OL Reign’s Tullis-Joyce joins Manchester United in women’s record transfer for goalkeeper

A popular player is leaving Seattle for the WSL

Deadline day for the Women’s Super League saw a world record transfer for a goalkeeper in women’s soccer.

Phallon Tullis-Joyce has joined Manchester United, departing OL Reign in a deal reported by Sounder at Heart to be worth nearly $160,000.

“Today has been pure excitement for me,” said Tullis-Joyce in a press release from her new club. “Manchester United is such an historic club, that has already done so much in the women’s game. I’m so honored to get this opportunity.”

“Phallon joins us at an exciting time for Manchester United Women, as we embark on our first European season,” added manager Marc Skinner. “We are delighted to welcome Phallon to our family.”

The transfer fee and various add-ons surpass the financial side of Kailen Sheridan’s December 2021 move from NJ/NY Gotham FC to the San Diego Wave, which is believed to be the previous global record for a goalkeeper in women’s soccer. That deal saw the Wave put up $130,000 in allocation money, along with a guarantee that the then-expansion club would not select any players from Gotham in that year’s expansion draft.

With the Red Devils, Tullis-Joyce may have a battle on her hands. England No. 1 Mary Earps was the subject of a huge amount of transfer speculation following the World Cup, but a mooted move to Arsenal was not completed before the WSL’s deadline closed late on Thursday.

A blow for OL Reign on and off the field

Tullis-Joyce finishes her three years in Seattle with 47 appearances in all competitions, and holds the club record for regular-season shutouts (13). The 26-year-old was ever-present in goal as the Reign won the 2022 NWSL Shield.

Tullis-Joyce became a fan favorite in Seattle, particularly through a series of comedic videos on her second love, marine biology. Tullis-Joyce majored in the topic during her time at the University of Miami.

“Phallon is someone who we value and has achieved quite a lot both on and off field during her time here,” Reign GM Lesle Gallimore said in a club statement. “We worked with Phallon and Manchester United to make sure all parties were satisfied with the move and once we got to an agreement, everything moved pretty quickly. We will be forever grateful for Phallon’s achievements with OL Reign and wish her all the best in the WSL.”

In the meantime, it appears that the Reign have been preparing for Tullis-Joyce’s departure in recent games. Claudia Dickey and Laurel Ivory have both appeared in recent games, with Ivory most recently getting the nod in the team’s Challenge Cup semifinal loss to Racing Louisville.

[lawrence-related id=8847,28253,27651]

Another much-hyped Mexico prospect leaves Europe to join Tigres

Marcelo Flores was a highly touted prospect at Arsenal, but has now headed to Liga MX

The hype around Marcelo Flores at this time last year was growing exponentially.

A rising star in Arsenal’s academy, Flores earned the first of his three senior caps with Mexico at age 18. He then made the bench for the Gunners senior team for the first time in April 2022.

After fully committing his international future to Mexico over Canada and England, there was even talk of Flores making a late bid for a World Cup roster spot with El Tri.

But following a difficult loan spell with Spanish second division side Real Oviedo last season, Flores is following a path that other much-hyped Mexican prospects have traveled recently.

On Sunday, the 19-year-old’s transfer from Arsenal to Tigres was confirmed. The Evening Standard reported that the fee was £2 million.

Flores marks the third young Mexican to leave Europe and sign with Tigres just this year.

Diego Lainez, who like Flores has at times over the years been considered a future superstar, joined Tigres on loan in January. He was followed by Eugenio Pizzuto, who spent time with Lille and Braga before returning home to Mexico this summer.

All three players were 22 or younger when making the move to Tigres.

Amid some criticism of the transfer, Tigres manager Robert Siboldi defended Flores by insisting that the move was driven by the desire for playing time, not money.

Siboldi added that he would not consider the transfer to be a setback for Flores.

“He comes to earn his place, he is very motivated and I am very happy [to sign] a young man with experience, with training from other places that is supposed to be more demanding,” Siboldi told a press conference.

“Why don’t we see everything that can arise? A player comes to Mexico because something has happened, they haven’t had the minutes they wanted. They have the desire to play above the economic aspect.

“They can be at Real Madrid, at Manchester United and not play … it doesn’t mean that if they come to Tigres, Rayados or any team from Mexico that it’s a setback.”

[lawrence-related id=1675,23331,21919]

Wrexham signs ex-Premier League striker Fletcher as Mullin remains out

Fletcher brings a ton of Premier League experience to the League Two side

Wrexham has signed longtime Premier League striker Steven Fletcher on a free transfer.

Fletcher joins after scoring 10 goals in 39 games last season with Dundee United in his native Scotland.

The 36-year-old has made nearly 700 career appearances, representing Burnley, Wolves and Sunderland across several Premier League seasons. He has also earned 39 caps for Scotland.

“Hopefully I can bring a lot of experience. I’m 36, I’m still fit and still raring to go,” Fletcher told Wrexham’s website.

“One of the biggest selling points was the ambition of the club, and if I can help with that then great.

“I don’t think you can not see what has been happening at Wrexham — it’s been a great experience for the fans, players and owners so hopefully we can continue that.”

Fletcher’s words echo those of James McClean, his former teammate at Sunderland and Stoke, who signed with Wrexham last month and said that the club’s growing profile after actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney bought the team was a major selling point.

Following the club’s promotion last season, Wrexham is off to an uneven start to life in League Two. The club sits 13th out of 24 teams and has both the most goals scored (15) and conceded (14) in the league.

Wrexham has managed that high goal total despite the continued absence of star forward Paul Mullin, who suffered a punctured lung against Manchester United during the club’s preseason tour of the United States.

[lawrence-related id=24768,23977,23620]

U.S. U-20 midfielder Clark to join Minnesota United from RB Leipzig

The midfielder departs RB Leipzig without making an appearance

Minnesota United has announced the signing of midfielder Caden Clark from RB Leipzig.

Clark has signed a two-year contract with the MLS club, which he’ll join in January after completing a half-season loan with Danish second-tier side Vendsyssel FF.

“Caden Clark is a talented, young footballer who is excited to be joining our club,” head coach Adrian Heath said of the 20-year-old.

“He’s a Minnesota kid, which is another big plus for us, he’s coming home. We know what he is capable of and we’ve seen his talent here in Major League Soccer. We are really thrilled to get him beginning next season and I know our fans will be excited as well.”

Clark made his professional breakthrough with the New York Red Bulls in 2020, emerging as one of American soccer’s brightest prospects and earning a transfer to the Red Bulls’ sister club RB Leipzig in 2021.

The Minnesota native went on consecutive loans back to the Red Bulls, first for the second half of the 2021 season and then for the entirety of the 2022 season. Clark had a difficult 2022 campaign back in MLS, as injuries and form limited him to just 16 total appearances.

Clark returned to RB Leipzig for the second half of the 2022-23 campaign, but didn’t see the field despite making the team’s matchday roster several times. The midfielder departs the Bundesliga club without making an appearance.

At the international level, Clark has earned 11 caps with the U.S. U-20 side. He was a part of the team that won the 2022 U-20 CONCACAF Championship, but did not make the roster for the 2023 U-20 World Cup.

[lawrence-related id=16504,27344,27316]

Saudi League summer transfer window 2023: All the latest news and signings

Tracking all of the biggest moves to Saudi Arabia right here

The Saudi Pro League’s spending spree has upended the entire 2023 summer transfer window.

With multiple Saudi clubs putting together massive offers, it looks like teams throughout the league will look to compete with Al Nassr, who sparked a new era in Saudi Arabia by signing Cristiano Ronaldo this winter.

The spending has been supercharged after the Public Investment Fund (PIF), Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, took over four of the country’s biggest teams this summer.

We’ll be tracking the biggest names that move to Saudi Arabia right here.

Palhinha flies to Munich, has medical, watches Bayern move disintegrate

Palhinha has become the transfer deadline day’s tragic figure

João Palhinha has become the transfer deadline day’s tragic figure, as his move from Fulham to Bayern Munich collapsed as he watched on helplessly from Bayern’s training facility.

Fulham had allowed the Portuguese midfielder to fly to Munich after reportedly agreeing to a fee in the region of €65 million with the German champions.

Though Palhinha arrived in Munich, the transfer was not completely sealed. Fulham was still reportedly searching for the 28-year-old’s replacement, which was a necessity for the Premier League club to allow one of its key players to depart.

Though the likes of Scott McTominay and Pierre-Emile Højbjerg were linked to the Cottagers, no deal went through prior to the 6 p.m. transfer deadline in Germany.

And so Palhinha — having already completed a medical and even taken photos with a Bayern shirt — saw his deadline-day move collapse in heartbreaking fashion.

It was a frustrating conclusion to a fruitless deadline day for Bayern, which also saw rumored moves for Armel Bella-Kotchap, Trevoh Chalobah and João Cancelo fall through.

But it was Palhinha’s collapsed deal which will hurt the most, as the Portugal international joins Peter Odemwingie in the annals of failed deadline-day transfers.

Americans Abroad transfer deadline day: Tracking all the moves

Transfer deadline day in (most of) Europe has arrived, with plenty of Americans expected to be on the move

Transfer deadline day in (most of) Europe has arrived, and there are plenty of Americans expected to be on the move.

It has already been a major summer of moves for Americans, with a significant portion of the U.S. men’s national team’s core finding new homes.

But there is still time for more transfers and loans before the window closes on Friday evening, as several American players both and home and abroad look for new homes.

We’ll be tracking all of the movement here.

U.S. youth star Osundina joins Feyenoord from Orange County SC

The 19-year-old joins the Dutch powerhouse from the USL Championship side

U.S. youth international forward Korede Osundina has completed a transfer to Dutch champion Feyenoord from Orange County SC.

ESPN reported that Feyenoord paid $215,000 for Osundina, with that fee potentially rising to more than $1 million if incentives are met. The 19-year-old will be loaned to Dutch second-tier side Dordrecht for the 2023-24 season.

“I’m beyond thrilled to move to Feyenoord and continue my career in the Netherlands,” Osundina said in a club release. “OCSC gave me the opportunity to play professional soccer and develop me, with a clear path to playing in Europe that I couldn’t have found elsewhere. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every moment of my time in Irvine, and want to thank everyone at the club for their incredible support.”

Over two seasons with the USL Championship club, Osundina made 37 appearances. He’s scored four goals in the current campaign.

Osundina’s transfer is the first between OCSC and Feyenoord, after the two clubs announced a strategic partnership in February of this year.

“Since our partnership with OCSC began, it became clear to me that the club offers a clear pathway to Europe for emerging talents in the USA,” said Mark Rijul, head of global football at Feyenoord.

“OCSC has a very good technical infrastructure, highly competitive environment and a long-term vision that develops players like Korede for the next level. With this move, we believe Korede can take the next steps in his career, and we are thrilled to help him with that at Feyenoord.”

Osundina, an Illinois native, has been capped by the U.S. at the U-17 and U-19 levels.

[lawrence-related id=27222,27085,27077]

USMNT star Balogun says Henry influenced his decision to join Monaco

The 22-year-old striker left Arsenal to join the Ligue 1 side in a reported €40 million deal

Folarin Balogun has said France legend Thierry Henry helped convince him to choose Monaco as his new club.

Balogun completed a transfer to the Ligue 1 side on Wednesday, joining in a reported €40 million move from Arsenal.

The U.S. national team striker starred on loan with Reims last season, scoring 21 goals in Ligue 1 to send his transfer stock soaring.

Speaking at his introductory press conference on Thursday, Balogun said he had been in touch with Henry, who began his professional career with Monaco before eventually becoming a legendary figure at Arsenal.

“When I played against Monaco with Stade de Reims last season, he sent me a message to congratulate me on my goal,” Balogun said of Henry.

“He was just telling me about the the club, the history, he also said the city is very nice. That put the thought in my mind, and over time it became more clear that this is the next step for me and the step I wanted to make.

“Yesterday, after my signature, he congratulated me again, I am very happy to have his encouragement.”

Unlike Henry, Balogun did not get the chance to establish himself as a regular during his time with the Gunners. The 22-year-old played just 10 games with Arsenal, and took in a loan spell at Middlesbrough before his time at Reims.

Balogun said that despite his lack of opportunities with his boyhood club, he left Arsenal without any hard feelings.

“As a young player, I want to play,” he said. “I want to prove what I’m capable of. What’s done is done. You don’t always get the opportunity. Sometimes that opens door to new opportunities. I am happy with the way things turned out. I wish Arsenal all the best for the season. We’re looking to achieve great things at Monaco this season.”

Balogun could make his debut for Monaco on Saturday in a league match against Lens.

[lawrence-related id=22511,27083,26732]

USMNT transfer rater: Grading every player’s move this summer

It’s a big summer for the USMNT, with a majority of its key players looking for new clubs

It’s a big summer for the U.S. men’s national team.

We aren’t talking about the Nations League or the Gold Cup here, though those are clearly significant in their own right. Instead, we’re talking about the summer transfer window, which promises to be one of the more active ones in recent memory for the USMNT.

Nearly all of the team’s top players have the potential to change clubs in the summer of 2023. With three years to go until a World Cup on home soil, the decisions USMNT players make this summer could determine their trajectory ahead of 2026.

With that in mind, we are tracking and rating all of the most significant completed moves for USMNT players this summer.