D.C. United transfer DP Edison Flores to Atlas FC

Edison Flores is headed back to Liga MX. 

D.C United have officially agreed to terms to transfer the Designated Player to Liga MX side Atlas FC. He departs after three seasons with the Black-and-Red, managing three goals and eight assists in 41 appearances since joining from Morelia in 2020. 

“The club would like to thank Edison for the three seasons he spent in Black-and-Red,” D.C. United general manager Lucy Rushton said in Thursday’s release. “We wish him all the best in Mexico at Atlas.”

Prior to his move to Major League Soccer, Flores thrived with Morelia, recording 12 goals and six assists in 47 games. He also saw stints at Universitario de Deportes, Villareal B and Aalborg BK. 

The player’s departure coincides with the arrival of Chilean winger Martin Rodriguez, who joins from Turkish Süper Lig side Altay SK.

The two moves come at a rough time for D.C. United, as they sit in 13th place on the Eastern Conference table after undergoing a managerial change just weeks into the season.

How many times have Chelsea won the Premier League?

Founded in 1905, Chelsea would have to wait 50 years for both their first and second league title wins before Roman Abramovich’s arrival ushered in an era of unprecedented success.

Following a 19-year period during which almost every season would end in silverware, it is almost impossible to imagine the Blues not being at the very top of the game.

However, success was far harder to come by for Chelsea in years gone by. They were a yo-yo club in the early years of their existence, nearly men in the 60s and FA Cup winners in 1970 before a financial crisis and even suffering relegation to the Second Division.

The late 80s would eventually bring a change of fortunes on and off the pitch, and Chelsea took great strides forward midway through the 90s under player-manager Ruud Gullit.

But it was when Abramovich bought the club for £140m in 2003 that things changed entirely, with Jose Mourinho named manager a year later.

Chelsea have won the Premier League five times since its inception in the 1992/93 season, all of which came after Abramovich’s takeover of the club.

The first of those came in 2005 – 50 years after the Blues’ one and only league title in 1955, when Ted Drake guided them to victory having modernised the club.

Self-proclaimed ‘Special One’ Mourinho was the mastermind behind their success five decades on, with his expensively-assembled side – with club legends Petr Cech, John Terry and Frank Lampard at its core – losing just once all season as they romped to the title, ultimately finishing 12 points clear of second-placed Arsenal.

Mourinho would make it back-to-back Premier League wins in 2005/06 with a similar squad, sealing first place with a famous 3-0 victory over runners-up Manchester United at Stamford Bridge.

Although they would have success in the cup competitions, Chelsea would have to wait four years for their next title win as Abramovich regularly chopped and changed managers, with Mourinho leaving in acrimonious circumstances in 2007.

Carlo Ancelotti was the man to guide Chelsea to their third Premier League crown in his first season at the club – despite spending relatively little – with that long-standing core of Cech, Terry, Lampard and Didier Drogba proving crucial. Drogba scored 29 times in the league and the Blues would win the title by a single point at Man Utd’s expense, becoming the first team in the Premier League era to score over 100 goals in a season.

However, another barren period would follow, this time lasting five years before Mourinho sensationally returned to the club in 2014. Reinforced by the shrewd signings of Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas, a new-look Chelsea side took the division by storm and won the title by eight points.

The west Londoners endured a dire campaign in 2015/16, finishing in mid-table as Mourinho was relieved of his duties for the second time, before bouncing back the following season under Antonio Conte and winning the title again – their most recent to date.

A 3-0 defeat to Arsenal early in the season led Conte to shift to a three-at-the back system which completely changed Chelsea’s fortunes, with Marcos Alonso and Victor Moses unlikely stars in the wing-back positions and Eden Hazard the talisman in attack. The Blues would ultimately finish seven points clear of nearest challengers Tottenham.

Chelsea league titles: 1954/55, 2004/05, 2005/06, 2009/10, 2014/15, 2016/17

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D.C. United will host 2023 MLS All-Star game

The 2023 Major League Soccer All-Star game is headed to Washington D.C. 

MLS awarded the event to D.C. United, taking place at Audi Field on July 19, 2023. The opponent will be announced at a later date.

“We are thrilled to bring the MLS All-Star Game and festivities back to Washington, D.C., a city with a rich soccer history, as well as a diverse and vibrant soccer culture,” said MLS Commissioner Don Garber.

“D.C. United and the community have always held a special place in the hearts of everyone who believed in the power and growth of soccer in the U.S., and Audi Field will provide an incredible backdrop for next summer’s game.”

Washington D.C. has previously held the event twice, in 2002 and 2004 at RFK Stadium. Now, Audi Field will hold the event, the new home of D.C. United since its construction in 2018. The 20,000-seat LEED-certified stadium boasts views of the Capitol Building and the Washington Monument and a safe-standing supporters’ section – known as the Chico Stand – that is home to the team’s six supporters groups.

“When we made the decision to build a soccer-specific stadium in downtown Washington, D.C. it was our vision for it to become an iconic sports venue, one of the top stadiums in Major League Soccer, and have it create lifelong memories for the members of our community,” Jason Levien and Stephen Kaplan, co-chairmen of D.C. United, said in a statement.

“To accomplish this, we knew we needed to host unique year-round events that would unite our wonderful city.”

This year’s All Star Game will be held August 10 at Allianz Field in Minneapolis against Liga MX.

MLS expansion team St. Louis CITY SC sign Eduard Löwen as DP

Major League Soccer expansion team St. Louis CITY SC have acquired midfielder Eduard Löwen as a Designated Player from German Bundesliga side Hertha BSC through the 2026 season with an option for 2027.

Löwen is set to occupy an international roster slot and STL’s second DP spot, joining forward João Klauss. The team now has six players under contract before their MLS debut in 2023. 

“We are excited to add a quality player like Eduard to our squad,” sporting director Lutz Pfannenstiel said in a release.

“The experience he has already acquired at his age will be crucial for our team and he will bring structure and strategy in the center of our midfield. His physical attributes and leadership qualities are two strong parts to why he fits perfectly in our DNA. Eduard is a box-to-box player and an important piece to the spine of the squad.”

The midfielder arrives after recording seven goals and eight assists in 77 Bundesliga matches. He’s seen stints with Hertha BSC, FC Nuremberg, VfL Bochum and FC Augsburg in Germany’s top flight, and amassed five goals and six assists in 43 2. Bundesliga games.

“Eduard can be a difference-maker on both sides of the ball,” said STL head coach Bradley Carnell. “His position as a six on the field [defensive midfielder] is an important part to our system and his skills are well-suited for our style of play.”

Internationally, Löwen has played for Germany’s U-20 and U-21 squads, also appearing in the German Olympic team in 2021.

West Ham confirm appointment of Mark Warburton as assistant coach

West Ham United have announced the shock appointment of former Brentford and QPR manager Mark Warburton as an assistant coach to David Moyes.

The 59-year-old left his post at Loftus Road at the end of the 2021/22 season after spending much of the campaign defying the odds and challenging for a play-off place.

It was confirmed at the end of April that Warburton would be leaving QPR, and West Ham announced on Friday that he is heading from west London to east to join Moyes’ backroom staff.

“It’s a huge privilege to be joining West Ham United to work as part of David Moyes’ backroom staff,” Warburton told West Ham’s club channels.

“West Ham have made incredible progress in recent seasons, continually making forward strides to move the Club in a positive direction.

“I am excited about coming in and adding my own experience and know-how to what is an incredibly strong coaching team here.”

Moyes added: “I’m really pleased to welcome Mark to West Ham United. He’s a really valuable addition to the backroom team, in the wake of Stuart Pearce leaving us at the end of last season.

“Mark is hugely experienced and has a fine track record, having managed at a number of Club’s over the course of his career.

“I’m excited about adding him to my coaching set-up as one of my assistants.”

Listen now to 90min’s Talking Transfers podcast, with Scott SaundersGraeme BaileyHarry Symeou & Toby Cudworth. On the latest show they discuss Newcastle’s decision to pull out of a deal for Hugo Ekitike and offer the latest on Arsenal’s pursuit of Gabriel Jesus. Available on all audio platforms and the 90min YouTube channel.

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Warburton, whose playing career was limited to non-league football, initially began his coaching career in charge of youth setups and didn’t get his first managerial gig until he was 51 when he was handed the Brentford job, leading them to promotion out of League One and to the Championship play-offs in his two years in charge.

He then guided Rangers back to the Scottish Premiership before an unsuccessful spell at Nottingham Forest followed.

Warburton returned to west London in 2019 with QPR, helping the Hoops through a difficult financial period before departing at the end of last season.