Laurent Ciman Jersey

LAFC center-back Laurent Ciman has left the club less than a year after moving to Los Angeles to transfer to French club Dijon.

Ciman, 33, signed a two-year contract with the Ligue 1 team. LAFC will receive a transfer fee of around $500,000, a source told ESPN FC.

Ciman’s deal with LAFC was set to expire at the end of the MLS season this winter, and he thanked the club for allowing him to leave.

“As you may have heard, we are leaving L.A. for France,” Ciman wrote on social media on Tuesday. “I want to thank LAFC fans for embracing me, supporting me, and making me feel like family in ways that exceeded my every expectation. I’ll always keep LAFC fans in my heart.

“The club put the best interests of me and my family above their own, which is rare in today’s sports world. The organization allowed me the chance to return to Europe and continue playing at a high level with a deal providing long-term security for my family.

“To LAFC fans and the organization, my gratitude and love forever. I’ve been honored to be your first captain, to have scored our first goal at Banc of California Stadium and to be a part of the LAFC family.”

Ciman provided a critical presence in the center of LAFC’s defense as well as on set pieces. The MLS club will now rely heavily on center-back Danilo Silva — who was recently acquired on loan from Brazilian side Internacional — to partner Walker Zimmerman in defense with Dejan Jakovic backing them up.

Ciman was left out of Friday’s 1-1 draw with the LA Galaxy because the player was not “fully focused” amid persistent transfer rumors, manager Bob Bradley said.

“Laurent has played an important role getting us started in our first season at LAFC,” Bradley said in the team’s statement. “He has given a lot to this club and we will always appreciate his passion, leadership and strong play.”

LAFC acquired Ciman from the Montreal Impact last December in a trade for expansion draft picks Jukka Raitala and Raheem Edwards, whom they’d picked up just hours before making the move for Ciman.

Ciman, the MLS defender of the year in 2015, helped Belgium qualify for the World Cup, although he was left off the final squad that eventually finished third in Russia this summer.

He started his professional career at Belgium’s RSC Charleroi before stints at Club Brugge, KV Kortrijk and Standard Liege before moving to MLS with Montreal in 2015.

Wholesale Authentic Jonathan Gonzalez Soccer Jersey

U.S. youth international Jonathan Gonzalez continues to be followed very closely by Mexico with an eye to calling him up for the Jan. 31 friendly against Bosnia & Herzegovina, according to a report by ESPN Mexico’s Ivan Canada.

The 18-year-old dual national midfielder Gonzalez has been with the U.S. national team since under-14 level. If the player does opt for Mexico, Gonzalez would have to file for a one-time switch with FIFA, confirmed U.S. Soccer to ESPN’s Jeff Carlisle, which would bind him permanently to El Tri.

A high ranking member of the Mexican federation traveled to California to talk to Gonzalez and his family during the midfielder’s brief preseason break, while Osorio has recently spoken to the player on the phone about his decision, a source with knowledge of the situation confirmed to ESPN FC.

Gonzalez enjoyed a breakout season with Liga MX side Monterrey, reaching the final of the 2017 Apertura and winning the Copa MX.

Gonzalez had been expected to suit up for the United States and had been on former coach Bruce Arena’s radar, but the Californian wasn’t called into temporary coach Dave Sarachan’s U.S. squad to face Portugal last November.

“I wasn’t called in, in November,” Gonzalez said in an interview with Soccer America. “Personally, nobody came and talked to me and let me know about that friendly. I just wasn’t called in.”

The United States also play Bosnia & Herzegovina on Jan. 28, but the game is on a Sunday and Liga MX-based players are rarely involved in the Stars and Stripes’ January camps. Monterrey has a match against Chivas on Jan. 27 and would be unlikely to allow a regular starter to go on international duty in order to miss the game.

Mexico plans to pounce on the opportunity, according to the report, to see if Gonzalez can be tempted to play for El Tri as it prepares for Russia 2018. The United States didn’t qualify for the World Cup.

Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio has said he likes Gonzalez and he is an option for January, but was adamant that the midfielder would have to battle it out for a spot in the squad like any other player.

Gonzalez moved to Monterrey when he was 14 years old and made his way up the club’s youth system. He was named in the Liga MX’s official Best XI for the 2017 Apertura after winning a starting spot and keeping it all tournament.