Fighting Irish to the 2013 College Cup title. He is one of three finalists for the MAC Hermann Trophy, which will be announced on Friday.

Former U.S. National Team forward Charlie Davies will stay with his local team, as the New England Revolution signed Davies on a free transfer from Denmark’s Randers FC. A New Hampshire native and Boston College product, Davies has played professionally in Sweden, France and Denmark, along with an 11-goal season with D.C. United in 2011. Last year, he appeared in four matches for the Revs on loan from Randers.

Finally, FC Dallas acquired Brian Span in a weighted lottery on Thursday, bringing the former U.S. U-17 midfielder to MLS from Sweden’s Djurgardens IF. Span, 22, scored one goal in 14 matches for the Swedish first division club.

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