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NEWS: Earthquakes Sign 16-Year-Old Midfielder Niko Tsakiris to Homegrown Contract

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SAN JOSE, Calif. – The San Jose Earthquakes announced today that the club has signed 16-year-old midfielder Niko Tsakiris (chuh-KARE-us) to a Homegrown Player contract through the 2025 season with a club option for 2026. He becomes the 10th product of the Quakes Academy to sign with the First Team, the ninth such signing since December of 2016, and the second such signing this week. He is the fifth youngest player in club history.

“Niko is an incredibly promising young player that we integrated into First Team training sessions throughout the 2021 season in preparation for this opportunity,” said Earthquakes General Manager Chris Leitch. “We’ve always been impressed by his soccer intelligence and technical skill as an attacking player and have a development plan in place to help him reach his potential in San Jose. I’d like to thank his parents Shaun and Nyssa for their support throughout this process.”

Tsakiris competed for local side De Anza Force Soccer Club before moving to Florida and joining IMG Academy at 10 years old. He returned to the Bay Area two years later in 2017 and joined the Quakes Academy soon after. In addition to starring for the Quakes, often up an age level, Tsakiris earned a call-up to a United States U15 Boys’ National Team camp alongside teammate and fellow Homegrown Emi Ochoa in March 2020.

“I’m thankful for the opportunity and humbled by it,” said Tsakiris. “I’m looking forward to being a part of this group and growing along with the team. I can’t wait to get started.”

The Saratoga, Calif. native and Los Gatos High School student is the son of U.S. U20 Boys’ National Team assistant coach Shaun Tsakiris, who also previously served as head coach for the U.S. U15s and U16s. He is currently ranked by TopDrawerSoccer as the No. 2 player in the Northern California and Hawaii region for the Class of 2024, as well as the No. 9 midfielder nationally.

San Jose currently has eight Homegrown Players on its roster, with Tsakiris joining goalkeepers JT Marcinkowski and Emi Ochoa, defenders Tommy Thompson and Casey Walls, midfielders Gilbert Fuentes and Will Richmond, and forward Cade Cowell.

Born: June 19, 2005, in Saratoga, Calif.

Hometown: Saratoga, Calif.

Previous Club: Quakes Academy

Roster Designation: Domestic, Homegrown

Transaction: San Jose Earthquakes (MLS) – Earthquakes sign 16-year-old M Niko Tsakiris to a Homegrown Player contract through 2025 with a club option for 2026.





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Official: FC Dallas acquire Paul Arriola in MLS-record trade from DC United

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The deal is worth $2 million in General Allocation Money up front, as well as a potential additional $300,000 GAM in performance-based incentives. DCU retain a 30% sell-on clause if Arriola is transferred outside of MLS.

Arriola, 26, made 89 MLS appearances with D.C. United as a Designated Player after being acquired from Liga MX’s Club Tijuana in 2017. He had 20 goals and 16 assists with the Black-and-Red while becoming a USMNT mainstay, making 42 appearances to date. Arriola is currently with the USMNT preparing for three Concacaf World Cup qualifiers over the next week.

“To have a player like Paul Arriola come to FC Dallas is really an amazing thing,” FCD president Dan Hunt said in a release. “Very few players have a resume like he does at the age of 26. He’s also an incredible locker room guy. You don’t get to captain the US national team if you’re not of the highest caliber and a great professional who works hard and has the admiration of his teammates and the coaching staff. We’re thrilled to welcome Paul to Dallas.”

“We want to thank Paul for his commitment and service to the club since he arrived in 2017,” D.C. United general manager Lucy Rushton said in a release. “He has been an integral player for our team and has been a model professional both on and off the field. We wish him luck in the next chapter of his career in Dallas.”





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DeAndre Yedlin is officially available

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DeAndre Yedlin is officially back on the market after Galatasaray announced that the Seattle native was no longer with the team. It had been previously reported that Yedlin was going to accept a buyout.

Yedlin ended up spending less than a year in Turkey, making 27 appearances and 24 starts in league play for one of the country’s biggest clubs. After helping nearly win the Turkish Süper Lig in his first season and falling just short of Champions League qualification, Galatasaray has slumped to 14th about midway through this season. Yedlin had started 15 of 23 games so far.

It’s not entirely clear what’s next for Yedlin. Last week, there was reporting that he was close to returning to MLS, with Inter Miami being the most likely destination. Not only does Miami have a personal connection with Yedlin through Chris Henderson, but they also hold the top spot in the Allocation Order and are in need of a right back. But Yedlin’s agent publicly disputed reports that a signing was imminent.

Around the same time, reports surfaced that Yedlin was in talks with Hull City about potentially returning to England. Hull are currently 19th in the EFL Championship, nine points clear of the relegation zone. Hull are also run by Tan Kesler, who helped bring Yedlin to Galatasaray last summer while working as an agent.

In the meantime, Yedlin remains with the United States men’s national team for a trio of World Cup qualifiers.



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Amber Brooks waived by OL Reign

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OL Reign bid farewell to Amber Brooks on Tuesday, announcing that the defender has been waived to allow her to pursue opportunities for more playing time with another club. Brooks was in her second stint with the Reign, having returned to the club ahead of the 2020 season.

“As our squad for the upcoming season evolved it became apparent that opportunities for Amber would be limited this year. After sharing these expectations with Amber, she and I agreed that her best option was a move to another team in the NWSL,” said OL Reign head coach Laura Harvey in a team release. “We are hopeful that by making this move before preseason it provides Amber a well-deserved chance with another NWSL team. Amber has been an incredible professional during her time with the club and we wish her nothing but the best.”

Brooks previously played for the then-named Seattle Reign FC in 2015, making 12 appearances and scoring one goal for the NWSL Shield-winning side. In the following off-season she was traded to the Houston Dash, where she spent the next four years before returning to the Reign.

In 2020 she helped anchor the Reign backline during the Challenge Cup and Fall Series, making 8 appearances and scoring a goal against Portland. In 2021 she played in three of the team’s four Challenge Cup matches as well as making 11 appearances for 321 minutes in the regular season, but saw her playing time decrease as the season progressed and newly returned head coach Laura Harvey settled on a consistent backline which did not include her.



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