FC Cincinnati roster takes shape in MLS expansion draft


By ANNE M. PETERSON - AP Sports Writer



FILE - In this  Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018 file photo, Atlanta United defender Greg Garza, right, controls the ball as New York Red Bulls midfielder Alex Muyl (19) defends In the second half of an MLS soccer playoff game in Atlanta. Cincinnati FC acquired striker Kei Kamara from the Vancouver Whitecaps in the MLS expansion draft and then immediately dealt him to the Colorado Rapids. The team also acquired FC left back Greg Garza from MLS Cup champion Atlanta United for $450,000 in allocation money. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)

FILE - In this Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018 file photo, Atlanta United defender Greg Garza, right, controls the ball as New York Red Bulls midfielder Alex Muyl (19) defends In the second half of an MLS soccer playoff game in Atlanta. Cincinnati FC acquired striker Kei Kamara from the Vancouver Whitecaps in the MLS expansion draft and then immediately dealt him to the Colorado Rapids. The team also acquired FC left back Greg Garza from MLS Cup champion Atlanta United for $450,000 in allocation money. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)


FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2017, file photo, Columbus Crew goalkeeper Zack Steffen makes a save on a penalty kick from Toronto FC midfielder Victor Vazquez, not shown, during the first half of an Eastern Conference MLS final playoff soccer game in Toronto. American goalkeeper Zack Steffen will transfer to Manchester City from the Columbus Crew in July. The Crew said Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018, that Steffen will join City when the summer transfer window opens July 9.(Mark Blinch/The Canadian Press via AP, File)


Cincinnati acquired striker Kei Kamara from the Vancouver Whitecaps in the MLS expansion draft and then immediately dealt him to the Colorado Rapids for a 2019 international slot.

Cincinnati selected four other players in the expansion draft Tuesday: forward Darren Mattocks from D.C. United, midfielder Roland Lamah from FC Dallas, midfielder Eric Alexander from the Houston Dynamo and defender Hasan Ndam from the New York Red Bulls.

The team also acquired left back Greg Garza from MLS Cup champion Atlanta United for $450,000 in allocation money.

Later Tuesday, Cincinnati traded for Whitecaps defender Kendall Waston. Vancouver got $750,000 in allocation money and the international roster spot obtained earlier from the Rapids.

“Thrilled to help lead the way as the club moves into MLS Can’t wait to get to work,” Waston, who played for Costa Rica in the World Cup in Russia this past summer, posted to Twitter.

“Kendall has been one of the best players in MLS since he arrived in this league,” Cincinnati head coach Alan Koch said in a statement. “He will be a cornerstone of our club and we couldn’t be happier to have him join our group for our first MLS season.”

Mattocks, Cincinnati’s first pick in the draft, had 10 goals this season for D.C. United. Kamara had 14 goals with five assists for the Whitecaps.

The draft came on a busy day in the league with numerous other deals announced.

The Red Bulls acquired defender Amro Tarek from Orlando City SC in exchange for a fourth-round pick in the 2019 MLS SuperDraft. Orlando also acquired defender Joao Moutinho from LAFC in exchange for defender Mohamed El-Munir.

The five-time MLS champion Los Angeles Galaxy also announced that Dennis te Kloese had been named the team’s new general manager.

Columbus goalkeeper Zack Steffen will transfer to Manchester City in July when the summer transfer window opens, the Crew said Tuesday. Steffen was named the league’s Goalkeeper of the Year this season.

“Today’s announcement is the culmination of two-and-a-half years of development and success for Zack. As someone who worked closely with Zack throughout, on behalf of the club, I would like to say that we couldn’t be happier for him,” Crew interim general manager Pat Onstad said in a statement.

Cincinnati will become the 24th MLS team when it joins the league for the 2019 season. The team will play at the University of Cincinnati’s Nippert Stadium until its own stadium is finished in 2021.

Two other expansion teams in Nashville and Miami are set to join the league in 2020.

Goalie Zack Steffen voted USSF male player of 2018

CHICAGO (AP) — Goalkeeper Zack Steffen was voted the U.S. Soccer Federation’s Male Player of the Year for 2018, the first year since 1987 the Americans did not play a competitive match.

Steffen received 44 percent of the votes, followed by midfielders Tyler Adams (38 percent) and Weston McKennie (16 percent), the USSF said Tuesday, Dec. 18.

Interim coach Dave Sarachan mostly bypassed veterans and went with youth following the Americans’ failure to qualify for the World Cup. Gregg Berhalter replaced Sarachan this month.

Steffen appeared in six of 11 U.S. matches this year. The 23-year-old will leave Major League Soccer’s Columbus Crew in July to transfer to Manchester City.

Midfielder Alex Mendez was voted the Young Male Player of the Year. Mendez got 43 percent, followed by Mark McKenzie and Giovanni Reyna with 18 percent each. Reyna is a son of former U.S. captain Claudio Reyna.

Mendez, 18, was voted top player of last month’s CONCACAF Under-20 Championship after scoring eight goals with six assists. He signed with Germany’s Freiburg in October and is eligible to play next month.

Voters include national team coaches, players with national team appearances in 2018, the USSF board of directors and athlete council members, coaches in Major League Soccer, the United Soccer League, National Women’s Soccer League, men’s and women’s national team coaches, select media and former players and administrators.

FILE – In this Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018 file photo, Atlanta United defender Greg Garza, right, controls the ball as New York Red Bulls midfielder Alex Muyl (19) defends In the second half of an MLS soccer playoff game in Atlanta. Cincinnati FC acquired striker Kei Kamara from the Vancouver Whitecaps in the MLS expansion draft and then immediately dealt him to the Colorado Rapids. The team also acquired FC left back Greg Garza from MLS Cup champion Atlanta United for $450,000 in allocation money. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
https://www.sunburynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/48/2019/01/web1_f54179be73594e768839dfd3a0cd0fdd-f54179be73594e768839dfd3a0cd0fdd-0.jpgFILE – In this Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018 file photo, Atlanta United defender Greg Garza, right, controls the ball as New York Red Bulls midfielder Alex Muyl (19) defends In the second half of an MLS soccer playoff game in Atlanta. Cincinnati FC acquired striker Kei Kamara from the Vancouver Whitecaps in the MLS expansion draft and then immediately dealt him to the Colorado Rapids. The team also acquired FC left back Greg Garza from MLS Cup champion Atlanta United for $450,000 in allocation money. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)

FILE – In this Nov. 29, 2017, file photo, Columbus Crew goalkeeper Zack Steffen makes a save on a penalty kick from Toronto FC midfielder Victor Vazquez, not shown, during the first half of an Eastern Conference MLS final playoff soccer game in Toronto. American goalkeeper Zack Steffen will transfer to Manchester City from the Columbus Crew in July. The Crew said Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018, that Steffen will join City when the summer transfer window opens July 9.(Mark Blinch/The Canadian Press via AP, File)
https://www.sunburynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/48/2019/01/web1_54ef5a03440844828631047c7be76bc5-54ef5a03440844828631047c7be76bc5-0.jpgFILE – In this Nov. 29, 2017, file photo, Columbus Crew goalkeeper Zack Steffen makes a save on a penalty kick from Toronto FC midfielder Victor Vazquez, not shown, during the first half of an Eastern Conference MLS final playoff soccer game in Toronto. American goalkeeper Zack Steffen will transfer to Manchester City from the Columbus Crew in July. The Crew said Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018, that Steffen will join City when the summer transfer window opens July 9.(Mark Blinch/The Canadian Press via AP, File)

By ANNE M. PETERSON

AP Sports Writer

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More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports