Welcome to another edition of the Breakfast Links. The season is getting closer and the news cycle is heating up!
The MLS SuperDraft was on Tuesday and the Dynamo took Icelandic striker Thor Ulfarsson with the 4th overall pick. The club also added midfielder Paulo Lima and defender Arturo Ordonez with second round picks. Ulfarsson, out of Duke University, is a natural goal scorer who says he models his game after New York City FC’s Taty Castellanos. Thor met with the media last night and wanted Dynamo fans to know, “I would just say that I’m a humble guy and I put my head down and try to do my absolute best for the team that I play for. I can’t wait to see the fans and get to know them and start playing for the club.” Oh, and you’re going to want to start practicing on how to pronounce his name.
Here you go Dynamo fans, hear how Thorleifur Ulfarsson pronounces his name, from the man himself. pic.twitter.com/libHJJyWc4— Dynamo Theory (@dynamotheory) January 12, 2022
A report yesterday from Pablo Maurer of The Athletic said that DC United goalkeeper coach Zach Thornton would be leaving DC and taking the GK coach job in Houston. I can confirm this report that Zach will be joining Paulo Nagamura’s staff. According to my source there were interviews held, including with some internal candidates, and that Thornton was chosen to take over for Paul Rogers who is now at FC Cincinnati.
Make sure to check out the Dynamo Theory podcast if you haven’t already. We have two new episodes out for you including a chat with Dynamo midfielder Marcelo Palomino. Check it out everywhere you get your podcasts.
Expansion club Charlotte FC had the first pick in yesterday’s MLS SuperDraft and they selected Maryland midfielder Ben Bender with their selection. Bender was a first team All-American in 2021 and will look to hit the ground running with the new club looking to build a strong foundation.
Sporting Kansas City was dealt a blow ahead of the 2022 season with news that Mexican striker Alan Pulido will be out for the year after having to have knee surgery. Losing a Designated Player is a big blow and SKC’s inability to sign Robert Beric after selecting him in the re-entry draft now hurts even more for them.
Diego Valeri is reportedly leaving the Portland Timbers and Major League Soccer to return to his boyhood club, Lanus in Argentina. Valeri signed with the Timbers from Lanus in 2013 and helped the Timbers win the club’s only MLS Cup in 2015, won the Landon Donovan MLS MVP in 2017, and was named one of MLS’s 25 greatest players in 2020.
New York City FC will play the home leg of their CONCACAF Champions League against Costa Rica’s Santos de Guápiles Fútbol Club at Banc of California Stadium, home to Los Angeles Football Club. Yeah, they’re going to play a home game in LA. In a statement issued by the club, NYCFC explained that Yankee Stadium and Citi Field are not CONCACAF-approved venues and Red Bull Arena, NYCFC’s other home-away-from-home, is unavailable because of stadium and field renovations. Hopefully the MLS Champions get a real home stadium some time soon.