Main takeaways from MLS contract deadline day
Major League Soccer saw a lot of big names in the news as “Contract Deadline Day” played out across the U.S. and Canada.
-- The New York Red Bulls watched two all-timers walk out the door, as Bradley Wright-Phillips did not get a new contract and the club declined its option on Luis Robles (STORY).
-- Not a player move, but Austin FC announced the hiring of former NYCFC sporting director Claudio Reyna to the same position.
-- Toronto FC is yet to reach a deal to keep Michael Bradley in town, but remains in contract talks with its captain. The same is true for Nicolas Benezet, while Drew Moor is out-of-contract.
-- And that’s also what’s happening in Portland with Diego Valeri, the longtime star in talks with the team despite not having his option picked up.
-- Chicago Fire announced a new branding initiative, changing its logo from a classic crest to something else and dropping the SC for an FC. Like Columbus before them, everyone will still call them the fire and ignore the SC, FC, or whatever see. It’s what happens when you take a formal nickname.
The club also cut ties with playmakers Nico Gaitan and Aleksandar Katai.
-- Minnesota United remains in talks to bring back Reading loanee and reigning MLS Goalkeeper of the Year winner Vito Mannone, and that means longtime backstop Bobby Shuttleworth will hit the open market.
-- Orlando declined its option on Dillon Powers, and also let the clock run out on the contract of one-time megastar Sacha Kljestan.
-- Real Salt Lake did not reach an agreement with Kyle Beckerman on a new deal, though MLSSoccer.com thinks he’s still in the mix.
-- New England is letting Juan Agudelo walk into free agency.
-- Atlanta United exercised the contract option for Julian Gressel, but he’s being badly underpaid and the club needs to find salary room for a proper new deal.
-- Thierry Henry is keeping his two brightest attacker, with Ignacio Piatti getting another year at the club and Saphir Taider seeing his loan from Bologna made permanent.
-- The Philadelphia Union did not exercise their option on Marco Fabian, and are letting Haris Medunjanin leave without a new deal.
-- Roman Torres did not see his option exercised by the Sounders, and Kim Kee-hee is also leaving the club.
-- Sporting KC waves goodbye to Seth Sinovic, Krisztian Nemeth, Benny Feilhaber, and Gedion Zelalem.