Three MLS teams announced significant acquisitions yesterday as FC Dallas and the Portland Timbers each landed a Colombian striker, and Red Bull New York confirmed the anticipated signing of Finnish midfielder/defender (and Name Hall of Fame candidate) Teemu Tainio.
FC Dallas signed 18-year-old forward Fabian Castillo, who made 17 appearances and scored three goals for Deportivo Cali last season. Castillo recently played in the South American U-20 championship, and was reportedly being courted by several European clubs.
The Timbers finally put striker Jorge Perlaza on their books after the 26-year-old striker had been with the team for most of training camp. In 2010, Perlaza scored 15 goals in 31 appearances for Colombian first-division side Deportes Tolima, helping lead the club to a first-place finish.
Castillo and Perlaza become the 14th and 15th Colombians to join MLS in the past few years, and Castillo is the fifth Deportivo Cali alum to migrate northward, following Fredy Montero, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado (both Seattle), Jamison Olave (Real Salt Lake), and Jair Benitez, whom Castillo will join in Dallas. Dallas has two other Colombians in 2010 league MVP David Ferreira and striker Milton Rodriguez.
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Tainio, 31, officially signed with New York after joining the club in training camp on Feb 10. He’s expected to line up in midfield for tonight’s exhibition against Mexico’s Club Atlas—the Red Bulls’ final tuneup before their MLS opener on March 19.