After the Union's season, team manager Peter Nowak talked about the importance of having competitions at all positions. With the addition of Costa Rican international Josue Martinez on Wednesday, Nowak has added depth to the forward position.
The 5-foot-10 Martinez turns 22 in March. It will be interesting to see the impact his addition has on Danny Mwanga.
Of course, Mwanga and Martinez could both play up top if Sebastien Le Toux is moved back to the midfield. However, Le Toux is most effective as the target player up top.
Mwanga, 20, took a step back during a second season that was marred by a hip injury. He returned late in the season and was moving well, but wasn't as effective as he was during his rookie season. For the season, Mwanga had five goals and four assists, but he didn't score a goal after depositing the game-winner in a 3-2 victory over Chivas USA on June 25.
Martinez was acquired from Costa Rica's C.D. Saprissa. In 2010, Martinez helped C.D. Saprissa capture the Costa Rican First Division Clausura title.
Martinez has 11 caps with his national team, scoring twice.
Coming off an 11-8-15 season, the Union appeared to need strength up top. They scored 44 goals in 34 games, with Le Toux leading the way with 11.
Quick kicks. The Seattle Sounders announced the signing of 30-year-old Austrian goalkeeper Michael Gspurning from the top-division Greek side Skoda Xanthi.
Former U.S. national team and longtime D.C. United player Santino Quaranta announced his retirement. The 27-year-old midfielder, who battled drug and alcohol problems in his 11-year MLS career, made 15 appearances with the U.S. team, scoring his only goal during the 2009 Gold Cup.
Penn midfielder Christian Barreiro is joined by forwards Antoine Hoppenot (Princeton) and Evans Frimpong (Delaware) on the initial player list for the MLS combine to be held in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., from Jan. 6 to 10.